In this podcast, Tyler Jones talks about early life lessons, Mark Rylance, collecting books, and much more.
About Tyler Jones
Tyler Jones is the author of Criterium, The Dark Side of the Room, Almost Ruth, and Burn the Plans.
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Horror on Main
A brand new horror convention coming soon. Guests include Tim Lebbon, Sarah Pinborough, Jeff Strand, and Jessica McHugh.
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Michael David Wilson 0:28
Welcome to This Is Horror, a podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson, and every episode alongside my co host, Bob Pastorella we chat with masters of horror, about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, today's guest is Tyler Jones. He is the author of criterium the dark side of the room, almost roof and burn the plans. And his short stories have been featured in a number of anthologies and publications, including burnt tongues, which was edited by Chuck Palahniuk. Now Tyler is such a fascinating individual. And in fact, we were having such a great time talking with him that we hit record in what was meant to be the pre conversation but in the end, we don't let's include that in the episode. So we really do jump in to this episode mid conversation, and then 20 minutes in I do welcome him to the show just so he can feel you know that welcome. So before any of that, a little bit of an advert break.
Jeff Strand 1:53
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Michael David Wilson 3:07
And well a couple of great advertisers we have on the show. You've probably noticed these horror on Main adverts over the last few months. It seems like it's going to be a brilliant new convention. So I do urge you to check it out. And talking of good things to check out. The Anthology was all a dream an anthology of bad horror tropes done right cracking lineup as you've heard in the advert, it's coming out in what about 11 days at the time of airiness. And just to make sure that you caught it if you do order directly from Hungary shadow press.com use the code use This Is Horror. all capitals for 20% off you've got the Emma files you've got Gabino Iglesias, you've got Haley Piper three of the best names in horror. You've also got a foreword by the legendary land Baron. Stories from the likes of This Is Horror favorite and Laurel Hightower. Your story by Wendy and Wagner. So definitely an exciting and Knology Well, if you can't get out well, if you pick it up, I would imagine. All right, with that said let's jump into it. This is Tyler Jones on dare says hora. I wonder in terms of collecting then are you doing that more as a kind of fan in a sense of the joy of the collecting or are you doing it as a kind of monetary pursuit or is it a little bit of both
Tyler Jones 4:59
the Not a monetary pursuit at all. It's all just fan. It's just love for for certain writers. And there are some that like Joe Hill, for example, you know, he's got a he comes out with limited editions and he's one of those writers, Josh Malerman. to that. I'll just, I will pre order immediately whatever they come out with.
Michael David Wilson 5:23
Yeah, I think cemetery dance publications is a good one for putting out this super limited signed versions as well.
Tyler Jones 5:32
Yeah, yeah, cemetery dance subterranean press, or Earthling. Yeah. And I've got a ton of Lansdale ones, too. He he. He's published a lot through subterranean press a lot of special editions of novels that he's put out in the past and some are books that are specific, like he's put out novels only through subterranean like his books. Jane goes north or fender lizards. The only physical editions that exist are cemetery or sorry, subterranean press editions. So I've got a massive Lansdale collection huge Joe Hill. I've got Yeah. Malerman Yeah. Stephen Graham Jones. I've got all of his in he's Stephen Graham Jones has a lot of books that you can't get anymore. Various presses that he's published with they don't they no longer exists. So like, I've got one called the long trial of Nolan do Gotti? Which I don't think many copies of that physically actually exist in longer?
Michael David Wilson 6:39
Yeah. Do you have the little cap book we put out the Elvis room?
Tyler Jones 6:44
No, I don't share. Because that friend of a friend of mine has it? And yeah, I'm gonna break into his house one of these days.
Michael David Wilson 6:55
Yeah, cuz it goes, that one sold out quite quickly. I mean, I'll be honest, like, I should have had more printed, you know, eat each chapbook when I was putting them out, you kind of tried to estimate. Okay, how many do I think this is going to sell? And I think, you know, at that point, one I'd put out before I definitely overprinted. So I went a little bit conservative with Stephen Graham Jones, which now is like, why did you do that? You know, it is what it is. But, um,
Tyler Jones 7:29
but yeah, I same time. Like it does take that, that book, that chat book, and it creates something unique. Yeah, about it. It makes it a collector's item where if you had printed more, maybe wouldn't be as desirable as for someone like me. Like, oh, yeah, I could get that at any time. But because it's so limited. Now. It's like, that is my SG J. Holy Grail right now.
Michael David Wilson 7:55
Yeah. Yeah. Because I, I mean, I think I've probably only got my one personal copy. Because, I mean, I'm quite a minimalist in terms of what I have. So typically, even when I put out books, it's like, yeah, I have one copy of that. So I've got to look after that one. But I mean, you gotta break.
Tyler Jones 8:16
I gotta break into your house to please don't
Michael David Wilson 8:19
do that and steal the one copy from the publisher.
Tyler Jones 8:23
If that goes this angle? No, exactly. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 8:26
Yeah. But I do have.
Tyler Jones 8:28
I do have the, the This Is Horror version of house at the bottom of the lake. Oh,
Michael David Wilson 8:34
yeah. And that's, I mean, that's kind of becoming a collectible now, because, you know, it was a limited run in the sense that, you know, it's no longer available. So, yeah, I think that was so good. So good. I mean, I remember talking to Josh about working with him, and he sent me a house at the bottom of a lake and I was actually reading it on a flight might have been coming back from Japan but it I mean, you must have these moments when you're reading a book in public and you're just experiencing magic and you're almost looking around you and everyone else is just getting on with their lives and you're thinking but I'm in a magical world right now. What Why are you not reacting? of a people not joining me for this?
Tyler Jones 9:36
Yeah, that's that's a special book, special story. It really does suck you in and transport you to somewhere else for a while. I remember vividly reading it. I started it on the edge of my bed, meaning I sat on the bed and just open to the first page just to get a sense of it. Because I read I picked up Birdbox not long after it came out knowing nothing about jaw Just knowing nothing about the book, just it was a new book. It looked interesting. I'd followed the publisher that put it out somewhat. And so and then it came out between Birdbox and black mad wheel, correct?
Michael David Wilson 10:17
Hmm. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. It was just
Tyler Jones 10:21
Birdbox that I'd read. And I was like, Yeah, I'm a fan. Now. I'm a fan of Josh. So I picked that one up, and I just sat on the edge of the bed and opened it, just read the first page, just get a sense of it. And before I knew it, like, an hour had gone by, and I hadn't moved and my muscles were all tense, because I was sitting in this weird position that I hadn't planned on staying in for any period of time. And before you know it, I'm like, just stuck there immersed in this book. And I just Yeah, I loved it. Absolutely loved it.
Michael David Wilson 10:52
Yeah. You know, what it's almost an honor for us to is when it was picked up by Del Rey. I mean, they were so impressed with the cover from Pye Parr, that they wanted to buy it and you so you so rarely see that I'm not even sure if I can think of another example where something has gone from an independent press to a mainstream press, but they've kept the original cover.
