Interview with Rock Reviewer and Horror Author Michael Aronovitz
By David Maloney
Mike and I connected last summer when he approached me with the idea that he might like the chance to write for Metalheads Forever. He told me that he’d done some rock reviews before, linking horror to metal, and I thought it would be an interesting angle. Since Mike came to us as a horror author first, I thought our readers might want to know about his latest scary book titled “Alice Walks.”
David – First Mike, as I just mentioned, you are a horror writer and a rock reviewer. How did that happen? It’s a strange combination.
Mike – I was a professional heavy metal club musician in the mid to late 80’s. After I became a professor in the early 2000’s, I started publishing horror fiction. The two art forums always seemed like blood-brothers.
David – This new book, “Alice Walks.” What’s the tag-line?
Mike – “Alice Walks. She walks ‘cause she can’t breathe. She’s angry that you can.”
David – “What’s the plot about?”
Mike – “Alice Walks” is about three teenagers in 1978 who break into a graveyard mausoleum to look at the body of a fourteen year old girl who drowned that past summer. They awaken her spirit, and she stalks them.
David – Are there moments in the book that showcase your musical background?
Mike – Absolutely. The 70’s was a period where all the modern metal was formed, first with the release of Black Sabbath’s debut record, and all the other bands that shaped the current landscape: Kiss, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, Deep Purple, Montrose, and AC/DC. And even the more progressive projects had a hand in forming metal, those like Queen, Kansas, and Styx, and the characters in the book make constant references to these quintessential artistic influences, creating an eerie pre-metal backdrop like theme music.
David – Is the story violent?
Mike – Does Cody Perez wear a mask?
David – Where did you get the idea for the story?
Mike – Originally, I wanted to re-make or continue The Legend of Bloody Mary, as I always found it to be a cool premise to say “Bloody Mary” in front of the mirror, with this freaky, blood-soaked girl showing up suddenly behind you! I even read a version on line where she throws her baby at you. But that was it. There was no real story…just a beginning. So I started cooking up a vision…of a dark cemetery on a night of first November snow…and a coffin opened for some reason in one of the mausoleums at the south edge by the woods…and the spirit of a girl in a green burial dress coming out through the heavy granite door to drift between the head stones. That was the base-image I built from to make what I hear critics are now calling the most frightening book of the decade.
David – Is it only in e-book form?
Mike – No, but the e-book is the best version available. It was originally published as a hard cover specialty piece by Centipede Press. I sold out the run, and currently there are re-sellers offering it at outlandishly high prices. The paperback is available through Dark Regions Press, but I still think the retail is too high at $17.95. The e-book is currently on Amazon for $4.99, you simply have to hit the Kindle offer to make it come up. There’s an app right there so you can convert it to your I-Pad or phone for free. Also, this E-book is published by Cemetery Dance, the largest horror publisher in the world who also handles certain Stephen King titles, so it is this version I am most proud of. I also cleaned up the file and rewrote some chaps so I could offer readers the story’s most pristine, red-hot, current version.
David – Are there any other connections to metal that we should know about?
Mike – Yes, actually. About a year and a half ago I reviewed the deathcore band Our Last Enemy (Eclipse records), and through watching their videos and talking in depth with singer Oliver Fogwell, I realized that his dark aesthetic was frighteningly similar to my own. We searched for a way to merge projects somehow, and I am proud to say that Our Last Enemy is using “Alice Walks” as a special give-away on their Australian National Tour, right now as we speak, October 2017!
David – What Metal Heads Forever readers would be most interested in this book?
Mike – Anyone who likes real fucked up, awesome, in – your – face horror metal, like Amerakin Overdose, Avatar, Slipknot, or even Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie.
David – How do we get it?
Mike – Here is the link to get you right to the Kindle version.
David Maloney / MHF Magazine