Trick-or-Treat Thrillers is pleased to present our interview with Jeremy Peterson, author of the recently published book A Devil in God’s Country.
His novel is an apocalyptic thriller, where a deadly plague pits man versus man and threatens to reverse six million years of evolution. It is an intriguing concept written with a nail-biting pace. This is a highly compelling first novel and a must read.
Thank you for speaking with us today, Jeremy!
1) What gave you the idea for your book A Devil in God’s Country?
It sounds a bit clichéd, but the idea came to me in a dream. In 2010, I dreamt about a small group of strangers huddled together in a third floor apartment. At the time, I didn’t know why the strangers were thrust together but they witnessed this horribly violent attack in the street. It was man versus man but the attacker had this animal mentality that I couldn’t quite place. It wasn’t until much later, with the help of my wife, that I pinpointed the animal qualities. The human attackers moved like apes or rabid monkeys, which made me think of Darwin’s theory of evolution, and just like that, the idea was born. What if evolution flipped into reverse and humans devolved back to their caveman/ape-like selves. And what if they were pissed about it and in no mood to talk peaceably.
2) Is this your first published book?
Yes, it is. I’ve had short stories published in various anthologies the past few years but this is my first published novel.
3) What got you into writing horror?
I have a strange relationship with the horror world. I’m a child of the eighties, which was a decade dominated by slasher movies. My cousin loved those films and always made me watch them but they didn’t really do much for me. I did, however, at the impressionable age of twelve, fall in love with the movie Stand By Me. Shortly after that, my mom dragged me to the bookstore and I spotted Stephen King’s book, Different Seasons with the Stand By Me movie poster on the cover. She bought it for me and I proceeded to read it a couple million times! Over the next few years, I devoured everything Stephen King wrote and my love of a good horror story was born. I still prefer my horror on the page as opposed to the movie screen but ultimately, if the story is cool, then I’m down and willing to give it a try. I probably read more thriller and suspense these days then horror but when I sit down to write, my horror roots just seem to take over.
4) What are you doing next?
My next project is a twisted little novel called Mr. Bleaker. It’s probably best described as a coming-of-age story gone horribly wrong. I’m really excited about it and I can’t wait for you all to read it! It should be available towards the end of the year from Back Road Books.
5) What is it like being a published horror writer? What does your family and friends think?
It’s awesome. It really is a dream come true and I hope my family and friends are proud of me…but I guess you’d have to ask them.
6) What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Great question. You should ask someone who knows what they are talking about;)
I think the most important thing is also the most obvious. Read and write every day. Carve out some time to do these two things or you’re screwed. There is no way around that, I’m afraid. Also, learn to live with a little rejection and never, and I mean NEVER, respond to a negative review. It’s a bad look for everyone involved.
Ultimately, I write for myself. If somebody likes my work and pays me a couple buck to read it, that’s pretty damn cool!
Thanks for having me, Roma. It was fun!