First off, I read your book, The EVIL KLOWN Survival Guide being published by GRIMLOCK PRESS and thought it was unique, and creepy if I really imagined myself in this type of scenario. Klowns have been the stuff of every kid and adult’s nightmares. There is something about those painted faces that hide something horrific. Your book is about surviving the TERRORKLOWNS apocalypse, how did the idea come about?
Lee Dodson: Thank you, John, for interview.
Yes, the idea came from the comics I had created a few years ago. Over the last 25 years, since High School; I developed the idea for TERRORKLOWNS. I became a fan of evil klowns with the release of KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE in 1988. I had created 4 klowns that would become the main villains for this Universe. After that I would go on to develop more of the world where these new twisted klowns would live in. And over 120 new klowns to go along with it. When I was ready to get these klowns out to the public; I started with a line of comics.
The comics would do very well at comic-cons. I would sale out after explaining the concept to the horror fans and they would become unthawed with this concept. This went on for a couple years and one day I was looking at the Max Brooks book; The ZOMBIE Survival Guide. I thought to myself, I can write this kind of book too. However, I would use favorite horror icon “The Evil Klown” and use them as the premise for my book. I looked around to see if there was anything like this out there; there wasn’t. Therefore, I took it upon myself to create something new and exciting for horror fans like me. Bottom-line, I created something new and took the evil klown genre to another level. After two years, I finished writing The EVIL KLOWN Survival Guide: Preparing for a TERRORKLOWNS Invasion.
John: The way you describe certain parts of TERRORKLOWNS and their behavior patterns, have a way of making them seem real and not just another zombie survival tip. How were you able to put so much thought in how to deal with these creatures?
Lee Dodson: When I first started writing this book, I decided I wanted to give these klowns a real life feel to them, to base them in reality. Of course, being evil klowns, I also wrote things that could never happen as well. I used events like the 2003 blackout, mob events, real world figures and the biological make-up of humans, to make them feel more real. For example; I created a creature called a Klown-Smite that is based on the undeveloped fetus that would grow inside of someone over years and feed of their blood system. There was an India fellow—in the news recently—who, after 30 years, decided to get his huge belly checked. It turns out it was his undeveloped brother and it was feeding off him the entire time. So I created a klown that would do the same thing, only it was alive and would decide to cut, rip or chew their way out of you.
Everything is based on the idea of The Klowning. This is the way the TERRORKLOWNS reproduce. They will throw up a Taffy-Like substance onto you, it will be hardened into a shell and in 3hrs, you will become one of these creatures. During that time, Klown-Smites can infest you and you will not even know it, if you somehow survive The Klowning. It’s a horrible way to go.
John: With clown sightings going on across the United States and with the upcoming release of your book, could we start believing there might be a TERRORKLOWNS invasion?
Lee Dodson: I know it’s crazy right? I had seen these sightings a year or two ago and now they seem to be everywhere. It’s a perfect time to get my eBook when it comes out on Halloween. It could be the start of the invasion. In my book, the first sign of an invasion are balloons appearing everywhere. Inside shops, on streets, light posts and may other places filled with balloons. With these klown appearing everywhere, it kind of resembles the final attack. They will start to appear in many locations and will be ready to devour you at any given moment. We have not seen this yet. The are no balloons, streamers and no klowns eating people. However, you must prepare yourself for the coming klown apocalypse anyway. My book will help you on your daily survival against these horrifying klowns.
John: How are some of us who are not familiar with the whole concept of TERRORKLOWNS should react to a supposed invasion with the tools you’ve provided us to use in case these clowns turn out to be monsters wanting to have us as a midnight snack?
Lee Dodson: In the book, I do provide you with ideas to use against these creatures. From shields equipped with machetes, to chainsaws attacked to shovels to give you a better killing advantage. I also teach you how to watch out for certain types of klowns that you cannot kill.
These are called Alpha Klowns. They are incredibly hard to kill. Alpha Klowns must be eliminated with a power that derived from there plain of existence. I also teach you how to use the klown roots that grow in and around the DARKTOP; the home base of this terrifying species. Using the sap from these klown roots can ghost you. The Alpha klowns will not be able to sense you at all. I also teach you how to live underground and to avoid any confutation with them; if you can. I will not sugar-coat this; people will die every day. But, there are many ways to survival and you can overcome them if you try. Otherwise, your death will come with a painted grin.
John: What are some of the things that really inspired you to write this survival guide?