Tyler Jones 11:20
Yeah, that's a great point. You're absolutely right. And I'm so glad as a fan, you know, who nerds out about this stuff. I was so thrilled that they did keep the cover because I couldn't imagine it with another cover that would Yeah, it's so well.
Michael David Wilson 11:37
Yeah, I was thrilled to and I mean, it's no surprise, really that, you know, Pye Parr would be on a mainstream cover, because I mean, I met him when I was working at Rebellion Publishing, who also own 2000 AD. So they put out the Judge Dredd graphic novels. So I mean, he was the head of often design at a relatively mainstream publisher. So you know, he knows what he's doing.
Tyler Jones 12:07
For sure. It's, you know, his art is really unique. I was actually, no, I'm not just saying this at all. But I was actually looking him up the other day, because I was just thinking about cover artists, and I was so impressed with the work that he did for the book you guys did together. They're Watching. Yeah. And it's interesting to look at what he does in a graphic novel context. And a comic context is very different from the work that he created for the covers for malaman. And for your book. Like you could almost think it was two different artists. Well, yeah,
Michael David Wilson 12:40
I mean, I don't know if you're aware just how many covers he's done for This Is Horror, but he's done. The majority of them. Oh, look, they all look radically different.
Tyler Jones 12:53
Did he do The Elvis Room as well?
Michael David Wilson
Oh, no kidding.
Michael David Wilson 12:58
I'm trying to think … so I believe the last one that he's he started doing them from chalk by Pat Cadigan. And I didn't use another artist after that. I was like, Yeah, Ty is the man so he he did chalk by pack. Oh, tell Li T T growl has a different artist. But apart from T ground for his vampire novella. They're all Piper so he did the visible filth. He did water for drowning. He did kyauk by Pat Cadigan. Of course, he's done. They're Watching. He also did The Girl in the Video. Because, you know, I asked Max, can we can we use him.
Tyler Jones 13:49
but it was a great cover to great color.
Michael David Wilson 13:52
Yeah, yeah. I mean, that that's gonna stand out on your bookshelf. So I mean, that was a thrill to have that as you know, my first cover.
Tyler Jones 14:07
Will you ever put out books again?
Michael David Wilson 14:10
Hmm, um, goodness. I mean, that's a difficult question. Never say never. It's really difficult. I've certainly not made a decision that I won't put out books again. Let's put it like that. So
Tyler Jones 14:28
okay. I mean, really, I respect that.
Michael David Wilson 14:33
Yeah, it's a case really, of me having finite time, as is the case with all of us. And so the things that I really wanted to concentrate my energy on were my own writing on the podcast. And so that's mostly what I'm doing. I'm also open for freelance editing, but in terms of the turnaround time, it's going to depend on what else they have on. So of course, I'm very honest with clients about that. And, you know, typically, it's like, you're not going to get the quickest work, but you are going to get the absolute best. So I'm certainly going for quality overspeed, I suppose.
Tyler Jones 15:23
Yeah. And that's, that's, that's worth a lot.
Michael David Wilson 15:26
Yeah. But I'm doing that whilst also like, so at the moment. I'm teaching full time. But the caveat there is I deliberately chose the teaching job with the most amount of holiday I could find. To the point where I mean, I've roughly got in a year about 200 days working, which means I've obviously got 165 When I'm not. Some might, I mean, that's including weekends, but some might argue that even though that's full time, is it really, you know, I've had all of August stuff. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, I would imagine in the future, and hopefully, if the writing and everything I'm doing continues to go in the direction it is that there will be a point where I go back to teaching more part time, so one or two days a week. And then that would, you know, of course, give me more time. So it would then mean the likelihood of me putting out things like as a publisher would increase, but it's so difficult one. It's so save.
Tyler Jones 16:48
Takes a lot of time.
Michael David Wilson 16:50
Yeah, I think as well, you know, typically when I, when I do something. And I think it's definitely the same with your writing, because I know your philosophy is to kind of write the book you wish existed as is the philosophy of a lot of people. But when when I'm doing something, I'm typically doing it to fill a gap in the market, but like a gap that I want to fill, there's something that I want to exist, and it doesn't exist. So I think well, I guess I'll create it. And you know, that's what happened with This Is Horror. That's what happened with This Is Horror Podcast. And that's also I mean, typically what happened with the cat books and then novellas, but I think at the moment, there are so many fantastic indie publishers putting out novellas, and there are also, you know, a number of mainstream publishers who are getting in into that space. So yeah, I'm not convinced that the world needs This Is Horror to be putting out novellas. But of course, if the world does if if everyone else stops putting out novellas, the lidded, the this is rescued, you know, but yeah, it's very much about looking at when there's a need for something.
Tyler Jones 18:15
Yeah, that seems wise. You know, it's always amazed me that mainstream publishing hasn't jumped more on the novella than it has. Like, there's not a lot of publishers doing that, obviously, Tor. Yes. Yeah, I think the primary one, but it just seems like I don't know, it seems that publishing has always stuck. In what it's always done. That, well, we've always done it this way. And it reminds me of, you know, a long time ago, there was a study done with rats, where they put a bunch of rats in a cage and they had a button. And if the rats push the button, it would shock them. And I think they put 10 rats in this cage. And then they all these rats learned not to touch the button. And then they took out five rats and put five new ones in. And the five original taught the new rats don't touch the button. Yeah. And after those rats learned, they took out the five original ones and put in five new ones. So what you had were 10 Rats, who had never touched the button. And they all taught each other don't touch the button, even though none of them knew why. And publishing to me, like from this outside perspective seems like that in a sense. Like, we've always done it this way. But why? We don't know. But that's how we do it. Yeah, it's not that forward thinking, you know?
Michael David Wilson 19:38
Yeah, well, I mean, there's too much of that in society and all kinds of realms. It's like don't push the button. Isn't that why why shouldn't we push the button because we shouldn't push the button. Okay, this is a little bit security's.
Tyler Jones 19:54
Yeah. Yeah. That's such a good point. Like in that reminds me that occasionally you got to touch button, you need to be shocked. You need to you need to touch the thing you're told not to touch just to know why. To understand why to test the limits. And yeah, decide for yourself. Was that worth it? Yeah, yeah. I found that I was I was talking with my agent like a week ago. I have a novel coming out next year with earthling publications. And, you know, it'll be it'll be a signed limited edition. And she's going to try and shop it around to some bigger publishers, and part of her method is, are these publishers open to the idea of republishing something that's come out through a limited press? Kind of like what's happening with Philip for caceis boys in the valley? You know, that got picked up by fire?
Michael David Wilson 20:51
Yeah, so there's rockers
Tyler Jones 20:53
lands. Right, right. And that's it, like, what publishers are open to the new way that artists are doing things? Are they forward thinking enough to say, yeah, absolutely. We'll take that on, we understand the value in it, and how it doesn't diminish what we're gonna put out. But there are a lot of publishers who are like, Wait, that came out already? No, absolutely not. It's like, what a shame. How many books aren't getting the audience that they deserve?
