Please welcome one of the kindest ladies I have ever had the pleasure to meet, Ms. Jaime Johnesee! There’s a lot to be said about friends in the digital world and many of us can relate to having cherished pals that we have not met in real life yet. I am proud to call Jaime one of those friends.
Even though I haven’t met her yet, she is one of those folks I know when I finally get to meet, it will be as if I’ve known her for years! Her heart is sincere and even within the depths of the most challenging personal times, she is still a light that shines for others. She is a beacon of happiness and I am so very excited to interview her today!
There are some people who can be classified as genre snobs, or purists if you will, and they prefer to not have horror and comedy lines crossed. How do you feel about this topic and where does Bob stand on it?
JJ: Well, I think that they suck. I think if they were to step out of their stuffy ways they’d soon realize that horror comedy is more popular and loved by readers than ever before. A good friend once told me that horror isn’t a genre, it’s an emotion. That’s why you can have horror in sci-fi, in westerns, in romance, and in detective stories. So, why can’t you have a little horror in comedy (or vice versa)?
The reality behind people who write horror comedy is simply that we enjoy making people laugh at the darkness in life. Let’s be honest here, there is nothing wrong with taking a terrifying situation and making it amusing. It’s what many people do to deal with the dark side of life. I know it’s how I cope. *Shrugs*
I completely agree how horror is an emotion and it affects every person differently.
Bob: Well, as the product of a horror comedy I suppose I stand firmly on the side of them sucking. Although I should probably be a little kinder and simply say that if they don’t like it then they don’t have to read it. And, also, they suck. Sure, I may be offending them right now but –and let’s be honest– they already dislike my author for writing me.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
JJ: Make sure this is something you are passionate about and surround yourself with people who will be honest with you and will help you grow. Most importantly, be sure to treasure those who will tell you the raw, honest truth. They’ll be the ones who will truly help your career. I can’t agree with this enough.
Having a trusted set of betas who aren’t afraid to tell you the cold hard truth is more valuable than anything!
What about the horror genre interests you? Disgusts you?
JJ: I have always been a big fan of creature features. I love horror movies, books, and TV series. I grew up on shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Night Gallery. As far as books go, I love reading gothic horror best. I wish I could write in that style, but it’s not meant for me.
As for what sort of horrors disgust me, I find real horror far more nauseating than anything an author can come up with. The things we humans do to each other for real is worse than any book or movie because it’s real.
Human monsters are truly the scariest!
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? How’d that work out for ya? I wanted to twirl fire batons and dance with the Rockettes.
JJ: I actually wanted to be a zookeeper. I can remember that it was all I ever wanted from the age of seven. Truth be told, it worked out great for me. I had a nearly fourteen year long career at it. My only other career choice as a kid was being an author. I’m working on that one right now. *Grin* By the way, I could totally see you as a professional fire dancer!
NICE! Now I have to create that character 😉
What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
JJ: There have been many times in my life where I was terrified. I’ve been unfortunate enough to have quite a bit of horror in my life and that’s probably why I like horror comedy. Making fun of what scares me helps me deal.
I’m totally there with ya! Making fun of life and moments which are horrific is truly my coping mechanism. Right, wrong or indifferent… it’s the only way I know how to breathe through it.
Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?
JJ: I did write one short based on a very real fear of mine, but for the most part I tend to create a character first and let them have at it. Occasionally the characters deal with something that happened to me in real life. Like with Bob. There is one real bad luck story of my own in each novella.
What is one stereotype about horror writers that is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?
JJ: There is this stereotype that people who write horror (especially women) are horribly evil people. In truth, most of the authors I have met have been the most loving and caring people in the world. As far as what stereotype is dead on I don’t think there really is one, every horror author is so different from the next.
Tell me how you feel being a woman has either enhanced or hindered your writing in the Horror genre.
JJ: Well, we all know (or at least we all SHOULD) there is a serious gender gap in the genre. I’ve seen a friend have her story rejected with her name on it but when resubmitted under a male pen name I watched the exact same story not only go to print but be called brilliant and innovative by the same soul who originally rejected it. I’ve seen women get paid less per story in anthologies than their male counterparts. I’ve overheard guys talking about keeping “the bitches” out of open calls. As far as my own writing goes, I can say that I’ve honestly never encountered any enhancement, bias, or hindrance that I know of. I’ve been lucky though, the fellows I know are decent folks who want to smash that gap as much as we women do.
JJ: I’m looking forward to this year. I’m hoping to have two novels out this year as well as more Bob novellas. I really want to focus more on my Bob as well as my Shifters series this year.
I’d love to finish some more of the construction projects we have going on to restore our home. I’m hoping 2015 is a year of growth for me both professionally and personally.
Remodeling … the never ending horror nightmare! LOL 🙂
And of course … my signature question – What is something that truly frightens you and how do you deal with it?
JJ: My biggest fear is living through another Michigan winter. I hate the cold. I deal with it through the loving guidance of fleece PJ pants and hooded sweatshirts –the kind that zip up.
Now … I want a picture of that!
Okay, truthfully, I used to be afraid of heights until my best friend at the time got me on a roof to help him with a job. Then I was afraid of cockroaches until I had to deal with them in my professional life. I deal with my fears by confronting and conquering them. There truly is nothing to fear but fear itself, and penguins.
Penguins are evil bastages!
Want to learn more about how to get in touch with Jaime and where her books are available? Connect with her and your life will change with her light!
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