Ginger Nuts of Horror
Geddy’s Moon is John Mulhall’s debut novel. In addition to being an award winning video and event producer, John is also the author of a collection of poetry, several short stories, and plays. He began developing Geddy’s Moon more than twenty years ago at age nineteen, but he promises his next novel won’t take quite so long. He lives in Newbury Park, California, where he is the President/CEO of a creative agency.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I live by myself in Southern California where I run a creative agency, and write. I’ve always been a creative guy, a storyteller, even from childhood. My family is small, and most live nearby, which is great. And I have a tight knit group of friends, many of whom I’ve known since high school. I study jujitsu, and love books and movies and music, anything that speaks to the creativity inside of me.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Horror is perfectly fine for me. I think sometimes people shy away from the term, almost like it’s bad language or offensive, but I really like it. Horror has a rich history. Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, Poe, Lovecraft, Matheson, Wells, Verne…they all fit within the category of horror. That’s pretty good company, and nothing to shy away from.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Well, I’m all over the place, honestly. I love horror writers, of course, such as the ones I mentioned, along with McCammon, Barker, Rice, Gaiman, King. But I also am a huge fan of other mediums. I’m as heavily influenced by filmmakers like Tarantino and Spielberg and Hitchcock as I am by writers like Rowling and Ellison. It’s hard for me to boil it down because there are so many wonderful, creative people to appreciate and take inspiration from.
What are you reading now?
Nothing at the moment, actually. I was reading The Great Book of Amber, but I stop reading when I start writing. I kind of need to have only my voice in my head when I’m in that mode.
Which book do you wish you had written?
A Boy’s Life by McCammon. That book really spoke to me. But the thing is, I couldn’t have written that book. It’s so true to him, and his experiences. The same exact story would’ve felt utterly false coming from me. I can only write what I know. The amazing thing is that at the core of our unique experiences is truth, and that’s something we can all relate to. When you hear it, it makes you want to raise your hand and say, “Over here! I get it. That’s me too.” Even though the actual experiences an author is writing about might be utterly foreign to us, we recognize the humanity within almost instantly.
If you could use any other author’s creation in your own work, who or what would you use?
Hmmm, I’m typically not quick to want to use what’s come before in a literal way. Even as a child, when I’d play with my Star Wars action figures, I’d give them new names, and create new scenarios. I liked the archetypes – rogue, dreamer, mercenary, villain, faithful friend – but I always wanted to create new stories. I think I’d love to have other authors’ creations turn up in the fantasies of my own characters, because I think that’s how we, especially as children, begin to build our own mythologies. But as for the stories themselves, I want them to be my own.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I feel like I give the most boring answers to these types of questions, because I really don’t. I have no routine. I have no typical day. No ritual. I just write. I typically have goals as far as output, and I sit down and do it. Sometimes it’s a beautiful experience, and sometimes it’s just painful. James Thurber said, “Don’t get it right, get it written.” That’s something I try and live by.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
At the moment, it’s Geddy’s Moon. I got an amazing review from an 18-year-old young man the other day, where he said that he’d never liked reading, but that Geddy’s Moon changed his mind about that. That’s the highest praise I could imagine. Reading has had such a profound impact on my life, huge. To think of being responsible – even in some small way – for introducing that into someone else’s life, that makes me proud.
What is the hardest lesson you have learned with regards to your writing?
That thinking about writing isn’t enough. It doesn’t do any good for me to have wonderful ideas in my head. I have to sit down, and get them out. Just starting is sometimes the biggest obstacle for me.
What do you like to do to relax?
I’m bad at that. I tend to need to keep myself busy. I’m a bit of a workaholic. Family is important to me, and friends. Maybe being somewhere warm holding a tropical drink? I like rollercoasters a great deal.