Wednesday, December 1, 2010
To Sleep: Perchance to Dream. The Mastermind of Nightmares, Mr. Jonathan Moon
Shortly after the novel The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole, was released both authors Timothy W. Long and Jonathan Moon were accused of high crimes against the Church and had no choice but to flee the country.
Through the use of Geocaching, carrier pigeons and an ouija board I was finally able to catch up to Jonathan. Because he is still in exile I am unable to disclose his location but what I can tell you is that there is not a word in the history of man to explain how hot it is here, the buzzing from the flies is almost deafening and the air smells of sulfur.
Notes from the Author: This little cloak and dagger adventure it took to find you was almost too much for a girl to handle. I’ve become paranoid and delusional and if I hadn’t found you today I would have had a nervous break down. So how long do you think this whole exile thing will last, how in the hell can you sleep in this fucking heat and with all this constant buzzing?
Jonathon Moon: Good to see ya, Crystal! Glad you could make it! Just go with the paranoid delusions and they turn out to really be quite fun. I figure I’ll return to civilization sometime soon…maybe. I can sleep anywhere, anytime…I’m a napaholic. I can fall asleep standing up, surrounded by hellfire, or when shotguns are stuck up my nostrils.
NFTA: I’ve noticed that on your blog you’ve listed your occupation as a Space Bounty Hunter, do you think your work experience in catching criminals is the reason you haven’t been apprehended thus far?
JM: I do. You learn a lot chasing scumbags across distant galaxies. In my travels I’ve learned the Murderous Monk Clan’s Twenty-Seven Commandments, I’ve learned over three hundred and twelve different scams involving everything from dollar bills and space credits to the family guinea pig, and I’ve learned very disturbing ways to smuggle space drugs. The biggest thing I’ve learned is, it is best to hide where no one will want to look for you…except, of course, the most determined interviewers!
NFTA: LOL, well the ouija board was a huge help! In 2009 your 1st book Heinous was self-published through Xlibris, in 2010 your short story Notches on a Tomahawk was featured in the anthology The Zombist: Undead Western Tales, your 1st anthology Mr. Moon’s Nightmares and your collaboration with author Timothy W. Long on the novel The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole are published through The Library of the Living Dead Press and Library of Horror Press both of which are owned by Dr. Pus can you tell us how you became an esteemed author of this publishing house?
JM: Oh, it was easy…I just worked my ass off. Hehehe. I self published Heinous and then found this wonderful, supportive, weird world of independent fiction. I simply jumped in with both feet. I wasn’t pleased with Heinous and I sent a copy to Doc Pus of Library of the Living Dead press He saw through the shitty formatting and my half assed editing to the monster beneath. He dug it and I’m currently re-writing Heinous for him and Library of Horror. You can expect it early 2011, and I’m VERY excited about that!
As far as working with Doc and his Library imprints I really just let my work do the talking. Doc has been a supportive fan since he read Notches on a Tomahawk and our relationship has only grown the longer we have known and worked with each other. I sent him Mr. Moon’s Nightmares just as Tim and I started working with each other on Apoc and, as completely different as M.M.N. and TAASGH are, he loved them both. I’ve since had a story The Fear Vs The Need accepted in the first Fearology and taken on a few extra duties. Doc has put me in charge of his Library of Bizarro Horror and it has been keeping me good and busy. The first title I’ve been working on for the imprint is the Houdini Gut Punch anthology I’ve put together. It should be live sometime this week! I’ve got a few really cool things cooking with the imprint and it is just one more reason I’m excited for 2011. All in all I count myself very, very lucky to have Doc Pus as a friend in my universe!
NFTA: Oh sorry for drooling, I’m super excited about an updated Heinous what was it about the 1st edition of Heinous didn’t you like and if you were not 100% satisfied with it did you release it?
JM: I wasn’t happy with the self-publishing company I went with…for numerous reasons. I was excited to publish a book and in my excitement I did miss a lot of things with the novel and with the company. I don’t regret it at all for the simple fact I learned a lot of important lessons.
