Kevin Bachar Is ‘Cursed’ With His Latest Collection!

Horror Tree
7 min readApr 26, 2024

The Horror Tree Presents: Author Interview — Kevin Bachar

By Lionel Ray Green

Kevin Bachar uses his experiences as an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker to inspire his horror writing. The results so far are two collections, Dread and Creep, firmly entrenched in the top 10 of Amazon’s Horror Anthologies category since their release.

Another short story collection titled Cursed is out April 26, completing his three-book series Nights of Madness.

Bachar is president of Pangolin Pictures where he directs, shoots and writes documentary films.

“If you’ve watched National Geographic, PBS or The Discovery Channel over the years, you’ve seen my work,” he says. “I produce in all genres but specialize in natural history filmmaking. Series like PBS Nature or Shark Week have featured my films. Not bad for a kid from Queens.”

A three-time Emmy Award winner for his work on the National Geographic Explorer series, Bachar thinks his documentary work gives his writing “a real-world feel.”

“I don’t need to hit up Wikipedia for a lot of research,” he says. “I know what it’s like to be on a stakeout with cops or know what a tornado sounds like when it roars into a town, since I’ve filmed those things in real life.”

Bachar agreed to an exclusive email interview with Lionel Ray Green for The Horror Tree about his horror collections, screenplay writing, and future projects.

LIONEL: Your collections of short stories effectively blend your experiences as a documentary filmmaker with horror fiction. What sparked the idea to combine those two?

KEVIN: My short story collection, which includes the books Dread, Creep and the just released Cursed, includes a lot of my experiences from my documentary filmmaking. And in some of the stories, though disguised, I’m actually the narrator. The reason I blended my two lives, the factual and fictional, is that there are moments when you are filming a documentary when things take a turn from the believable to the unbelievable. We even have a phrase for it “the truth is stranger than fiction.” What I did was take some of those moments and embellish them just a touch, giving them a push into the world of the macabre and horror.

LIONEL: Your first collection, Dread, posits some terrifying reasons why people go missing. What was the most interesting missing persons’ incident for you to write about in your book?

KEVIN: I think the story that most resonates with me is “Forest for the Trees,” which includes the fact that “there are at least 1,600 people currently listed as missing or lost in the wilds of the United States. There are no clues as to why or what happened to them.” “Forest for the Trees” is the one that doesn’t paint the whole picture as to what happens to the folks that go missing. You’re left to fill in the blanks, and I think sometimes that makes things much scarier. Those blank spaces hold so many possibilities, and some are truly terrifying. Most of my job is spent out in the wild spaces of the world, and I’d never want to discourage anyone from heading out to go camping, sailing, or a day hike, but it’s so easy to get lost while in a forest and soon enough everything looks the same and you could end up as one of the “missing.”

LIONEL: Your second collection, Creep, is more about how common people and places that we encounter every day are not always what they seem. Can you share an experience with the commonplace that made you think that?

KEVIN: The first story in Creep is about a man trying to catch a subway train. As a New Yorker and someone who has commuted all my life, this has always been a part of my work existence. You do it every day for so long that you complete the task as if in a trance. You pay your fare, walk to your spot on the train platform, wait for the woosh, and then enter the car. But in Creep, the normal routine gets upended in a way that I hope never happens to me.

LIONEL: Your third collection, Cursed, plays with the idea of dark forces conspiring to harm people. Did any real-world curse stories prompt ideas for this collection?

KEVIN: Great question! Have I been cursed? I hope not. Going back to what I mentioned before about my job as a documentary filmmaker, it has provided me the chance to travel the world and find myself steeped in many cultures. One of the things I noticed aside from the commonality of the importance of family throughout these disparate communities was the belief in good and evil, and evil forces at work in the world. Whether it be the Amish and their hex signs or a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea wary of certain trees, the idea of curses and the need to be aware or beware of them was real.

LIONEL: Why did you gravitate to the horror genre with your writing?

KEVIN: I think it’s the reason I love roller coasters. A great horror story and a great roller coaster make you feel … and what I mean by feel is actual physical sensations, like heart racing, sweating, and tense muscles. And the thing is, a great horror story, whether it was written two hundred years ago, or one written yesterday, they both still have the power to terrify you. The language and the elements that conspire to create fear are the same. Just like the aged roller coaster The Cyclone in Coney Island still elicits screams of terror to this day.

LIONEL: You also wrote a well-received film The Inhabitant (2022) about a series of supernatural events surrounding a teenager. How different is the feeling of seeing your work on screen versus in a book?

KEVIN: The feeling of seeing your story and words up on a screen is very strange, humbling, and nerve-wracking. When someone gets up to get popcorn or heads to the bathroom, you wonder if it’s because you dropped the ball on making the film so compelling that they’d be “glued to their seats,” when it just might be they have a small bladder and really love popcorn. Imagine standing behind someone who is reading your book. You’re there the whole time and you get to witness each reaction to your words. I think only a few hearty souls would ever want to do that.

LIONEL: In your job as a documentary filmmaker, what’s been your most terrifying encounter?

KEVIN: I have to say that chasing a tornado at night was right up there for terrifying moments, which also include getting charged by an elephant, and running with cops, guns drawn and chasing a perp. We drove into a Texas town just after sunset, the power was out, and the tornado sirens were blaring. The streets were empty as most people were sheltering in their cellars or the safest room in the house. You could hear the tornado on the outskirts of the darkness, churning up the landscape. It was a real-life monster waiting to gobble us up.

LIONEL: You swam with sharks as a filmmaker, you’ve written screenplays, and you’re a published author. If you had to choose one, which would it be?

KEVIN: It’s the Sophie’s Choice question, which child do I keep? Since I’m currently working in all three disciplines, I’m going to punk out on this one and say I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. Why choose?

LIONEL: Do you have any other upcoming projects for 2024?

KEVIN: Cursed is the last book in the Nights of Madness series, but don’t fret, my first novel called The Visitor is out in July and is available for pre-order now. It’s about a woman, her dog, and a cabin, and the terrifying “visitor” that comes to meet them. It’s part of a series called Houses of Horror, in which I look at our homes, the place where we feel most safe, but it’s also where terror and horror can dwell. The upcoming books The Crone and The Apartment will be part of the series.


Kevin Bachar | writer

Nights of Madness (3 book series) Kindle Edition (



Horror Tree

Horror Tree is your source for everything speculative fiction from writing advice to paying markets to book reviews, author interviews, and the latest releases!