Michael David Wilson 21:27
Yeah, but I do think there's, there's a shift away from that. I mean, particularly the examples that I gave with a house at the bottom of a lake being picked up by Del Rey, and then also the visible filth, be being picked up by another bigger press, and then kind of repackaged as wounds into the short story collection by Nathan Balin. Grid. So I mean, the commonality with both of those is having a movie. So I think perhaps there's something like that if there's another thing, be it a movie tie in, or what have you that is bringing greater attention to that offer, then, you know that the bigger publishers are going to see that potential. But I mean, that there must be examples where there isn't a movie tie in and this has happened, it's just not quite coming to my head right now.
Tyler Jones 22:26
All the ones I can think of her Josh Malerman yo, he had Goblin, through Earthling, which then got picked up by Delray. He also had on this the day of the pig, which got picked up by Del Rey and republished his pearl plus house at the bottom of the lake. Yeah, maybe it's all Josh.
Michael David Wilson 22:48
Well, I, I mean, I think so this is an important point to that it's showing that the movie adaptations doesn't have to be a movie of the book, it just has to be a movie have something that his, you know, your work, because he got the deal for Birdbox, obviously, that, at the time was the most successful, the most viewed Netflix movie ever, for star. So Darrel Ray noticed an opportunity and they picked up the back catalogue. I mean, yeah, as much as this business is about the art. It's also a business. And so I think that was a pretty business savvy move from them, I think we are going to see more and more people starting with indie presses. And then, particularly if a movie deal happens, I'm getting picked up by a bigger press. And I wonder if in terms of the general attitude of the publisher of the small prints, are they going to feel more excited? Or are they going to feel more frustrated? Because, you know, we've me it was conflicting, you know, particularly knowing the kind of money that you can make as soon as something gets picked up, you know, gets made into a movie. I mean, when when Birdbox came out as a movie, you know, initially, a house at the bottom of a lake was still with This Is Horror. The sales impact was remarkable. A shout out on you know, just just because but Boggs had been made into a movie. I mean, Birdbox kind of became a New York Times bestseller I can't remember if it would get became a New York Times bestseller again, or if it became a New York Times bestseller for the first time. I think it was again, I think it was all okay. Okay, well,
Bob Pastorella 24:59
never It never it had been out since like, what 2014? I think? And I don't think it charted. It was good, but I don't think it's on the chart. And then when the movie came out, it became a New York Times bestseller.
Michael David Wilson 25:13
Yeah, yeah. We're talking with Tyler Jones. Welcome to the show, despite the fact that we've been on air for the last 20 minutes. How are you doing?
Tyler Jones 25:24
Thank you. It's, it's great to be here. And I appreciate the warm welcome.
Michael David Wilson 25:30
Well, is. I mean, as I said, off air, it was such a fascinating conversation. I don't let's, let's give the people this insight. And I think as well, you know, that there's something almost a little bit different and candid, if we give the listeners a conversation that was initially conceived of as private.
Tyler Jones 25:52
Yeah, that's a good point. Yeah, you know, so since we're, since we're official now, do I do want to say it, it is truly an honor for me to be here because This Is Horror was the very first horror podcast that I listened to. I'm always a little bit slow to embrace new technology. And so I didn't listen to podcasts for the longest time, even as they were blowing up. And believe it or not, so we, in the earlier conversation, we were talking a lot about Josh Malerman. And it was Birdbox. And house at the bottom of the lake that got me interested in his work is what drew me to This Is Horror, because I thought, I want to listen to this guy interviewed. I want to see how he thinks about writing and listen to it. So I started looking for interviews and and you guys heard him on This Is Horror. And that was the very first episode that I listened to the very first podcast I listened to. Honestly, I'd never heard a podcast before. And this, I can't remember maybe, maybe 2014, maybe 2015. Does that sound about right to you guys?
Michael David Wilson 27:08
Well, yeah. And so the first time that we had Josh Malerman on was an of a few months or so after Birdbox. And that was when Dan Howarth was co hosting. So we were talking about bird box then, but then after, you know, to kind of coincide with the release at a house at the bottom of a lake in 2016. We had Josh on for that, at which point Bob was here. So it depends, you know, was it Bob? Or was it Dan, I don't know which episode you began with.
Tyler Jones 27:42
I think it was Dan. Shout out to Dan.
Michael David Wilson 27:45
Tyler Jones 27:47
The first time. The very first time I ever opened up the podcast app on my phone and searched for something and listened to it was a This Is Horror episode with Josh Malerman. Yeah. And so this is, this is like a full circle moment for me because I've listened to dozens and dozens of episodes since then. And now here I am chatting with you guys, which is kind of weird for me, because I feel like I know both of you pretty well, because I've listened to you talk for hours, which sounds creepy.
Michael David Wilson 28:21
No, I mean it.
Tyler Jones 28:24
I listen to you talk. I listen to you in conversation. I've eavesdropped in a way on you talking with all these writers that I admire and respect and and now here I am. So that's it's just, it's really cool. And I thank you so much for having me on.
Michael David Wilson 28:40
Well, you're most welcome here. And we're very excited about this. And I know exactly what you mean in terms of, like, kind of feeling like you know us already. And it's that strange relationship whenever you listen to a podcast, and then you're on air. And I guess it happened to me, we've booked podcast, you know, back in the day, because I was listening to them. And then suddenly we ended up collaborating with them. But it was like, Rob Livius old friends back again. Oh, hang on. No, we haven't spoken at all ever. You know, even the same with Brian Keene. And I think I think as well, there's a fervor level that almost makes it more confusing that particularly with the horror fiction community, being so close knit on social media, we can have these long conversations or exchanged messages back and forth. And then forget that we've never actually had like an audio cool. Yeah,
Tyler Jones 29:45
yeah. It's it's cool in one way and a little odd in another but yeah, it is. It is cool. I guess at the end of the day that you can get to know people through these different formats.
Michael David Wilson 30:00
Yeah, we're live if we want to make it even more surreal, me and Bob have actually never met in person. So kidding. So there's going to be a de la mi inverse and then it's just gonna be so weird and like, I feel the same about whenever I inevitably me, Max boof. Does like me and Max and me and Bob have spent so much of our lives talking, you know, for for what, like, seven years still haven't met. And you know, COVID hasn't done us any favors with that one because probably if that hadn't happened, I'd have been able to get over to the states for a convention that, you know, one day
Tyler Jones 30:46
is a lot taller in person than you'd expect. Is that true Bob? Like 6768
Bob Pastorella 30:53
I'm gonna like, I've had this conversation already with people at a convention apparently on the the height of Tom Cruise. Oh, no. No, I mean, I'm like, and I don't know, there's one of my co workers at work. She's, she's six foot and there's no doubt in my mind. She's six foot tall. And she's like, I'm 510 I'm like, No, you're not because I'm 510 shows you're not 510 Apparently, my driver's license lies. You know, they all do. Yeah. But uh, no, I think I'm 510 on a good day.
