Posted: May 20, 2015 by Jessica Mazo in Interviews

Jessica Mazo:

We wanted to share this because we love IPC and he recently interviewed our host/co-founder Jessica Mazo!

Originally posted on Isaacs Picture Conclusions:


What??? Two interviews in one year??? SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?? What’s going on around here?? Anyway – today I have a fun Q & A queued up with an actress I’ve been mingling with for years on WordPress and Twitter. She’s a total blast! Should we try and keep these interviews going? If you want to spend some time  under a hot lamp in the corner of my basement, answering questions – just let me know! You can also email me if you don’t feel like dropping a comment. If you want to, we’ll do one, just understand that I’m awful slow….

You can also check out some of the older sessions at the following links:




I’m not very clever when it comes to making up bios on people. I’d like to say that Jessica is a beautiful performer by day and a shape shifting crimefighter by night…

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Tim Miller

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is an extreme horror author who is doing incredibly well for himself. He has self published a total of 18 books, has an active Amazon store, and his latest books Hacked and Lady Cannibal have both been at #2 on hot new releases in Horror and Crime/Kidnapping. Him and I connected several months ago on social media and became fast friends (sharing a love of everything horror), and I was lucky enough to get selected to appear on the cover of Hacked (my husband, Tom O’Brien, did the photography)! As a writer, he’s super prolific (he publishes a new novel every 4-6 weeks and tries to put out short stories in between)! Below, he answers my questions.Lady Cannibal

Hacked Cover

Did you always want to write horror?

When I was real young I wrote mostly adventure type stuff. But since I was in Junior High I always wanted to write horror or things horror related.

Any other genres that interest you?

Sometimes I like to read crime fiction or true crime. Occasionally something off the wall like sci fi if I’m feeling really crazy.

You are considered an extreme horror author. What’s the difference between extreme and regular horror?

In extreme horror the violence and gore threshold is cranked up on full blast. In extreme we really don’t hold back. There is violent, bloody deaths, rape, cannibalism pretty much anything goes. It’s a real eye opener to the casual fan who stumbles upon one of my books.

Where do you get your ideas from?

I’m not sure to be honest. I read a lot and watch lots of horror movies, and ideas just sort of hit me. I try to keep the ideas and stories fresh. I know it is hard to be completely original or fresh, but I try to keep things as creative as possible. I could write a basic slasher story with college kids getting picked off one at a time with lots of gore. But I’ve read hundreds of books like that and seen even more movies like that, so I try to make it something completely new or at least take a subgenre and flip it on its head.

What have you learned along the way?

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is I can always get better. I’ll have a book out that is doing well and begin to worry that I’ve peaked or how will I top this? So far I’m always able to keep improving upon my work so I feel that my best work is still ahead.

What do you attribute to your success as an independent author?

I really don’t know. I’ve done many things on social media and lots of horror blogs have been good to me and helping me get my work out there. One day things all just started to click, but this was after years of work. So I’m not sure if all previous efforts finally came together, or if just the right set of circumstances came up with some of my books showing up in the right place at the right time. Whatever it is, I’ll take it!

What do you think of paid review sites (like Kirkus review)?

I really don’t care for sites like that. They are way overpriced and I’m not sure how much good they do. Most readers will see something like that and figure it’s from professional reviewers and ignore it. I know I usually do. I feel that customer reviews are much better for authors than wasting your money on something like those other sites.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d tell myself not to wait so long to really make a run for a writing career.

What would you do differently if you could start all over?

It’s tough to say. I’m 41 now and just seeing success in the past year or so finally. I had been writing in my 20’s and sometimes fear I wasted too much of my life before really making a push for this. But back then, ebooks didn’t exist and Amazon was still fairly new. Self publishing was very costly to get started and even harder to get your books to people. Around my mid to late 20’s into my late 30s I had almost 10 year break where I just focused on work, school and family. I wonder where I might be now had I not taken that break from writing.

What kinds of assumptions do people make about you?

Lots. One is that I’m rich or have much more influence than I do. Some folks will send me their scripts to read or their manuscripts to show my agent. Problem is, I don’t have an agent and I don’t make movies, so not much I can do with anyone’s script.

The other thing is because of the type of stuff I write, people assume that I’m really into those sorts of things, or that I maybe a murdering sociopath. I’m actually pretty silly as a person and I have four dogs who like to pile onto me when I’m trying to write.

How many hours do you write per day? How do you find the balance?