NFTA: Once the rewrite is complete will the 1st edition still be available for sale or will it become a collector’s item?
JM: Nope. Actually I canceled my deal once I started re-writing it and it is now unavailable…so to the brave few that own a copy it will be ultra-rare!
NFTA: Did you really just answer Timothy’s classified ad that he posted looking for collaborator? Judging by the rapport between you two at Seattle’s 2010 Crypticon one would think that you’ve known each other for years.
JM: Hahaha, actually yes. Tim and I clicked like we’ve known each other forever but we just began corresponding when we started working on Apoc. We sent well over 100 emails back and forth in hammering out Apoc and eventually we exchanged phone numbers. Somehow our styles, which are really quite different, melded perfect for Apoc. It still amazes even us how it worked. I talk to Tim, by phone, at least once a week and consider him one of my best friends. We will work together again in the future and people should be very afraid of that fact.
NFTA: LOL, thanks for the warning. You’re right that Mr. Moon’s and Apocalypse are wildly different from each other what was it about Tim’s ad that made you respond to it?
JM: The pure desperation in his words…just kidding. I had read Tim’s book Among the Living and enjoyed it. When I saw his was looking for someone to work with I jumped at the chance.
NFTA: It’s clear that you guys had a blast writing The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole, but did you ever think for one moment that the Church and members of the literary community would so vehemently denounce your work? And knowing what you know now, do you think you would have done things differently?
JM: Apoc was a blast to write! To be honest it was nothing but fun. I knew as we were exchanging ideas that no one would go unscathed in our world and I kinda’ expected MORE people to think we were dicks than we have so far. If I knew a big whiplash was waiting I would have done more tweak-addled scenes from the sex shop and used the word ‘fuck’ at least eighty times more.
NFTA: LOL! Jokes aside for a moment, the reviews for The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole, hover around the 4 ½ to 5 star range. Most of the reviewers are fans of the bizarro genre and they get it, has TASG received any bad reviews and if so how did you deal with it?
JM: I haven’t heard a lot of talk from people who didn’t like it. It is totally different from what I normally write so I have had a few people tell me stuff like ‘it’s a bit much for me’ and ‘it’s a sure sign of the decline of western civilization but it is well written’. I’ll take the negative when they come. You gotta have thick skin when you share yourself with the world because complainers are often louder than fans. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion…some I just don’t give a shit about. And that’s my opinion.
NTFA: Nicely said. Including your short story “Conversing Dr. Defeo” featured in Jason Baker’s Abandoned you’ve got five books out there with your name on them this year alone and you were also a guest at Seattle’s 2010 Crypticon, so what’s the deal are you writing full time now?
JM: I’m trying my damnest to work full time on it! I’ve got SEVERAL projects I’m working on for 2011 and it keeps me busy. I’ve agreed to be in at least the first three Abandons with Jason Baker. My new story ‘All That Glimmers Isn’t Copper’ opens up the second volume; which is also available now. Mr. Baker and I also have a top-secret project we are working on that will leave fans of creepy dark things in excited fits. My wife, my sweet Shannley, works full time to allow me to chase my crazy dreams. So, I’m pretty much sitting at home with the daughter and writing, editing, networking, publishing, and such while she supports us. Go, Baby, go!
NFTA: 1st off let me tip my hat to your wife Shannley, that’s amazing to be supported that way. 2ndly I don’t think its fair to hint about a top-secret project without going into further detail I think that might be cheating, but since I don’t have my play book with me I’m going to let you slide…only this once. Several projects? How do you juggle them, do you work on one at a time or do you multi task?
JM: I am a multi-tasking S.O.B. I typically have six internet windows open as well as at least two different novels or stories. I do a little bit of networking, write on HEINOUS for a bit, write a book review, then take a nap. Then I’ll wake up write on something else, write out some interview questions for my Monkey Faced Demon blog* and then write on a different story. And sometimes I sleep all afternoon.
NFTA: I always work on more than one story at a time and the problem I have is I can’t shut it off. I’ll be looking someone right in their face and not hear a word that they are saying because I am trying to work out a scene in my head and right at the beginning of a story or just about when I’m done I can not fall asleep to save my life because it feels like I need to be writing. How do you transition from writer, to dad, to husband?