Michael David Wilson 31:33
Bob Pastorella 31:35
Yeah. You know what? Some good? What
Michael David Wilson 31:37
have you like, have you stuffed your boots kinda like that. Joyce Carol Oates story?
Bob Pastorella 31:42
No, no, but if I'm wearing my Nikes from weren't, you know, my Nikes I'm about 510. If I got my bands on, I'm probably about five, nine. So I'm not six sevens on
Tyler Jones 31:53
the shoe. Well, there's a perfect chance there to get like this rumor started and you just blew it, Bob.
Michael David Wilson 31:59
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. You're too honest.
Bob Pastorella 32:02
I am I am. I used to be a term really bad liar. And then I've had like some, I guess what they call epiphany ease. And so now I'm like brutally honest about everything. Which sucks for some people, but yeah. Used to be.
Michael David Wilson 32:21
So you've Tyler and said, I was six, seven, I would have totally fallen into that. But the problem is, no one would have fucking believed it. It's conceivable.
Tyler Jones 32:33
Bob, what you were saying? It reminds me of that. That line from what is it Guys and Dolls, or one of the characters says, I used to be a bad guy and a bad gambler. And now I want to be a good guy. A good gambler?
Bob Pastorella 32:48
Yeah, it's a when you when you have like a guess. You know, some people, they they have like life changing events. And they say they're going to change and I don't. I'm the guy who did. So. You know. And it's weird, too, because there's a lot of times throughout the day that I'm like, You know what, I'm still fucking piece of shit. But, uh, but I sleep good at night. Yeah, there you go.
Tyler Jones 33:15
It's worth a lot. If you guys ever read or heard of Paul Auster?
Michael David Wilson 33:20
Yeah, yes. Yeah. And I think he has a quote, maybe that you're about to jump into based on what Bob just said? Yeah,
Tyler Jones 33:29
exactly. It's, he's, he's one of my favorite authors. There's just something comforting and warm about his storytelling voice. He's just really unique. I've had the opportunity to see him live a couple times. And he's everything that you would want Paul Auster to be he's kind of mysterious, but also like, like an uncle, that you don't see very often, but he's spent a lot of time abroad maybe in France just sees the world differently. But yeah, one of his books. I can't even remember which one anymore. He's got a quote that says only the good doubt their own goodness, the bad. No, they're good. Yeah, and anytime like I yeah, I think of that, when you doubt yourself or your decisions that that's a reminder that okay, I'm moving in the right direction, at least.
Michael David Wilson 34:19
Yeah, yeah. And that is actually a quote that I've been thinking about a lot recently. Because, you know, as I've said to you off air, as I've alluded to, on air a number of times, I'm going through a not great experience at the moment, and I think whenever, you know, we're faced with challenges we, we can start to doubt our own goodness. And so it's important, you know, to be reminded of these things.
Tyler Jones 34:49
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's an important reminder, not just in how we look at ourselves, but even others. Yes, like what's the worst case scenario if you look at somebody who Maybe you don't like the way they've treated you or the way they've behaved and you think maybe you're just doing the best that you can with what you've got. Yeah, like what to think of others in that way as well, that I'm choosing to believe that you're just trying to do the best you can under the circumstances. And then maybe that makes people seem a little less sinister. Not that there aren't sinister people there most certainly are. But, boy, we if we err on the side of giving people grace, and as we give ourselves the same amount, it's, it's not a bad thing.
Michael David Wilson 35:35
Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's just a wonderful philosophy to have because I think sometimes particularly in this almost need yak reaction society, we assume the worst, or we assume the worst reading of a person or their actions. But you know, I challenge people to always assume the best. Yeah, assume good intentions.
Tyler Jones 36:01
Right? Right. Yeah, yeah. I don't think you can go wrong with that. But you're right. And particularly in this day and age, there's so much assumption about people. I've noticed that a lot just in overhearing conversations, how much people assume about someone else based on some very small, insignificant piece of information, and they think they know how this other person sees the world, how they think, how they vote, how they view others say, Wow, you just you, you really went nuts there with the assumptions based on one little thing? Yeah, maybe maybe that person is more complex than you're giving them credit for. You know, and wouldn't you want that for yourself when you want someone to assume the best of you? Yeah. Strange Days, man. Strange times.
Michael David Wilson 36:52
Yeah. Yeah. And I think the majority of people when they do something, they do it because they genuinely think it's the best thing to do. I think very few people are operating with bad intentions. They're doing what they've weighed things up. And they're like, right, I think that is the best option. That is the best choice. Now, you might not agree with their conclusion. But they're probably not doing it in a sinister way or to hurt other people.
Tyler Jones 37:24
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And what they're bringing to bear upon their conclusion is a whole lifetime of experiences that have informed how they think about something. Yeah. You know, so the, you can't, yeah, you just you can't like, Bob, you're in Texas, right?
Bob Pastorella 37:42
Yes, I'm in the world.
Tyler Jones 37:46
But both you guys like, you know, Michael, you got England, Bob, Texas, like those are both places I've been, but I've never lived there and never grew up there. I didn't have your families. So how you think and feel about things are going to be completely informed by although all of those experiences that I'm not privy to. So what right do I have to say? Like the how you're approaching something whether it's right or wrong. You know, that Western writer friends. Several years ago, we did this interesting thought experiment where we would take villains from literature and film. And imagine how the villain of this story, like a stupid example would be take Darth Vader just because we all know him. Imagine that he doesn't know he's the villain, how does he see himself? How does he perceive his own actions? And how does he justify what he does? And it was really interesting to hear how everyone analyzed that and came up with these conclusions. And you realize that if you were to tell the story from Darth Vader's perspective, you could easily make the rebellion. The bad guys. Here's a dad just trying to reunite with his son. You know, however you want to spin it, but it really helped me. Think about how I write people who maybe aren't making the best decisions or even villains that no I don't want to write this person as a villain. I want to write them as somebody who believes that what they're doing is right.
Bob Pastorella 39:17
It's like, when you watch the movie Gremlins, and you realize that the kids mom is the villain of the story.
Tyler Jones 39:25
Hmm. You know, it has been years since I've seen that. She
Bob Pastorella 39:29
kills the first Gremlins killed them all and all they wanted to do once they turned, which wasn't their fault. They just wanted to have fun. And what a Gremlins do well, I mean, you know, you know what they do you know, but they didn't cause anyone die yet. When she when you know what's his name's mom killed the first one. That was it came over. Yeah, she was the villain.
Tyler Jones 39:59
And John As man who's just hungry, man, just just as sharp and nature.
Michael David Wilson 40:05
Yeah. One of my favorite moments in cinema almost illustrate this thin line between the good and the bad is that moment towards the end of falling down with Michael Douglas. When he realizes and he says, I'm the bad guy. Here, that wonderful epiphany, he realized that, you know, he's been the bad guy all along. Yeah.
