Thursday, February 22, 2018

Interview With Max Booth III

CHHR: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

MB3: I’ll be very boring and admit I’ve never known a time I have not wanted to be a writer of some sort. For a while I switched from wanting to write films, or write comics, then back to novels. Out of all of them, novels seem like the easiest. I’m more relaxed working alone, and films and comics would require a collaborative skill I don’t quite possess. Also, films cost money, which is a fairy tale concept forever out of reach when it comes to my bloodline.

CHHR: What does your writing schedule look like? 

MB3: I wait until the day before something is due, then panic and drink a lot of coffee and punch my keyboard until the work is finished.

CHHR: Do you have any interesting writing rituals? If so, what are they?

MB3: I try not to rely on any rituals. They seem more restricting than helpful. Like an excuse not to write.

CHHR: Do you like writing short stories or novels?

MB3: I prefer novels, but short stories are also fun (and more difficult).

CHHR: How is the horror scene where you live?

MB3: I live in a small Bible-Thumper town on the outskirts of San Antonio, so it’s mostly nonexistent. However, I have some decent friends up in Austin, about an hour away, who I try to socialize with whenever time allows. Specifically: Andrew Hilbert, Robert Dean, Gabino Iglesias, and Lucas Mangum. Alex Jones also lives out that way, so that should tell you everything you need to know.

CHHR: Do you use outlines or do you go with the flow?

MB3: A mixture of both, I guess? I’m trying to write more outlines. In the past I neglected them and paid dearly for my crimes. Outlines make writing much, much easier, and it’s foolish not to consider their importance.

CHHR: How did publishing your first book or short story change your writing process?

MB3: The first book I ever published is no longer in print: a short story collection titled True Stories Told By a Liar. I was nineteen. It was published by some micro press in Australia. Almost all of the stories were terrible and not ready for publication. I regret ever releasing it, but what can I say? I was dumb. I still am dumb. But I was also dumb then, too. What it taught me: just because I complete something, that doesn’t mean it’s finished. It also taught me mistakes will be made, and there’s no point in obsessing over them. Everything’s forgotten after five minutes, anyway. What were we talking about again?

CHHR: What do you think makes a good horror story?

MB3: Something that isn’t boring. Something that doesn’t rely on famous horror movie scenes. Something that unsettles.

CHHR: What are you currently working on?

MB3: I’m shopping around a werewolf novel titled Carnivorous Lunar Activities and finishing another book tentatively titled Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them, something I’m kinda describing as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Stranger Things. I also am flirting with the idea of compiling a new story collection but the idea of trying to sell it to a press is exhausting and I don’t feel like self-publishing it, so who knows when that will happen.

CHHR: When and why did you start Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing?

MB3: My girlfriend, Lori Michelle, and I launched it in 2012 because we are very foolish people who should not make life-altering decisions while drunk.

CHHR: Are you guys open for submissions?

MB3: Nope!

CHHR: What does the 2018 lineup look like for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing?

MB3: Here’s what we got coming for ya: The Detained by Kristopher Triana, Born in Blood by George Lea, Bone Saw by Patrick Lacey, The Writhing Skies by Betty Rocksteady, The Eight Eyes That Watch You Die by W.P. Johnson, and The Poetry of Violence by Vincenzo Bilof.

CHHR: Dark Moon Digest looks great! Is it a monthly or quarterly magazine?

MB3: Thanks! It’s quarterly!

CHHR: I like reading your book reviews. How often do you review for LitReactor?

MB3: I usually don’t write reviews for LitReactor. I do 2-3 columns for them a month. Sometimes I disguise reviews in the form of long essays, which might be my favorite kind of non-fiction to write.

CHHR: I listen to Castle Rock Radio as well. How long have you been doing the podcast? What does the podcast schedule look like?