I write full time, and a lot of my writing happens late at night, or sometimes first thing in the morning. So it just depends. I set daily word goals and some days I can pound out that goal in an hour or so. Others it may take me five or six hours.

I also allow myself some breaks. Like this past week, I’ve had lots of errands to run around town. Things to do around the house or events with the kids. So its nice my job allows me to just put stuff aside for a couple days to do those things.

How long did it take for you to see some sales?

I saw meager sales when my first book was published. Meager being like 3-5 ebooks a month, sometimes more. It had been maybe 3 years or so before they became substantial, like into the hundreds. By then I had four or five titles out.

Out of all of the books you have written, do you have any favorites?

They all have some different meaning for me. Road to Darkness is probably my most personal. I relate more to that character than others I have written.

Blood Slayer is my young adult story I wrote for my daughter, so that one is special to me as well.

Family Night was my first extreme story and my first book that ever began to actually sell halfway decent, so another special one.

Where do you find your readers? 

Mostly online. I’m active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so I’m always connecting with new readers there. Plus Amazon helps a lot with promoting when you start getting some sales. They recommend my books to others who have bought similar titles.

Thanks so much for speaking with us, Tim! I have read some of his books and I can attest to how descriptive, original, and downright gruesome (unlike anything I’ve ever read or seen) they are. I made the mistake of reading Dead to Writes before bed once, and I did not sleep well! As Tim mentioned, he’s very easy to connect with on social media. Feel free to give him a like on Facebook (, or a follow on Twitter (! His website is

Jessica Mazo interviews philanthropist Satish Modi, founder of Arts for India, about his one and only book, IN LOVE WITH DEATH.

Tom O’Brien shoots/edits

Filmed in Nassau County, Long Island, NY

Martini Production’s founders Jessica Mazo and Tom O’Brien got interviewed by Ryan Houssein of The National Something for their humorous podcast series! Listen to them discuss their acting and writing careers, side jobs, comedy, art, handling negative YouTube comments, Jessica’s time working in politics, Tom’s novel, and more!

Tom O’Brien & Jessica Mazo, Year and a Day Photography

leecromptonLee Crompton is an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker based in Scotland (one of my favorite countries!). He is also the founder of Lomond Films. We connected on Twitter and discussed trying to work together. Since we’re in different continents, I thought the best way to start working together was for him to start doing some contributing writing for us. As a way to introduce him to you (our lovely readers!), I thought I would do an interview with him (since that’s what I do!). He was nice enough to take the time to answer some of my questions below:

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently writing a sci-fi/thriller feature based in Edinburgh. It’s about a guy who breaks into an infected quarantined city to track down his sister’s killer. There’s a terrifying story from during the plague where a particular close (UK term for a road usually with private houses, that vehicles can only enter from one end) in Edinburgh was bricked up with the inhabitants, infected or not, still inside to try and stop the spread of the disease. I thought it would be interesting to extend this to the whole city, put a modern twist on it and have someone who has not only broken in, but then has a mission to complete amongst all the carnage.

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 15.47.27

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far?

I wrote a children’s book last year for my niece and nephew called The Escape-Peas. I had a few printed off for Christmas. To hear them ask for it at bedtime, to read it to them and see their faces is priceless.


What are your goals?

I find my goals are changing all the time. I think I’ll be happy when I achieve a certain level and then when I get there I assume I set the bar too low so am always upping the anti. My current goal is to have my script made into a feature-film. After that … win an Oscar. I’ve not written the winning script yet but how difficult can it be? :-)


If you could give any advice to your younger self what would it be and why?

– Don’t become a Quantity Surveyor. Apply yourself to something in life you actually enjoy. You’ve only got one go at this so make the most of it. You don’t want to feel like a middle-aged man playing catch-up do you? Well, do you?

– Read more scripts from your favourite films and learn from them.

– Don’t get hung on perfectionism on the first draft. Just get it down on paper and move on. There will be plenty of time to add meat to the bones or throw the scraps in the bin later.


You are a screenwriter and a novelist? How differently do you have to approach writing for these different mediums?

I don’t think my approach is very different. It’s still the same struggle to discipline myself to sit down and write rather than check emails, compile a twitter update or tidy the cupboard under the stairs. I do however think my screenwriting has helped my novel writing enormously. Having adapted my own novel into a screenplay, it’s like trying to condense an email into a tweet. It’s taught me to be much more focused and concise which has ultimately made my prose far more punchy.


Tell us about Lomond Films.

