Saturday, April 2, 2011
Interview: Jonathan Moon Horror and Bizarro author!
DA: Mister Moon, Tell us about your back ground where you grew and how you discovered horror and bizarro?
JM:I was born in southern Idaho and lived there until jr high. My family moved to Nevada and I graduated high school there. I bounced back and forth a half dozen times before hauling ass up to northern Idaho (sick of southern Idaho and Nevada).
I grew up with horror kinda’ ingrained in me. I remember my parents reading Stephen King and Dean Koonz out loud to each other on long car rides. Something about the darkside of things has always fascinated me. I always cheered for Cobra Commander and Skeletor-alas, to no avail. Once I hit high school I discovered Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft. Both blew my mind and gave my mental warping a direction. My brother has an incredible collection of horror DVDs and I spent many nights pillaging it and watching a wide range of horror cinema. Yep, I’ve been horror for ever.
Bizarro I’ve only discovered the past few years and the more I read the more I love. I think bizarro is a bubbling mix of pop culture, every literary and cinematic genre known to man, raw emotions, and unforgiving humor all stirred together by some men and women with huge vats of imagination and dedication. I can’t stop reading bizarro…I tried to take a break but it pulls me back. Bizarro is a genre every writer should, in my opinion, read. I’m a horrorhead with a major bizarro-jones.
DA: How long have you been involved in writing fiction?
JM: I’ve been writing stories since I was just a little half a Moon. When I was still in elementary I wrote, drew, and stapled my first comic book, The Blue Ninja, and sold copies for 25cents apiece. I’ve always had the urge to write and I’d fill double lined notebooks with long rambling violent tales that made little sense. Over the years I’ve honed my craft and found my style. I self published Heinous and then put together Mr. Moon’s Nightmares. Once I set my mind on writing I began receiving acceptances and they just encouraged me…and now here I am- kicking up dust and talking to the guy who wrote The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies.
DA:You refer to yourself as a horror-core author, how do you define that?
JM:When I was young my dad took us to Yellow Stone National Park all the time. I grew up walking the paths and sniffing the sulfur. When Yellow Stone burned I was there. I saw trees I had known since I could walk mere smoking shells of themselves. Entire mountainsides were blackened and dead. In my minds eye I could still see the beauty I had always seen over the burnt trees and earth. I watched butterflies flitting around wisps of smoke from charred path markers. Something stuck with me….there is beauty in the terrible and there is terrible in the beauty…that’s what I see as horror-core….finding the frightful in any thing and every thing. Horror and beauty swirled together.
DA: Tell me about Mr. Moon's Nightmares? It's great title for collection. Is there a theme?
JM:Thank you. There is a wide variety of stories in M.M.N. including two novellas, a 100 word flash piece, a limerick, and a serial story. I didn’t set out to do it but the majority of the stories contained within do take place in the same fiction mountain region. There are stories with werewoloves, witches, vampires, as well as a few baddies of my own creation. It is a collection I’m very proud of and I think fans of dark horror will dig it.
DA: Tell me about the process of picking and the stories and how much did you think about order they went in?
JM:I loved putting the stories in order. I think it awoke memories of mix tapes in high school. I read a lot of different stories in different orders just try to gauge the feel and the flow of the entire collection. I feel like each story stands well on its own but I wanted the overall feel of the collection to intensify as you read it. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out.
DA: You co-wrote a dark bizarro novel called The Apocalypse and Satan's Glory Hole, Tell us how that came about and how did you divide the labor?
JM:Hahaha. Tim Long posted up on facebook asking if anyone felt like collaborating on a novel. I was wrapping up Mr. Moon’s Nightmares and was looking for something to tackle next. Tim is a big fan of bizarro as well and we decided to have a little fun a write a bizarro apocalypse. It turned out to be more fun than I ever expected. To be honest I didn’t know I could write comedy until I started working on Apoc!
We hammered out a few characters and a thin plot line through emails and phone calls and each followed a set of characters and two each of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. As far as all the work of putting a novel together all I did was write my parts. Tim on the other hand is a whirlwind of talent and he did the formatting, worked with the cover artist and editor, and everything else I can think of. Really he spoiled me and I’ll be a useless collaborator from now on.
We are actually planning on splitting it up into smaller books and writing a third part to wrap the entire madness up. We hope to have the first book available by May.
DA:You just edited a collection of bizarro horror called Houdini Gut Punch can you talk about the theme and what you were looking for in this collection?
JM:Yes, Houdini Gut Punch was my first editorial offer to the world. It is 15 tales of weird horror. I feel like I was fortunate enough to get some really great stories from some very talented established authors and a few first time stories from previously unpublished authors. All in all a think I built a very entertaining collection for fans of the weird and the dark.
My main goal with the Library of Bizarro Horror is to publish great weird dark fiction and spread it to new people. Submissions are open for the next anthology I’ll be editing, Technicolor Tentacles. Along with that I’ve got a number of super cool things cooking from the Library of Bizarro Horror this year including a duel novella book from Jordan Krall and William Pauley III.
DA: Your first novel, HEINOUS, is going to be re-released by The Library of Horror can you tell us about it?
JM: HEINOUS is the story of a demon and the boy he possesses. If I had to describe it with one word I’d say ‘brutal’ if I had two words I’d say ‘brutal’ and ‘emotional’. I originally self published it a few years back and ended up very unimpressed with the company I was working with and the quality of the book. I sent Doc Pus (my publisher over at The Library of the Living Dead and all of its sister imprints) a copy for Christmas two years ago and he loved it. He saw through my half-assed editing and the shitty formatting to the twisted story beneath. I was lucky enough to get the chance to re-work it. I’ve added quite a bit and re-written most of it so it is becoming the beast I always knew it could be. It should be available end of April/beginning of May. HEINOUS is the most powerful, as well as, darkest, most vile and hardcore violent thing I’ve written (yet).
DA:Five films that most resemble your work?
JM:The entire Hellraiser Series, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Creeping Terror (1964), Zombieland, and, although it was really a television show, Twin Peaks.
I should also give credit to Guy Richie and Quentin Tarantino for being major influences on my writing as I progress and get comfortable in my style.
DA: You could only read books by 5 authors for the rest of your life who would they be?
JM:Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, David Dunwoody, Jordan Krall, and Hunter S. Thompson.