MB3: It’ll be one year in March. Right now we release an episode every two weeks. However, once we reach our $300 stretch goal on Patreon, we’ll begin producing them on a weekly basis. (

CHHR: You mentioned on Twitter you wanted to open a bookstore. How close is that to becoming a reality? Would it be a used and new independent bookstore? What’s the name of bookstore going to be?

MB3: Not very close. Other things are currently taking a higher priority. Right now we’re in the slow process of figuring out what kind of budget we would need, then we’ll launch a kickstarter, probably sometime later in the summer. The name we want to go with is Alamo City Books, since it’ll hopefully be located in Downtown San Antonio. We would sell used & new books, yes, with an emphasis on indie presses.

CHHR: This may step on toes and what have you, but I’m going to ask you anyway. What are your thoughts on the state of indie horror publishing, given the fact that several have buckled in the past few years? Do you have any advice for fellow authors and publishers?

MB3: Don’t fuck over the authors.

CHHR: What are your thoughts on indie horror authors not getting paid?

MB3: Haha, I love it! It’s awesome and cool. No. Of course it’s terrible. Why would I think otherwise?

CHHR: Are you going to make it to Scares That Care this year?

MB3: No.

CHHR: What are your thoughts on the state of Barnes and Nobles?

MB3: It sucks that we’re losing one of the last major bookstores but it’s also pretty shitty that they just laid off all of their full-time employees, so maybe they can go fuck themselves?

CHHR: What is in your TBR pile?

MB3: Just glancing at the stack by my bed: Quarry by Max Allan Collins, The Listener by Robert McCammon, Night Film by Marisha Pessl, Seeing Red by Lina Meruane, Genuinely Dangerous by Mike McCarry, Tenth of December by George Sanders, Gravesend by William Boyle, New Alleys for Nothing Men by Michael Pool, Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter, Hex-rated by Jason Ridler, Devil’s Call by J. Danielle Dorn, The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy, The Force by Don Winslow, Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio de Maria, He Digs a Hole by Danger Slater, and The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker. Lined up on my Kindle to tackle soon: The Only Great Harmless Thing by Brooke Bolander, Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters, and Land of Bones by Glenn Rolfe. I’m currently reading Experimental Film by Gemma Files, Death Wish by Brian Garfield, Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh, and a shitload of Martin McDonagh plays.

CHHR: What is the last book that scared you?

MB3: The Cipher by Kathe Koja, which I just wrote about on LitReactor:

CHHR: What is your spirit animal?

MB3: I don’t know what that means.

CHHR: What is your favorite beer?

MB3: I don’t drink much but I prefer Shiner Bock when I do.

CHHR: If you could have a beer with one author (dead or alive), who would it be?

MB3: Wait. Would we be sharing the same beer? Gross. I guess I’d go with H.P. Lovecraft, so I could spit in the drink first.

Author Bios: 

Goodreads: Max Booth III is the author of four novels. His mom has read at least one of them. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and an ongoing columnist at He works as a hotel night auditor in a small town outside San Antonio, TX. Follow him on Twitter @GiveMeYourTeeth and visit him at

Amazon: Max Booth III is the Editor-in-Chief of Perpetual Motion Machine, the Managing Editor of Dark Moon Digest, and the co-host of Castle Rock Radio, a Stephen King podcast. He's the author of many novels and frequently contributes columns to both LitReactor and Gamut. Follow him on Twitter @GiveMeYourTeeth or visit him at He lives in Texas.


Sleep is just a myth created by mattress salesmen. Isaac, a night auditor of a hotel somewhere in the surreal void of Texas, is sick and tired of his guests. When he clocks in at night, he’s hoping for a nice, quiet eight hours of Netflix-bingeing and occasional masturbation. What he doesn’t want to do is fetch anybody extra towels or dive face-first into somebody’s clogged toilet. And he sure as hell doesn’t want to get involved in some trippy owl conspiracy or dispose of any dead bodies. But hey…that’s life in the hotel business. Welcome to The Nightly Disease. Please enjoy your stay.

Length: 414 pages

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