Corpse Cold: New American Folklore – interview w/ author John Brhel


by: Stephen Ingves


    With Horror Movie Freaks being big Indie supporters and some of us financially backing Independent films and other projects, we have been a part of and observed many crowdfunding campaigns. I have witnessed many varying degrees of success with these. Some just meeting their goals as their campaigns were set to end. Others requiring several campaigns to reach the financial level needed to move forward on a project. However, one particular Kickstarter campaign quite literally leapt off the page as I read the details. So a bit of further investigating was required to find out what made this project so unique and the funding such a success that it accomplished things I have never seen.

CORPSE COLD: NEW AMERICAN FOLKLORE is a beautiful, fully illustrated book that when complete will contain nearly two dozen scary stories written by authors John Brhel and Joe Sullivan & illustrated by talented artist Chad Wehrle. Ah but I have yet to mention the incredible part that had me so intrigued I felt the need to delve deeper to learn more! The books crowdfunding campaign launched on Sept 30….and the project met its goal…in just over THREE DAYS! But its momentum continues and to date, just over three weeks later it is OVER 600% FUNDED and that number keeps climbing daily with just over a week still to go! Can’t say I have seen too many campaigns with this level of success…OK I have personally NEVER seen one with this level of success! Their secret?…Well I’m not sure but I am certainly interested in learning more!

So Horror Movie Freaks is excited to be able to get a few minutes to chat with co-author John Brhel and not only learn more about the book itself but possibly his opinion on what he felt contributed to its resounding success in getting funded.


SI: Hi John! Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to talk with us at Horror Movie Freaks about your book CORPSE COLD: NEW AMERICAN FOLKLORE.

JB: Hi Stephen. Thanks for having me. It’s my pleasure.

SI: You must be pretty happy and excited with the way the funding campaign has gone. Can you tell us about CORPSE COLD: NEW AMERICAN FOLKLORE and what fans can expect to find within its pages?

JB: We are sooo excited. We can’t believe how much interest the book has received. It’s the best Halloween season we’ve ever had! CORPSE COLD is a fully illustrated book of campfire tales for adults. Put simply, it’s for people like us who grew up reading “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” and “Goosebumps”, and who still crave that style of story, and the illustrations often found within. Readers will find short stories based on urban legends and folklore, all accompanied by some really spooky black-and-white art from Chad Wehrle. Chad designed the covers for two of our previous books, “TALES FROM VALLEYVIEW CEMETERY” and “AT THE CEMETERY GATES: YEAR ONE”, and we’re happy to have him on board to bring our stories to life.

SI: Chad’s talent is certainly evident when you look at his work. Very eerie and macabre which I love.

JB: Chad is an incredible artist, and it’s a real treat to work with him.

SI: Were you guys interested in horror at an early age and if so what type of influence do you feel it has had on your writings?

JB: We’ve been into horror since as long  as we can remember. I read the “Scary Stories” books in 2nd and 3rd grade. Speaking for myself, I was into spooky stuff at an early age. I was a big fan of Scooby-Doo and the Ghostbusters. Tame stuff but still with that spooky vibe. We both got big into “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” in middle school. And “The Twilight Zone” was certainly always on in my house. The stuff we consumed early on definitely had a big influence on our writing. We like spooky stories with fun twists, and all of those shows and books we grew up with had those. In fact, a lot of people have compared our stuff to “The Twilight Zone” and “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?”, which is a huge compliment for us.

SI: I would say so! You literally just took the words right out of my mouth as I was about to compliment you guys at the comparisons your work receives! That’s some amazing company to be mentioned in the same sentence with, congratulations! So with the funding campaign having gone so well on CORPSE COLD are you still looking for backers?

JB: Absolutely. The book is fully funded, but we are still taking what are, essentially, pre-orders now. There are certain benefits to backing the campaign (signatures, a custom bookmark, getting your name in the acknowledgments, the chance to have a character in the story named after you) that won’t be available when the book is available for regular sale.

SI: You certainly have some wonderful perks available that I would encourage all to check out and take advantage of via the link provided below. I know I have…Lol

JB: Thanks! Guess we’ll be seeing your name in the back of the book!

SI: Did you guys happen to do anything in particular or is there anything you feel you can attribute this level of success to in what you achieved with your crowdfunding campaign, especially in such a short period of time? Without giving away any secrets of course! 

JB: We made a deal with the devil, hehe….Actually, we just did a lot of pre-planning and promotional outreach to blogs, websites, podcasts etc. and bought some ads. I work in PR and social media for my day job, so I’m used to making press releases, contacting media outlets and running social media accounts. Chad has a big following on Instagram, so that certainly helped. And it seems that the more backers we’ve picked up, the more people find us directly on Kickstarter. It’s just a snowball effect.

SI: Well I certainly want to congratulate you guys on an amazing job getting the word out there. Your recipe for success is definitely a ton of hard work! Just as we have connected on FB and Twitter, I’ll ensure we connect with Cemetery Gates and Chad on Instagram. Have you guys worked together on other literary projects that you can share and recommend to fans?

JB: We have co-written four books prior to CORPSE COLD, as well as many random one-off short stories. We’re actually in the process of writing another book for the winter. It’s tentatively titled “HER MOURNING PORTRAIT AND OTHER PARANORMAL ODDITIES”, and it’s a collection of weird/supernatural stories about love and relationships.

SI: That actually sounds like a pretty interesting and intriguing topic! Is there anywhere fans can view more of the artwork and writings that go into your books or possibly more about your influences and what you guys enjoyed reading while growing up?

JB: I would definitely follow us on social media. You can find us at and at @cemeterygatesm on Instagram and @CemeteryGatesM on Twitter. We post to these channels regularly. Also you can visit our website at for info on our books and new blog posts. We regularly post about things we liked growing up – everything from “The Monster Squad” to “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow”.

SI: All links to your website and social media can be found below. If I may ask do you also enjoy horror films? If so do you have a favorite movie or sub-genre that you can share with us?

JB: We love horror films. My favorite horror movie is probably “The Ring”. I really like urban legends, and that movie had not only a really cool urban legend-based concept, but everything from the cinematography to the music was just so damn eerie. Beyond that, I’m a big fan of The Shining, Halloween, The Omen, Poltergeist and a whole host of other horror movies.

SI: Fantastic! A man after my own heart as many of those are extremely high up on my list of favorite horror classics! Is there anything I may have missed or something that you would like to add and close with?

JB: Our Kickstarter campaign ends at midnight on Halloween, so there’s still time to pre-order a copy of CORPSE COLD and get some fun perks!

SI: Sounds great! I can’t encourage everyone enough to jump aboard and back this book while also claiming some of these awesome perks! Thank you so much John for taking the time to talk with us at Horror Movie Freaks! Congratulations is certainly in order for what you guys have accomplished so far and we wish you all great success moving forward.

JB: Thank you for having me, Stephen, and for the kind words.

    A huge thanks to all that took a moment to enjoy our time with author John Brhel and had the opportunity to learn more about CORPSE COLD: NEW AMERICAN FOLKLORE as well as the talents of author Joe Sullivan and artist/illustrator Chad Wehrle. Please take a minute to check out Cemetery Gates Media FB page and give it a like. All the links for their FB page, Instagram and website are included below. The link to the Kickstarter campaign is also below so please don’t forget to check that out and claim one of the many great perks available. #SupportIndieHorror   #HorrorUnited     


Kickstarter Campaign for CORPSE COLD:






Also please enjoy a few examples of talented illustrator Chad Wehrle’s work below – 


Black Dog


Woman Campus Green


Casket Mother
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