Awesome Q&A with horror author John Grover. Friends, I love his work and he’s a hell of a nice guy to boot. Hop on over to his website here.
JG: Oh wow, I must have been about 10 years old or so, could have been even earlier. I was asked to write stories for a class in school and of course they always turned out to be a haunted house story or a monster living in a well. But what really inspired me were my English classes in High School. We were given the classics to read like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Shelley’s Frankenstein and even Shirley Jackson’s the Lottery. Even before I discovered Stephen King I had read lot’s of gothic books and loved them. I knew I wanted to write them.
BE: What genre/genres do you like writing in the most and why? What does one genre offer that the other doesn’t?
JG: I write in Horror, Fantasy and Sci-fi. I mostly write horror. That takes up most of my writing with fantasy being a close second. Horror will always be my first love. I’m not sure why I am so drawn to it, but I’ve always felt the darkness and the creepy was my home. I am fascinated and intrigued by the emotions it stirs and the universal questions of what’s out there or what is after this life. I think horror helps me wrap my mind around such questions. I also love writing fantasy because I get to create entire worlds at my whim and can make up the rules as I go along. With Fantasy anything is possible. There is a sense of adventure and a good against evil structure that I like. In fantasy you mostly have a virtuous hero but with horror everything is not so black and white and the hero does not always come out victorious. I like playing with both sides of horror and fantasy and sometimes combine them.
BE: What is the biggest epiphany you’ve had as a writer and how did it change your work?
JG: I guess that would be when I got reader feedback for the first time. It made my soul soar. I was being read and they also liked it. As a writer you always get that feeling that your writing might just suck or that you should just keep your day job, but when you hear back from readers who are not your family it makes you want to write even more and get better at it.
BE: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
JG: Write every day. And don’t measure your success by others. Those two, at least for me, are gold.
BE: What do you think we need less of and more of in horror fiction today?
JG: For more lesser-known writers to be discovered… for readers to try authors they’ve never heard of. We need more original ideas and lesser-known writers are delivering! The same fiction seems to get published again and again with the same tropes—zombies, werewolves, vampires, serial killers. Those are great but I think we need new monsters, new ghosts to tell our tales.
BE: Which writers influences your work the most?
JG: Of course I would have to say the big ones like King, Koontz, Barker, Bradbury, Matheson and Jackson. However, I am also influenced by my peers and their successes….the lesser-known writers that I call friends such as K. H. Koehler, Jason Brannon, R. Thomas Riley, Rick Reed, Christopher Fulbright, Tim Curran and so many more.
BE: Do you think Hollywood has been kind to horror over the decades?
JG: I think it’s been an off and on thing. Some decades, horror has done really well and it’s been popular and they would churn out one horror after another. Then there are years when they don’t give two hoots about horror. What disappoints me the most is that I feel Hollywood doesn’t take it seriously and has been known not to invest any money in it, or to marketing it well or properly or to even shelf a movie that horror fans were looking forward to but they had deemed would not make enough money. This was the case with Trick R Treat which turned out to be an awesome movie and one of my yearly Halloween viewings. I think that Hollywood sometimes misses the point of horror and sees it as a junk food genre and a cash grab. I’d like to see more original tales come out rather than another sequel, remake or teen cash grab. There are so many ideas out there that could go from paper to film. They just have to take the risk!
BE: What do you have coming out soon? And can you tell us a little about it?
JG: Right now I’m working on a new post-apocalyptic horror book called Underground. Basically, it’s an war/adventure tale about the living fighting a losing battle against the dead and being forced to go underground from the hordes of undead but there is a twist… something I don’t want to give away just yet. Other than that, my newest Dark Fantasy book just came out. “Knightshade: Shadow Scourge, is an epic dark fantasy tale that is book 2 in the Knightshade series and the sequel to Knightshade: Perdition Bleeds.”
It’s live on Amazon now: https://www.amazon.com/Knightshade-Shadow-Scourge-Book-ebook/dp/B07DSGCPN2
You can find more of my work, including the ultimate compilation of my best short stories, spanning decades of my writing career: Best of Shadow Tales on Amazon or my website: http://www.shadowtales.com/
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