When I was four years old, my aunt asked what I wanted for Christmas. My answer: “I want a machine gun.” So even at that tender age, my expectations from life were a little different than most.
Years later, I bought my first computer and decided to write a novel. Four computers later, and with six unpublished manuscripts gathering dust under my bed, I finally wrote a story good enough to get the interest of an agent and a publisher.
I was born in El Paso, Texas, and spent most of my childhood in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with travels to visit family in Pacoima, California, and Chihuahua, Mexico. After graduating from New Mexico State University, I was commissioned into the Army to serve in the Infantry where I finally got to play with machine guns. Later I hoodwinked the Army into letting me fly attack helicopters. (If you’ve ever seen me drive, you’ll wonder about the wisdom of letting me have the controls of an aircraft.)
Subsequent life as a civilian has been like living in a pinball machine. I worked as an engineer in corporate America and got downsized. Earned my masters’ in Information Systems from the University of Denver and found another corporate gig. Saw that job sail across the Pacific when I was outsourced and laid off again. Thankfully, I have two bright and handsome sons in college who will take care of me as I grow older.
What’s kept me grounded are my forays into art. The highpoints include being the artist-in-residence for Arte Americas in Fresno, California, and being called from the Reserves to serve in Operation Desert Storm (the easy war against Iraq) as a combat artist. Add teaching art to prisoners at the Avenal State Prison and organizing art fundraisers for various pet rescue groups.
All this time I was scribbling my stories, sending them out, and collecting rejection slips. What changed my luck was joining the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers which introduced me to real authors and the advice needed to get published. Now I’m busy writing my Felix the vampire detective novels. And I’ve decided that I no longer want a machine gun for Christmas.
Writer & Actor
Joe is a writer and an actor with many credits in the horror genre including everything from books (Twisted Loneliness, Zombie Bukkake, Sucked up Fhit) to films (Monsterpiece Theatre, Pajama Party Massacre, Terror Overload) to magazines (Gasp, Cryptic). His short story collection Twisted Loneliness, which featured an introduction by Sid Haig has spawned one short film already, with two others in the pipeline. He currently has over a dozen scripts in various states of production.
Actor & Model
Scarlett Salem is an independent actress and model who specializes in the horror genre. She’s been in numerous amounts of films including: the NFTS Productions’ Pajama Party Massacre and Terror Overload; Haunted Autumn Productions’ Tales of the Dead; Mike Etolls’ Mutilated Movies; Regan Reddings’ Killer Biker Chicks; Roflak Studios’ Resist Evil! Trilogy; Sean Hopkins’ short fan film Friday the 13th; and Deer Creek Productions’ Camp Kill, to name a select few.
Scarlett is a representative for Troma Entertainment and was Tromette of the Month in December 2007. She is constantly keeping herself busy with acting, modeling, and attending film conventions. Keep sharp and you’ll see her all over the place, she has many projects in the works and several films are in production or out soon!