# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Joshua. A horror writer and poet, I am the author of a gothic horror novella called Anonymity. It is a familial ghost story of the sins we cast upon others in order to escape our own. Another of my works is Shuhari, a philosophical long poem on the stages from learning to mastery in regards to our relationship with the world around us. My next book, Muses, a murder mystery set in the vice district of New Orleans during the early 1900s, arrives in October 2021.
# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
My first book Anonymity is not based on any specific real-life story but draws on my own feelings of being anonymous among others, even those close to me. I’ve always felt misunderstood. Regardless of how “normal” someone may seem we’re all hiding something of ourselves and that is what writing is about for me, revealing secrets.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
People. I’m a reserved person but I also observe and I see so many stories in the lives of others.
# How do you deal with creative block?
I go for a run to clear my head. For me, running is one of the few moments where I feel truly meditative. Sometimes I like to scream. It’s a great practice, so I find a place I can be alone and just yell it out.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I go with what I like, what fits the story versus what a lot of people will say is “marketable.” In choosing a title I suggest something that reflects the themes of your story. It’s good to have a unique title but don’t be afraid to be cliché if it works. You want it to be memorable. For covers, if you don’t feel you can confidently do one on your own, hire a professional. Employ a friend with graphic design experience.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I usually just do my thing while keeping feedback in mind. If I can adjust to constructive criticism, then I do. I take feedback seriously but not personally. Feedback may sometimes be a note worth looking into but sometimes it’s just a difference of opinion. Not everyone is going to like your work.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
I’ve become more disciplined and prolific in my work over the years as I’ve become more confident. Publishing especially was like opening the floodgates of my creative endeavors.
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The best thing I encountered writing is getting to know my characters and bringing them to life. Completing a book or any piece of art teaches you a lot about yourself and those lessons are the best part.
The worst thing is formatting eBooks, and both the interior and exterior of paperbacks. Preparation, getting books ready for publication, those little details you don’t think about while writing are the most tedious and worst thing for me.
The most surprising is how the stories come together, finding things match up that you didn’t even plan to. Writing is like putting together a puzzle one section at a time, and not being sure if the pieces you have go in the section you are working on. The editing process is like figuring out how to make those sections combine to make a whole, which is where the missing pieces come in. Solving that puzzle is the most surprising experience.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I write because I have an impulse to. On balancing, I do my best to write in a style that will entertain the reader, but mostly, I write because I have a story I personally want to tell. I would not write if it weren’t a natural impulse.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
Much like actors draw from real experiences, I access past trauma in storytelling. In this way emotions act as a guide to bringing characters to life. We’re all dealing with some past trauma. I think writing horror is partly how I deal with mine.
# Do you have any creativity tricks?
I journal as if I am one of the characters from my story. I think about what that character would buy at the market or what insecurities they might have.
# What are your plans for future books?
Obviously, to write them and have them read. I hope my books will offer a unique perspective of their own, telling stories I didn’t even know I was writing. My plan for all my future books is to find readers that will connect with them.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
My favorite animal is the octopus.
I am a Whovian (Doctor Who fanatic).
I have mad hula hoop skills.
I love martial arts movies (Yes, I have written spec scripts).
I still hand write letters to send in the mail