20 Questions for Me

Web directory, search engine and “knowledge exchange” site Mahalo.com is currently sponsoring a new series for prominent authors called “20 questions for …. and — yay! — I’m next up in the programming queue.
So, if you have any questions you’d like to ask me about writing reference books,  or specifically about Horror Films of the 1970s, Horror Films of the 1980s and Horror Films of the 1990s, this is the opportunity to pose them! 
I’ll actually get to answer all twenty questions on video, which should be extremely cool… assuming I don’t make a complete fool of myself in the process.
Anyway, follow this link to Reddit, and ask away! 
I’ll be recording the video Friday afternoon, and responding to all your questions then.  I’ll let you know when the video page is posted.
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13 responses to “20 Questions for Me

  1. Is there any particular film you praised (or slighted) that you received notorious feedback for? Like, if you said you liked, I dunno, The Phantom Menace, did you get loads of mail/email from fans going 'what the?' or if you said you hated something like, Blair Witch, did you get flack from hard core fans?Kind of a long question (or three).

  2. I think that's an excellent question, Will. I'm passing it on Mahalo, and will answer it on video!Thanks for sending that!best,John

  3. This is a great honor, a sign of making it as a writer! Congratulations, John! Hope you found the experience to be a blast!Gordon Long

  4. This isn't one for video, but it is one that has baffled me. Why did you categorize "Shock Waves" as having been released in 1970 for your '70's book, when everything I've found (and the apparent onscreen age of Peter Cushing)seems to indicate it came out in 1977?

  5. Hi everyone,PDXWiz: Thank you for the kind words, my friend. I appreciate them!BT: Great question! I'm glad you brought up "Shock Waves" and the 1970 vs 1977 date issue. It is something that has truly vexed and disturbed me since I wrote the book more than a decade ago.The simple answer is that I made an error. My mistake was this: I assumed at the time that the information in another horror reference book was correct, and used that as my source without corroborating the release date with a second source. And at the time, IMDB was not really well-trusted/established as an alternate source.In all likelihood, the 1970 date in the other reference book was simply a typo. Again, the mistake was mine for not getting more information and more carefully corroborating/researching it. No excuse.The year of release should have been 1977, clearly. I've always hoped I would have the chance to change the year of release of "Shock Waves" in a second edition of the book, but the opportunity has not availed itself. It's absolutely the one thing that makes me cringe about reading Horror Films of the 1970s.All my best,John

  6. Thanks for the recap John, that makes sense. I wouldn't feel too bad. The only reason I noticed it is that I've been able to procure 2 different copies of "Horror Films of the 1970's volume 2", but can't seem to find volume 1 anywhere (I'm more than happy to trade with anyone out there!), and after recently watching "Shock Waves", I thought I could read your thoughts on it. However, since it's listed as 1970, it's not in volume 2. Which is no big deal. Looking forward to your '90's book.

  7. Volume 2? Was it re-issued in two volumes due to the size (I think your webpage said 650 pages?)? This is pretty interesting.I was looking at the Wiki entry and saw the other titles not listed in the upper right. Fascinating list, and quite a variety; I just didn't realize how varied your interests were. Extremely cool! Do you ever plan on updating titles such as An Askew View or The Unseen Force? A lot has happened for both Raimi and Smith (and for the matter, for Superheroes on Film & Television!) that necessitates updates. It's not like a finished product like Blake's Seven or Space: 1999 or Alfred Hitchcock's career—these are all ongoing topics.And speaking of Hitchcock: Are you ever going to try to tackle him? Or Horror Films before the 1970s?Gordon Long

  8. That is terrific. I look forward to it and I wish you my sincere best. I'm sure it will be splendid. Sff

  9. Hi BT: Thank you for your understanding about Shock Waves. I absolutely hate that I made that mistake and — seriously — it vexes me beyond belief 🙂 I hope you find Volume 1 out there…Gordon: Horror Films of the 1970s was re-issued in paperback in 2005, I think, as a two-volume set, because the hardback was so huge. The hardback has become rather collectible, I'm proud to say, and I'm down to my last copy, which I'm saving for posterity, or Joel, or something.At this moment, I am actually working on an update of An Askew View to celebrate the tenth anniversary of that book, and the release of Kevin Smith's Red State. I'd love to go back to the Unseen Force and update it with info on Spider-Man 3 and Drag Me to Hell, but the opportunity hasn't come up as yet. I also know that a Third Edition of The Superheroes Encyclopedia is imminent (so it can include Jonah Hex, Captain America, Green Lantern, Thor, etc., etc.) We're trying to work out the timing.I would love to do a book about Alfred Hitchcock as well. I've steered clear from it simply because so many authors have written on that (incredible…) director. But one of these days!SFF: Thank you, my friend! Thank you all for your comments on this topic, and I'll post here when the Mahalo Video is up…best,John

  10. John, I know I've told you before of my love for "Miller's Crossing", and I was wondering if a book on the Coen brothers movies is something you would be interested in doing. The range of genres they've covered, from black comedy, hick comedy, film noir, mob saga, screwball comedy, western, etc,(I think scifi/horror might be the only genres they haven't covered) would make a fascinating collection of essays, don't you think? It seems right up your alley.

  11. Would you consider doing the sixties?

  12. Damnshame:Yes! It's part of my plan to write Horror Films of the 2000s, and then do Horror Films of the 1960s. I'd love to write that book…best,John

  13. John, there is a great book already written about the '50s and early 60's that I'm sure you are aware of. I think it's called "Keep Watching the Skies" by Bill Warren. If you don't have it already, I'm certain you would love it. I'd still like to see you tackle the '50s, but that book would be a terrific reference.

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