Tyler Jones 40:33
And then we've all been there, haven't we? We've all been in situations where we have that realization, and it's just painful.
Michael David Wilson 40:42
Yeah, yeah. I mean, in life, if you're kind of consumed by anger about a certain situation, there will be a moment where you always sober up from the anger. And then you've got a choice. And different people will do different things, either. You know, you apologize, you take a step back, you realize what you've done, or, and unfortunately, a lot of people do this, you double down, because you're so embarrassed, you know, you don't want to be rung. So you kind of get irrational at that point.
Tyler Jones 41:21
Yeah. Because it takes humility to admit you're wrong. It can that can be painful. Yeah. That is not an easy realization to come to, but man, how vital it is to be in a more complete human, to be able to say, I have the capacity for this awful thing. I can be this kind of person. Boy, it's good to know that so that I can try my hardest not to be that version of myself.
Michael David Wilson 41:48
Yeah. Yeah. And speaking of realisations? What were some early life lessons that you learned growing up? You know, because you've listened to this. Enough that has normally my first question. So it's for a minute, but I've segwayed traditionally, the first question,
Bob Pastorella 42:12
that was a slick segue, let me tell you right now, that was that was professional.
Michael David Wilson 42:16
But I had to acknowledge it because you know, people listening, they're like, No, it wasn't naturally part of the conversation. You segwayed it, we know what's going on here. You weren't just talking about Michael Douglas. And then your brain was like, whoa, what about early life?
Tyler Jones 42:37
Oh, man, I've got lots. Let's see where to start. You know, and a lot of my early years were spent out of the country. So I was born in Oregon, in a small town in southern Oregon called Ashland, which is famous for its Shakespeare Festival. And my mom and my stepdad, they were, I guess what you'd call like practical missionaries. So as part of a church, we would go to some other countries, but it wasn't necessarily to say, hey, believe what you believe it was more like what can we do to help in these various communities and my mom worked in the medical field. And my stepdad was a really gifted carpenter. So it ended up being a lot of just providing health care and building structures for people in really poor areas. And we spend a lot of time in in remote area of Mexico, living in an orphanage for disabled kids. So it was a place where parents who were overwhelmed with the care of their children would have a safe place to come and drop them off. And so a lot of my formative years were spent living at an orphanage populated entirely by children with disabilities. And living in a trailer without electricity and helping my stepdad build things helping care for the kids. And then we spent some time in Honduras and Guatemala, I spent some time in South Africa. And so these formative years, we had nothing that all my friends growing up back in the states had. So when I finally came back to the States, I had this period of just absolute culture shock, and I think looking back at it now as an adult, I think it was a shock of the excess of our country and the lack of gratitude and that's something that's really stuck with me ever since is a realize that we are incredibly blessed. I mean, it sounds so cliche, but I'm gonna say it anyway like just to have a roof over your head and food whenever you Want it and clothes, like those are not luxuries that everyone has. And it sounds cliche except for the fact that I've lived in. I spent years living in areas where that was how people live daily, and they have joy, and they face hardships and the hardships they face. Like there was in Honduras, there was a, we lived out in the jungle. And soccer was a big thing there. And I think it was only, like a month or two, after we left Honduras, we got news that I think it was something like 15 people that we'd known, had died all at once, because they were playing soccer on this big field. And in Honduras, you have these just torrential rains that come out of nowhere. And lightning struck the field that had been soaked by rain, and all these people were playing soccer and just killed all of them instantly. And that's just like, that's life there. You know. And so I guess what I'm getting at is a real sense of, of gratitude that the life I have, what I have, everything, to me just seems like a blessing. And again, not to sound cliche or stupid, but that's really something that I've carried with me. And it gave me a deep awareness of how other people live, and an interest in others and how they survive and make it through things. And all of which is carried into the stories I write as well. I'm always interested more in the underdog than I am the guy who is like, if you if I were to read the back of a book, and it starts out talking about some wealthy guy who lives in a big house and drives a Mercedes, like, I'm instantly not interested. Right. But if you tell me if it says that this, the main character of this book is an underdog and grew up in the poor side of town, the wrong side of the tracks, I'm interested in instantly invested in that person. Because I think okay, that's that's going to be a much more interesting story to me as a reader.
Michael David Wilson 47:15
Bob Pastorella 47:18
Yes, I grew up poor. And so, you know, we went, my dad had long periods of, like, having to work out of town, because he was a union guy. And, you know, the company worked for over go on strike. And, you know, it was we didn't know when the next meal was coming, or we didn't know when the next hour, I was, like, I need shoes. You know, so we went through these periods like that. And, you know, now I'm, you know, I have good job, I make good money, and I saved my money, because I don't want to work for the rest of my life. I have other aspirations. But that that level? I don't know. It's just like, we take things for granted. Oh, for sure. And don't prepare for the worst. And, and I'm guilty, I was like, hey, raise my hand. There's things that I know I should prepare for. And I haven't, but I've tried to, you know, get get my ducks in a row, as they say. And to me, it's almost like it's a comforting feeling, knowing that if something happens that I have, I have a plan B. Yeah. You know, and it made Plan B's not probably gonna be good. But it's not the end of the world for me. And because we've taken so many things for granted, that the end of the world, even when you've lost everything, you still have yourself. So you know, and you just have
Tyler Jones 48:57
Yeah, being being poor, particularly growing up is kind of like being Catholic, like once Catholic, always Catholic.
Bob Pastorella 49:04
Yeah, we were. Yeah.
Tyler Jones 49:07
So you know, and if you've ever been poor, then I think you probably carry that through the rest of your life. And you think that way. You know, years ago, I used to, I was really fascinated. I went through this period, as I was doing research for for something. And I was really fascinated with Steve McQueen. And I read a couple biographies about him. And he grew up really poor rough childhood, and he never lost that sense of anything. Anything I have can be lost at in a moment. So like, even the way he ate his his ex wife actually wrote a book about him of her time with him. And like when he was on a movie set, and they'd have catering, he would eat beyond the point of being full. Like if you put a steak in front of him and someone else was paying heed orders Second steak, not because he wanted it, but because he thought I still don't know where my next meal is coming from. And he would you know, they have wardrobe on film sets, and he was famous for stealing all of his clothes, or it first he stole them. And then he would also have in his contract, eventually that he would get to keep them all. But initially, he would take all his clothes. And the producers would be like, where did where did Steve's entire wardrobe go? Like, he took it again, and come to find out, he would take all the clothes and take them to like youth runaway shelters, because he had been in those. And he would give them to the kids, because he knew they didn't know where they were gonna get close. So it's just interesting to me how often what we experienced as children, how it informs our actions as adults, sometimes for good sometimes for bad. But I think poverty is one of those things that, yeah, if you've truly experienced it, like, in a profound way, then you're okay with less maybe than most people, but you also are probably more cautious than most as well.
