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 John Timm.
GLAHW: How long have you been writing? When did you get started?
I began serious writing in graduate school and continued throughout my professional life. However, I did not start writing fiction until 2012.
GLAHW: Why did you choose the horror genre?
I grew up listening to radio crime and horror programs in the 1940s, then watching horror movies and television. Suspense comes to mind, and Twilight Zone, of course, plus all the low-budget horror films of the 50s in B&W. (I admit to still watching them).
GLAHW: Were you inspired by a person or event to begin your writing career?
My father and uncles were natural born storytellers. They never committed any of it to paper, and the stories changed with each retelling, but I believe I inherited some of their talent to spin a yarn.
GLAHW: Are you a Plotter or Pantser?
Some of both. I often formulate a story idea randomly as an idea occurs to me and then begin to write, though not necessarily in sequence, but rather as different scenes, characters and twists occur to me. A few of my published stories began out of free writing, which I often do just to get my mind working at the start of a writing session.
GLAHW: Have you ever had an encounter with the supernatural?
Not to my knowledge.
GLAHW: Are you superstitious? Why or why not?
No. I don’t like having my behavior handicapped by anything irrational.
GLAHW: What do you do for a living, outside of writing?
I’ve followed dual career paths, partly in academia, partly in the private sector.
I taught Portuguese, Spanish, communications and speech at four universities. In the private sector, I built, managed and consulted a number of radio stations across the country.
GLAHW: Do you keep a journal every day?
GLAHW: What do you prefer to write – short stories, poetry, novels, scripts, etc.?
I prefer short stories. I’ve written two novel manuscripts, both still in search of a home, along with a couple of short screenplays that placed well in competition.
I’m still working on a long poetry translation I began 50 years ago.
GLAHW: What truly scares you?
Being alone at night in an unfamiliar place.
GLAHW: What sort of hobbies are you into?
Model railroading and hour upon hour of film noir.
GLAHW: Do you read outside of the horror genre? If so, what else have you read?
My graduate degrees are in Portuguese and Spanish, so I’ve read abundantly in both, along with French, some Italian and a lot of North American writers. Among others, Margaret Atwood, Aimee Bender, Raymond Carver, Anthony Doerr, Jeffrey Eugenides, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jonathan Franzen, Ernest Hemingway, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Richard Russo.
GLAHW: What’s your favorite genre to write?
So far, I’ve managed to publish in crime, horror, sci-fi and literary fiction. My tendency is to write horror, and I hope to focus there.
GLAHW: Do you use a pseudonym?
GLAHW: What do you think makes a good story?
When the reader finishes, I want them to feel they’ve been entertained and it was a good use of their time.
GLAHW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
GLAHW: Are you spiritual?
I am to the extent of most who have been raised as Protestant in the Midwest.
GLAHW: What are your influences?
In horror, the likely suspects: Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker.
GLAHW: What are you reading right now?
The complete short stories of Flannery O’Connor. It’s amazing how she creates horrific outcomes out of what appears to be everyday life.
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.
I enjoy editing. Currently, I beta read for a screenwriter who is trying his hand at short stories, an engineer who writes great sci-fi novels, and a biographer / social activist who writes about Central America politics and our border issues.
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I’ve dropped off most of it except Twitter.