Jake Bible Lives in Asheville, NC USA with his wife and two children. He is the author of the popular Z-Burbia series and Mega series by Severed Press and the forthcoming Little Dead Man YA zombie novel and the ScareScapes series by Permuted Press.
What first attracted you to horror writing?
Poe and my love of Halloween. That simple. I remember watching The Gold Bug on an ABC Saturday Morning special (ABC is one of the big TV networks here in the US and they used to adapt stories and books into short movies/cartoons and broadcast them Saturday mornings after all the cartoons). Then a friend had a record of The Tell-Tale Heart and I was blown away. From that moment on I wanted to make up stories like that. I wanted to hook people (not literally) and bring them into a tale then scare the bejeezus out of them. My birthday is at the end of October, so I’ve always loved Halloween and all the ghouls and goblins that come with it. Writing horror was, and continues to be, a way to keep those spooky vibes going all year long. It’s pretty cool.
What is your most notable work?
That’s actually a tough question. I’ve had two phases to my career. The first phase began when I podcast my first novel, Dead Mech. I have a huge fan base that has followed my career since that novel (and subsequent side-quel and sequel). Then in 2013 I wrote Z-Burbia for Severed Press. That one has really put me on the map as far as bringing in tonnes of new readers and fans that never knew I was a podcast novelist in the beginning. It’s crazy because the two novels are so different. Dead Mech is set in a
post-apocalyptic wasteland way in the future where society has built huge battle mechs to fight the zombie hordes. It’s very military sci-fi horror. Whereas Z-Burbia is set only a couple years after the zombie apocalypse started and takes place in a fortified suburban subdivision. It’s a total throwback to the Romero style zombie stories – it not only provides some serious scares, but is also a satiric commentary on American society.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on Kaiju Winter for Severed Press while also plotting and planning my Reign of Four space opera series for Permuted Press. Oh, and in between I’m writing the ScareScapes novels for Permuted as well. Those are Middle Grade (8–12year old) sci-fi/horror novels, kinda like Goosebumps meets the Scooby Gang in deep space. You could say I’m busy right now. Ha!
Who do you admire in the horror world?
Robert McCammon and Jonathan Maberry. Hands down… Robbert McCammon’s novels entranced me when I was in middle school and high school. All the characters and subplots he could weave in one novel then turn around and make the next novel a single character, very intimate story, that just blew me away. Then he walked away from the publishing biz for a bit because of some of the BS that it put him through. I admire that. Now he’s back with the Matthew Corbett series of Scary Mysteries and I’m hooked all over again. Then you have Jonathan Maberry whose Joe Ledger novels are awesome supernatural/monster/sci-fi/horror/special ops thrillers. They guy knows how to mix up his genres and really pack a punch. Not to mention his Rot & Ruin YA zombie series. And he writes comic books! I’d take his career any second of the day! (That’s a subtle hint to all you indie comic book publishers out there. Call me.)
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
I’m a gore guy first, but I love to add that emotional/psychological punch. I want my readers to feel and taste the gore, not just get grossed out by it. Blood has to be there for a reason, not just shock value. The same can be said for psychological horror too. It has to have meaning or it can never be horrific. But when it comes down to it, I write in a very action-orientated style, so there is a lot of gore. A lot.
Wow, that’s a very good question. There are lots of reasons, but the main one is: I write to entertain. I do have some deep themes in my novels like family, society, self sacrifice, science ethics, the morality of killing, life vs. death and all that jazz, but when it’s all said and done I want my novels to be fun. I write horror/sci-fi/thriller/monster novels. I’m not looking to be Hemingway, or even Poe. I’m looking to write fast-paced stories with plenty of violence, horror, blood, guts, humour, guns and explosions. My books are filled with big heroes, flawed protagonists, psychotic enemies and over the top badasses. I think of my current work as elevated pulp. I won’t achieve world peace with my novels, but I may bring my readers some good fun, which can go a long way towards that world peace, if you think about it. Hmm, maybe the answer is people should read my novels and let my characters deal with the madness of the world so they don’t have to for a short while. “Escape with Jake!” should be my new motto!
Recommend a book.
Argh! Why do you have to make this so hard? There are too many good books out there! Off the top of my head I’d go with Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds. Chuck is a great writer and I think those that read my stuff will like his work as well. We’re both profane writers that love flawed heroes and murky ethics. His whole Miriam Black series is outstanding.
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