Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 31: Among the Stacks with Robert Holt


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Robert.  Welcome to The Gal.  Since this is your first time here, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Robert Holt:
Well, My name is Robert Holt. I live is St. Louis Missouri with a wife and daughter to keep me in line. I write horror or comedy, never really been able to distinguish the two. The things that make me laugh scare others, and the things that others seem to find funny scares the hell out of me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Robert Holt:
First, is that I am extremely introverted. Most people tell me that I am an extrovert because I am very personable and outgoing, but that is just a reflection of my years of Customer Service training. Second, I worked as a produce manager for half of my life in a high-end grocery store. Third, I often think movies are better than books due to a unique ability to judge the art forms on their own merits. Fourth, I can snap my toes the way most can snap their fingers. Fifth, I am extremely honest in my feeling and thoughts, but lie my ass off about everything else.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Robert Holt:
There’s a Monster at the End of This Book. It’s the Sesame Street book where Grover is scared of the monster and begs you not to turn the page.
            The first adult book I read outside of school assignments was A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Robert Holt:
Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowan is my non-fiction. Purity by Jonathon Franzen is the fiction. I always try to have one of each going. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn't expect you to have liked?

Robert Holt:
Hmm. Maybe the Bill Hodges Trilogy. Might not be too big of a surprise for a horror writer to like a Stephen King trilogy, but many I know hated it. I thought it was among his best works.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Robert Holt:
I knew I would need to find a creative outlet after I put away my Star Wars toys. Writing filled that gap. I’ve been writing on and off since high school, which was a long time ago now.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Robert Holt:
I like to write on the edge of a babbling brook when there is a light breeze blowing through the early fall leaves, making the shadows dance across the page. Or I think I may anyway, never really tried it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Robert Holt:
Loud melodic metal.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Robert Holt:
Finding and maintaining the proper balance of alcohol. Boring overused answer, I know, sorry.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?

Robert Holt:
My last novel, I would say. It was the best therapy money could buy for my post-election blues. TANZIA was my coming to terms that I live in a country that could vote for Trump. It was my way of seeing through the bullshit on both sides and seeing that America is still great and that Americans are terribly flawed but still a beautiful people. And then I get to kill them one by one until the end. Being a writer is awesome.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Robert Holt:
If I had to point to one book that has inspired me more than any other, I would say it was Cabal, but I thought the movie (Nightbreed) was better. It taught me that fantasy can be modern day, grueling, and horrific.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Robert Holt:
No set rules. Relatable characters can make a good story, but I have read stories about the formation of the universe that I thought was great without any characters. Every tool can be used to make a great story on their own, or in combinations. Anybody that tells you there is a formula is a liar and likely trying to sell you something.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Robert Holt:
If I can see how a character thinks, then I think they are sound. I always try to give a glimpse into every character’s skull, usually metaphorically.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Robert Holt:
I am kinda like Hitchcock. I write myself into all of my stories. I am usually a tree.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Robert Holt:
I’m not going to say I am not affected by covers as we all are, but they don’t drive my selections as much. I got a say in all three of my books. The last one I created myself, and I’m told it isn’t very good. Dammit.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

Robert Holt:
Dragon’s Milk>PBR>Stag>Bud Light

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Robert Holt:
The hardest scenes for me is ones where nothing is happening externally. I usually end up cutting them. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Robert Holt:
I feel the greatest thing missing in horror is fun. My books are fun. I have a lot of nasty bits, but a spoon full of sugar helps the hatchet come down. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Robert Holt:
I usually have a title I like prior to starting the writing. I think they are very important. TANZIA, for instance, is a perfect example of a Robert Holt title. There Are No Zombies in America. It tells you everything you need to know. A zombie book about America, but without zombies in it. Plus the sly allusion to the American Tail song There are No Cats in America. Can we all take a pause from this interview and go YouTube that song?


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Robert Holt:
Novel. A novel is fulfilling the way a marriage is, it completes you. A short story is like a one night stand; it’s fun and exciting but will soon be forgotten until the bitch turns up midway through your marriage/novel and demands entrance.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Robert Holt:
So I have three books. My first book is Death’s Disciples, and it is an action-packed horror novel that I think is quite fun. Everyone that has ever read it had nightmares afterwards.
            My second book is a gruesome little number titled The Vegetarian Werewolf and Other Tales. It is intended for children between 4 and 10. Some truly scary stuff there. The Gargoyle at Grandma’s is my daughter’s favorite.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Robert Holt:
Err. No.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your "trunk"?

Robert Holt:
My trunk is filled with gold. I think the best books I have penned are in it. I want to get them traditionally published, but it just hasn’t happened. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Robert Holt:
I’m not near done. Stay tuned. It’s going to be fun. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (STaLKeR links.)

Robert Holt:
I am Holthorror on Instagram, twitter, Wordpress, and facebook. Search for me. Find me. Say hello.
            You can also find me on Amazon.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Robert Holt:
My plan is to start finding people that have not read my books and start breaking into their houses and molesting their toothbrushes. You will not be safe until you read them. I suggest you smell it before putting it in your mouth.


About the author:
Robert Holt is the author of dark fiction and horror, spanning through every form of the written word, from spooky children's stories to gruesome splatter punk.  He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

About the books:
Trime desires to be a god, and he knows how to do it.  His team of occultists have sourced the world to find the necessary tools, and he is ready to dive into the world of the dead and emerge from it with the power to rule the world.  But a band of "others" that have already experienced death have come together to stop him.  All hell breaks loose as the powers of death collide in grueling battles of metaphysical powers, leaving only a few to limp out alive.


Ever wonder what type of stories horror authors tell their children?  These six stories by horror novelist Robert Holt answers that question.  Wrapped in morals, they will make kids laugh, cry, and maybe even shiver.
            These stories are great for children and the grownups that read to them.  They will stimulate dialogue of more important issues and lead to character building conversations.  Enjoy this book, but make sure you put it back on the bookshelf.  We wouldn't want the dirt monsters to take it!


There are no zombies in America.  Rest assured, President Trump would tell us if there was.  With most of the globe being swarmed with the living dead, Americans watch with fascination, glued to the 24-hour news cycle and the social media circus to hear all the latest.  As things spiral towards chaos with zombie cults rising, armed militias patrolling the streets, and a police state set up to keep peace, there is no escape.  You don't need zombies with friends like these.
            Robert Holt presents us with a fun political satire/horror that will keep you flipping the pages to see the atrocities, blasphemies, and phantasmagorical terrors pile up.

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