Bob Pastorella 51:08
Oh, yeah. When I started making, when I first started making good money, I was way too young to even have, you know, that kind of money. It was really, I was making like stupid, good money. As like, because I was in I was in a field that has morphed and changed over the more, you know, over the years now of the decades. And so I was, you know, I was like, I'm a 20 something, you know, 2526 year old guy making almost $100,000 a year. And, you know, I don't have nothing to show for that. And if it was stupid, I bought it. Oh, go ahead that too. You know, so it's like a kid in a candy store, you know, some like, yeah, in dollar bill. And it's like, you know, I can buy I can buy I want, how many of those things can I buy? For a nickel apiece, I want all of them. That's what I want. And so now that, because I've been multiple times on that bottom rung about to lose everything. So now it's like it took took a while but lesson learned, you know? So it's all about being responsible and ain't about being, you know, money. I still, I still live the same way. Man. I still like ravioli. He's you know, it's like, it's, you know, but it's to me, I don't think people say, Well, you know, you hear that all the time, people, you know, there's, they have the stain of poverty. And to me, it's not a stain at all. It's something that's ingrained. It's never gonna leave me. And informs me. And it took a while to to actually to learn how to use it to my advantage.
Tyler Jones 52:48
Right. Yeah, that's a good way to put it. Yeah.
Bob Pastorella 52:51
My experiences have informed me to use what I've learned to my advantage. So as it should be. You see so many other people. I was like, I work with the public now. And it's just, you see some things that, that you can't unsee? For sure.
Michael David Wilson 53:14
I'm wondering, just paint the picture forever. I mean, So how old were you when you were first living out of the country? And then how old were you when you returned back to the States? And obviously, you said, yeah, you went to many countries like Mexico, South Africa, Guatemala, but were you having little periods of time when you were back? In the states in between countries? And was there much contact with people in the States? I just like to know a little bit more detail about this.
Tyler Jones 53:52
Yeah. So I first, I think we first went to Mexico when I was about seven. And we were there for a couple years, and then came back to the States. And I think we were only back for maybe six months. And we didn't even we didn't have a house. And we slept on people's couches and things like that. And then we went to Guatemala at that point. And then we were there for another year or so. And then we spent some time traveling up through. We traveled I'm sorry, we went to Honduras. And then we traveled through Guatemala and Belize back up through Mexico. By the time we settled back in the States, I was junior high, huh. Yeah. And then from there, we did a few other trips like I spent another year or so in Mexico after that at various points and same thing with South Africa. So yeah, it was like it was really those those primary formative years. I have been out of the country. And while I was out, I learned several different languages, most of which I've lost now due to lack of use. But you know, it's interesting now, where I'm at, I look back on that, and I wonder, I mean, that's when my love of reading started. Because I didn't have TV, I was an avid reader, anything I could get my hands on. And interestingly enough, the books that were available at these places where we were like, say the orphanage, for example, there was remember in the, the main room where we'd eat, there was like, kind of a cafeteria style kitchen. There was a big bookshelf with a bunch of books, and they were all adult books, there were no kid books. So I just read what I could. And so I started reading books that were probably way above me, but it that began my love of storytelling and language, and then learning other languages as well, learning how to phrase things in different ways that were unfamiliar to me, you know, learning how to communicate with people using their own language, even though I wasn't that good at it yet. Like all of that, I wonder if that helped inform my sense of rhythm now? Like, I don't know, I'd have to dig into that a little bit more. But I think those experiences probably shaped me in ways that I don't even fully comprehend yet. But, you know, threads that weave together to make up at least some important part of me.
Michael David Wilson 56:40
And when you were in these countries, were you getting a formal education? Were you going to their schools? Or was mostly your learning through these books that you were consuming?
Tyler Jones 56:52
Yeah, that's, that's actually a really good question. So my mom, it was kind of a homeschooling situation. But my mom, like there wasn't really time to just sit down and do school. So my mom had a catalog. And she just handed it to me and said, like, look, okay, you've got to do some math, you've got to do history. But anything else, just pick the books you want to order, and we'll order them in. So I just went through and just picked all these books. And because it was like a school catalog kind of thing. Most of the books involved, historical figures are interesting stories throughout history, and some of those books that are just classic to curriculum like Huckleberry Finn, and Tom Sawyer and things like that. And so we just got dozens and dozens of those. And I just tear through them. Reading about presidents reading about, you know, historical figures and moments in history, World War Two, whatever it was, I just read, read read, because that was the only really form of entertainment that I had.
Michael David Wilson 57:57
It sounds to them that you must have had to by necessity, develop quite a lot of self sufficiency.
Tyler Jones 58:07
Yeah, yeah. I Yeah. leaving the country initially was really hard. Because, of course, I had all these friends. And I didn't get to see them for years. And by the time I saw them again, some of them couldn't really pick back up, where we left off. But yeah, during that time, definitely developed a self sufficiency and an ability to, like, I'm, I'm never bored ever now. Like, I just, I don't know how to be bored. Because even if I'm just sitting on my own, I'm okay. I'm, I'm content. I have my thoughts. I have ideas. Or I'll pick up a book. I take a book with me everywhere I go. I am just never bored. I have always thought like, if you could put me on a space station by myself, and I'd be fine. Yeah, no, I wouldn't be. I like going nuts losing my mind. I'd be like, this is cool. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 59:07
Yeah. I mean, whenever people talk about being bored, I almost feel like, wow, what a luxury to even be able to be bored. But I just think we've, we've so many thoughts. There's so much art, there's so much to do. There's so much to learn. I can never conceive of me being bored. There will always be something.
Tyler Jones 59:30
Yeah, I almost think it's sad now. Like anytime I hear someone on board board or this was boring. It just sounds sad to me. Yeah. Like it almost seems like a choice. My father in law. He always used to tell my wife when she was a kid. Only boring people get bored.
Michael David Wilson 59:47
Yeah, yeah, I
Tyler Jones 59:51
might be some truth to that.
Michael David Wilson 59:53
I think so. Yeah. Hopefully we haven't just turned off loads of listeners. But come on. You're just sending people, I don't think you get bored. How can you have nearly 500 episodes of this? That's our that's yeah.
Tyler Jones 1:00:11
We know, it's interesting to know I mean, talking about this thinking about it out loud, is I don't I don't watch movies or TV, like, I think most of the culture does right now. And I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, necessarily. There's apparently a lot of great things out there. But my preferred method of entertainment is either books or music only. I think I watch a movie maybe once every two months or so. Yeah. And yeah, I mean, it's not, it's not a judgment thing. It's just like I prefer to read. And I, I'm sure that probably came back from when that was the only option I had is my brain learned. And adapted to that is this is how I, I prefer to see story.
