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Random-Ass Interview: Matthew M. Bartlett




What’s the spookiest thing you’ve ever done?


In college I started a small cult of graverobbers. Add cadavers to the list of things we had to hide from our RA. Dorm fridges, hot pots, and moldering corpses. We covered up the smell with incense and bad cologne.


And what of the kookiest?


Also in college I went on an egg-throwing spree. Up into louvered classroom windows, spattered across police car windshields. There were consequences to this kookiness, such as a terrified teacher thinking she was under attack (from manic chickens?) which maybe makes it not so kooky. Altogether ooky might be a better description. That’s the term they used in the police report.


Longest it’s taken you to write any single story?


There was a fragment I wrote in 2013. I really liked how it came out, but had no idea what do to with it. I found it in 2016 and built a story around it. That’s “Spettrini.”

Favorite candy?


I’m a fan of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, frozen.


Favorite Halloween tradition, if any?


Wandering the Halloween store in a state of ecstatic joy. I hope one day we live in a house where we get trick-or-treaters so we can have a new Halloween tradition.


Oldest age you went trick or treating at?


49


Proudest ghastly achievement?


After seeing the Warrens speak at my college, I convinced a gullible friend that a doll was following us home. I still feel bad about her mysterious death. And imbuing the doll with obscene life. Eh, it was college.


If you actually were to hear WXXT over your radio dial, what would your reaction be?

LAWSUIT


What’s more necromantic, flowers for the grave, or a nice graveside poem?


Necrophilia. Tastefully performed, of course, and with pre-death consent. I’m not the Harvey Weinstein of necromancers. I’m not a monster.


If a werewolf bites another werewolf, does anything even happen?


Oddly, they both turn into Frankensteins. The doctor, not the monster.


But what of the spooky scary skeletons?


When I was young I had a dream that I was hiding under a couch at night, being stalked by a skeleton that was wandering around the house. My stuffed animals were sitting on the couch, protecting me. This dream would come true when I was in my thirties.


Do your cats do anything festive for the spooky season?


They share their secrets when the moon hits their eyes. Also, they get very snuggly.


How much puss is too much puss?


Cats. I’m certain you’re talking about cats. We at one point had five cats. CATS.


Any new projects you can announce?


I may be working on a Leeds-related project with Yves Tourigny, involving Tarot cards. Also, an audiobook of Gateways to Abomination is in the works, with the incredible Jon Padgett reading. It will be available through Audible, on Amazon.


Thanks for taking part, and Happy Halloween!


To you too! New England misses you, and I miss you!

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