Our Featured author for episode 129 of the horroraddicts.net podcast is JH Moncrieff. JH is a journalist who loves to travel to exotic locations and write horror in her spare time. Recently she talked to us about her work:
What is your story for episode 129 about?
I will be reading an excerpt from The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave which is the story of Josh, a ten-year-old boy who is struggling to deal with his beloved father’s death while adjusting to life with his new stepfather. While the stepfather tries to portray himself as an all-around good guy, Josh feels he knows Michael’s true nature, and those suspicions are confirmed when Michael gives him a teddy bear–a teddy bear that seems determined to make Josh’s life a living hell…not that anyone believes him!
When did you start writing?
I wrote my earliest novels when I was five years old. I’d lost all my stencils except two–a bear and a fish–so I created a series of books about a family of fish who live in terror of a bear that stalks them under the ocean. When I was in Grade Four, I had a story about vampires published in the local paper. I’d recently learned the word “devour” so my vampires ran around devouring everyone. It’s a classic.
What are your favorite topics to write about?
I love to delve into the relationships between people and how the sins of the past can return to haunt us. Interestingly enough, three of the books I’ve written most recently have involved ghosts or hauntings of some form or another.
Travel. Travel, travel, travel. It’s where I get all my best ideas, and when I read a book I’ve written while inspired by a particular place, the memory of being there comes right back to me. It’s a great way to relive an amazing trip.
What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?
I’ll start by saying that I really wish people would expand their idea of what horror is. So many people reject it out of hand, claiming they “don’t like horror,” when what they mean is they don’t like torture porn, or they don’t like slasher flicks. But horror is also true crime. It’s the vast majority of our history books and our newspapers. It’s the quiet ghost story, it’s 1984, it’s Gone Girl. What I find fascinating about horror is that there are no guarantees how it will end–a happy ending is not a given. And that it’s so difficult to do well. I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s much easier to make people laugh or cry than it is to truly unsettle or scare them.
Could you tell us about your podcast The Write Cast?
The Write Cast is a podcast for writers by writers. On the first of each month, three very different writers–a romance author, a horror author, and one who writes YA action-adventure–discuss different issues creative types struggle with, including lack of discipline, how to handle rejection, and how to avoid playing the comparison game.
I’m a journalist, editor and publicist during most daytime hours, which is my excuse for having so few of my books available right now. The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave is available as an ebook on pretty much any online retailer, and there’s also an audio version on Amazon.com. If you’d rather have a physical copy, it’s available in the Childhood Fears collection, along with novellas from four other talented writers. I also have a dark psychological suspense that’s free if you sign up for my newsletter.
Where can we find you online?
My website is the best place to start–I blog every Tuesday about all manner of spooky things, from unsolved mysteries to creepy places in the world and the true story behind various horror movies. I’m also on Twitter and have the ubiquitous author page on Facebook.