I just read this author’s book for the online Indie Eden Book Club, and the consensus was an enthusiastic thumbs up from all of us. Welcome Matthew V. Brockmeyer!
Rebecca thought she’d find a hippie paradise when she moved to the desolate back hills of Humboldt County. A place to commune with nature and teach her five-year-old daughter how to live off the land. Instead she discovered a nightmare.
Coyote is a washed-up pot grower. Strung out on pills and dealing with dropping prices and looming legalization, he wonders if it’s even worth it anymore.
Diesel Dan abandoned his son for a life of methamphetamine and prison. Now he wants to make amends. He’s going to be a grandfather. But his son is on the same dark road of drugs and violence that once consumed him.
These characters will come together in an explosive ending that will leave you stunned and breathless. But more than just a gripping horror novel, Kind Nepenthe is a deep examination into the nature of love and greed, lost ideals, and the essence of evil in one of the last frontiers of the American West.
What’s the best horror/thriller movie you’ve seen this year so far?
The best horror movie I’ve seen in a long time is The Witch: A New-England Folktale. I’ve watched it four times now and I’m gearing up for a fifth. I consider it a masterpiece right up there with classics likeThe Exorcist, The Omen and The Shining. All of the dialogue is from actual seventeenth-century texts, and all of the supernatural elements are what the Puritans actually believed about witchcraft and the devil. The music has this creepiness to it that crawls under your skin and makes your hair stand on end. It’s so amazingly atmospheric, with this rising sense of dread, that all comes to a crazy climax. Some didn’t like the ending, but I thought it was perfect. Utterly dark and nihilistic, but beautiful and wondrous.
Favorite Halloween costume as a child or adult?
I’m a Halloween freak and have dressed as everything from Sid Vicious (my son was Joey Ramone) to Gandalf (my son was Frodo) to all assortments of zombies, vampires and werewolves. But my favorite, I guess, would have to be the one that really scares people: Michael Myers. I don’t know what it is, but that outfit freaks people out! Which is the only reason I really like it! There’s something about that pale, blank face, how it is so emotionless and impossible to decipher (it was actually just a Captain Kirk mask turned inside out in the original Halloween movie). And the black coveralls, so nondescript. Big boots. When I walk around dressed like that parents actually give me weird stares and pull their children away, especially if I give them the curious head turn, like in the movie. But this year I’m going as Leather Face. I’m ordering a handmade mask from Etsy and everything. We’ll see who freaks people out more, Michael or Leather Face. Can’t wait!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a horror writer! I’m dead serious. I read Jaws when I was in second grade and have been hooked ever since. By the time I finished sixth grade I had read every Stephen King novel out at the time. I was writing all kinds of weird stories and always starting some crazy book that I’d never finish. Some things never change!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a novel about punk-rock junkies who make incredibly disturbing homemade porn for money. I’ve also got a book of short stories coming out in the spring. I write a lot of short stories. It’s an amazing art form.
Biggest horror/thriller novel influence?
Jeeze, so hard to name just one. I mean, Lord of the Flies, which I consider horror, had a huge impact on me as a kid, as an adult American Psycho, Haunted, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Filth, all the transgressive stuff that pushes the limits. But the biggest influence as far as straight-up horror I guess would be Let the Right One In. The characters were so well developed and real. The plot was so intricate, building upon itself like a glorious house of cards you know is going to come tumbling down hard. The supernatural elements were handled very well, and never came off as hokey or cheesy. It’s just a superb novel.
Do you have a favorite character you’ve created?
What is this, Sophie’s Choice? Are you going to make me choose one of my children over the others? Lol. Oh, man, I’ve had so many wild characters. Gutter punks squatting buildings, acid-crazed hippies, a demon-worshiping nineteenth-century priest. But the character that my fans seem to take to the most, is Mr. Kirby from my story “The Gym Teacher”. He’s an overbearing and cruel gym teacher that is also a werewolf who only transforms during acts of sexual sadism and necrophilia. Like if Ted Bundy was a werewolf, and your gym teacher! That story got me a small following of sorts and is talked about a lot on the internet. I challenged myself to write some of the most disturbing scenes I could imagine, but frame them in an undeniably well-written story with incredibly sympathetic characters.
Matthew Brockmeyer lives deep in the forest in Northern California with his wife and two children. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Kind Nepenthe: A Savage Tale of Terror Set in the Heart of California’s Marijuana Country. His short stories have been featured in numerous publications, both in print and online, including, among others, Deciduous Tales, Infernal Ink Magazine, Shotgun Honey, Timeless Tales Magazine, Pulp Metal Magazine, Not One of Us, Body Parts Magazine, Alephi, Cultured Vultures, and the anthologies The Edge: Infinite Darkness, After the Happily Ever After, and One Hundred Voices.