Greetings from the Ether,
The full moon is out (at least, we hope it is), and we are ecstatic to present our exclusive interview with Max Booth III, where we delve into his new novel from Fangoria and Cinestate, Carnivorous Lunar Activities. We previously reviewed the novel, which you can find here.
Alas, without further ado, let’s dive in!
CP: Carnivorous Lunar Activities is upon us, and this novel is a beast, no pun intended. For our readers who may be new to your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
MB: Sure thing. I grew up in Northern Indiana and now live in a small town outside San Antonio. I work the night shift at a hotel and write books about unlikable people doing unlikable things. I’m the co-founder and 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. I used to despise pickles but over the last few years I’ve grown to tolerate them. Mustard is my favorite condiment. I hate Jimmy Fallon.
CP: We’ve read about the origins of the idea for this novel and how it came to fruition, but what can you tell us about the process of writing the novel? Were there any unexpected challenges you encountered?
MB: With the first draft, I challenged myself by writing only the dialogue, then on future drafts going back and adding in the rest of the prose. This actually turned out being a lot smoother than I anticipated. However, the novel really is one long conversation, and I’ve had to rewrite this same conversation several times now, with each new round of edits, so after so long there came a point when I truly could not stand to hear these fucking idiots say another word.
CP: The voice in this novel is astounding, and it’s so fast-paced that it’s impossible to put down once picked up. Was it difficult writing a dialogue-driven narrative? Were there any dichotomies between Ted and Justin you had in mind while writing these conversations?
MB: I think Justin is definitely more vulgar than Ted. Justin also never grew up. Never got a real job. He’s still living in his parents’ house. The kinda guy who thinks dogfighting is cool. Ted, on the other hand, tried to mature. He got a wife, a job, a house. Except, of course, he fucked everything up and possibly lost all three. The more the story progresses, the more we realize maybe Ted’s been lying to himself, and him and Justin aren’t that different after all. It’s not the easiest task, escaping your home town. Somehow it always finds you in the end.
CP: What challenges did you face with the task of crafting a unique spin on the werewolf genre? Any inspirations along the way that helped form your vision?
MB: Often, in horror fiction, the characters operate as if they exist in a world that does not contain horror movies. They act as if they don’t already have decades of horror literature and films to use as research. So, in my novel, Justin isn’t quite sure what is happening with him, but he’s using his history of horror movies to make educated guesses. There is no established mythos in this book. Nobody knows shit. It’s all just a big “well, maybe this will work but probably not”. You see a similar mindset in David Wong’s John Dies at the End, I think.
CP: Staying on the topic of monster movies and horror literature, why Werewolves? Did you have a pre-existing preference for Lycans?
MB: It’s a lot of fun, I think, comparing werewolves to alcoholics. In both cases, the victim tends to black out, commit terrible deeds, and is forced to deal with these consequences once they wake up. Accounting for lost time is always scary, to me, and what’s scarier than the possibility of having murdered a whole bunch of people?
CP: We’ve seen that on the way to the book launch, you were in an accident. Very happy to see you came out mostly unharmed. How did the reading go after that? Did the experience give you some extra adrenaline for the event?
MB: Turns out I had a concussion from the accident, which I wouldn’t learn until taking a trip to the ER the next day. I was also drenched in Diet Coke during the event, which was rather unpleasant. I think the book launch went well, over all. My head was pounding before it started but seemed to go away once everything kicked into gear. Toward the end of the night, I couldn’t fucking stand the pain, but at least the adrenaline managed to get me through the book launch. I’m typing up these answers exactly one week after the accident (which totaled my vehicle), and the headache is finally down to just a dull ache.
CP: A little question for the movie fans. What is your favorite Werewolf movie and/or book? Why? Did it/they lend inspiration for your novel in any way?
MB: My favorite werewolf film would have to be Ginger Snaps, with my favorite book being Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones. I’m a sucker for coming-to-age stories and both of these handle the topic with gusto.
CP: What, in your own words, is the major theme(s) in Carnivorous Lunar Activities?
MB: Friendship, nostalgia, alcoholism, and dick jokes.
CP: Are there any more works on the horizon that our readers can look forward to from you? What’s in store for Max Booth III?
MB: Well, I have a new novel I’m shopping around currently, but nothing I can really say about it yet. I’m also doing a serial novel on Patreon titled The Geezer. It’s a weird little Christmas horror book about a family trying to kill Santa Claus. People can follow along here.
CP: We always like to end our interviews with a question for the authors out there. If you could give one tidbit of advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
MB: Don’t get into a car accident on your way to a book launch. It really sucks.
Thank you for stopping by, and we hope you enjoyed the interview. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter below, and to check out our Patreon, which has recently been updated!