The following is an interview with editor and writer James Aquilone regarding the recent launch of the Kickstarter campaign for Dead Detectives Society in collaboration with Monstrous Books. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Aquilone about how crowdfunding has provided a supportive environment for creators to thrive, the Who’s Who of award-winning pulp talent involved with the project, the incredible back rewards available to supporters of the campaign, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent launch of the Kickstarter campaign for Dead Detectives Society! As the editor and publisher of this anthology, how would you describe your approach to compiling the greatest weird detectives to be written by a phenomenal list of contemporary creators?
James Aquilone: I’ve been writing my own dead detective series, Dead Jack, Zombie Detective, for a few years now. After I began the series, I learned about two other zombie detectives — Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble and Tim Waggoner’s Matt Richter from his Nekropolis series. Years later, when I got to work with Kevin and Tim, I thought it would be a cool idea to put our characters in the same book. I also wanted to expand this small subgenre of zombie/weird detectives. Dead Detectives Society aims to bring readers the best weird detectives and to encourage writers to create new ones that hopefully will find their way into the pages of future Dead Detectives Society editions.
BD: The creators involved with Dead Detectives Society is a veritable Who’s Who of award-winning pulp talent – including the aforementioned Kevin J. Anderson, Steve Niles, Nancy A. Collins, Joe R. Lansdale and Kasey Lansdale, David Avallone, Jonathan Maberry, and more! What can you tell us about the shared creative process of working with the creators to shepherd their stories to completion?
JA: Everyone in this book is a pro. They’re award-winning bestsellers and many of them have written these characters before, so I didn’t need to guide them very much. They made my job easy.
Art by John Jennings
BD: You have had incredible success through Kickstarter for your previous anthologies, Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel and Classic Monsters Unleashed. Why do you feel that crowdfunding – and Kickstarter in particular – are such supportive environments and communities for creators to bring their projects?
JA: The folks at Kickstarter have been great to work with. They have the biggest crowdfunding platform and on every one of my campaigns, half of the backers come directly from Kickstarter. The platform helps you to build a community with a direct connection to fans and readers. For me, it’s the best way to launch a book and promote it.
BD: Are there any specific backer rewards that you would like to highlight for those who contribute to your Kickstarter campaign?
JA: I’m very excited — more than I should be — about the Dead Detectives Society membership cards. Everyone who pre-orders a print book will get a numbered and signed membership card, so you can be a member of the Society yourself! We’ll also have a bunch of exclusive signed rewards. Many of the contributors have offered their other books, which has been very cool.
BD: In addition to your work on this anthology, are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JA: Shakespeare Unleashed, which I Kickstarted last year, will be published on July 28. We have some amazing and unique stories in the anthology, which contains new horror stories and sonnets inspired by the Bard. Ian Doescher (William Shakespeare’s Avengers, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars) wrote a sequel to Twelfth Night in Shakespearean verse that’s a lot of fun. Plus, we have dark and creepy stories from Gwendolyn Kiste, Hailey Piper, Steve Rasnic Tem, Joe R. Lansdale, and Kasey Lansdale, and many others.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about and support the Kickstarter campaign for Dead Detectives Society?
JA: You can head here to check out the Dead Detectives Society campaign and head to MonstrousBooks.com for my other books, free short stories, and articles.