Monday, October 5, 2015

J.D. HORN: Interview

On behalf of Halloweenpalooza, thanks so much for agreeing to participate. Lets start with some quickies:
Favorite horror movie: The Fearless Vampire Killers
Favorite guilty pleasure: Pretty Little Liars
Dogs or cats: Both, but have a special place in my heart for Chihuahuas.
Ever carve a pumpkin (Yes or No): Of course! Went way overboard a few years.
Favorite Halloween candy: Banana Laffy Taffy. Judge me if you must.
Favorite color:  Blue
Favorite quote: “Everything will turn out right, the world is built on that.” Mikhail Bulgakov, from THE MASTER AND MARGARITA
Favorite monster: Oh, gosh, gotta go with the vampire.
1.      What brought you over to writing about the dark side?  
Always fascinated by the paranormal.  Influenced very early on by “Dark Shadows,” “The Night Stalker,” and “Night Gallery.” Also, read Stephen King way too young for my own good.
2.      What is it about your work that you’d like readers to take away? 
What makes J.D. Horn unique? I try to write so that my stories can be read on multiple levels. My characters, though all flawed to some degree, have life in them. Also, I toss a mean plot twist.
3.      Could you please give us a small excerpt from any of your books that exemplifies what you do best?
Frank and Bayard are two of my favorite characters from my upcoming Southern Gothic Horror, SHIVAREE.  They’re violent, amoral, and dull-witted, but still—I hope—compelling.

