Pop Quiz: what Elvis Presley song does Dex quote in the final showdown with Vanessa?

Midnight Snack Secrets Revealed!

The city of Las Calamas holds many secrets, most of them the creepy, sinister and toothy kind that are just waiting for a chance to jump out of the shadows and provide you with angry ventilation and the bad kind of facial redecorating. However, some are just plain interesting. Midnight Snack is loaded with fascinating trivia, double meanings, hidden references, real people from author Chris Weedin's real life and other things that are just darned intriguing. Read on to uncover the secret secrets of a secretive work... if you dare!

Real People - Real Lives

Okay, so you dare. Big deal! You ain't the first! But since you're here... Every author puts some of himself into his work. Chris Weedin likes to put some of OTHER people into his. In every book, you will find persons connected to the author and either adapted carefully or just dragged kicking and screaming into the pages of his tongue-in-cheek, horror-comedy works. Here are some of the real people you'll meet in Midnight Snack:

  • Kit, AJ and Kelly - these three happy go lucky gamers and latenight snackers from Chapter One are, in reality, Chris Weedin ("Kit", his childhood nickname) and his two best gaming buddies from real life, Alex Warren ("AJ") and Kelly Staymates ("Kelly"). They've been tight since the 5th grade, so it "only seemed natural" as Weedin says, "to kill them off." "It's a tribute," he adds. "Although not everyone sees it that way..."
  • Ms. Herron - Herron is the maiden name of Chris Weedin's wife. This makes "Ms. Herron" his real-life bride, Kim. Again, her demise is a tribute to her lifelong love of horror movies and not some deep-seated expression of unresolved marital hostilities about capping the toothpaste.
  • Mr. Carey - Weedin's third oldest gaming buddy and resident Star Wars (and everything else pop-culture, comics or movie-related) trivia master, Darren Carey. The conversation between Carey and Carson Dudley in Chapter Three is almost verbatim from an actual discussion between Carey and the author. The guy can recite Greedo's lines from the cantina scene from memory. Try him. It's unreal.

Pop-Culture Quotes, Quirks and Connections

A daring (or just extremely opinionated and biased) author also can't help put plug his favorites from film and literature into his writing. Or quite often, as in Weedin's case, his favorites from cartoons, games, music, politics, religion and the snack shelf. Sometimes these references are a tip of the hat to the great pop-culture works of other artists, authors and directors. Sometimes, they just slip out of the mouths of the characters. Whatever the case, here are a few you'll find in book 1:

  • The King - the name of Dex's (and eventually Carson's) shotgun, named after the King of Rock N' Roll Elvis Presley; one of Weedin's favorites.
  • The Wonder Twins - a tribute to the 1970's "Superfriends" cartoon ("Form of, a bucket of water!"); lame heroes, cool guns
  • Star Wars - quotes and references are plentiful in the book, from Carey's conversation with Carson in Chapter Three to the argument between Dex and Carson in Chapter Eight about who said "I've got a bad feeling about this" first (anybody know which one was right?). After Kiki interrupts, Carson and Dex both poke back with pointed (though appropriate) quotes from the film.
  • Vampire Movie Stars - Dex and Carson tip their hats to the stars of various vampire-hunter movies in Chapter Seven, from Wesley Snipes (Blade) to Roddy McDowell ("Fright Night") to everyone's favorite, Corey Feldman ("Lost Boys").
  • Scripture - the specific Bible passages Sister Becky quotes are some of the author's favorites; usually the ones that have to do with whacking evil on the nose like a bad bad puppy.
  • Arnie - the name of Dex's assault rifle, a tribute to (in the author's opinion) the penultimate action movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. As a Governator, okay, but as a Terminator, unbeatable.

The Horror Rules Connection

Whether you're a gamer or not, you've probably heard of Horror Rules, the Simply Horrible Roleplaying Game. This tongue-in-cheek little horror-comedy roleplaying game, based on hit Hollywood movies and themes, was Weedin's inspiration for the Graveyard Shift series. The author of the core rulebook, more than six supplements and over a dozen adventure scripts and gaming aids, Weedin has packed his fiction with numerous Horror Rules references, quips, quotes, game terms and has even taken a few pages from the rulebook at times. Whether you're a Horror Rules vet or a total RPG newbie, it might interest you to know...

  • Pg 6: Startle, Scare, Freak and Flipout - the four severities of Grip Checks, which Characters make in the game during scary moments to keep their "grip on reality"
  • Pg 8: Fight, Flight, Freeze or Free - the four possible random Panic Reactions a Character can have when failing a Grip Check
  • Pg 42: Lucky Break - when Carson steps on the corn dog and slips, saving his life from the vampire wolf's attack, this is an example of an in-game mechanic called a "Lucky Break," where a Character rolls a natural "1" and automatically succeeds... which usually saves their life.
  • Pg 113: Tough As Nails - this term, used to describe Dex's unusual ability to absorb punishment, is also used in game as the name of a Special Trait that allows Characters to do the same. Dex has it, baby - he has it in spades.
  • Pg 168-9: Deep Pockets, Way Cool Gadget, Heroic Rescue, Ignorance is Bliss - in Horror Rules, each Character choses a Character Type which gives them a special one-time ability to help get out of tight scrapes (like fighting an enraged vampiress in her boudoir); these are the names of the specific Character Powers for each of the main characters, to whom the author has assigned a Character Type; in order they are VIP (Sister Becky), Propellorhead (Kiki), Action (Heroic Rescue) and Regular Joe (Carson).