Earlier this week Joe Hart stopped by my blog to talk about himself and his new book. Joe Hart grew up on a lonely 91 acres of farmland in northern Minnesota and began writing when he was 9. His first literary love was Stephen King (and still is)-whose writing shaped his mind into the twisted mass it is now. He published his first poems at age 17 and his first collection of short horror stories at 29. Some of Joe’s work includes his collection Midnight Paths, The Waiting and Linage, both supernatural thrillers and the dark thrillers Widow Town and The River is Dark. One of first books by Joe I read was The Waiting and I’ve read almost all of his work since. He writes great Thrillers with a bit of supernatural mixed in. Here are the questions I posed to him in our talk. As in most interviews I have done I learned a lot about the writer and find it really interesting how their process works and what make them tick.
Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from? What propelled you to start writing?
First off, thanks for all the great questions, David! A little about myself, let’s see- I’m a thirty-two year old father of two. I’ve been married for almost ten years. I grew up and still live in northern Minnesota and started writing when I was nine years old. Basically what got me writing was reading and I can thank my Mom for that. She used to bring me to our local library and we’d spend hours there looking at books. My older sister always had a Stephen King book around the house so he was the first author that truly inspired me to write my own stories. You can guess what genre I write in now…
How does your writing process work?
My writing process is a common one. I typically have an idea come out of the creative nether and strike me between the eyes or a character will begin to speak to me and I’ll know I have to listen. After that it’s typically a rough outline of the story and I begin writing.
What do you love and hate about writing?
I love the moment when you’re writing and you feel like you’ve truly nailed a scene or a line of dialogue. It’s almost like a drug. There’s not too many things I hate about this job, I’m fortunate enough to be writing full-time so I can’t really complain. If I had to pick one thing it would be the days when the words don’t come as easily, those aren’t too fun.
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I would say my work differs from others in the genre in subtle ways such as description and character. I really like to paint a scene for readers and I like characters with unique flaws or challenges.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The books that influenced me most would be a long list but here’s a few: The Shining by Stephen King, Swan Song by Robert McCammon, Run by Blake Crouch, The Passage by Justin Cronin, Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and Winter Moon by Dean Koontz
Who are you favorite authors? Which author(s) had a significant impact on you growing up?
I would say all the authors above are my favorites and I would consider King a mentor just because of his book On Writing that is one of the best craft books I’ve ever read.
Can you tell us a little about your current/latest book?
One of my recent works will be published this summer by DarkFuse called Leave The Living. It’s a novella exploring the loss of a parent and secrets that can sometimes be unearthed after someone has passed on. Of course I used a supernatural aspect to tell the story so it’s a very unsettling read as well as one that has several touching moments concerning grief.
How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title through a mixture of symbolism that’s associated with the subject matter. One of the characters also uses the phrase to describe someone dying.
What book are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading two books, Well Fed- Mountain Man book 4 by Keith Blackmore as well as The Deep by Nick Cutter. Both are very good.
What is your all-time favorite horror novel, and film?
All-time favorite horror novel and film would have to be The Shining by Stephen King and Signs. I know Signs isn’t really toted as a horror film but I felt it was very well done and very scary at times.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
The best piece of advice I ever received from another author is “No more small ideas.” -Blake Crouch.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
My favorite character from one of my books would have to be Liam Dempsey since he’s changed a lot in the two books he’s been in. I can see he’s got a large character arc ahead of him also.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
I’m very proud of all my work but especially so of Cruel World since I think the characters are up against the greatest odds in that one and have only each other to rely upon.
What’s coming next and where people can buy your stuff?
I just finished the second book in the Liam Dempsey series and I’m working on a dystopian trilogy now that will be my biggest undertaking yet.
Thank you Joe for talking with me this week, it sounds like you have a busy year ahead. I really look forward to seeing what happens in Liam Dempey in the follow up to The River is Dark. The dystopian trilogy peaks my interest quite a lot and I hope 2015 is a great year for you!
Where can you find Joe Hart?
Official Website: http://authorjoehart.blogspot.com/
Also on his Amazon Author Page!