“It’s for you,” Nola called to Frank from behind the bar. “Looks like folks think this is your office.”
Truth was, Frank had come to feel more at home in this windowless, whitewashed concrete block bunker of a bar than he did anywhere else. No signs, no windows, three and a half miles down a dead-end dirt road, the bar was hidden well enough that the fine upstanding people of Conroy wouldn’t call upon the Judge to shut down the only watering hole in this damned dry county. Everyone in the know called the bar “Nola’s Place,” but Nola herself didn’t own it. She only ran it. Nope, this fine establishment belonged to Judge Lowell himself. Only a handful of people knew that, though, Frank being one of them.
Frank fingered the dart he was holding, annoyed at the interruption of his practice. “Give it to him,” he said, nodding toward Bayard, who was sitting at the bar making love to a glass of sour mash bourbon.
Frank and Bayard had grown up together, but you’d never guess it. Even though he was barely thirty, Bayard looked like an old man now—all that remained of his coppery hair was a few unsightly tufts over his ears. He always looked tired; the puffy bags that bulged beneath his eyes forced them into a tight squint and enhanced Bayard’s resemblance to a pig even more than the flesh that lapped over his belt buckle. Frank felt disgust for the way his short, balding partner hung over his stool in every direction. Seeming to feel the weight of Frank’s eyes, Bayard turned to face him and peered at him down his purple-veined nose with bloodshot blue eyes.
Nola shook her head. “Sorry, sugar, they’re asking for you.”
“Who is it?” Frank asked, but her only response was to raise her eyebrows and thrust the receiver in his direction. Nola was well past her prime. Probably old enough to be his mother. But she was still well put together, and she was all woman. Ratted bleached blonde hair tumbled around her shoulders—her cuffs and collar didn’t match at all, but Frank didn’t mind—and smudgy bright red lipstick stained the cigarette dangling from her lips.
Frank didn’t have a taste for Sunday school teachers, so Nola and her hardened look suited him just fine. Besides, her age made it possible for him to have her anytime he wanted without a rubber, and that was real nice. Today, though, he was thinking it might be nicer to give her something other than that cigarette to rub her lipstick off on. He felt himself stiffening at the thought.
Nola whisked the cigarette from between her lips and flicked ashes into an already-full tray. “Come on, don’t keep your boyfriend waiting,” she said. Nola had gotten real cocky with him since he’d finally started slipping it to her, but he didn’t really mind that either. He liked some fire in his women.
He threw the dart he’d been holding, landing it dead in the bull’s-eye. Quick. Clean. Efficient. Just the way he liked to deliver. He ran a hand through his thick black hair and headed for the bar. As he took the receiver from Nola, he grasped her hand around it, forcing her to look into his eyes. He held on until he saw the flash he wanted to see, the spark that told him Nola wanted exactly what he had to offer. Then he loosened his grip, and she let the receiver slide into his fingers.
4.      What scares you?
Have you had any encounters with the supernatural? Terrified of snakes. Terrified of people who think they hold all the answers. Yes—I have had encounters with the supernatural.  I’ve seen a full body apparition, and once lived in a house with poltergeist activity.
5.      If you were forced to spend the night at one allegedly haunted location, where would it be and what would you hope to learn? 
Forced? Forced? Let me at it. I’ve stayed more than once in purportedly haunted hotels, but had no experiences in them. I would love to spend a few nights at the Bisbee Grand Hotel in Arizona, but don’t anticipate getting down that way anytime soon. I was supposed to spend a few nights this October at the Stanley Hotel, but had to change my plans. Would still like to spend time there. What would I hope to learn? What happens next.
6.      You’re walking alone down a dark alley, what’s the one character you’ve created that you would most want to not encounter? Why?  
I wouldn’t want to encounter Bayard. Even though there’s nothing supernatural about him, his hobbies include torture and sneaking into houses to watch people sleep.
7.      If you could channel one master of horror that’s passed, who would it be and what do you think the result of your collaboration would be?
Michael McDowell. Together we could create one gorgeous Southern Gothic Horror soap opera.
8.      What’s the best memory you have of celebrating Halloween?
We didn’t really celebrate it while I was growing up, so I’d say my favorite memories came after 30, when I bought my own house and got to go over the top decorating for the holiday.
9.      In terms of your readers, do you like feedback? What’s the best thing a reader has ever said or done?
Yeah, I don’t know about this one. “Feedback” is such a loose term. I try to avoid reviews. I was advised early on to consider those as meant for other readers and not for authors.  Questions, I like. I like chatting with people online.
Probably the coolest thing a reader has ever done was to drive two and a half hours to meet me when they heard I was  going to be in Savannah.  
10.   What’s next for J.D. Horn? What are your upcoming plans?
First, I have to finish JILO, the prequel to the Witching Savannah series.  It’s due to the publisher Oct 1, and set to come out sometime in 2016. After that, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of doing a mystery series set in my old neighborhood in Portland, so I may step away from the Horror genre for a bit. Probably not for long, though. Paranormal is my first love. 
J.D. Horn was raised in rural Tennessee, and has since carried a bit of its red clay in him while travelling the world, from Hollywood, to Paris, to Tokyo. He studied comparative literature as an undergrad, focusing on French and Russian in particular. He also holds an MBA in international business and worked as a financial analyst before becoming a novelist. He and his spouse, Rich, and their pets have settled, at least temporarily, just outside Sisters, Oregon,

Four print copies of J.D. Horn’s new thriller  SHIVAREE! Because these are print copies, winners are limited to U.S. and Canada!
To win: go to the Official FB Event Page; find the post announcing  today’s giveaway; and comment, “I WANT TO WIN” in that post and you just might!!!
As the Korean War ends, practical and well-mannered army nurse Corinne Ford returns stateside to live in the Mississippi town of Conroy with her new fiancé, Private First Class Elijah Dunne. She wonders if their love is strong enough to overshadow their differences, but upon her arrival to Elijah's backwoods stomping grounds, she understands that culture shock is the least of her worries.
After four good ol’ boys are attacked in the night while seeking to terrorize a local black family, decades of buried secrets begin to rise. From Conroy’s most powerful citizen—known as “the Judge”—to the man Corinne intends to marry, no one is innocent. Yet the deepest secret of all involves the beautiful, cruel, and dead Miss Ruby. The former belle of Conroy, and Elijah’s lost love, is neither forgotten nor truly gone. But her death is only the beginning of a slow vengeance that won’t stop until its hunger is satisfied.


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