Ginger Nuts of Horror
Today's guest is JG Faherty. A lifelong resident of New York's highly haunted Hudson Valley region, JG Faherty grew up amid Revolutionary War graveyards, haunted roads, and woods filled with ghostly apparitions. His varied professional career includes working as a resume writer, laboratory manager, accident scene photographer, zoo keeper, scientist, and salesman. He began writing fiction in 2001, and his short stories, poetry, and articles- have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Hmm. Let's see. The quick version: I grew up in Rockland Co., NY, which is steeped in ghostly history, dating back to the Revolutionary War. I played in old cemeteries, visited haunted houses, and tracked a bigfoot-like creature. I didn't start writing until I was 40, although I've had an intense love of horror/sci-fi/dark fantasy since I was old enough to read or watch movies. I cut my teeth on Godzilla, Frankenstein, and Dracula before I was in kindergarten, and I'm just as rabid a fan now. My day job is owning and running a resume business, www.a-perfect-resume.com, and I enjoy playing the guitar and watching dumb comedies.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
For a while, I went with Dark Fiction. Then Horror. These days, I am leaning towards Supernatural Thrillers, because it seems to get more people interested in the books.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Wow. Too many to name! Let's see...Karl Edward Wagner, Stephen King, Robert McCammon, F. Paul Wilson, Michael McBride, Shaun Jeffrey, Nancy Holder, Joe McKinney, Jon Maberry, Peter Straub, Preston & Child...I could sit here forever and do this!
What are you reading now?
I just finished INHERITANCE by Joe McKinney, and next I'm going to be starting a couple of YA novels I picked up because I'm thinking my next book might be another YA title, but maybe for middle grades. Not sure yet.
Which book do you wish you had written?
Whichever was the last one to make a million dollars! What I think you're getting at, though, is which book do I wish I'd written based on the superior quality of the work. In that case, it would probably be either INSOMNIA by King, because I just love the prose in that book, or THE INVISIBLE MAN by H.G. Wells, because think about it – since that book came out, there's hardly been another book or movie (other than adaptations) dealing with an invisible human that has delivered something original to that concept. Other archetypes, such as Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein, etc., have had thousands of stories written about them, with multiple original ideas. But not The Invisible Man.***
If you could use any other author’s creation in your own work, who or what would you use?
Pennywise the Clown. I'd love to see him get into it with my on Proprietor from CARNIVAL OF FEAR. Two badass supernatural circus figures duelling it out for supremacy.
Describe typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. I edit for about ½ hour in the morning, first thing, then do a regular day's work, and then write for about an hour in the afternoon. On the weekends I'll write 2-4 hours in the morning, depending on what else I have planned for that day. Sometimes I like a piece of chocolate or a cup of coffee while I write, to help me focus. Also, it has to be quiet. No noise, no interruptions, no music.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Hmmm. My two favorite novels of my own are CARNIVAL OF FEAR and my latest, THE BURNING TIME. My novella THE COLD SPOT is a real chiller. Out of my short stories, "Bones," "Guests in the Attic," "The Great Zombie Invasion of 1979," and one I have coming out later this year, "The Fishhook Prophecy."
What is the hardest lesson you have learned with regards to your writing?
Make that 'lessons.' One, you need to have thick skin. Not everyone will like your writing, and if you can't handle rejections and/or editorial changes, you're screwed. Two, just because you think your writing is as good or better than what you see published – and you could be right! – doesn't mean publishers will. Live with it. And three, you'll get nowhere in this business if you don't work hard and constantly get better. You still might go nowhere, but at least you'll have a better chance!
What do you like to do to relax?
I watch TV at night. I read. I play the guitar. My wife and I go for long walks with and without our dog. We like to have friends over, and also go out to dinner with friends. I cook. I do some photography. I do a bit of urban exploring now and then. I don't bathe in the blood of small children or perform pagan rituals in the woods, despite what some people think!
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My most recent book is THE BURNING TIME, a sort of throw-back tale of good vs. evil. I say throw-back because it relies more on suspense and subtle chills than it does gore and guts. It is the story of a country mage going up against an ancient evil that is trying to open the doors to another dimension and let loose the Elder Gods to create a world where anarchy and chaos rule. It combines southern magic, Native American folklore, and Lovecraftian monsters into a complex plot with a dash of romance thrown in. Fans of Lovecraft, Charles L. Grant, Karl Edward Wagner, and other masters of mystical terror will enjoy it.
As for what I'm working on now, I have no novels in the pipeline for next year, at least not yet. I've got three I'm trying to sell. I'll have at least three short stories out in 2013, if not more. I'm presently writing a couple of novels (I have a bit of ADD when it comes to writing, and I'm always working on more than one project at a time), one of which is really, really creepy. I have high hopes for that one!