Friday Feature: Matt Harrill #horrorauthor

I recently met Matt Harrill on Twitter @matt_harrill . He seemed like a friendly guy so I asked him if I could do an article about him. Low and behold he writes horror – I can’t get away from these people!

I want to thank Matt and his girls for recently helping me with my manuscript (which is off.)

What I have gathered from his bio is he is an intelligent man with a Uni degree in geology. So I am not surprised that he researched his topic -Hell.

I will add that it took me two weeks to think of non-generic questions to ask Matt. So here we go:



AboutPic matt

Matt I believe you started your writing journey as a fantasy writer; what kind of fantasy characters do you like to portray?
The fantasy world I created dealt with the genocide of a people who believed in a certain type of magic. There were guildsmen, tribes, wandering travellers, smugglers. The magic system involved harnessing ones will through ‘focus stones’, each type of stone’s nature reflecting its origin. So for example if you had a piece of volcanic rock, its properties might have been heavily inclined towards fire. The physical make up of my characters were human. As I stopped writing the series mid-way through the third book , I had scope to go ‘nonhuman’ but had not had the chance to explore that option. I find a lot of satisfaction in exploring the abilities a person might have rather than just purely going for the supernatural.
I understand you spent 10 months researching for your book Hellbounce. So what kind of research does one do to discover the elements of Hell?
First off, it was literally just a case of anything and everything. Stories that interested me, media articles, random websites, the information from which I could not tell you the source if you paid me. I had the idea, and initially beyond that not a lot. Then I started working on the ‘why’ of Hell freezing over, and divided its inhabitants into clans, or tribes. This led to a lot of research into the Seven Deadly Sins, that I used as a template, each sin having a principal demon. The idea for the hellbounce, the process by which a demon returns to earth in the body of its mortal form, appearing at the location of its human death, was borne of a chance conversation. After that, it was filling out characters, finding suitable locations for the story. I’m a huge Lovecraft fan, so I wanted to pay homage to him by having my story start in that part of the world. I liked the idea of Boston, Ma, but Worcester had more of what I needed in terms of scenery. Lots of looking into scary haunted places gave me Sloss Furnace in Birmingham, Alabama. After that it was a lot of immense detail using google earth etc. All locations are real in my series, which means I have to make sure that I get it right.
As a horror writer myself, I am curious where your inspiration stems from? (for some it’s a dark place in their own lives, books they’ve read, movies they saw as a child…)
It would have to be the spooky strangeness of Lovecraft’s work. My own tale is uniquely ‘me’ and not a lot of trying to copy Lovecraft’s style, which was the intention to start with. I have a style of writing that can only be described as my own, coming from deep within my own twisted brain. It’s certainly not horror movies – I love a good demon romp, but paranormal stuff scares the crap out of me.
If you could have any historical figure (fictional characters included) read and critique your work who would it be?
Oh definitely Caligula. Roman emperor in early AD, he was mad as a box of frogs, did everything his own way which was usually the WRONG way. Would make for a great critique. Might have to improve his English first, or my Latin.

(Oh I love this answer!!!)
For those just entering the roller coaster ride of writing and publishing what words of encouragement or caution would you share?
Find your unique selling point, but don’t hunt desperately. Once you find what makes you different, game on! Also, for goodness sake, when someone offers you constructive criticism, listen! Trust me, I have a lovely marketing friend who recently made me feel three inches tall via skype regarding a DREADFUL newsletter I put together. But keep writing!
Matt please share any additional details including contact information, what readers might expect with the book in the works…
Ohhhh… this is the bit where I go nuts with links……
Places you can find Hellbounce now:
Places you can find Hellborne now:
And anybody who wants to can contact me via my website on the contact me page.

I would encourage all of you to engage Matt on twitter or go to his blog. He is a witty and an exceptionally easy to like person.

I would like to thank Matt for his time and wish him the best with his newest release:


matt harrill new coverfront-cover-229x348 hellbounce

…and wait there’s more!!! Hellbeast is on the horizon.


Friday Feature #writing #fiction #author

 Welcome to Friday Feature and Author Joseph Pinto

Friday Feature art


I am privileged to know some remarkable and talented writers. Joseph Pinto is no exception. When I met Joe I was living on the Dark Side of the Moon which reflected in my darker than normal poetry. I had admired his writing as well as the work written by what I consider a Horror Guild called Pen of The Damned. I don’t know what other writers ponder (when their pen is resting) but I remember wishing that some day I could write to the caliber as these engaging horror writers each with a chilling style all their own. When Joe asked me to join PEN, I was dumbfounded but gladly said “yes.”

I know that writing with experienced writers helps to improve one’s own style.  I will never arrive at the level of the horror writing that Blaze McRob, Nina D’Archangela, Thomas Brown, Craig McGray, Magenta Nero, Tyr Kieran, Zack Kullis, Jon Olson, Hunter Shea, and Joseph Pinto have achieved,  but I believe my horror has intensified because of their patience and influence.

