This week marks the international release of The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz, Kosmos by Adrian Laing, Night Shift by Robin Triggs and Think Your Self Lucky by Ramsey Campbell. All four books will be available in paperback, hardback, audio book and eBook from the 30th of November! To celebrate we are posting Q&As with all the authors and today it's Jonathan Janz.
Hi Jonathan, can you tell us what The Sorrows is about?
The Sorrows, an island off the coast of northern California, and its castle have been uninhabited since a series of gruesome murders in 1925. But its owner needs money, so he allows film composers Ben and Eddie and a couple of their female friends to stay a month in Castle Blackwood. Eddie is certain a haunted castle is just the setting Ben needs to find inspiration for a horror film.
But what they find is more horrific than any movie. Something is waiting for them in the castle. A malevolent being has been trapped for nearly a century. And he’s ready to feed.
That sounds great! How did the setting come about, and what about it stimulated your imagination?
My wife’s sister lives in Santa Rosa, California, where part of this book takes place. It’s not far from the ocean. One day, we all drove out there and hiked along the coast, and the windswept view, the awesome power and the air of mystery, it all worked its magic on me.
So it’s clear that the setting paid a big part in the creation of the story, but who are the people that influenced you most in the writing of the book?
Great question. This one, I’d say, is a weird fusion of Arthur Machen, Richard Matheson, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, and Richard Laymon. Oh, with a little bit of James Herbert thrown in for good measure.
Haunted houses (or castles for that matter) are staples of the genre, do you have any favorites?
I love Hell House (Richard Matheson), The Haunting of Hill House (Shirley Jackson), Sardonicus (Ray Russell), and The Great God Pan (which isn’t really a haunted house book, but is more a haunted person book).
Moving away form the book, can we talk about writing practices? Some writers enjoy working to music while others only write silence Did you write in silence, or to any particular music?
I write to Baroque music. It’s the perfect fusion of mystery, passion, and energy, and listening to it, the words just flow from my fingertips to the page. It also drowns out the ambient noise that I sometimes find distracting.
Where did you write?
Like most of my novels, this one was written in my home, in my writing room. It’s an inspiring setting filled with books and an aura of magic.
Is there any advice you can give someone starting to write?
You will only succeed if you love it, if you burn to write. If you’re not passionate about it, you need to get out, because that passion and determination will keep you going when things go badly. And they will go badly. You’ll be rejected, you’ll be discouraged, you’ll be told you’re not good enough. You’ll likely experience soul-sucking self-doubt. But if you love it enough, you’ll stay with it. That’s how you climb. By not quitting.
Before we finish, can we ask what you are writing now?
At the moment I’m editing a post-apocalyptic novel (the first of a planned series) and working on the second Children of the Dark book.
The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz is available in paperback, hardback, audio book and eBook from our website!
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012." The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story."
Check out all of the November Release blog posts!
- Flame Tree Press | November Release | 1 | Ramsey Campbell Q&A
- Flame Tree Press | November Release | 2 | Robin Triggs Q&A
- Flame Tree Press | November Release | 3 | Jonathan Janz Q&A
- Flame Tree Press | November Release | 4 | Adrian Laing Q&A
- Flame Tree Press | November Release | 5 | Upcoming Titles