Tuesday, December 13, 2011

JG Faherty Author Interview

Photo Content from JG Faherty

JG Faherty grew up in the haunted Hudson Valley region of NY, and still resides there. Living in an area filled with Revolutionary War battle grounds, two-hundred year-old gravesites, ghosts, haunted roads, and tales of monsters in the woods has provided a rich background for his writing. A life-long fan of horror and dark fiction, JG enjoys reading, watching movies, golfing, hiking, volunteering as an exotic animal caretaker, and playing the guitar. One of his favorite childhood playgrounds was an 18th century cemetery.

JG’s first novel, CARNIVAL OF FEAR, was released in 2010. His next book, GHOSTS OF CORONADO BAY, a YA supernatural thriller, was published in 2011. CEMETERY CLUB, his third novel, and THE COLD SPOT, a novella, will be released in 2012. His other credits include more than two dozen short stories in major genre magazines and anthologies.

Tell me a bit about yourself.
Hmm. Middle aged and overworked. Just moved into a new house and waist deep in cleaning and fixing things. Married, no children, 2 Labrador retrievers. As a family, we enjoy hiking, cooking, movies, and watching tv. I have a degree in biology, but for the past 10 years I’ve owned an online resume company. I live in the lower Hudson Valley in NY, where a lot of Revolutionary War battles were fought, and as a child I played in some very old graveyards. I’ve been a fan of horror since seeing Frankenstein as a small child, and I as a boy I read Poe and Hardy Boys and anything I could find on dinosaurs. I didn’t start writing horror until I was almost 40.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I had a dream about a carnival from Hell, and in that dream I saw the entire plot of the book and all characters laid out like I was watching a movie. I started writing it the next day.

Do you see writing as a long- or short-term career?
Unless the industry changes or I get real lucky with a huge contract from a big publisher, I see writing for me more as a side job – a hobby that pays, as opposed to career. I couldn’t live off what I make as a fiction writer. But I do see myself doing it for as long as I have ideas.

How long have you been writing?
All my life, but I’ve only been writing fiction since about 2000-2001. Before that, it was technical documents, resumes, articles, etc.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I write when I can. Since I work from home I’m always on the computer, so I can fit an hour or two a day in, plus 3 on Sat. and Sun. I have no set schedule.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve had two novels published so far (Carnival of Fear, Ghosts of Coronado Bay) and I have 3 more coming out next year. The first is Cemetery Club, a story about 4 friends who accidentally let demons loose that turn people into zombies. The second is a novella about a boy who makes friends with some ghosts, but learns it might not have been a good idea. And then later in the year is the sequel to Ghosts of Coronado Bay. But I don’t have a favorite – I like them all, for different reasons. Carnival of Fear might have an edge, simply because it was the first one I ever wrote.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
It’s the same each time – pure joy and excitement. And luckily I’ve really liked every book cover, just loved them.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Carnival of Fear?
That it’s not easy getting a book published, and even when you do, it’s hard as hell to get the word out for people to read it.

How did you come up with the title and cover design?
Carnival of Fear was part of what came to me in the dream. Never a doubt I’d title it that. The cover was a concept that I had and ran by a friend, Steven Gilberts, whose a fantastic artist. He’d previously done a cover for an anthology I was part of, and I knew he’d do a bang-up job. And he did. Just fantastic.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Well, we’ve got Cemetery Club coming out in March, from JournalStone. Then The Cold Spot in the late spring from Delirium. And then JournalStone will be doing the next Maya Blair book – that one is the 2nd in the series.

Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?
In Carnival of Fear? Tough to say. Probably The Proprietor, just because he’s so damn evil.

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
Millions – I love interviews where people ask me things besides the basics.

Has a review or profile ever changed your perspective on your work?
On occasion – you always think, ‘What if?’ but in the end you have to trust your instincts and the advice you get from fellow writers/editors/beta readers, rather than critics.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
You mean, something coming out soon? Here’s a scene from Cemetery Club:

“It has to be me,” Todd Randolph said, clutching the bag to his skinny chest as the rain continued to drench the cemetery. Muddy streams cascaded alongside the blacktopped paths and cut miniature canyons between graves “I started it. I have to finish it.”

Cory Miles shook his head. “We can do it together. We should do it together. All of us. The Cemetery Club.”

John Boyd and Marisol Flores voiced their agreement. The four of them were huddled under the overhang of a mausoleum that was so old the date on the plaque couldn't even be read through the crust of dirt and corrosion. The door stood open, exposing cobweb-covered cement casket boxes to the dim light of the stormy afternoon. In the center of the floor, a ragged hole several feet wide showed black against the gray cement. A fetid odor rose up from the darkness, death and mold and wet soil all entwined into a palpable stench that seemed bent on forcing their stomachs to turn somersaults.

“No. I’m the only one who can stop it.” Todd lowered himself into the pit, his rail-thin body disappearing from view almost immediately.

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?
Any of my favorites: Michael McBride, Shaun Jeffrey, Greg Lamberson, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Keene, Stephen King...hell, anyone who’d want to write with me!

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
The Kama Sutra. Think of the research!

Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?
I just finished doing book signings and readings for Carnival of Fear and Ghosts of Coronado Bay. Now there’s a break until March or April, when Cemetery Club comes out.

How do you feel about the horror boom of the 80’s and early 90’s?
I loved it. Sure, a lot of crap got published, but there were all sorts of new books to read every week, and a lot of them were good, in a B-movie kind of way.

Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can tell us?
I remember getting kicked out of a party for having a costume that was too extreme. I was Jesus on the cross.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
Many times. Illnesses in the family, car accidents, losing a job, almost drowning. Scares happen to everyone.

What was your first introduction to horror literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
Like many people my age, the person I wanted to be as a writer was Stephen King. But trying to write like him actually made me stop writing for 20 years – I was holding myself to a standard that I couldn’t possibly reach with a first novel. But my first introduction to horror was either the old classic B&W movies on Sat. mornings, or Dracula, the book.

What was the first horror book/story you remember reading?

What is your favorite horror movie?
I don’t know, I have so many, from the 1940s right through until today. It depends on my mood.

Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?
Too many times! The best part of writing is when you create an emotion in yourself, whether it’s fear or tears or laughter.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite horror book and why?
Either King’s “Insomnia” or Koontz’s “Watchers.” Insomnia is just so well-written; it’s not King’s best story, but it’s his best use of the English language. And Watchers is cool ‘cause I like dogs!

And what is your favorite book outside of the horror genre?
I actually enjoy books about scientific adventure – stories by scientists telling about their field explorations.

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?
I don’t really have any phobias, per say. I don’t like spiders or heights, but I’m not terrified of them. I’m a bit claustrophobic, but a story about being uncomfortable in a crowded mall probably wouldn’t be interesting. However, every day fears – loss, money, moving, etc. – those make good story fodder, and I’ve put them to use. Childhood experiences? Sure. Nightmares? A couple of times.

Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
Constantly. I’m addicted to Weird News, stories about cryptozoology, odd medical facts, you name it!

The perception of the horror writer is that he/she is just a little bit weirder than most. Do you find yourself — and other horror writers — to be more idiosyncratic than the average person?
No. In fact, most writers I know are more pleasant and down to earth than anyone would expect, even the well-known names. The only difference is that we know how to write scary stories. It’s all a matter of imagination. Stephen King once said something along the lines that when he looks at a lake, he sees a monster coming out of it. A writer of westerns might see something else. A writer of romances might see two lovers on a rendezvous. 

What is one stereotype about horror writers is absolutely wrong?
That we all live, breathe, and eat horror. Some do, some don’t. I know a lot of people who aren’t in the business at all who read and watch more horror than I do.

What one stereotype is dead on?
Hopefully, the one that says we all love what we do.

The carnival is in town...

What was supposed to be an evening of fun and laughter for JD Cole and the other students of Whitebridge High turns into a never-ending night of terror. Trapped inside the Castle of Horrors by the demonic Proprietor, good friends and bitter rivals must band together to make it through the maze of torturous attractions, where fictional monsters come to life, eager to feast on human flesh. Vampires, zombies, werewolves, and aliens lurk around every corner as JD and his friends struggle from one room to the next, fighting for their sanity, fighting to survive, fighting to escape ... The Carnival of Fear.

You can purchase Carnival of Fear at these following retailers.

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JG FAHERTY for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Carnival of Fear by JG Faherty.


  1. Yes! I have, when I was little and it scared the heck out of me! Stupid mirrors and the creepy people. OK, there was just one creepy person, lol!

    This was a great interview. Really? Jesus on the Cross, I'm sure that caused quite a stir. I can imagine it now!

    Thanks for participating in the blog hop. Happy holidays!

    mamaelk1113 at gmail dot com

  2. Awww! I love this post, Jean! "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is one of my fav movies, as is "The Corpse Bride" :)I think Jack Skellington is so cute!!
    I have been to a carnival but there were no haunted house rides or anything scary!! Which I would have loved. Just stupid pony rides and kissing booths etc.:(
    I'm really dying to read all of the books above, so thank you for this awesome giveaway!!


  3. I have been to many carnival's and absolutely loved them!
    Can't wait to read the books!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!


  4. Yes I think I've been to a carnival. lol Thanks for always having such cool and interesting things on your blog! Because of you my to read list is HUGE! Thanks again for everything!

  5. psst...stick with the dogs . Love the cover of this. Thanks for the interview. I too loved Insomnia.

  6. I've been to one carnival. It was fun, I played like a little girl!

  7. Thanks Jean for the AWESOME author interview and giveaway!! bynumjenny@yahoo.com

  8. I love carnivals the more the merrier. The sounds, the smells they all start little jitters of excitement in me. I have not been to a good one in many years, but when I was younger and lived in So.Cal we had lots :) So yes I have been to a carnival!

  9. I'm from a small town and carnivals have always been popular here so I've been many times.

  10. OH me loveeeeeeee carnivals, I lie to go in the winter times!!;)))

    Thanks for the giveaway my love and for any amazing interview you both did GREAT!!:)


  11. I acutally never had. We always lived way too far from one. :(

    email: ashley.chen1994[at]hotmail[dot]com