I am pleased to feature such a fine and intense writer as Joseph and urge you to dig deeper into the core of the world he paints on the page.



Joseph where does your inspiration for writing horror come from? (i.e. bad dreams, everyday life…)

My inspiration for writing horror comes from a variety of places.  Most of the time, I’ll glimpse at an image in my mind; it’s almost like a still frame from a movie.  Using that image, a story will slowly develop and ferment like fine wine.  Music, believe it or not, inspires me tremendously as well.  I’ll take the emotion a particular song will churn up within me and use that when writing.  Every day life is definitely a contributing factor, whether in my own cosmos or things I’ll read in the news.  As far as I know, I don’t have bad dreams; none that I can remember, at least. lol

pen of the damned

Tell us about Pen of the Damned. What was your original goal for POTD and what are your visions for this “guild” in the future?

I started Pen of the Damned along with Nina D’Arcangela a little more than two years ago.  It rose from a very simple concept: developing a platform that will promote and market both writer and guild alike.  So we decided upon a strict limit of only ten writers employing varying writing voices.  Each Tuesday, a new writer takes the spotlight, so to speak, and shares their work.  The material is always free for readers and of course consists of horror fiction or dark, angst-ridden prose or poetry.  We keep a strict maximum of 2,500 words per post.  This ensures a brief but impactful read for all to enjoy during the course of their day.

We’re delighted that we’ve gained so many fans and are gaining more as each week passes.  Our original goal has definitely been met.  Nina and I have many dastardly intentions for Pen of the Damned – it’s just a matter of cultivating it to fruition.


Which I know from experience takes alot of work and is appreciated by each of the Damned members ~Leslie

bottle 1


Please share with us

about your recently published book:

My most recently published book is Dusk and Summer with Sirens Call Publications and is actually a contemporary fantasy story.  I wrote and self-published it a little more than six years ago when my father passed away after a fifteen month battle with pancreatic cancer.  Grief stricken and unable to process my loss, I came to the realization that I had to do something to make sense of it all.  I sat to write what I’d initially believed to be a vessel for my emotions, but it unexpectedly transformed into a fantasy tale.  Inspired by my father’s passion for the sea, Dusk and Summer was born.

It’s a book of love and loss; a bittersweet tribute to my father.  It’s also a book of hope, of dreams made real, and of a fantasy world beneath the waves that is my gift to my father.  My book will not only help anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one, but will sweep readers away with its unexpected story arc.

The Sirens Call Publications team did an amazing job guiding me through the revision of Dusk and Summer nearly seven years later.  They kept it as true to the heart now as it was then.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the caring and compassionate manner in which they handled this very delicate subject matter and the professional acumen they displayed while doing so.

I’m also very proud to say that I’ll be donating a portion of proceeds from all sales of Dusk and Summer to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.


I won’t say too much about Siren’s Call Publications now other than please check them out they have many publication opportunities for writers. I hope to get an interview with them in a forthcoming article.

What classic horror inspired / inspires you?

The classic horror that inspired me comes from the literary medium, and that would be the early works of Robert McCammon.  Reading from this amazing author definitely opened my eyes to a new and wondrous world and pushed me to become a part of it when I was much younger.


I was not familiar with McCammon but I am diving into his River of Souls.


Godzilla eye

If you could be a monster what would you be?

If I could be a monster what would I be…can I cheat and give you two answers? lol First, I’d want to be Cookie Monster.  I mean, who doesn’t love Cookie Monster?  And a chocolate chip diet for life?  Sign me up!

The second monster I’d want to be is Godzilla.  I’d rise my cranky self from the bottom of the Pacific, stomp cities and scorch them with my radioactive breath- even fight some other monsters along the way.  Oh yes, hands down, Gojira, or as you know him…Godzilla, King of Monsters! lol


I have to throw this question in as I love the answers 🙂


  Can you divulge what is up next for Joseph?

What’s up next for me is the start of a new book.  I’ve had an idea scratching around inside my head and it’s about time to get it out!

Thank you very much for offering me the opportunity to talk about myself and my most recent book. I’m truly privileged to be featured on your blog, Leslie!


Wishing best of luck to you, Joseph. It is a privilege to try to keep up with you on Pen of the Damned.

I have a new stack of fiction!


dusk and summer


Here’s additional information about Joseph Pinto:

Joseph resides in Northern New Jersey with his young daughter and wife. You can find him in a multitude of places online.

Track him down on Twitter: @JosephAPinto;

Facebook:  Joseph A. Pinto, horror author and more…

His personal blog:

The Pen of the Damned blog

He happily shares his deranged likings on Pinterest

He occasionally lurking in the halls of  Google +.

Or, you can simply email him at

You can pick up Joseph’s book, Dusk and Summer, in both eBook and print versions on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, an eBook version on Kobo, as well as other formats on Smashwords.

Please don’t forget, every purchase is more than a great book; it’s also a contribution toward the fight against pancreatic cancer through the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.



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