Fantasy & Gothic Blog

FLAME TREE PRESS | March Releases | Jonathan Janz Q&A

Posted by Matteo Middlemiss

To celebrate our March releases we're posting Q&As with all three of the authors! To kick off the week we're asking Jonathan Janz about his new to Flame Tree Press title, Wolf Land! Check out what he said on today's blog!

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What is the book about?

A werewolf with a serious grudge attacks a group of twenty-eight-year-olds at their 10th high school reunion. Many folks die, but four are bitten and survive. The story examines how each of them changes and how different the paths are that they take.


What are the underlying themes?  

Not living up to your potential. Believing the lie that your environment tells you about yourself. The deceptive nature of physical appearances. How depraved humans can be. How noble people can be when they strive for their better natures.


Did real life experiences bring about any of the plot of this tale?

Yes. For one, I was an athlete in high school, was viewed as that by many around me, and saw myself largely that way. And man, was that reductive. Then, when that was taken away, and I went off to college, it took me awhile to redefine myself and see myself as something other than what I’d been. I became considerably more than I had been, but that process was a dispiriting one. I’d sold myself short and was angry at myself for doing that.

In WOLF LAND, several characters are angry with themselves for what they’ve become and for allowing the inertia of their environments define them. That came straight from my experiences.

What about the setting stimulated your imagination?

Well, from the ages of twelve to eighteen, I lived in Monticello, Indiana, a lake community exactly like Lakeview in my novel. The sights, the sounds, the people…it was all very authentic and easy to recapture because I lived through it as a teenager.


What are some of your favorite werewolf books?

Here are just a few:

THE WOLF’S HOUR, Robert McCammon


THE HOWLING Trilogy, Gary Brandner


DIARY OF A WEREWOLF, Joseph Payne Brennan

Who influenced you most in the writing of the book?

 Hmmm…Robert McCammon, Jack Ketchum, and Richard Laymon. How’s that for a combination?


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. 


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.


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.


What are you 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.


Thank you to Jonathan for taking the time to speak to us about his writing practices, his inspirations and telling us a little about Wolf Land. You can pick up this new FLAME TREE PRESS edition of his book, along with the other March releases, from Thursday the 14th March 2019. It will be available in paperback, hardback and ebook. Check out our website for details.

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." 

Since then Jonathan's work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz's Shadow Side. His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal, and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim. 
Jonathan's primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true.


Check out all of the March Release blog posts!


Topics: Flame Tree Press, Flame Tree Press Titles

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