Lee Dodson: As I had already mentioned; My first introduction to this kind of writing was from a book called, The ZOMBIE Survival Guide by Max Brooks. That gave me to inspiration needed to boost my creativity. It wasn’t until 2014 when I finally at down and started working on this guide. It helped that I got laid off for a while. I had a lot of time to write and there was no internet at my place at the time as well. Other influences would be horror movies and heavy metal music. You know, to get my creative vibes going. Some of my fav writers would be; Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Joe Hill and the late Wes Craven.
John: With World War Z and other books out there, could we see a sudden change in movie monsters when people read this book?
Lee Dodson: Yes, there seems to be a shift in movie monsters now. Fortunately for me, it appears to be evil klowns. With Stephen Kings IT being remade in a movie next year, Rob Zombies evil klown movie 31 is out and smaller indies producing evil klown centric movies, it does appear Klowns are the next zombie. I believe the zombie craze has wavered a bit and is not as strong as it once was, say 3 years ago.
I think people are ready for something new to scare them. I hope to fill that void by introducing them to a new way at looking at evil klowns. My writing goals are to take all the horror icons back to when they were scary and don’t glitter in the sunlight. Lol.
John: The chapters are interesting and oftentimes makes us think that an event like this really could occur. What do you think the chances of everyone’s survival will be if your TERRORKLOWNS were a real threat?
Lee Dodson: Very little. No, just kidding. You could survive the attacks if you prepared yourself ahead of time. Look for the first signs and get out of all major cities. Stay fit, learn to ration found food and be alert at all times. There is a saying in the book and it is very important. “Keep all eyes open.” You will also have to learn to fight if you do not know already. Chances are, you will run into a klown or a horde of them. You will need to know what to do in order to survive their advancements. You will learn which of these species can be killed and which ones are more difficult to kill. Plus, you will learn how color effects their kind as well. It can be used against them. By knowing this and many other techniques, you may have a chance of survival from the TERRORKLOWN menace.
John: The book seems to hold a hidden message to the readers where one might believe something like this could occur. What would be your advice to the readers of your book if they are in a situation where TERRORKLOWNS actually do exist and find themselves seeing them wherever they go?
Lee Dodson: In addition to what I said above, you must take notes. Taking the right kind of notes is key. In the back of the book are pages to keep track of their breeds, the travel times, how long they were gone and how many. You can essentially move about by knowing what their routines are. This will allow you to complete daily tasks of survival.
John: A lot of effort and thought has been put into this survival guide. Was it something you’ve had going on for some time?
Lee Dodson: The book itself was about to years in the making. The ideas of my klowns stems back to my High School years when I started to create it in 1991. Since then, I just kept developing this world. And one day back in 92, while sitting on a concrete staircase, listening to the new Metallica Black Album and reading my stack of comic books, I realized that I wanted to become a writer.
I wanted to entertain people. And I never gave up on that dream. I knew someday these twisted creatures I created called TERRORKLOWNS would finally be seen by the masses. If you have a dream as well. Keep going. Never give up. It will happen. I put everything I knew and did a ton of research as well; to complete this book. I’m a horror fan at heart and I put my passion of the genre into this book. I didn’t just want to throw out some inferior product. Horror fans deserve better then what they have been getting lately. Excluding James Wan films; those kick ass.
John: First there were the comics you wrote. What made you want to write a survival guide on how to deal with a possible TERRORKLOWNS invasion?
Lee Dodson: At many of my book signings, I would explain the TERRORKLOWNS world to horror fans and they would buy my books up. So one day, I decided wanted to write a book about them. While I was in the US Navy, I taught myself how to write comics. I also learned how to write story structures as well. Once I understood how a story is put together, I got stated on my comics. Years later, I wrote the notes that would become the Survival Guide. I wanted to bring the world that was floating around in my head for 25 years to the printed page. I had started a comic series in 2011, however, it will take about two years to really understand this universe if you read the comics. I thought, if I could write down all of it in a complete book, then they can get a better idea of what’s going on in my head. And better understanding of my TERRORKLOWNS.
John: If there is one type of TERRORKLOWN someone should really worry about and cannot seem to kill, what would that klown be and the best way to make sure it is dead and not coming back anytime soon?
Lee Dodson: There is one klown you don’t want to meet face-to-face. His Name is Laughing Dark. He’s the leader of the TERRORKLOWNS. Dark is a Mega-Alpha Klown. He cannot be killed by traditional means. The only way to eliminate him is to use the Pha’Sum Quake. It’s a power that is derived from their world. Only a few people process this power. If you don’t have it, stay as faraway of Laughing Dark as you can. If you happen to have this power, you will need fighting skills, for he is a cunning foe. There are some people in the book, who tried to take him out and failed. If you happen to see him coming your way…you are surely doomed.
