Friends of GLAHW Questionnaire
We here at GLAHW have met so many amazing and talented people out in the big wide world (you know, OFF the internets) and thought it was high-time we introduced them to you. Who knows? You may end up discovering a favorite new artist, photographer, writer, or all-around awesome human. This time around, we will be talking to J.M. Van Horn.
GLAHW: How long have you been writing? When did you get started?
I would say around eighth grade. Itstarted when I won a cassette recorder by selling enough candy bars in my youth soccer league. My brother, sister, and I started playing out small audio stories, like a reporter interviewing a shark attack victim. After they got bored with the recordings, I shifted to writing various short stories.
GLAHW: Why did you choose the horror genre?
The never ending levels of horror out there. Not just with the various sub-genres but how horror can have different meanings depending on who you ask. Maybe it is the typical killer chasing you through the woods or the loss of a loved one. There are countless things that keep people up at night.
GLAHW: Were you inspired by a person or event to begin your writing career?
My mom. She was always the creative one in the family and was always encouraging us to try new things.
GLAHW: Are you a Plotter or Pantser?
I start out wanting to be 100% Plotter but always end up around 60% Plotter and 40% Pantser. One of these days I might reach the fabled 100% goal.
GLAHW: Have you ever had an encounter with the supernatural?
Possibly but not 100% sure. There is some doubt in the back of my head that I made it up.
GLAHW: Are you superstitious? Why or why not?
No, but I do find if folks give more credence to superstitions, the more they will see it come true.
GLAHW: What do you do for a living, outside of writing?
I work at a financial institution where I develop the strategies to protect our customer base from fraudulent activity.
GLAHW: Do you keep a journal every day?
I had thought about starting one, but don’t feel there would be a benefit in it for me.
GLAHW: What do you prefer to write – short stories, poetry, novels, scripts, etc.?
Over the years it has changed to short stories. The limited word count forces the fluff out and lets me focus on the story. Of course, I have expanded on some of the short stories to larger works-in-progress.
GLAHW: What truly scares you?
The unknown. The more I learn about it, the less fearful it seems.
GLAHW: What sort of hobbies are you into?
Plenty of things, as long as it has to do with creating something. Lately it has involved creating Halloween props or cooking. The cooking experiments work out since my son is open to trying new things.
GLAHW: Do you read outside of the horror genre? If so, what else have you read?
Yes, pretty much open to any genre.
GLAHW: What’s your favorite genre to write?
I’m always drawn back to Horror. I mean there are so many possibilities you can go.
GLAHW: Do you use a pseudonym?
Nope, just initials. .
GLAHW: What do you think makes a good story?
When I was younger I would have said how well the writer creates the setting through description. It has changed over the years to now where characters are the driving force in a good story. Without engaging characters, the reader is going to drift through the story.
GLAHW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
It was a toss-up from the legal field or a marine biologist. Despite the strong fascination and admiration I have for sharks, I ended up working with law enforcement throughout my employment history.
GLAHW: Are you spiritual?
Not in the typical sense. I was raised Roman Catholic but drifted from that over the years. I do believe in Karma and subscribe to treating people the way you would want to be treated. Things have a way of circling back to you.
GLAHW: What are your influences?
Early on it was Ray Bradbury and William Golding. In recent years, it has been driven by a few authors, like Jim Butcher and John Sanford, who have made engaging characters..
GLAHW: What are you reading right now?
I have a few things I am working through. Finishing up Urbane Decay by Michael Cieslak and The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea. A bunch is waiting in the wings by Ken MacGregor, Bentley Little, Mark Matthews, Jim Butcher, K.B. Knight, and countless more.
GLAHW: What else do you want your readers to know? Consider here your likes and dislikes, your interests, your favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind.
The last year has shown me a lot. Good and bad. It forced me to make some changes that were long coming.
This is the same approach I have been taking with my writing and hope others enjoy what I put out.
You can head over to LinkTree for my Social Media and Amazon Author page links.