JM: I do it all at once…although when I story is rolling around in my head I am distracted and they have to get my attention back to reality. I write not only because I enjoy but also because I have to…my stories would drive me insane if I didn’t share them. I got lucky and scored a very supportive wife and family. And always keep note books or memos when you have ideas but no chance to sit and type. That keeps this memory impaired dude afloat.
NFTA: As far as name recognition and of course books sales, how important is it to appear at the Cons and how many do you plain on attending next year?
JM: VERY IMPORTANT! You have to get out there and meet the people you want to read your work. Cons are not only a great place to interact with fans but you also meet other people in the biz. I’ve begun a Con Fund for this next year and I WILL attend, at least, the 2011 Cypticon, ZomBcon, and Bizarro Con.
NFTA: Well the reason I embarked on this quest to find you, risking life and limb in the process is because through my company Seattle Crystal Concierge I do a gift-giving guide on my blog called “Crystal’s 12 days of Christmas …shopping”! and because my book The Darkness is coming out this year I thought I would do the same with authors.
Even though we’ve been talking about The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole, what I wanted to talk to you about is Mr. Moon’s Nightmares because as far has horror stories and anthologies go its right up my alley.
What was your motivation for putting out your own anthology and how long did it take you to finish Mr. Moon’s Nightmares once you got started?
JM: It took me just over a year to write all the stories in Mr. Moon’s Nightmares. Some were a little older, A Pretty Death and Owing Ira were two of the first stories I ever wrote. I wrote each and every one of these stories because if I didn’t they would bounce around in my head and literally drive me insane. Get the demons out!
NTFA: Which of the 22 stories in Mr. Moon’s Nightmares is your favorite?
JM: I have soft spots for a lot of them. ‘Wasp Stings and Fever Dreams’ is a bastardized mix of MY memories, nightmares, and a very twisted story. Since a lot of the things in it are really my fears it still scares the shit out of me. I’m also fond of my Grasshopper Seasons and What Really Happened To ‘Dirty’ Dick.
NTFA: Mine is Grasshopper Season, but can I ask why you broke it up into 8 little stories? I never read the table of contents but after I read, I think it was Pretty Death, it’s been awhile since I read Nightmares, and saw another Grasshopper so I skipped ahead and read Grasshopper consecutively.
JM: I initially wrote it as a serial for screamsofterror.com and when it came time to put Mr. Moon’s Nightmares together I felt like it read best as a separate story. I’ve always been a fan of the old cliffhangers and each one tells a little story but leaves you wanting to know what happens next. It’s funny you skipped ahead; I hear that quite a bit…what the hell do I know?
NTFA: So Mr. Moon’s Nightmares that is available is just volume 1 when can we expect Vol. II?
JM: 2011!!!!!!! I’m about half way through it but I have so many things cooking I just add little stories as they come to me. I can say it has a few smaller poetic pieces than Vol I. I can also say it is DARKER and more VIOLENT than the first but still maintains the beauty I try to instill in my tales.
NTFA: Darker and more violent? You don’t have to woe me with love letters I’m already a fan! How much time does it take for you to start writing from the time you wake up?
JM: It really varies, some mornings I’ll get up at five and write till eight. Sometimes I’ll sneak computer time all day. And other times I’ll be up drinking coffee until three in the morning working on something. I take my chances as they come!
NTFA: For now, I am a D-list author, not because my writing sucks, but because The Darkness is my 1st book and no one knows who I am…yet. With five books under your belt and a respectable fan base in terms of sales and notoriety where do you think you are on that list and what in terms of marketing and promoting did you do to get there?
JM: Huh, I’ve never thought about this. I hate to label myself anything really, as I’m still grateful to each and every person that reads my work. I’ll be doubling the number of my published works by half way through 2011 and I’d like to think I’ll never lose the appreciation for my fans that I have now. Almost all the promotion I’ve done has been straight up foot solider style! I’ve been lucky enough to work with guys like Tim Long and Jason Baker who are both marketing masters. Tim could sell ice to Eskimos. Jason Baker is not only a great guy but he believes in his friends and he helps pimp them. I think spreading the word for your favorite authors helps out everyone; the fans, the writers, and the publishing companies. The more support there is for independent fiction the more this thing will grow.