Michael David Wilson 1:00:58
Yeah, yeah. And as we've sent here, during the course of the conversation, with time being so finite, you might as well go for the thing that you prefer, I mean, we're never going to read all the books that we want to, which is a terrifying thought, we're never going to watch all the movies we want to so we might as well just prioritize. And so if books are your preferred medium, you know, why wouldn't you do that. And, of course, if you're watching a film, let's say, every two months, well, you can completely prioritize quality over quantity. And I think, too, and this is very much thinking aloud. But if we're to be so discerning that we're only watching a film every two months, then we can really get lost in that experience, we can fully enjoy it. And I mean, we've a lot of things if we do it too much, we can become desensitized, or we can almost take it for granted. But you know, damn, if you're watching that movie, only every two months, that is going to be such an amazing movie watching experience.
Tyler Jones 1:02:12
You're totally right, it is. I've become much. I'm very, very picky about what I'll watch, because to me, I'm measured in time. Yeah, I think that's two hours of time. And if I, you know, I used to try and watch a lot of horror movies, and just to figure out what stories are being told and how they're being told. And I always found myself disappointed in horror films, not that there aren't tons of good ones. But I just, it was always a bit of a letdown. But I rarely found myself let down by a horror novel. Right? For whatever reason, May because I think whatever we bring to the story, as readers, it, as you know, a book is, will be different for me than it is for you, because we bring our own baggage, our own thoughts, our own ideas to it and our own experiences. So we Yeah, it's just a different thing, a different way of experiencing the story, but a film is is so it just is what it is. It's presenting you with images. And, you know, 99% of the time, they mean what they mean. And so the film is only one thing, whereas a book can be many. And so I just thought at that point, like, I'll just focus on reading all those books that I want to read. But that being said, I watched my two month movie. The other night, I watched this movie called The Outfit with Mark Rylance, right. And it just, it blew my mind like I was so in it. I like my critical thinking just shuts down. And I'm just in the story. Like you were saying it does become an experience. Like, yeah, it was a blast. Have you guys heard of that one?
Michael David Wilson 1:03:57
I, I've heard of it. So I know, the premise. But I haven't actually seen this one. But I kind of feel because it's like focused around a tailor on Savile Row. Kind of from from the look of your wardrobe. I can see an appeal, you know, straight away because yeah,
Tyler Jones 1:04:18
yeah. Yeah, he's, he's, I love it. A couple of things. I love about it. And then I'll I'll move on. But it's, yeah, you're right. The main character is a tailor. I think it takes place in the 1950s in Chicago, and he's a British Taylor, who has a shop in Chicago. And I love the fact that well, it's like a play. So it all takes place in one location, which is the tailor shop. It never leaves
Michael David Wilson 1:04:43
that location. I love that kind of thing. Yeah,
Tyler Jones 1:04:46
which is a storyteller is fascinating to me. And it took me back to Alfred Hitchcock's rope. You know, I love films that that are able to do that or stories even you know, in Max booth. I know he has a fascination with it. single location stories as well and it's not easy to pull off. But I also love that they have Mark Rylands as a lead character because it's not often you get a gentleman of that age as the lead and hit his you watch his face oh my gosh, like the lines in his face his expressions, he uses his voice almost like an instrument. The control that he has over himself his motions like there are a couple of times actually paused it and I said to my wife, like, look at the it's almost like a painting the way that he's he's moving. It's so elegant, the motions. And I love that. That. Yeah, I think Rylands is just phenomenal. You know, he's popped up in a few things here or there. But I haven't seen him in much. But man what an actor.
Michael David Wilson 1:05:52
Yeah. And you're absolutely right, that we don't normally see the kind of older gentleman in the lead protagonists role. Apart from Anthony Hopkins, and, and just in case Mark Rylance listens to this by some weird camps, I'm not saying that you are the same age as Anthony Hopkins. Yeah, I think there's like 20 or 30 years difference there. So I would like to acknowledge that I don't want him to be depressed.
Tyler Jones 1:06:25
Yeah, but you know, you're right. And with a character like that, of that age, it hit that character brings with him this experience. Like you already assume that this character has lived a lot of life. And so that automatically, at least to my mind, makes him fascinating. Yeah, because I'm thinking, okay, you know, things and you're, you're an Englishman in America. So there's a story there. Yeah. Yeah. Like all of that stuff that you don't get with a younger character who's like, yeah, they grew up, they got married, they have kids, and now they're here. This is their life. You look at someone like that. And you're thinking, Okay, I want to know how you got all those worry lines in your face?
Michael David Wilson 1:07:13
Yeah, yeah. Well, I absolutely have to watch this. Now. I mean, Mark Rylance and single location was honestly enough, but the fact that it's like, this was your choice when you watch a film every two months, so that on its own, I think like, you know, I want a subscription service. You just tell me what film you're watching every two months. And if you've curated the cues that film the films, then that is good enough for me.
Bob Pastorella 1:07:43
You don't even have to do a trailer because he won't watch it.
Michael David Wilson 1:07:46
I don't know. Of course I don't. Of course. I don't. Don't Don't get me started above this topic that riles me. Yeah. And
Tyler Jones 1:07:57
Well, you know, speaking of Anthony Hopkins, too, he he's in one of my all time favorite movies, which is may sound odd coming from somebody who writes horror stories. The Remains of the Day, I knew you were gonna say that. One of my favorites. I try to watch that at least once a year. I think it is a beautiful film. And yeah, I can't I can't fully express what that film does to me. I don't know. I just, it's like, I slip inside that house and live in it. And I am a butler with Anthony Hopkins for two hours. It's just it's a remarkable story.
Michael David Wilson 1:08:36
Yeah, yeah. And it goes to you said, you know, as a horror author, it might sound odd, but really, it shouldn't sound odd because I mean, right. We, we we instill this importance of reading and watching widely, but I mean, also, you know, that aside, tonally there is something you know, very sinister about, you know, even the concept of Remains of the Day. And obviously, what the butler, you know, finds out. See, see, because I'm so averse to spoilers. I'm not even saying the specifics here, but maybe I'm allowed to in a 9090 free movie, I'm not sure. Yeah, the statute
Tyler Jones 1:09:28
of limitations might have passed on that. But yeah, I know. I mean, yeah, you want you would want somebody who hasn't seen it to experience it for the first time because that's not it's more than just a story about a butler. It is all the events that occur in that house. And all of that. What can't be said, which I think like as as writers, it's it's important to, I love being I love watching actors like that when you can read their facial expressions, and there's moment these moments of tension, where you You know that there are things that want to be said that need to be said. And they almost exist in the space between two people like pushing them apart. And neither one of them is saying the thing that they need to say. And it's like, how do you put that into words? Again, it's such a remarkable thing between two actors. How do you how do you describe that? In prose? What does that look like? Like? Those are questions I'm always asking myself, even even with the outfit looking at Mark Rylands, his face, and like, How would I describe that face in a way that could elicit at least something close to what he actually looks like? Yeah, I'm always thinking about that, when I'm watching something.
