31 Wicked Days of Christmas With Keith Melton


  • What is next for you book wise in 2013?

My next book will be 9mm Blues. It’s set in the Nightfall universe, focused on the Thorn knights (a paramilitary order which exists outside of government sanction—they fight monsters while trying to suppress knowledge of the paranormal).

Here’s the blurb:

9mm Blues

Christopher Hill is a brash young knight in the Order of the Thorn—a hard charger packing a submachine gun and a sword. His mission is simple: destroy the ancient, profane evils that prey upon humanity.

But Hill’s mission becomes much more complicated when a young boy is kidnapped by flesh-eating ghouls. Barricaded inside a run-down house, the ghouls slowly gain the upper hand, while outside, mounting casualties and internal power struggles threaten both the mission and the boy Hill’s vowed to see home safe, no matter what…

Dark Ride Dogs
is the next book in the Zero Dog universe. It should be out in early 2013. The Zero Dog books are all about the wacky humor (or lots and lots of attempts at wacky humor—your mileage may very). Included in the usual madness will be evil clowns, goblin carnies, cryptic prophecy, young love, epic battles with large-scale explosions (actually, large-scale explosions seem to fit into the “usual madness” of this series), and a pufferfish.

I’m determined to finish the Nightfall Syndicate trilogy in 2013. I know I keep saying that, but this time I really mean it. Mostly because I received an anonymous note from a reader saying: “Finish the series or something bad will happen to your parakeet.”

…and I don’t even own a parakeet. O_O

  • Do you have a favorite book of 2012?

I was very late in reading it, but I loved Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box. Highly recommended if you enjoy creepy novels. Also, I really enjoyed Hunger Games.

  • What is your favorite holiday food?

I’m a traditionalist. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, maybe some candied yams, fresh green beans. Various incarnations of pie.

I wasn’t ever big on ham for Christmas…primarily because once upon a time, when I was young and trusting, I trustingly and youngly went to my grandparent’s house one Christmas for a dinner starring a baked ham headliner. However, my grandfather forgot to remove a few of the cloves pushed into the top of the ham. Apparently, cloves are used for flavor and are not to be eaten directly. Ignorant of this important guideline, I ate a slice of clove-riddled ham, ending up scarred for life.

Oh, and beets should’ve been banned by the Geneva Convention. I understand that’s a strong position and may cause some amount of controversy, but I stand by it. The same with anything clove-flavored.

Cloves are just wrong.

  •  Least favorite holiday song?

There are so many to dislike. Of course, everybody hates the “12 Days of Christmas”, but is “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” really any better? Hell, you only have to read the title to learn who committed the manslaughter (or in this case Grandmaslaughter… yeah, these are the jokes, my friends). It was Santa all DUI (FUI?) on spiked eggnog. Where’s the mystery? While we’re on the subject, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” is simply an appalling mockery of the traumatized survivors of barroom brawls.

  • Do you have any holiday family traditions?

The kids put out cookies…and then I eat the cookies and frame Santa. At some point we watch Muppet’s Christmas Carol. After the kids go to sleep my wife and I watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation while I assemble toys and curse the questionable directions. Then I rant about how Die Hard is a better Christmas movie than Miracle on 34th Street.

The next day the unwrapping madness ensues. The cat ends up with a bow on her head. Just before dinner I gather the family around the fireplace and retell the traditional story of how, when I was a kid, I was almost poisoned to death by a clove concealed in a ham I should’ve been able to trust.

That’s about it. Probably the same as everyone else’s Christmas traditions.

  • Worst gift you ever received?


  •  Worst gift you ever gave?


(Damn you socks, damn you!)

  • Favorite holiday memory?

I grew up in Arizona. We had a white Christmas in 1987. Yep. Snow in the desert on Christmas. The odds are huge. I’ve lived in New England for about six years and I’ve never had another white Christmas.

However, I think my favorite memories revolve around my kids and Christmas morning. When they grew old enough to be excited about the actual presents and not simply playing with the empty boxes, micro-shredding wrapping paper, and consuming discarded bows. That shining look of excitement on their faces when they race out of their beds to see what Santa brought.

Oh, and eating all the cookies and framing Santa. There’s that.

  • If you could share one lesser known fact about yourself to our readers, what will it be?

In college, my buddy and I climbed this mountain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mt._McLoughlin

However, at one point about two-thirds of the way up the trail split around a huge rock and a ridge. My buddy took the “intelligent” way, while I opted for the “awesome” way. Things proceeded with much awesomeness until I lost my footing and ended up dangling upside down over a steep rocky slope. I wasn’t even showing off in front of a girl, either. I managed to right myself, and we made it to the top without further incident (and without discovering any signs of Sasquatch, alas).

What a view, let me tell you. Completely worth the risk of serious injury via male stupidity.

  • Weirdest thing you collect?

Hot sauce.

And on a completely unrelated subject…time for bad MS Paint Art! Just because.