I’m planning a promotion called Mr. Moon’s Nightmares All Day on 12-10-10 in which I’m encouraging as many people as possible to flood amazon.com with orders for Mr. Moon’s Nightmares. I am building a NINE-book prize pack that I’ll be giving away to one lucky winner!
NFTA: That’s actually a good pretty good idea; if we all order that day you might get bestseller. I’m gonna put repost the invitation you sent me. So now that there’s Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s NOOK, the Apple iPad, the KOBO eReader, Sony’s eReader and about a gazillion eReader apps for everything from you mp3 player to your cell phone have you noticed a increase in your “eSales”
JM: Yes, it is a lot easier in this day and age for people to get an electronic book due to the cost and quickness. I have mixed feelings on the ebook thing…I love the feel of a book in my hands…but as long as people are reading I’m happy.
NTFA: Using the pervious question as a springboard, it’s not uncommon to buy a digital copy of a book for under $5.00, I’ve seen some for as low as $.99 not to mention all of the books you can download for free. With this in mind for your own personal satisfaction, as an author, which is more important to you … selling a lot of books or making a lot of money?
JM: Hehe, I’m happy as long as people are reading my works and enjoying it. I’d like to hope that eventually big book sales equals out to big money. Damn, I want big money!
NTFA: Are you a gadget guy, or do you prefer your books to be of paper and ink?
JM: Paper and ink all the way! I end up working with a lot of PDFs (from my reviews at horrornews.net and working with the Doc at Library of Bizarro Horror) and while they are cheaper and easy to send they just don’t pack the wallop of feeling the weight of someone’s words in your hand. I was raised on books and I’ll die reading them. If it ever gets all ‘1984’ up in here I’ll be writing my stories on cave walls.
NTFA: It was good seeing you again Jonathon, and thanks for sending the carrier pigeons without them I think I would have ended up far more south than I intended to be but I gotta jet. I don’t know what it is about this place but I feel like I need to drink a bottle of Holy Water. Before I take off though, what words of wisdom do you wish to impart to so many newbie writers, who have delusions of grandeur and dream of having the careers of Ben Templesmith, Scott Sigler, or LA Banks seemingly overnight?
JM: Never quit! Write every chance you get! Write what you want to write not what you think people will buy, be true to your talent and your talent will be true to you. READ all the time, and read different things! And remember only Scarface gets rich over night, if you are looking for instant cash and power sell cocaine because writing takes patience, skill, and time.
***WE INTERRUPT THIS REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM TO BRING YOU AN VERY IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT. BOYS AND GIRLS: PLEASE SAY NO TO DRUGS****
We now return to the regularly scheduled program
NTFA: What about for those of us who still have a toe or two in the realm of reality and are shooting for the #28 spot on the New York Best Sellers list?
JM: Bah! I think most of the stuff on The New York Times best selling list is crap. It is just not what I want from my fiction. I have fallen in love with the independent fiction scene and honestly I think the work is better a lot of the time. I think most of T.N.Y.T best selling list is predictable and almost formulated. You don’t have to sacrifice your style or the stories you want to tell to be successful…it just takes a little more work!
NFTA: Once again thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to hang out with me. So you said your doing Seattle Crypticon next year? I’m super excited about Seattle Crypticon because I’ll be there as a vendor!
JM: Thank you, Crystal; I’ve had a blast! And HELL YES, I’ll be at Seattle Crypticon! See ya there!
For information on Jonathan Moon please visit:
Facebook Fan Page:
To RSVP for Mr. Moon’s Nightmares All Day on 12-10-10:
To purchase, The Zombist: Undead Western Tales, Mr. Moon’s Nightmares or The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole
To purchase Abandoned please visit: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1209915
For Abandoned 2…http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1608536#about-book