When I was travelling in New Zealand in 2004 I stumbled across the 48 Hour Film Project in Wellington and ended up helping out with the writing and played Neil the office manager. You’re given a prop, line of dialogue and a character on the Friday night and 48 hours to write, film and edit a short film based on those elements. I loved every minute of it. So when I got back to the UK I wanted to get involved and had a go at putting a film together. I bought myself a DSLR camera and a shotgun mic and Lomond Films was born. It’s been a steep learning curve but great fun and has led me to do promo features for local businesses and events.


Digging DeeperWhere do you get your inspiration from?

It could be anything. An obscure news story or overhearing someone on the train who you think would make a great character. I could people watch for hours and I think this is a great way to come up with ideas. I also think posing “what if” questions is a great source of inspiration. My first screenplay DIGGING DEEPER was based on, “what if you suspected your partner of having an affair but the confrontation with the alleged lover ended up with their accidental death?” Now there’s a story that could go off in a multitude of tangents.


What is the biggest challenge for you in pursuing a creative career?

I often struggle to maintain a positive outlook and I think it’s very important to surround yourself with positive people. Too many folk are dismissive of goals and aspirations and if you listen to too many people asking:  “why do you bother?” or “why are you wasting your time?,” together with the undoubted stream of rejections from agents and producers then it can have a destructive effect.

If you can block the negativity out and have the discipline to sit down and write and keep going regardless of the number of set-backs and rejections along the way then you deserve all the success that comes your way.

Thanks for speaking with us, Lee! Please check out his website: and twitter: @theleecrompton

I have to admit I have a fascination with child actors. Not sure if it’s because I wanted to be one when I was a kid and my parents wouldn’t let me, or because they have the innocence of youth with the precociousness of professional experience. Either way, it is interesting how driven and self aware they are at such a young age. Below are some recent red carpet interviews we did with the child actors from the horror film A Cry from Within: Matt McCann, Sydney McCann, and James Sladkey.

Interviewer: Jessica Mazo, Videographer: Drew Moore, Editor: Tom O’Brien


Jessica Mazo‘s red carpet interview with Academy award nominated actress Cathy Moriarty at the VOD release premier of  A Cry from Within at SVA Theatre in NYC. “A Cry from Within” is a psychological horror story starring Eric Roberts, Cathy Moriarty, and Deborah Twiss. Written/ Directed/Produced by: Deborah Twiss; Produced/Cast by: Donna McKenna

Videographer: Drew Moore, Editor: Tom O’Brien


Video  —  Posted: April 7, 2015 by Jessica Mazo in Actors, Filmmakers, Indie Film production news, Interviews
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Jessica Mazo interviews actor and film festival founder Bill Sorvino at the VOD release premier of  “A Cry from Within” at SVA Theatre in NYC.  “A Cry from Within” is a psychological horror story starring Eric Roberts, Cathy Moriarty, and Deborah Twiss. Written/ Directed/Produced by: Deborah Twiss; Produced/Cast by: Donna McKenna. Mr. Sorvino discusses the Golden Door Film Festival in Jersey City, NJ (which he founded) and some of his recent acting work.

Videographer: Drew Moore, Editor: Tom O’Brien

Video  —  Posted: April 1, 2015 by Jessica Mazo in Actors, Filmmakers, Indie Film production news, Interviews, philanthropy
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Jessica Mazo interviews actress/writer/director Deborah Twiss at the VOD release premier of her film A Cry from Within at SVA Theatre in NYC.  A Cry from Within is a psychological horror story starring Eric Roberts, Cathy Moriarty, and Deborah Twiss. Written/ Directed/Produced by: Deborah Twiss; Produced/Cast by: Donna McKenna

Videographer: Drew Moore, Editor: Tom O’Brien

Video  —  Posted: March 30, 2015 by Jessica Mazo in Actors, Filmmakers, Indie Film production news, Interviews
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Red carpet interview with actor and filmmaker Harris Doran at the VOD release premier of  “A Cry from Within” at SVA Theatre in NYC.  “A Cry from Within” is a psychological horror story starring Eric Roberts, Cathy Moriarty, and Deborah Twiss. Written/ Directed/Produced by: Deborah Twiss; Produced/Cast by: Donna McKenna

Interviewer: Jessica Mazo, Videographer: Drew Moore, Editor: Tom O’Brien



Video  —  Posted: March 25, 2015 by Jessica Mazo in Actors, Filmmakers, Indie Film production news, Interviews
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