Okay, now for the loot giveaway! I’m giving away signed print copies of Blood Vice, Ghost Soldiers, and The Zero Dog War, and (for those of you who could care less about the aforementioned books) I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner! All you need to do is leave a comment of some sort. Perhaps give an answer to the “worst gift?” question or the “weirdest thing you collect?” question (but feel free to have fun with the others). The winner will be chosen randomly using random number generators powered by randomized hamsters—or something roughly equivalent.

Random Author info




  • Lee December 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I used to collect rooster statues. And my father-in-law was a hot sauce collector, too. 🙂 Blood Vice sounds fantastic. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • sandyg265 December 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I don’t collect anything except books.

  • Karen in TN December 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Only thing worse than socks? Hand-knitted ones (ever try to actually wear those things?).
    I’d love to win, but would prefer to gift card to pick up the ebooks (or you could make just that, the prize).

  • BookAttict December 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I collect anything Buffy the Vampire slayer, miniature condiments (you know, those little glass bottles of ketchup, hot sauce, ets. from room service), and matchbooks.

    Happy Holidays & thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com
    Following Keith on:
    WordPress: BookAttict
    Twitter: @BookAttict
    Facebook: Elizabeth Kotkiewicz Hyatt

  • Lesley D December 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks for the interview! The worst gift I’ve ever gotten was probably this bright red track suit that looked like something a grandma would wear to bingo.

  • Readsalot81 December 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I’ve gotten socks too! I don’t know what your socks looked like.. but mine looked like MY LITTLE PONY threw up all over the place. Sparkles, bows, ponies, and other things I couldn’t identify. *shrug* I received them a couple of years ago and I’m in my 30’s now, so yeah, there’s that. 🙂

  • bn100 December 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Nice interview and holiday memory.

  • Chelsea B. December 24, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I collect author bookmarks- and the worst book I ever got, was a toothbrush. I mean for gosh sakes.

  • erinf1 December 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for the fun post and congrats to Keith on the releases! I’ve also gotten a hideous pair of socks! My aunt gave them to me when I was 16 and they were clearly meant for a 6 year old.

  • Barbara Elness December 25, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I don’t think they’re weird, but some people might – I collect all sorts of turtles in any form, from figurines to jewelry. I’m not sure why, I just like them. And also rubber ducks, I have a collection floating in the pool and quite a few others in various places in the house.

  • Denise Z December 25, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Thank you for sharing with us and making me smile. I don’t know if it turned out to be the worst, but it certainly was unusual. I received a plaster turtle and unlike Barbara I do not collect them LOL However, if you look at my hearth that turtle is there and has followed me around for about twenty years now. I think Torti is part of the family now ;=D

  • JenM December 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    How come beets never get any love? I think they are most people’s least favorite vegetable after Brussels sprouts and I don’t understand why.

  • Rain Maiden Jen December 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    We collect magnets here in this house. I need more room for them though. Don’t mind Brussels sprouts as long as there is butter. 🙂

  • Robin K December 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Worst gift ever was a “R” letter necklace, when I was 26!!!! Worst gift I have given, hmmmm…. SOCKS!!! *snort* Love you darling!

  • Cassi Carver December 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Worst gift I have received: Christmas-themed socks–from mom AND hubby this year. They have that scratchy tinsel thread.

    I can’t wait for the new book, Keith! Way to go!!

  • Kirsten W December 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Hm, I haven’t really received that many terrible gifts. I did once get $80 worth of make-up (which I realize doesn’t sound bad, but I’m extremely fussy about what makeup I use), which I had to pawn off on a friend once.

  • Mary Hughes December 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

    We don’t collect anything weird or give any weird presents. Really. Truly. No, don’t open that closet…!

    Looking forward to your new books!!

  • Brenda Hyde December 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I opt for the books! I love the clove story– well, I can why you didn’t love the experience, but it is kind of funny. *snort*. Did you know Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer has a cartoon? Yeah, it’s just as bad as the song. *shudder*.

    Worst gift I’ve gotten was a set of pans identical to the ones I already had– yep, my husband made a suggestion to my mother in law. The wrong one. BAHAHahaha

  • Mike December 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Worst gift I ever got for the holidays was a box that showed a really nice like $150 sauce pan on the outside and instead had some weirdly looking and hard as a rock triple chocolate cupcakes my sister and her best friend made, knowing I do not like chocolate cake, but would have really liked the pan since I cook. Now lets see if my wifey type person actually reads this.

  • blodeuedd December 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    When I was little I just to search for pieces of glass, china in the fields..weird and why was there so much there..weird

  • Sue December 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    worst gift ever – nice Gap box – opened it up and it was a homemade craft hat with flowers and lace and OMG just so horrible I can’t even describe. My sister was so proud of making it for me too.

    Can’t wait for your new books (especially Nightfall Syndicate). 🙂

  • Chance to win books! « KeithMelton's Blog December 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    […] All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. Here’s the link: Wicked Lil Pixie Giveaway […]

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