Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror: Author Interviews ~ Alex S. Johnson

Hey everyone, here is another installment of my Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2017 author interviews! Up to the plate today is Alex S. Johnson! His answers are in green.

1) Is this your first year participating in the LGoH? 

Second year.

2) If you’ve written for previous LGoH anthologies, list the story titles and years.

 LGOH 2016.

3) What is your preferred genre? 

Fabulism—as in the fabulous, or fable-like, tales of writers such as Vladimir Nabokov, Franz Kafka, Nicolai Gogol, Neil Gaiman, China Mieville.

4) What other titles do you have published? 

I’ve had many stories published in magazines and anthologies—Terror Train and Terror Train 2, Ugly Babies, Surreal Nightmares and much more from James Ward Kirk Fiction, Tall Tales with Short Cocks from Rooster Republic, Bizarro Central, etc. I did a work for hire novel for New Line Cinema spinning off the Jason X movie, titled Death Moon. I’ve put together several collections of my stories and poetry such as Skull Vinyl and the Doom Hippies, and MorbidBooks has issued Doctor Flesh: Director’s Cut and Wicked Candy.

5) Where do you get your ideas? 

I’m not sure where they reside, but they seem to live in that space where I’m not purposefully concentrating on any one thing, and sort of letting my mind travel, particularly after highly organized work and thinking, which amounts to the same thing. I like to do what I call “mulching,” which is reading and watching a wide variety of different kinds of entertainment or informational sources with no particular goal other than collecting the material in my subconscious, and later, just watching to see what has stuck.

6) Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

When the writing is good, it’s like going into a light trance, a pleasantly alternative state of consciousness where all that exists is the logistics of making the story better once it’s arrived from my fingertips intact in its basic form.

7) Do you write for yourself or your audience? 

I like to think that somewhere out there, there are people like myself who will get all the references to culture, other writers, art, movies, music, history, and so forth, who are equally voracious about their culture and want to be immersed in cool media 24/7 if they possibly can be. When I write for myself, I’m writing for those others, some of whom I know, most of whom I don’t. Surprisingly enough for a writer whose work is so weird and experimental, I have readers who get exactly what I’m doing and want more of it.

8) What other authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer? 

My closest writer friend is a guy named Chris Ropes, who I met when we were both associated with an “extreme” horror publisher. Since then, over a few years, we both went our ways from that publisher—I was forced out and he quit in protest. But if nothing else, that connection began a conversation that has lasted for what, four years now. He’ll call me up from his home in New Jersey—I’m in California—and we’ll have these long, rambling talks that cover everything from postmodern philosophy to the best Slurpee flavors. Usually I’ll come off the phone so inspired from some throwaway bit of business that emerged from our conversation I’ll go directly to writing that story. For example, that’s how I got the story “Barking Squirrels” which was published in Bizarro Central. It’s magic, it nearly always happens between us. Our styles and approaches have very, very little in common, but we’re very good for each other.

9) What was the hardest scene to write? 

There’s a scene in my novelette “Shattergirl” in which this insane homeless lady has kidnapped my protagonist and forces her and her husband to have a ménage a trois with a corpse. Because the setting and the whole tenor of that story is ultra-realistic—very rare for me—it went beyond just an awful but ultimately surreal nightmare situation into something I had to envision as it might literally occur. While I was writing that scene I felt very uncomfortable. I’m gratified to have a reader who works near the story’s setting and wrote a review where she called the story “harrowing” because she could precisely imagine it happening to her. That’s a true compliment.

10) Do you Google yourself? 

Yes, I admit I have self-Googled.

11) Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? 

Yes and no. Some of the scenes in my least realistic stories actually happened to me in life, whereas my most realistic stories are often the least based on fact.

12) Do you have any little known facts you’d care to reveal to us now? 

My story “Deatherz” in the Rejected for Content: Splattergore anthology was based on a real party I attended in 2011, that I was invited to on my birthday. The porn-set background is real. A number of the details of my goth-rock star protagonist, Razor Blakk, belong to an actual person. 


Alex, thank you so much for participating in this interview! It gives a whole new insight to how other authors operate and what sort of works inspire them.

You can find out more about Alex S. Johnson in the links below:



Facebook Author Page

Thank you, everyone, for dropping by. Hope you have a great week!

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