Bob Pastorella 1:10:45
It's, it's kind of difficult to put it on the page. To me, it's almost like you almost have to do like an action. But there have been times where I know that I have been so furious at someone that I could not move, that I became a statue that I didn't even see them. That's how mad I was an error right in front of me. And I know, I know, that's happened. And it's like, how do you how do you describe that went out? And having that long? Pregnant? Pause? In a story, how do you put that on a page? To our reader? Don't go come on, get over. What are you gonna say? Yeah. It's tough.
Tyler Jones 1:11:33
Yeah, for sure. But it's good to think about those things. Like that's, that's the beauty of storytelling is what those beats in those moments look like and what you focus on. You know, Chuck always used to say, when whenever you're not sure what happens next, describe the inside of your character's mouth. You know, how tightly are they clenching their teeth together? Like is their tongue scratchy? Dry? What was the last thing they ate? Is there a burp that's kind of lingering with the taste of the hot dog or whatever it was?
Bob Pastorella 1:12:07
You know, that's, that's a good point. Yeah, those little those little physical
Tyler Jones 1:12:11
details, you know, the ticking of the clock, the way that your your toes are kind of scratching inside your shoes. All those things really add tension and make a moment come alive and feel like because we're never just standing perfectly still. There's some muscle tensing, there's some, you know, the teeth are slowly touching and grinding together.
Michael David Wilson 1:12:34
Yeah, I mean, that's such a great creative writing prompt, and that'll get you unstuck. I mean, it doesn't surprise me at all the hack, you do come up with such a simple but such a perfect kind of way of undoing that creative block or being unsure of what to do next.
Tyler Jones 1:13:00
Yeah. And it comes from a concept that was passed down to him from his mentor, Tom Spann Bauer, who I had the honor of working with for a couple years as well. And Tom would always he'd call it OTB, which is on the body. So those moments where, and I noticed this a lot and reading books were like, I'm loving the story, but everything is externalized. And there are moments where I think, I wonder what the character feels in that moment right there. Like that would be a good opportunity. It's what Tom would write in the margins of of work that I'd hand to him he'd write OTB, and I'd know that that meant, now is a perfect opportunity to go on the body. What are your hands doing? What are your feet doing? What are your muscles doing? What's your Are you sweating? Are your eyes itching? You know, all that all that kind of stuff? Like, you can overdo it, of course, like anything, but it's something that I always try to think of is it at a certain at certain moments? What is the character experiencing physically? Yeah,
Bob Pastorella 1:14:08
I'm kind of scared sometimes. Because you might, like think that you're given like every character tick, you know what I'm talking about. And then we have a character who needs to tick and it's like, well, I mean, it doesn't stand out. Yeah. So you kind of like have this tendency I do to kind of pull that kind of physical stuff back. But if it's not done, if it's something different every time then you know, but it's something physical. That's a great way. You know, to like because I know when I'm nervous, like I have a callus on my right thumb. That is basically my fingernail from my index finger rubbing on my thumb when I'm nervous until there's a callus there. And so I guess I'm nervous, like a lot. But you know, I mean, it's there. And so that's something
Tyler Jones 1:14:56
that's a perfect example and there's Yeah, man you have ample
Bob Pastorella 1:15:02
you have helped me with something. Thank you
Tyler Jones 1:15:05
don't have to help man.
Bob Pastorella 1:15:08
That's that's the shit right there.
Tyler Jones 1:15:10
Yeah, yeah, those little details they add a lot to and like you're saying that suggests even revealing a callus on a character like we were talking about with with Rylands being of a certain age it makes you think, okay this person has experiences and you reveal a callus on somebody, how did it get there? Right? And then you know something else I'm always kind of like diverting a little bit but something I've been thinking about a lot lately. With this project I'm working on is I made a note to myself the other day discovery process. That the the one of the wonderful things about reading the book is discovering things along with the character rather than being simply told them like, Oh, and there's this thing, like, using the callus as an example revealing a callus in one chapter, and revealing why it's there two chapters later. Mm hmm. And or maybe we see the character doing something with his thumb and forefinger, but not stating that's why the callus is there. The subtlety subtle ways Yeah, yeah, revealing character through their body, their physical actions, and allowing the reader to make these connections. That's like a really powerful thing is you as a reader, you feel like you have done some detective work or you've made can, you've followed the path of breadcrumbs that a writer is left out for you, and it engages you, I think, with the work. And I'm saying this, like, not as some expert, but it's just like, I'm learning, right? I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate these things into writing. Because as I become aware of them, I think, like when I read a book, and I'm aware of a discovery process, where a character learns or discovers something, and I'm reaching the conclusions with him, or her, then I'm like, Oh, this is I am so engaged in this. And then I start thinking, well, how, okay, how can I do that? Maybe in what I'm working on now? What does that look like?
Bob Pastorella 1:17:19
Right? When and without making it seem like an info dump to
Tyler Jones 1:17:24
it? Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Michael David Wilson 1:17:30
Thank you so much for listening to part one and a conversation with Tyler Jones. Join us again next time for the second part. We'll be talking about a number of things, including oasis. Yeah, that's right. The legendary British band will be talking about literary agents, criterium, portraying addiction realistically within fiction, and a lot more. It's a great conversation. And if you want that ahead of the crowd, indeed, if you want every episode ahead of the crowd, become our patreon patreon.com. Forward slash This Is Horror. Not only are you getting early bird access, but you are getting exclusive podcasts including story on bots, the horror podcast on the craft of writing, to patrons only q&a sessions, and a video cast with myself and good old Bob Pastorella. You can also join the writers forum on Discord, get help with your work in progress, get help with anything to do a writing talk about things not to do with writing. It is an ever growing community and I would love you to be part of it. And for patrons who are not part of it. Yeah, I mean, you're missing out and we're missing us so do join us on Discord. As I've said many times before, it's also the best way to support us and right now I could do with your support it's been a difficult 15 months is going to be a difficult week this week in particular so if I could have your help that might make this painful period just a little bit more pleasant patreon.com forward slash This Is Horror. And if you want to advertise on This Is Horror drop me a line Michael at this is horror.co.uk. Maybe you want to get an advert in ahead of Halloween. There's not much time but if you email me now let's see if we can make that happen. All right before I wrap up, a little bit of an advert break.
Bob Pastorella 1:19:43
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Michael David Wilson 1:20:47
Okay, friends, it is almost time to go. But as always, I would like to end with a quote. And seeing as we spoke a little about him. I thought I'd throw in a quote from Mark Rylance talking about acting. I think there are things that we can apply from acting and indeed all creative pursuits that are transferable to writing and they just help you get into that creative mindset. So try this one on for size. Add job is to make manifest the story to be it. In a sense, the theater is such a big star itself, bigger than any Shakespearean actor I could hire, that we should take the opportunity to fill it with voice and verse and movement, not interpretation. I'll see you in the next episode for part two with Tyler Jones. But until then, take care yourselves. Be good to one another. Read horror. Keep on writing and have a great, great day.