Joanna Penn, from The Creative Penn, interviewed J Thorn, author of Horror and Dark Fantasy, about the dark realm and how he thrives writing about the fear. J Thorn’s best selling book has sold over 100,000 copies, which ranks him as a Top 100 Author in Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. He is a master of the craft and educated in the occult and mysticism. The latter lends for excellent material for his numerous tomes. He is driven by the macabre and within this interview, you can hear how passionate he is about his genre.
I always enjoy hearing how other authors feel about the darker genres. As these genres can delve into the gore, terror, and ultimate evil, there is a serene sentiment that is echoed in the voices of all authors who dare to craft this somewhat “taboo” genre. We all find dark fiction healing. There is something to be said about being courageous enough to write worldly terror down on paper and share with others. The fear of rejection, ridicule, and hatred are a few words that spring to mind. It is something that all authors go through, but we of the dark arts probably experience it to a higher degree… well, maybe those of erotica do as well. We push the boundaries set by social norms. We bring into the minds of our readers thoughts and ideas and characters that could potentially scar them for life. But once the story is out there, once it is accepted, once it is loved… It is liberating. It is healing.
“I believe dark fiction can be healing.” – J Thorn
Without giving too many spoilers from this interview, I just wanted to point out one other thing that J and Joanna spoke about that really resonated with me: dreams of dark fiction authors. What are our dreams about and how do we even sleep at night? To that, J answered “very well”, and I could not help to nod my head in agreement. I enlightened one of my co-workers this very morning with the fact that what I write does not induce nightmares in my mind. I truly have no fear of ghosts or monsters or cosmic evil. What terrifies me is real life. I recounted to her that I woke up in tears last night by a nightmare where our office moved to a riverboat on the Mississippi river in the state of the same name, we hired an employee that I was against, my boss cryogenically froze himself – alive, and another co-worker published her first novel (80,000 words, mind you) about her amazing ham and scalloped potatoes. I was up the rest of the night with that one. These are my darkest fears.
Now you can go ahead and laugh at me all you want, but I am serious. Those who write in the realm of dark fiction have fears of the everyday things. The things that are dubbed spooky and grotesque are the dreams we crave. We want our dreams to be haunted by madness and the macabre.
J Thorn hits home in this interview and I am sure if you write dark fiction, you will feel the same as well. There is so much more that I want to discuss, but I don’t want to reveal everything within this post. You will have to watch and experience it for yourself.
I am looking forward to what comes next from this fellow Pittsburgh native.