John: If someone were to see a TERRORKLOWNS already dead and if they wanted to study it, what would you want them to look for in a way of killing them quicker?
Lee Dodson: If you happen to come upon a seemly dead creature, he may be playing possum. It will pop-up and take you out. To deal with these bodies is to take a yellow balloon and tie a heavy object to the end of the string. Throw or sling-shot the balloon near the corpse. If that klown is still alive, it will attack the yellow balloon. Yellow is the color they hate. It reminds them of happiness and sunshine. It messes with the mental states. When the klown gets up and goes crazy, that is your time to take him out. Most of these types of klowns are easy kills. So tread lightly, aim right and beware of dead klowns.
John: There are some locations in the book where you talk about breeding grounds. Why would someone want to find them knowing what is happening within that location?
Lee Dodson: In the book I decided these playing a masses of horror. Over hundred women are stuck to walls within these horrific scenes. What occurs are pure-form TERRORKLOWNS (klowns that have not fed yet) will get the woman pregnant with their demonic seeds. Once the baby-klown is born, it will rip its way out of the stomach and proceed to eat the mother, securing its species survival. The ONLY reason you want to enter is to try to save someone you know. Even then, it may be a lost cause. Best just to burn the place down.
John: The various food items we see are popcorn and cotton candy. We all seen what they were in Killer Klowns from Outer Space, but what is the real importance behind the two foods. For someone who is just experiencing the TERRORKLOWNS invasion and they have not yet read your book, why should people avoid eating any type of popcorn or cotton candy they see at a carnival or at the circus?
Lee Dodson: The TERRORKLOWNS use these snacks in different ways. Popcorn to them are basically bullets. Laughing Dark for example, can use them, like a shotgun, to shoot through your chest in a bloody mess. It’s a gruesome way to go. Cotton Candy can have acid or contain klown seeds that will crawl inside your skin, turning you into one of them. So be careful eating these delicious snacks. It just be your last meal.
John: I mentioned the circus and carnival in the previous question, would it be safe to say that TERRORKLOWNS could easily blend in with what goes on in those events. And if people see them, what should they look out for and how should they warn everyone else without causing a massive panic, where the TERRORKLOWNS will not kill everyone who attends?
Lee Dodson: If you happen to see them at a circus and they are NOT killing yet, it’s just the beginning. They are waiting for back up. They are waiting for more evil klowns to arrive. Sorry, you will have no chance to tell anyone. Who would believe you anyway? Until the madness starts to happen and then it’s too late. They will kill, eat and turn everyone that attends the circus that day. They will terrorize your neighborhood. If you can…GET OUT!
John: Are these TERRORKLOWNS capable of communicating with their victims and should anyone stop and try to reason with them?
Lee Dodson: Yes, they can talk, have conversations with us and some are very smart. Some are very dumb. Don’t tell them I say that. Trying to reason with them is futile. They have no morel compass and don’t have sympathy for the human kind. They will simply play along until they can take you down. Do not believe what a TERRORKLOWNS tells you. They are lairs and malicious creatures.
John: Finally, with Halloween right around the corner, people are looking for the next great horror book to read. Now what you’ve written was a survival guide, what makes this book stand out more than any other horror survival guide and what do you hope for people to take out of this after reading it?
Lee Dodson: I put a lot of time and effort onto this book. My passion for the horror genre shines through within these pages. I offer a new and exciting way of looking at evil klowns. In ways no-one has ever thought about before. After reading, my hope is people will be entertained and would love to have this for their own horror collections. This was the kind of book I would have picked up, if I had not written it. Something I was looking for that was missing in the realm of horror. A detailed guide of evil klowns and how to survive them.
John: Thank you for coming to me with the interview and hope The Evil Klown Survival Guide really picks up. Anything you want to say to the readers of your book and when could they start buying it?
Lee Dodson: Thank you John, for the interview and yes, if any fan wants something new and fresh in horror, please pick up my eBook. It will be release on Amazon this Halloween by Grimlock Press. Preorders start on Oct 1st. This will go to print next year for the first Quarter of 2017. You can sign up for updates and the newsletter here: www.grimlockpress.com/klowns
Be sure to watch me on PA Live this Halloween. I will be on at 4:45 talking about tips to survive evil klowns for their Halloween show. Just look up J. Lee Dodson on Pa Live and you can see my cover reveal I did a few months ago.
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Check out my publisher website.
My upcoming project is called The MONSTER SMASHERS. A horror eBook series for kids. Keep updated on my twitter here. @MonsterSmashers