James Master is a 28-year-old married man from Northern Indiana with a passion for writing. He is a full-time student working a full-time job while maintaining a writing career.
What first attracted you to horror writing?
Horror provides the reader an outlet to accept what scares them and deal with their phobias. A writer can take everyday problems and twist them into something that truly scares the reader. On a more personal note, I was first attracted to horror by the novel It by Stephen King. At the time I was a sixth grader and absolutely terrified of clowns.
What is your most notable work?
My first novel, The Book of Roland, is set to debut sometime August 2015 from Permuted Press. This is book one in a series called The Soul Eater Chronicles.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the third book in the series, The Book of Ashley.
How much planning and research do you undertake before writing?
None. I start writing, crafting the world as I go, and when I do need to do some research, then I’ll do it. I start each work with a general outline of how the story begins and how it might end, but everything else in between, and even the ending, may change.
Describe your writing routine.
I write whenever I have the chance. My wife and I carpool to work and I’ll type while she drives, when I’m on break during my 40+ hour working week, or between my college courses. Saturdays and Sundays I get the most writing done.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
There are three people that have influenced my writing. The first is Stephen King. Ever since the sixth grade, I’ve been soaking up everything he’s ever written. George Romero and his Dead series inspired my first venture into zombie fiction, which turned out to be The Book of Roland. I believe that modern day zombie writers owe most, if not all, of their ideas to Romero and his films. The third person is Richard Matheson and his story I Am Legend. It’s worth mentioning that Romero got his idea for the modern day zombie through Matheson’s work.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
I think an equal balance of both is good enough for me. With zombie fiction there is going to be an exorbitant amount of gore, which is fine. What creeps me out the most is when the eye becomes the target of the gore. I feel that gore needs to not take the centre stage, which you see in a lot of modern day horror films. Give me Psycho over Saw any day.
Why should people read your work?
People should read my work for the same reason I read other authors’ work, because they enjoy reading. It’s a vacation for the mind. Cracking open a book, entering the world inside, mourning beloved characters, and reveling in the death or defeat of the villain is something that ordinary life sometimes cannot equate. I won’t say you’ll love my work, because there will be those that will not. What I will say is give it a try. Live in the world I created, fight back to back with the protagonists as they oppose the living dead and the creature that controls them. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Recommend a book.
The Alienist written by Caleb Carr. It’s a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and The Silence of the Lambs.