Horror Writers Association Blog

Halloween Haunts: Specialty Press Award Spotlight–Roy Robbins and Bad Moon Books


Roy Robbins and Bad Moon Books received the 2011 HWA Specialty Press of the Year Award.

1. How would you describe Bad Moon Books?

We are a bookseller and publisher who specialize in horror and dark fiction.

2. Tell us about how Bad Moon Books came into existence.

I am a big fan of the genre. I started out as a collector and was buying from some of the existing small presses in the late 70’s such as Dark Harvest, Scream Press, Ziesing, and the like. I figured out that if I purchased 5 copies of a title, and sold 4, I could make a little money, and add to my collection. Soon that order of 5 became 10, then 20, and the rest is history. I have been selling books for over 30 years and 20 of them full time. I have owned two brick and mortar shops (Book King and Bad Moon Books) but currently am online only with 1-3 Cons per year. In 2006 I started publishing at the prompting (or should I say incessant nagging) of my employee Liz. To date we have produced nearly 80 titles.

3. What most attracts you to publishing horror?

From an early age I have always enjoyed creepy things. I used to love to read the “Alfred Hitchcock Stories That…” series and would always turn right to the Bradbury and Robert Bloch stories as they always had a twist ending. One of the most enjoyable aspects of publishing horror is the cover art. I love to go for art that grabs you by the throat and says read me!

4. What new projects are you working on now?

We are booked well into 2013, and maybe even into 2014. We have a novel by Michael McBride titled “Vector Borne”; a collection from Bill Breedlove called “How To Die Well”; two Halloween novellas- one by Lisa Morton titled “Hell Manor”; and one by Mark Allen Gunnells titled “October Roses”. In addition, we will be publishing works by Kealan Patrick Burke, Chris Conlon, Paul Meloy, Lincoln Crisler, Gene O’Neill, and more!

5. What advice would you share with new horror writers? What do you think are the biggest challenges they face?

Stay away from the ever present temptation to self-publish. I believe it is the kiss of death if an author wants to get on with a small press publisher. When I am taking a pitch, and an author says I self-publish, I have a tendency to tune them out as it says to me their work is not good enough to be published by a bonafide publisher. That may sound harsh, but that is the way it is for me. There are so many small press publishers out there now, that I feel if their work has merit, it can catch on with a publisher, even if they are not one of the bigger ones. Now, on the other hand, if an established author wants to do some self publishing in the e-book realm, that is a different story. Having said that, I think one of the biggest challenges is the proliferation of small presses and self published pieces out there. It truly is a zombie eat dog world…

6. What are three of your favorite horror stories?

“Apt Pupil” by Stephen King; “Haceldama” by Gary A. Braunbeck; and “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs.

7. What’s your favorite Halloween memory or tradition?

My favorite tradition is one that has been going on since my second granddaughter was old enough to go Trick or Treating.  My daughter takes her out and hits the high spots in the neighborhood, then they come home and we all hand out candy on our front porch together. We have this little three foot tall ghost boy that is motion activated and he wiggles back and forth yelling “Boo”! He gets the funniest looks from the kids who are 4 years old and under… We now have a grandson who also lives with us so the tradition will live on longer now. Note- We have 5 grandchildren total, 2 boys and 3 girls.

8. Given a choice, trick? Or treat?

Treat! I’m all about the Paydays and Tootsie Rolls.


Roy Robbins’s Bad Moon Books emphasizes horror and publishes novels, novellas, single-author collections, and poetry. They publish both finely-bound limited editions and trade editions, and their authors have included Clive Barker, Bruce Boston, Kealan Patrick Burke, Michael Louis Calvillo, Scott Edelman, John Everson, Nate Kenyon, Gregory Lamberson, John Little, Lisa Mannetti, Lisa Morton, Gene O’Neill, Gord Rollo, John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow, David Niall Wilson, and many others. Bad Moon was started by Robbins, who is also a genre specialist bookseller, in 2007; their first title was Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way by Weston Ochse. Since then, four of their books have won Bram Stoker Awards®, and their books have also received Black Quill Awards and numerous Bram Stoker Awards nominations.




2 comments on “Halloween Haunts: Specialty Press Award Spotlight–Roy Robbins and Bad Moon Books

  1. Nice to meet Roy, and especially to hear his views and fav short stories. Great interview.
    Author of HARD BITE from Blasted Heath publishers

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