Martin Powell Guest Blog For The Month Of C.H.U.D.

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Darkness Dwells is proud to present an interview with Martin Powell regarding C.H.U.D. and his contribution to the C.H.U.D. Lives Tribute anthology.

 Darkness Dwells:  Thank you for talking with us! Do you remember the first time you watched C.H.U.D? If so, how did the movie affect you?

POWELL:  I vividly remember snatching the VHS from the shelf at a local video store, attracted by the box art.  Of course, kids today can’t appreciate how exciting the advent of Home Video was, making it possible to see more movies than ever before.  During that period, slasher films mostly dominated the horror genre which I’m not of fan of, but I’ve always loved monsters, especially the Frankenstein series of Universal Studios.  Movie monsters were rare during those days, but C.H.U.D. certainly had ‘em.  Very cool ones, too.

DD:  How did you approach writing your story for C.H.U.D?

POWELL:  When I started thinking about my story, I knew wanted to portray the creatures in a rather sympathetic way, but still make them terrifying.  The trick was to expand upon the movie itself, without trying to redundantly imitate it.  While I was re-watching my DVD copy of C.H.U.D., it occurred to me that they didn’t really get into the creatures’ heads or explore what the mutation experience would be like, so I went in that direction.

DD:  What was your biggest challenge writing it?

POWELL:  Well, I’m a full-time writer with a seven-days-per-week schedule, so the biggest challenge was just finding the time to write it.  When editor Eric Brown first approached me to be a part of the anthology, I very reluctantly turned him down and immediately I regretted that.  Deciding that sleep is overrated, and I’m an insomniac anyway, I messaged Eric back and said if he’d still have me, I’d be delighted.  Otherwise, I knew I’d be missing out on something very fun. 

DD:  Your story, “Monstrous Me” has an element of body horror to it. Is this something you enjoy writing about?

POWELL:  Well, sort of.  Although I’ve never been a fan of visceral gore for its own sake, but metamorphosis in horror has always fascinated me.  Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a trailblazer in the genre, and Bram Stoker’s poignantly eloquent and ultimately terrifying transformation of Lucy Westenra in DRACULA is brilliantly conceived.  Kafka achieved some very disturbing psychological effects, too.  All of those inspired and influenced me.

DD:  If you ever had the chance to either write for another 80s horror movie tribute anthology, which movie would you choose and why?

POWELL:  Probably American Werewolf in London, because it also deals with metamorphosis.  Also, I’m a big fan of Fred Dekker’s MONSTER SQUAD.

DD:  Man, those are two great movies and would be fun to write in their world. Do you have anything coming out soon that readers can check out?

POWELL:  I write nearly a dozen weekly online comic strips for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., which will be collected as printed volumes by Dark Horse.  My Amazon Author’s Page has zillions of my graphic novels, children’s books, and prose fiction available all the time.  Also, I’m writing a new horror prose novel, The Witch of Cypress Creek, to be released in 2019.

About Martin Powell:

Martin Powell has written hundreds of stories in numerous genres for Disney, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Capstone Books, among others. Nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award for his work with Sherlock Holmes, he has written many of the most popular characters in the industry, including Superman, Batman, Popeye the Sailor, Dracula, Frankenstein, and Tarzan of the Apes. Currently, as the author of almost a dozen different ERB online comic strips, and the critically acclaimed Jungle Tales of Tarzan graphic novel from Dark Horse, Powell has written more Edgar Rice Burroughs characters than any other contemporary writer.  He received the coveted Golden Lion Award from the Burroughs Bibliophiles in 2017 for his on-going contributions to the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Visit Martin and his work online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/martin.powell1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Powell/e/B001JRXRSU

Website: http://www.edgarriceburroughs.com/comics/

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Author Chad Lutzke Visits The Month of C.H.U.D.

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Continuing Darkness Dwells' journey into the Month of C.H.U.D., author Chad Lutzke visits the blog and answers a few questions.  

Darkness Dwells - Do you remember the first time you watched C.H.U.D? If so, how did the movie affect you? 

Lutzke - I don't remember the first time I saw it, but I recall seeing the poster and the trailer and imagined it being much scarier than it was. The film was very popular among my friends at the time, though none of us had seen it yet because it was new. It was almost scarier that way, knowing this movie existed that we knew nothing about, only the idea that something lurked beneath us.  

DD - How did you approach writing your story for C.H.U.D?

Lutzke - I didn't want to use any of the existing characters or make it about the creatures themselves. I wanted to show a human side to the epidemic, with the spotlight on someone who once was and someone who still is--an isolated incident with an everyday joe, not a hero but someone relatable and what they're going through in the midst of it all.

DD - What was your biggest challenge writing it? 

Lutzke - Coming up with something I felt would be original enough to be worthy of people's time. The research part was fun, though. Because I hadn't seen the film since the 80s, I bought the DVD and made a night of it.

DD - Having read an advance copy of your story, Step Ate, interested me because I love stories with addicts in them. Is addiction a theme you like to write about? I’m thinking of Wallflower. 

Lutzke - Not really. Just a coincidence, though I do have a history with substance abuse, did a stint in rehab several years ago and have had my share of 12-step meetings. But I'm very proud to say I haven't touched even so much as a joint in almost 30 years.

DD - If you ever had the chance to either write or edit for another 80s horror movie, which movie would you choose and why? 

Lutzke - Great question! Basket Case would be a fun one, but I'm not sure there's enough to play with to fill a whole book and be entertaining. How about Phantasm?! All kinds of ideas could come from The Tall Man's origin and his little jawa helpers. This needs to happen now!

DD - What do you have out or are coming out soon that readers can check out?  

Lutzke - I just had a brand new novella come out through Bloodshot Books called STIRRING THE SHEETS. It's about an elderly funeral home worker who is dealing with the loss of his wife and runs across a body at work that resembles his late bride in her younger years. He tries to cope, stuff happens. It's about morbid desperation, loneliness, and letting go. Every book I've written is available on Amazon and you can check me out at www.chadlutzke.com

About Chad Lutzke:

Chad lives in Battle Creek, MI. with his wife, children.  For over two decades, he has been a contributor to several different outlets in the independent music and film scene, offering articles, reviews, and artwork. He has written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance, and scream magazine. His fiction can be found in a few dozen magazines and anthologies including his own 18-story collection NIGHT AS A CATALYST. In the summer of 2016 he released his dark coming-of-age novella OF FOSTER HOMES AND FLIES which has been praised by authors Jack Ketchum, James Newman, John Boden, and many others.  Later in 2016 Lutzke released his contribution to bestselling author J. Thorn'sAMERICAN DEMON HUNTERS series, and 2017 saw the release of his novella WALLFLOWER. His latest, STIRRING THE SHEETS, was published by Bloodshot Books in spring 2018.

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