Blood Vengeance

Blood Vengeance - Michael Schutz-Ryan

I used to love scary stories when I was a bit younger. I can't remember how many times I've seen the original Scream movie and how many times I've read IT and Desperation by Stephen King. But now that I'm beginning to age, I find more and more than I'm drawn to investigative horror/thriller books and movies. I don't just want to be scared, I want to hear the logic behind the terror -- so to speak. 

I love a good haunted house story and I'm a sucker for psychiatric hospital hauntings. Blood Vengeance gives every aspect of investigative horror without excessive gore, a team of "professionals" and the cheesiness that seems to come with those types of movies typically. 

Yes, I do realize I read a book and did not watch a movie. But as I read it, I had no difficulty visualizing the scenes and the horror that Michael offered up. I loved each twist and very much enjoyed the ending. 

Overall a great book that left me on edge and forced me to finish it in one sitting. Despite what the author says, I'm holding out hope for a sequel. :) 

Some Bio Information

Michael Schutz-Ryan was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. He attended the UW-Stevens Point and graduated with an English degree from the Madison campus. A lifelong diet of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King whet his appetite for the macabre. A lover of all things horror, he plumbs the depths of Netflix in search of scary movies, and then podcasts and blogs about them on Darkness Dwells (

His debut novel, Blood Vengeance, was recently published by Permuted Press. His short fiction has been featured in the anthologies Ugly Babies, Cranial Leakage: Tales from the Grinning Skull, Beyond the Nightlight, and in the magazines Infernal Ink, Expanded Horizons, and SQ Mag. He lives in northern California with his husband and their three furry cat-children. You can keep tabs on him at:


1. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
I love editing. For me, that first draft is the tough, painful part. After the story’s on the page, in some kind of rough form, I roll up my mental sleeves and really have fun.

2. Is Brennan’s story over? 

I don’t foresee an outright sequel. But never say never. I have spent some time thinking about where he is now. I assume he’s doing well in college. And I suspect he’s going to break up with Tara and find a boyfriend. They’ll remain best friends, though. Alex, on the other hand…he worries me. I think he’ll be getting into trouble for a long time. Never intentionally.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book? 

Blood Vengeance owes a lot to my own move to San Francisco. Of course, I didn’t have any ghosts haunting me! But I did live in the same area—the Tenderloin—as Brennan. There is a dark, scary side to San Francisco that we don’t hear much about. I wanted to tell a story about that seedy underbelly. It worked as a great backdrop to this idea I had about the ghost of a serial killer still tormenting his victims.

4. Describe your favorite place.

Wisconsin in autumn. There’s magic in the air throughout October. The temperature drops. The chill brings the smell of wood smoke and harvested fields. The orange-red-yellow leaves have fallen, and they skitter across the sidewalks sounding like witch’s nails. I love it. It’s the land of Bradbury (he lived a bit south in Illinois). Spending October in the Midwest is like living inside Something Wicked This Way Comes.

5. Who is your favorite author? 

Speaking of Ray Bradbury! I discovered his short stories when I was in the sixth grade. Such beautiful prose! He cast a spell over me. I was never the same. After reading his work, I knew not only that I needed to write, but the stories I wanted to tell.

6. What’s the perfect writing environment for you? 

I need quiet. I’m not a writer who can work with music blaring. Coffee by my side is essential. Aside from that, I’ve adapted to many different locations over the last five years. I’ve moved a lot! My second, up-coming novel—Edging—was written entirely in my recliner in the living room. But now I finally have a nice office space carved out where I can write. It’s fantastic!

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

I’d love to have Stephen King’s readership. And his stamina! Now, I’m not talking about fame and fortune. I’d simply like to reach that many people. How amazing to entertain such a large audience. And to have so many novels out there. I really just want to tell stories for the rest of my life.