Talking with Ken Reid, The TV Guidance Counselor

By Jason Harris

Courtesy of Ken Reid Tumblr page.

Courtesy of Ken Reid’s Tumblr page.

Ken Reid is a stand-up comedian and a podcaster, TV Guidance Counselor. He will be attending the New England Super Megafest this weekend. He will be performing Friday night at the Cosplay Comedy Kickoff Party. I had the pleasure recently to ask a number of questions about

Q:     In 2003, you decided to try your hand at stand-up. What was the impetuous behind that decision?

A:     I had been in bands from 1996-1999 or so, I am in no way shape or form a musician, but always wanted to perform. Once the band broke up and I had no musicians to ride the coattails of I thought stand up was my only route. I always liked comedy and watched tons of stand up, so i gave it a go.

Q:     How many stand-up engagements do you perform in a year?

A:     I average about 2 a week so 100-150 a year is probably about the normal.

Q:    Do you have any engagements coming up? If yes, where and when?

A:     I’ve taken the rest of 2015 off for the most part for a much needed breather, but I’m still doing the podcast weekly and will be back to frequent shows in 2016. My updated schedule is always at

Q:    When did the idea for your podcast, TV Guidance Counselor, come about?

A:     Friend and fellow comic Sean Sullivan basically told me that I have all these TV Guides, when people come over my house we often will flip through them and discuss old shows, why not just do that as a podcast? I wanted to do a podcast for a long time but didn’t have a great idea that would be different from the usual two comics just chatting format, until Sean threw that at me. I also do almost no pop culture stuff in my stand up, despite that occupying a huge part of my brain, so it was a great excuse to exercise a lot of that stuff.

Q:     When did you start collecting TV Guides?

A:     As early as I can remember. There are photos of me at age 2 with a TV Guide in my hand.

Q:    What issue made you want to collect TV Guides?

A:    Not sure if it’s a specific issue really . I like having the little digest sized time machine on hand.

Q:    Are you still collecting?

A:    Not new issues, but if I see some old ones I don’t have, I grab them.

Q:    What were some of your favorite shows growing up?

A:    Just the Ten of Us is a lifelong favorite, Newhart, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, The Adventures of Pete and Pete. The Facts of Life. Weirdly I’ve been lucky enough to have people who’ve been on all those shows guest on my podcast.

Q:    What are some of your favorite shows now?

A:    Weirdly I don’t watch too much new stuff. I like The Flash, and I still watch Supernatural. Fringe was the only show I watched weekly as it came out and LOVED in the last few years. I think it is the best sci-fi show of all time.

Q:    Who are some of the people you would like to have on your podcast?

A:     I do have some dream guests. Paul “Pee Wee Herman” Reubens, Cassanda “Elvira” Peterson, John Larroquette, John Waters.

Q:     You will be at Super Megafest in November and the Pop Culture Expo in December, are these the first conventions you have been a guest at?

A:     Weirdly no. Gary at North East Comic Con has had me do live TV Guidance Counselors at the last few. I always have a good time. Last year, I did the stand up show at Super Megafest, which was also fun.

Q:     What drew you to being a guest at a convention?

A:     They asked, and I’m almost always there anyway, so it’s a win-win.

Q:     Are there any comedians you looked up to growing up?

A:     Dana Gould was my absolute #1 for sure. I was also always a huge Bob Newhart fan.

Q:    Who are some comedians today that you would suggest people go see?

A:    Hmm….I’d still go with Dana Gould.

Q:    Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to become a comedian?

A:    Don’t do it! But if you must be prepared to be terrible for at least two years even if you think you are. Don’t do it with a goal in mind, just do it to enjoy doing it and you’ll be fine.

If you are free this weekend, go to Super Megafest to hear Ken and to meet a lot of celebrities. Find out more information here.

The Birth of ‘Dark Discussions’

The Birth of Dark Discussions

By Philip Perron

If you miss your favorite ESPN show, go get it on a podcast. If you want to hear news from some of the biggest news agencies in the world, you can get it through a podcast and listen to it a day later. Podcasting has been a spectacular if not largely known medium that provides programming for those folks who prefer to listen to their favorite topics when they want and wherever they want.

Though satellite radio has been a great phenomenon where folks are able to listen to an eclectic mix of shows on books, movies, sports, news, finance, and even cooking, niche audiences still may not be fulfilled with what they really want to listen to. What about themes such as video games, gardening, or even something as specific as horror movies? This is where podcasting really has promise. Not only is it free, it requires nothing more than an audio digital device, a laptop, or even a smart phone.

