Book Name and Description: HUSKER – new release
What gave you the idea for HUSKER?
I saw an ear of corn being shucked, and the rest you can deduce as to how a horror writer’s mind works.
What got you into writing in this genre?
Well, I have mentioned this many times and you can even find it on my website (www.auteurmj.com), but it was my Mom. I urge you to go to the about section of my site, I’m sure it will put a smile on your lips.
How long have you been writing?
I started in my early teens, but didn’t get serious about it until I was let go from my full time job as a network IT professional in 2008 at the height of the U.S. recession, that I decided to dive into screenplays, where I have had some minor success, but then thought about authoring.
Tell us about your past books and stories?
My first book “A Collection of Dark Short Stories and Poetry” was my toe dip into self-publishing and writing. In this book you can find a few of the stories I wrote as a teenager such as “The Art of Killing” and “Friend.” I updated them of course. It is a short book with five stories and several poems. “Legacy” was my first attempt at a full length novel. I have always been a rabid fan of the werewolf genre, and to me, there really hasn’t been a decent modern day retelling of Grimm’s Red Riding Hood, until now. My next release is called “HUSKER.” It isn’t for the weak. I have already started my next one and it will be in the sci-fi genre.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?
When an idea strikes me, I write it down, or record it on my phone if I am out. I start to outline my characters first with their backgrounds while having the plot in mind, sometimes the nuances of the plot develops as this happens, the main characters end up being about a page long, at least I try to keep it that length otherwise I start to ramble. I then write a short synopsis of 1-2 pages, it is at this point depending on the flow, whether I feel I have a story or not. If I have to struggle with how the plot thickens, then it probably wasn’t a good idea anyway. Even if I end up trashing the idea, I keep the characters, because hey, you never know where one might fit. However, if get pass that, then I start, I write about 4-5 pages a day until finished, then I rewrite, rewrite again, and rewrite some more. I must admit however, it is difficult for me to see when to stop, mainly because new ideas keep popping into my head for the characters and the story, but there comes that moment when serenity overcomes me, and I know I am finished. In books, my largest influences have been King, Koonts, Asimov, Ellison, Phillip K. Dick, Rod Serling, and the true master, Poe. In movies, there are so many, but what influenced me the most were the old Hammer Studio horror films.
What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why? What book disappointed you and why?
My favorite book? Wow, if chained to a chair with hot knives rolling toward my eyes, I would have to pick H. Beam Piper’s “The Fuzzy Papers.” It struck a chord with me early and I have never forgotten it. It was written in a time when the civil rights movement in America was in full swing, and opened my eyes to our prejudices, ever since then, I have tried to see things differently. Not many books have disappointed me; there has always been some aspect that has resonated with me, but alas, there have been a few. Since, the knives are getting closer; I would have to say “Tommy Knockers” by King, even though he is still one of my favorite authors. It just didn’t affect me in any real way.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Right now, I would say “Legacy” since it is my first real novel, and we all remember the anticipation, the exhilaration, and the pain of our first.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
No matter what genre you write in, if your characters and story can punch the reader in the gut, they will never forget you.
Marc W. Johnson received his love of reading, movies, and all things horror and science fiction from his single mother, an avid reader and fan of both genres. Marc began writing early in high school, but life intervened and he had to break away from it for many, many years. Marc reconnected with his desire after his mother died when he found she had kept many of his short stories in a box in the garage, although they were stained and torn the writing bug had bitten him once again. Marc’s love for horror and movies prompted him into screenplay writing, and over the next few years became good enough to enter a short screenplay contest: won it and sold it. This validation spurred him on to attempt a bigger challenge, a full feature screenplay. While writing the screenplay, and working on another, Marc continued writing short stories and poetry which led to his first publication “A Collection of Dark Short Stories and Poetry.” Marc published his second book LEGACY, and is continuing to write. You can contact Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook: @MJ Author – https://www.facebook.com/mjbuk1