Bryn CJ Hammond [Author Interview – The Complete History of The Howling]

Welcome, one and all, to another author chat! You may remember Bryn CJ Hammond stopping by before. Today, he’s back to talk a little about how things are going with his latest non-fiction piece, The Complete History of The Howling.


When we last spoke, you were finishing up The Complete History of The Howling. The book is now out there in the world, and you and Nick Stead have been touring conventions to promote and sell copies of the book. How has the reception out in public been so far?

To date the direct reception has been really positive, which is a relief! I wasn’t sure what the overall consensus would be on such a varied series. Apart from The Howling, starring Dee Wallace, the series has been pretty hit and miss. The sequel, Howling II, is a pop culture diamond and is the more remembered entry for all the wrong reasons and it genuinely seems to have a wider appeal thanks to Philippe Mora’s outlandish approach.

During the Horror Con many of The Howling fans that purchased the paperback were genuinely torn between the original and the sequel, while there was a toss of a coin reaction for Howling V: The Rebirth and Howling VI: The Freaks.

It was interesting seeing people’s reactions when they thumbed through The Complete History of The Howling; everyone seemed psyched and pleasantly surprised by the content. I think they got a real nostalgic blast from the past.

Have the two of you had any convention mishaps as yet, or any funny stories you can share?

I won’t lie, Nick’s a loose cannon when he’s out LOL. If there is going to be a drama it will happen when he’s around. He tempts fate at every given chance, even dancing on a Haunted Wiccan Stone Circle – big no, no! No sooner had he done so than the evening went downhill for him fast; he lost my bag, which I left with him for a mere 5 minutes at a hotel bar, he broke his cell phone and lost our apartment keys, which I had given him as he had zipped pockets. Thankfully we found the latter scurried away in his side pocket only for him to lose them again the next morning when I went for my show HAHA. Thankfully, touch wood, I narrowly avoided any major incidents (besides my bag) and I put that down to my Amethyst and Citrine stones that I carry with me.

Besides the hiccups mentioned above I gave Jim Mcleod from Ginger Nuts of Horror a Mariah Carey Glitter Bomb makeover in a pub lol; he looked extremely revitalised! He was a real good sport and a genuine nice guy!

I’ve seen a lot of different people touting the book online, especially on Twitter. How important has it been to get the word out over social media for this one, and have any of the responses surprised you?

Social media platforms are still very foreign to me. I am, however, very aware of the power they hold, so to have people retweeting or talking about The Complete History of The Howling, good or bad, is important. Touting online is certainly the new print/TV advertising!

With the likes of Twitter you can reach your target audience directly and interact with them on a level you were once unable to, and it’s more personal. It also allows you as the author to be able to get it right first time around, or at least rectify anything that didn’t quite hit the spot the way you wanted it to with future re-issues.

I know from speaking with you before that you had a lot of different challenges during the creation of your A Case for Murder: Brittany Murphy Files, ranging from stalling on answering questions to slander. I would imagine that, with the subject matter being less contentious here than your true crime series, tempers would be less heated. At the same time though, it never ceases to amaze me what people can get upset by sometimes. As such, did you have any similar issues or challenges with The Complete History of The Howling?

There were challenges writing both books and much of the same issues arose! With The Complete History of The Howling certain people got upset that others were approached first and some people even proved problematic and generally absent even when present.

While writing the book and pulling together interviews I actually think the talent often forgets that the writer (myself) must be, or must have once been, a fan in the first place to be working on such a project and approaching them to take part.

Egos are ugly and I must admit there are a few people not included in the book that I once really admired and now I wouldn’t bother seeing any future work they ever do.

Have any of the people you interviewed for the book offered any thoughts on it since its completion? I know that Dee Wallace has been supportive of the book since the start.

The books have only recently been shipped to everyone who took part in the project so there has been no feedback as of yet. Nick Benson has seen his article and he loved it, as did Bill Forsche. I gave them sneak peeks early.

I’m waiting to give Dee Wallace her copy directly as I’d like to explain the cover choice. Wallace was the lead in the original and Elisabeth Brooks appears on the cover and on the Contents page. There is a specific reason for this, which once explained I’m 100% sure she will understand.

The Complete History of The Howling Front cover

Do you expect to do any other Complete History style books and, if so, what sort of subjects do you think you’ll broach?

I have a few Complete History of’s that I have in mind but I need to see how this book does first before I make any rapid decisions on future outings. I’d certainly love to do A Complete History of Sunset Beach LOL

In something that’s linked via subject matter, you’ve been having some trouble with Wikipedia of late. I noticed that the article about yourself is now gone, and that the articles on both The Complete History of The Howling and A Case for Murder: Brittany Murphy Files were, at time of writing, being hotly debated by the editors. My understanding is that part of the problem was that the editors deemed some of the cited sources to be non-notable. To prevent further upset, you actually requested that Wikipedia pull the articles entirely, but they initially refused. Did Wikipedia give a reason that they didn’t comply with your initial request for deletion?

Wikisaurus has certainly taken me by storm. You’re correct, I got to the point where I demanded all content involving my books to be removed immediately and Tim Pruitt has finally given in after my fiftieth email!

It’s sad, but just like the dinosaurs, Wikipedia will no doubt become extinct due to how it’s mismanaged by many of the Jurassic Editors (also known as Wiki-Nazis in the Urban Dictionary).

There is a large proportion of Editors that dominate the site and think that they are the only source of correct information even if fellow Editors approve a piece. For whatever reason this majority has staked out a claim on a small patch of Wiki-real-estate and see it as “theirs”. Due to this they suffer a bad case of itchy mouse finger and if anyone dares contribute on it – DELETE, DELETE, DELETE. This same group of Editors on the site are often moderators and/or have admin status, i.e. abusing their power.

I complained at the point they were getting personal and abusing the system via Wikipedia chat. I’ve since learned not to bother; Wikipedia is “not a democracy”. There’s no higher order to complain to when things go wrong – just a seething collective of delete-happys that have formed alliances over their bad case of itchy mouse finger and they like nothing more than slapping these phallic symbols all over the place to make up for smaller things (I’m sure).

Wikipedia policies are open to considerable interpretation, and there are so many rules and guidelines that there will always be something to throw at you to delete your content if it doesn’t fit into their club’s criteria. Tim Pruitt eventually caved in to my demand of deleting the pages early; I do not want my body of work associated with a platform that allows abuse of power and bullying of contributors.

But in saying that, where would Wikipedia be without such clickers? Without the likes of Wikitigresito, Randykitten and The Gnome I’m sure the free online encyclopaedia would crumble and become a seething link farm filled with “original research” and garbage. Every time something is deleted these colourful characters that make Hitler look like a hobbyist have brought some good back to the world. The criterion for deletion is simple: if it’s been nominated, rip it out! Be warned, behind every good article there is an itchy trigger finger waiting to pop up like an evil genie with a bad case of the weekend ticks desperate to nominate!

Did you have any other comments that you wanted to make on the subject? It all seems to have blown up quite quickly.

Yes, I’m truly thankful Wikitigresito, Randykitten and The Gnome (and other similar faceless bullies) are off the streets and only generating red tape on Wikipedia. God help us all if they had a real job with any real power!


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