As an avid fan of the arts, specifically books and movies, I was always visiting websites to read about the production of Martin Scorcese’s latest film or the progress of the next Stephen King novel. Then one day I came across an audio review on the film Cloverfield as well as an audio round table discussion about the film No Country for Old Men. Afterwards, I saw that these audio files were also being streamed from Apple’s iTune’s store for free.

Getting programs on my little iPod was a convenient way to listen to programs I wanted to listen to while doing my daily walks in the woods or working out or commuting to work. And with the wide variety of programming available I was able to search for shows discussing upcoming books and movies. And yet even more specifically books and movies within the horror and techno genres.

The interesting thing was that many of the podcasts I listened to were done by amateurs or simply people who did them for fun. Their shows were filled on topics they were passionate about. The discussions were probably the same ones they’d be talking about over a round of beers. They weren’t making any money, they weren’t making any inroads towards a more promising career, they were doing it simply because they loved talking about their focused topic.

Early 2011, I figured I could do it myself. While grabbing burgers with a few guys, I noticed our discussions focused around either sports or genre fiction which included horror, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, techno-thriller, and mystery. And having added a number of genre themed podcasts as part of my weekly listen to-do list, I did my research and started putting together the idea. What resulted was a genre themed topical podcast entitled Dark Discussions Podcast.

Finding two wonderful folks online through various genre themed forums, myself along with Eric Webster, of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Michael Dunleavy, of Port Jervis, New York came together and put together a weekly show on topics that anyone from the New England Horror Writer’s group would be familiar with. Not to be tagged as specifically horror, the tag line “Your place for the discussion of horror film, fiction, and all that’s fantastic” seemed to fit.

The podcast basically focused at first on themed discussions or specific movies. Topics such as a retrospective of the director and screenwriter Frank Darabont as well as the franchise of the Planet of the Apes were some of the early weekly episodes. But also films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and John Huston’s Moby Dick have been a focus. It’s true, we are no experts but our perspectives as fans of genre fiction were as well thought out as some of the genre websites and magazines available. And at the worst, we provide another voice on both obscure works and genre classics.

Some of the inventive ways the podcast has expanded were by being contacted by some folks for reviews and promotion. Horror Realm, a convention every September in Pittsburgh, emailed and offered the podcast passes to their convention. M.J. Preston, the author of The Equinox, asked if we’d be interested in a free copy of his novel to review. However, it was co-host Michael Dunleavy who really got it. While attending Horror Realm 2011 as press, he not only interviewed the film stars of some of horror fans favorite films, but he started interviewing the vendors and independent talent. What resulted was Dark Discussions Podcast helping out folks who need promotion of some really fantastic works that anyone who enjoys horror should know about.

This is where Dark Discussions Podcast in a sense merges with the NEHW group. After Horror Realm 2011, Dark Discussions contacted the folks at both the Rock and Shock and Anthocon conventions and received press passes to attend and promote their events. This is where our podcast became what some would call an unofficial promoter of the folks we met specifically at Anthocon and therefore NEHW. We interviewed such NEHW members as Charles Day, Gregory Norris, and Inanna Arthen. Small presses as Evil Jester Press and By Light Unseen Media, which had tables at Anthocon were also focused on.

So after a year and a half, the podcast keeps going. The listenership grows. And topics as wide ranging as modern novels as Scott Sigler’s Infected and independent cinema as Simon Rumley’s Red, White, and Blue are featured. As an inspiring writer, I know the work folks go through juggling their everyday lives with writing. With Horror Realm come and gone and Rock and Shock and Anthocon coming up, Dark Discussions looks forward to seeing everyone and helping you promote your new and wonderful works. As an inspiring writer, I know the work folks go through juggling their everyday lives with writing.

Chat with a NEHW Co-chair

Author and New England Horror Writer Co-chair Stacey Longo will be on the Writer’s Chatroom ( on Sunday at 7 p.m. (EST). The chat will be moderated by NEHW member Lisa Haselton.

A lucky chatter can win a copy of Dark Things IV, which contains a story by Longo. You have to be present in the chatroom to win. To log into the chatroom, click here.

Longo will also be at Rock and Shock next weekend where she will be on the Women in Horror panel with Heather Langenkamp at 7 p.m. and on the Horrors in the Movies panel on Sunday at 12 p.m.

