Hello out there, and in case I don’t see you again before the 31st, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! The month of October has inspired a lot of activity on this blog. Maybe there’s something in the air this time of year. 🙂
If you have been following the interviews, you may know that I conducted a video interview with author Suzi M a couple months ago that still hasn’t been uploaded or shared. I have tons of fantastic video clips, but I’m encountering errors with Windows Movie Maker. If anyone out there can help, please contact me!
Last but not least, before we start the interview, I have a contest winner to announce. Bob Gemienhardt is the winner of last week’s contest and will receive 2 free Kindle books by author John Rose. Thank you to everyone who entered.
Now onto the Q & A!
Your upcoming book, Terms, has been descried as “a twisted tale of friendship and sacrifice”. Can you tell us more about it?
TERMS is a novel based on a script I was asked to write. I should be careful what I say, but I don’t know what will happen with the movie. After I wrote the script the project changed directors and the new director is currently working on a rewrite of the script to better fit his vision.
The book will be my story based on the brief concept I was given. I can’t really say very much more at this time, but I can’t wait to be able to release this book!
While visiting your blog, I noticed a picture of you with Clive Barker. I am jealous. Have you met many well-known authors? Whose work do you most admire the most?
Clive is a great guy. I’m really a fan of his art and only some of his writing, but I’m a big fan of him as a person.
I don’t try to meet authors very often. A lot of my favorites are dead. Meeting heroes and people who have been an influence can run the risk of being a disappointment. I’ve met a lot of well known people doing book signings at horror conventions. Some are real jerks and others are just cool people.
I did get to meet Chuck Palahniuk. He was incredible. He took a little bit of time to talk to me. I love Palahniuk and it was a great experience.
I also really enjoy reading Bret Easton Ellis, Etgar Keret, Raymond Carver, Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski. I read a lot of different stuff.
What inspires you?
I have a lot of inspirations. I’m influenced by all of the authors I’ve already mentioned. I’m also influenced by music that tells stories. I’m a big fan of Tom Waits and Nick Cave. I’m even influenced by screenwriters. I’ll watch a movie because I follow the writer’s work. Shane Black is one of my favorite screenwriters. I’m influenced by the people around me too. The people I love, hate or even just meet in passing become characters in my stories.
Happy Hour Blues is your second short story collection, Eclectic Collection being the first. Has your writing style changed at all since releasing your first book?
I hope I’ve grown as a storyteller. I have broken away from monsters and horror. I still write scary stuff but it’s more realistic. I think psychos, cannibals, and people breaking in your house are far more scary than some things that get considered horror.
I read there’s going to be a series of short films based on the stories from Happy Hour Blues. That is very exciting news. When can I get my hands on a DVD?
That is a good question. I wish I had an answer. Keep checking my website and the JABB Pictures website for that information.
You’ve served as editor on two anthologies: Forrest J Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead and Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction. What was it like putting these books together?
Both books were very different experiences.
The zombie anthology was a pain in the ass. I even gave up on it at one point. It was picked up by two different publishers but both went out of business before they published the book. It was heartbreaking and infuriating. There were also some egos to deal with before I completely restructured the list of authors and added a new co-editor. Once we had better stories and less egos, The late, great Forrest Ackerman joined the book and it took off from there, and we were eventually picked up and published by Black Bed Sheet Books. We still had a few problems after the book was released and it was only available through BBSB for a year. It was fun while it lasted.
There has been talk of re-releasing it under a new publisher and with a few changes.
Working on Fracas was fun for me. I picked the authors and most of them are my friends. It didn’t come out exactly how I wanted, but the content is very solid. It really is a strong little book. My favorite part was working with my sister, as my co-editor.
With both books I’ve been blessed with amazing co-editors.
You’re currently working on a new anthology, Quixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories. The tales in this book run the gamut from dramatic, to horrific, to bizarre. When did you decide to put together an anthology that doesn’t conform to a specific genre? Do you think it makes for a more interesting read?
I have had a lot of people tell me that they didn’t even know that they liked my style of stories until they gave them a chance. I really don’t limit myself to any genre in my work. I also noticed how many great stories were just love stories. Every genre has great love stories. Why not combine all of the genres and hit the same heartstrings?
It all clicked in my head, though, when I read the quote: “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” – Orson Welles
You’ve been to a lot of conventions and book signings. What draws you to these events? Any interesting convention stories you’d like to share?
I love the people. I have made fantastic friends doing these shows and it is a great way network with other creative types.
I have a lot of interesting convention stories. I don’t think I could pick just one. I could almost write a book about it.
You mentioned to me that you have a writer’s group. Is it important to you to get feedback on your stories? Likewise, do you enjoy helping fellow authors improve their work?
I don’t know if I have helped other writers. I think that if someone wants to be a writer all they have to do is write. I don’t think the drive to write can be taught and the ability to tell a story is a gift. The technical stuff is what can be taught. I’m not even sure I have a very strong grasp on the technical end.
I think a writers group is good because you get the chance to talk to other writers and see what they are working on. It is a trust thing, but it also works like a kick in the ass. A lot of times if another member of the group is writing a ton of new stuff, it can be motivating.
The group is also good because other writers have different ideas and ways of thinking. Sometimes this is a blessing when you get stuck. Other times it can be a annoying but it’s a way to get fresh ideas and break away from your comfort zone to find new challenges.
What advice would you give to a writer who is just beginning to take the craft seriously, who would like to get published but isn’t sure what to do?
My only advice is from the Bukowski school of thought. If you want to be a writer, write something. The publishing world is a scary place. It is full of great people, but there are even more jerks. Write what you want to write and don’t worry about anything else. Just write. Write the book you want to read and it will find an audience.
Is there anything else you’d like to discuss that I haven’t touched on in these questions?
I think you covered the important stuff. These were very good questions. Thanks for having me!
Where can we find you on the web?
I am all over the interweb. I can be found on Facebook, Goodreads and I’m on Twitter: @JTravisGrundon and my website/ blog is: jtravisgrundon.blogspot.com
I am also on Amazon. You can find all of my book there! Please, check out my newest book Happy Hour Blues. I’m pretty proud of this one!