Sunday, November 20, 2011

M.R. interviews..........J.F. Gonzalez

Please welcome J.F. Gonzalez 

When writing Clickers with Mark Williams did you realize you would
write two sequels with Brian Keene? How did this all come to

No, of course not. I didn't know Brian then. Mark and I wrote Clickers between 1993 and 1996 and I didn't meet Brian until the 2000 World Horror Convention in Denver, when Clickers has already been out for seven months as an ebook and had just been released as a trade paperback (the first paperback release was launched at that convention). We had no intention on this book to become a series. It wasn't until 2005 when the book had attained somewhat of an underground cult status that I thought I would like to take a stab at a sequel. By then, Mark had passed away rather unexpectedly and I didn't want to do a sequel by myself out of respect for him. I needed a collaborator that I could mesh creatively with, the way Mark and I did, and Brian was the perfect choice. They never met, but the two of them had quite a lot in common, primarily a love for classic horror films and fiction, comic books, and heavy metal. Not only that, Brian had a love and appreciation for the kind of low budget cheesy kind of horror fiction Mark and I were paying homage to in Clickers - that was important.

What are some of the advantages to co-authoring a novel?

When it works, collaborations are wonderful. Having the extra set of eyes, of course, is a benefit, but when you have somebody as absorbed in the story as you are, it just gives you that added boost to the creative process. When you find a collaborator you can click with on every level of the story - narrative flow, plot, prose, structure, theme - it's quite a magical process.

Do you find it easier to write Supernatural Horror such as
Shapeshifter, and The Beloved or less fantastical works such as

Not really. The same amount of effort goes into writing each.

Of the characters you have created, which draws the strongest personal
connection for you? How so?

Hard to say, really. I remember when I was writing The Beloved; I channeled some personal angst and frustration into Elizabeth Weaver's character. I was going through the same thing she was at the time - somebody with a full-time job and a part-time job as a writer who was also trying to balance family life and the responsibilities of raising a child. Tim Gaines from Back From the Dead also drew a personal connection for me due to his love of horror novels. I was just like him as a kid.

What literary character had the most indelible impact on you? In what way?

That's even tougher. I can't really say. There's so many of them, for different reasons.
What was the first truly scary book you remember reading?

Again, hard to say about books (novels), but I can tell you what the first truly scary horror short story was I read. "Sweets to the Sweet" by Robert Bloch. I read it when I was ten years old, in an anthology of horror stories my mother gave me. Even then I was drawn to the scary stuff, and most of my reading up until that time was comic books and juveniles (Hardy Boys, The Three Investigators). Reading that Bloch story opened Pandora's Box for me. I haven't been the same ever since.
Do you have any projects coming down the pipeline you would like share with us?

Clickers vs. Zombies by Brian Keene and myself has just been turned in to Bloodletting Press for a 2012 release. I'm working on a short novel called The Killers with Wrath James White for Sinister Grin Press that we're both very excited about. I'm in the final stages of finishing a novella for Delirium Books called "Sins of the Father". Aside from that, there's a few screenplay projects and a novel I want to get back to, and the ambitious reprinting of my backlist in new digital and trade paperback formats. There will be some short stories down the pike too. I hardly write short stories these days, and for the first time in years I've started writing them again, mostly on spec, just for the love of doing it. 

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