‘Scary Scribes’ Debuts Sunday Night

Scary Scribes Debuts Sunday Night

by Jason Harris

The Scary Scribes' Skeleton

Scary Scribes, a new podcast created by author Kristi Petersen Schoonover to share horror stories written by horror writers, airs this Sunday at 6 p.m. on the Paranormal Eh? Radio Network.

Author Stacey Longo will be Schoonover’s first guest on this new monthly podcast. They will be discussing Longo’s “People Person,” which was published in the anthology, Dark Things IV, published by Pill Hill Press. Besides sharing the writer’s story, Schoonover will talk with Longo about the idea behind the tale.

According to Schoonover’s website, the thing that “will make Scary Scribes a bit different is it won’t be just an interview; listeners will get to hear some of the writer’s work first — in most cases, a complete short story.”

The new podcast is a collaborative effort with Canada-based Paranormal, Eh? radio’s Terry Konig. Scary Scribes will be broadcast on the last Sunday of every month. For more information, check out the podcast’s website. There is also a Facebook page for Scary Scribes.

Both Schoonover and Longo are members of the New England Horror Writers’ organization.

Author Promotes His Book and Some Blogs

Author Promotes His Book and Some Blogs

by Jason Harris

The New Year is here. Have you started doing your New Year’s resolution or has it already fallen to the wayside? If you are still struggling with staying with your resolution then here is a link to an article on the Tipb website mentioning a few apps like Evernote and Weight Watchers mobile to help with those resolutions.

If you are looking for blogs to follow as one of your resolutions, NEHW member Rob Watts has a few suggestions of blogs to follow in an entry on his site. One of those suggestions is this site. I do thank him for the mention.

Recently, Watts was on the Sci-fi Saturday Night program discussing his book Huldufolk, Iceland, Cedar Grove and his Traffic Lights Soundtrack album.

His novel, Huldufolk, is a horror story set in both Iceland and Massachusetts and was published by Ocean View Press. According to the program’s website, Watts is also “a musician and songwriter for The Traffic Lights, an Icelandic Trance band whose music is integral to the book.”

You can download the podcast here:

Watts has also written album reviews and conducted interviews with musicians which can be found on the Ocean View Press website.

The NEHW Creeps into Sci-Fi Saturday Night

The NEHW Creeps into Sci-Fi Saturday Night

by Stacey Longo

Several New England Horror Writer members have been appearing or are scheduled to appear on Sci-Fi Saturday Night.

Craig D. B. Patton’s short story “Aftershocks” was spotlighted on the site’s Fiction Friday entry for 12/10/11. Bob Bois had a flash fiction piece appear on the site on 12/16/11, taken from his blog.

Kristi Petersen Schoonover was featured on the podcast dated 12/17/11, talking about Skeletons in the Swimming Hole and her upcoming novel, Bad Apple. You can download her interview here.

NEHW members on the slate to appear on the Sci-Fi Saturday Night podcast before the end of the year are Kasey Shoemaker, who will be interviewed on the 12/24/11 show, and Rob Watts, scheduled for 12/31/11.

Editor’s note: Stacey Longo is a NEHW member and part of the Publicity Committee.

Novella to be Published March 1

New England Horror Writer member Mark Edward Hall novella,  The Holocaust Opera, will be published by Damnation Books  ( on March 1. It will include an introduction by Bram Stoker award-winning editor Vince Liaguno.
His story, “The Fear”, which appeared last year in The Masters of Horror anthology, has been made into an audio book podcast by ShadowCast Audio. The link to the podcast:
To find out more about Hall, check out his website,

Broad Universe releases Ninth Episode of the Broad Pod

Broad Universe, the voice of women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, has released its ninth episode of the Broad Pod: Vampires!
NEHW member Trisha Wooldridge of A Novel Friend Writing & Editing ( hosts the ninth episode featuring Rae Lorie (, Gail Z. Martin (, Roxanne Bland, and NEHW staff member Morven Westfield ( Each participate give their take on vampire mythos and the adventures or misadventures of their intriguing, undead icons. This episode and the earlier archives are available at
The Broad Pod is the podcast version of the popular Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading of conventions and special events and is published in the middle weekend of every month and features thematic fiction and poetry of three to five members.  Broad Universe, sponsor of The Broad Pod, is an organization dedicated to promoting, celebrating, and honoring women in speculative fiction.  For more information about the organization, visit