Ginger Nuts of Horror
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
You bet, Jim. I am going to assume that you are going to prefer some information about me that relates to not only my writing, but my fascination with the horrible and the macabre, so I will bend the trend in that direction.
I was raised under the fist, and one of the worst things that can happen to a child happened to me. My childhood had long stretches that played out like a reallife horror movie. I learned to live inside my head, compartmentalize the hurt, and still be free. I managed to keep the good parts of me alive, somehow, but I do darkness well.
Currently, I am finishing up an Associate’s Degree in Behavioral Health Sciences. I would like to make a difference. I would like to push back the tide of darkness that is rolling everforward. That tide is child abuse. It molds children into monsters, addicts, victims, and more. It is an issue that needs to be faced.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I exercise to the point of collapse in an effort to dull the edge of the anger I feel at the injustices I see visited on people. I like to take my two Doggies for a jog. The boy, Luke, he has hipdysplasia, so he rides in a wagon that is attached to the LC2 harness and belt that I wear. My girl Dog, Ginny, she jogs as far as she can, and then I load her in the wagon, and finish the run.
I also like to build selfdefense items from rope and paracord.
What’s your favourite food?
Favourite food? Sheesh! That is a tough question, mainly because I like so many different foods. If I have to pick one, at this moment I will have to go with cheese. Cheese is a magical manifestation of milk that makes me very happy.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
I am cracking up right now because I recently heard “The Irish Rover” sung by The Pogues, and I thought, “Holy crap! That’s me right now.” However, a few moments later, I heard “The Sick Note” by the Dubliners, and said, “Oh. Now that is me!” I choose “The Sick Note” until further notice. I am a bit whimsical, so that may change.
Tell us a dirty little secret?
You’ll be wanting something juicy, I assume? How about this little gem: I once urinated on a man at a party after he called a woman a bitch. He had no reasonable excuse for his bad behaviour. She told him she did not want to dance with him, and he grabbed her arm, leaned in, and cussed at her. I walked over, whipped out the staff of justice, and soaked him from the belly down. I even shook it off on him. He never did a thing. The woman smiled about it, though, and everyone else had a good laugh.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t go to Mexico.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
I went to Mexico on a trip, and ended up in prison down in Nogales, Sonora. I survived. That was all I could do. That is what my characters find out; sometimes all you can hope for is to survive another day.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Now we’re talking! Man, where do I start? Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Allan Poe, Larry Niven, Roger Zelazny, and the list just goes on. I know, I know, those are not horror authors, right? Like I said, my life played out all horrorshow, so I have that with me all the livelong day. I do read horror, though. H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, to just name two. I read whatever feels right at the moment.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
You know? The book that pops into my head is Ian McClellan’s latest book, One Undead Step. It was a great read. The last book that disappointed me would have to be Leviathan by James Byron Huggins. I had really enjoyed some of his work. I mean REALLY enjoyed it. Leviathan was an enormous letdown. It was a miserable read.
What is your alltime favourite horror novel, and film?
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. That book is creeps piled on creeps. My favourite horror film is Halloween. The original one. Because in that movie, Michael Meyers is just a man. Broken as a child, and hard as the Devil’s pitchfork behind all his crazy. Too bad he couldn’t have turned all that crazy in a positive direction. Like, he could have massacred child molesters or the people who run those Dogfighting rings.
If you could erase one horror cliché what would it be?
The people who always trip. Oh, and all the screaming. That shit sets my teeth on edge.
Which fictional character would be you perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
Conan the Cimmerian would be my ideal neighbour. He has a crude code of honor, and won’t steal from his neighbors, but he could be counted on when the hammer drops. My nightmare neighbour? The damned Candyman! “Catherine.” His voice makes me want to start shooting. That dude, Tony Todd, he played that part so well.
If you could kill off any character from any other book who would you chose and how would they die?
Susan, from the Spencer series by Robert B. Parker. I can’t stand her. I stopped reading the books because of her character. I don’t wish her ill, I just want her gone. She could pass away quietly in her sleep. That would be fine.
And if you had free range what fictional character would you like to write for?
Dr. Jekyll, well, and Mr. Hyde, of course. I think I could do that lovely couple proud.
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
I think the horror genre is alive and well, albeit oversaturated with crap. It seems that some people confuse demented nonsense with horror. Horror is not a grossout game; it is a game of terror. Horror needs to see the edges of our reality peeled back to expose the raw nerves of our psyches.
What do you think is the biggest problem facing horror fiction right now?
The glut of unpolished turds that keep getting floated into the pool of books. It makes people leery, and unwilling to try new books by new authors. Every twisto with a ‘puter can sit down and bang out a “book,” and then selfpublish it. The problem is, those pieces of garbage get in the way of people finding good reads. It is like rooting through a pile of feces for a grain of rice.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
One person was so upset by the death of one of the characters that they gave me a onestar review. That means that person was so invested in my story, that the death of the character slammed into them hard. It made that person FEEL.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Staying on task. I like to move, and it can be difficult just sitting at the computer to write.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
There is nothing I will skip if it needs to be said. I will not, however, write out scenes that describe in detail any rapes, child abuse, or things of that nature. I mention it, and then deal with it. I truly hope that my readers are not the kind of people who want to read detailed accounts of rape.
What do you think makes a good story?
The story has to draw me in, and make me a part of it. I want a hero or heroine that faces terrible odds, but does not give up. I want blood and guts, I want a little love, and a whole lot of action.
How important are names to you in your books?
Ahhh. Names. In most cases, I just pick any old name. I try to make sure I don’t have a bunch of names that start with the same letter, though!
What tools do you feel are musthaves for writers?
A dictionary, a willingness to admit that they don’t know every damned thing, and life experience.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
“If you would be a reader, then read. If you would be a writer, write.” Epictetus.
What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
I don’t know. I don’t think I have been demeaned as a writer, to be honest. I have had fair criticisms, but nothing demeaning.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I just post links all over hell and gone, and I print up little images of the book cover, and leave them at public places.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
Jango, because he is everyone. He has a little of us all in that crazy head of his.
How about the least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Mr. Banks is my least favourite because he profits from blood and sex. He is a predator.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Jango’s Anthem is pretty powerful, but my newest book, Rage and Ruin is my favourite right now.
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
My first attempt at writing The Road to Hell is Paved With Zombies. Man, that was BAD! I gutted it, and rewrote the entire thing.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, what book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
That is tough. I cannot choose because each of my books is a piece of me. I lay down the bones of my screams on those pages.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on the fourth book in my Zombie Fighter Jango series. It gets nextlevel violent.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
I wish people would ask about the exercise routine I created. The Zombie Fighter Jjango workout. I built it from the ground up. You don’t need any equipment, and the workout will make you strong fast. Anyone can do it. I even have seated versions for folks with injuries that make standing difficult.
I just want to say, Jim, thank you for interviewing me. I appreciate you, and I dig your website, Ginger Nuts of Horror.
Disconnected from humanity, alone, waging a relentless and unending war against the ravening hordes of the living dead, Jango has finally found peace. He has thrived on the endless slaughter of the Apocalypse Road, and in his peace has become something more than human, and something less than human.
His peace is suddenly shattered when a woman and her child fall into the clutches of a foul gang, and he feels compelled to help them. The violent insanity that ensues will leave you breathless as Jango brings justice to the innocents, and rage and ruin to the wicked.
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