In this podcast, Jonathan Janz talks about literary agents, editing, screenwriting, and much more.
About Jonathan Janz
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. His books include Marla, The Siren and the Specter, and The Dismembered.
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They’re Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella
Read They’re Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella right now or listen to the They’re Watching audiobook narrated by RJ Bayley.
Horror on Main
A brand new horror convention coming soon. Guests include Tim Lebbon, Sarah Pinborough, Jeff Strand, and Jessica McHugh.
Michael David Wilson 0:07
Welcome to This Is Horror Podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson. And every episode lung side my co host, Bob Pastorella. We chat we're masters of horror, about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, today's guest is Jonathan Jan's the author of books such as Marla, the siren and the specter under dismembered. And this is the second part of our conversation. So if you would like to listen to the first part, then do head back to Episode 471. But as we've all heard is you can listen in any order and a previous episode. It got very heavy. Both me and Jonathan got incredibly vulnerable on that episode. It was an episode that I was pretty nervous to release. But I'd like to thank so many of you for reaching out for sending me messages of kindness and support and love and for being there for me during this very difficult time. And forgiving me some comfort after I put that out into the world. So thank you. Now in this second episode with Jonathan, we do get more into the writing. We talk about literary agents, we talk about screenwriting, and we talk about pantsing and editing. So a lot of interesting things in this episode. But before any of that, a little bit of an advert break.
Jessica McHugh 2:21
Horror on Main, a new weekend convention for the horror community. This is Bram Stoker, and elegant Award nominated author Jessica McHugh. And I'm hoping you'll join me on May 26, through the 28th in Hunt Valley, Maryland, where I'll be a guest of honor and the featured poet at horror on May. This convention is like a love letter to the horror community, with writers, artists, actors, directors, pretty much anything you could want. If you love the horror genre as much as I do. So come on down to Hunt Valley Memorial Day weekend.
Bob Pastorella 3:06
From the host of This Is Horror Podcast comes a dark thriller of obsession, paranoia and voyeurism. After relocating to a small coastal town, Brian discovers a hole that gazes into his neighbor's bedroom. Every night she dances and he peeps, same song same time sing wild and mesmerizing dance. But soon Brian suspects he's not the only one watching she's not the only one being watched. They're Watching is The Wicker Man meets Body Double with a splash of Suspiria They're Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella is available from this is horror.co.uk Amazon and wherever good books are sold.
Michael David Wilson 3:44
Okay with that said here it is it is part two with Jonathan Janz on This Is Horror.
So before you were talking about how you'd relatively recently, or at least in the last four years change agents, so I wanted to know, a little bit about the impetus for changing agent and how you landed your current agent.
Jonathan Janz 4:16
Yeah, I think that I think the HA, I think the first thing to say and this is gonna sound like I'm choosing my words carefully, and I guess I am just because I don't want to throw any unintentional shade because there's no shade to throw. But I really feel like there are like, maybe a good analogy, there could be two perfectly like kind people, but that doesn't mean those two people are the right two people for each other, right, like in a relationship or a friend or whatever. And I think that it's it's difficult sometimes to to like let yourself let yourself accept incompatibility or to accept the fact that There is an incompatibility. And I am a kind of dance with the one who brung you kind of guy. I've had, you know, I met my, my wife when we were 26. And we've been together ever since. And I just, I'm not. And I've been, I've been in one job. I've been a teacher, for a while now, I've been at the same school for 21 years. So it's not like I'm I'm in, there's nothing wrong with people who like have a lot of change, like change can be really good. But I'm not somebody who experiences a ton of change in fundamental ways, I guess, is what I'm saying. So when I got my agent back in 2013 2014, she's she was good. Like she was she was good agent she, she had made and has made since then very legitimate sales. Really good at what she does, she gave, she worked with me, for example, on the dark game, which is a book I'm really proud of, and gave me great editorial feedback, she gave me really good editorial feedback on children of the dark. So she was really good for me and good for me as a writer and good for my career. But I just came to feel like we weren't quite compatible in our visions for my career in I don't know like that. I think the main thing is that like, she had gotten feedback on a couple of books that she had submitted, she didn't submit that many things from me to big publishers, just a couple of things. But some of the feedback was the basically at that time, they weren't really looking for things that were overtly supernatural, like, traditionally, horror, right? What they wanted was things. Again, this is the feedback she received. And then she imparted to me, and then she wanted me to then apply to my work. And I think that's where the disconnect started to grow. But But basically, it was, it needed to be something that could be construed as maybe supernatural, but maybe not. And I had to leave whatever I was writing ambiguous enough for there to be that non supernatural interpretation. So if one wanted to market it as purely a thriller, or purely a suspense novel, without supernatural elements, then one could do that. And honestly, that's a pretty specific kind of book you're talking about now. Now, there are a ton of ways to get to that. But that type of result, for you to have a book that ends with there being no definitive proof of whether it's supernatural or not. Yeah, we can all think of books like that. But that rules out quite a few books, right? Yeah, it rules out a few stories and plots and ideas. And I didn't want to be really bound to that one kind of book. And basically, she was saying she was very, like, amiable about it. She was like, you know, I'll steal, like, help edit with you. And I just might not shop it. And I'm like, okay, so if you're not going to shop it, what exactly are we doing here? Right?
Michael David Wilson 8:20
I know, I know.
Jonathan Janz 8:22
It reminded me a little bit of that grid scene, an office space where the Bob's are interviewing this guy, and, and he keeps like being vague about what he's doing. And one of the Bob's finally says, what is it exactly, you do here, right? feel that way. And again, that might sound negative, I don't mean to sound negative. But that's, that's kind of like the impasse we were at. And she would have been happy to continue to represent me, as long as I was writing that sort of book. But I whore for you to know this, as well, as anybody. Horror is so vast, it's such a broad eautiful umbrella of limitless possibilities. I never want to limit myself. And I'm not saying that my agent, whoever that is, like my current agent. And if, if we stay together forever, great. If not, whatever, that's fine, too. I'm not saying that whoever represents me, is bound to shop everything I ever write, right? Because there are certain things that writers write that just aren't commercial, they're just not going to be they're better suited for a very small press WRITE or for a very specific type of publishing house. And I know that so it's not like I'm naive and think that no matter what I write, she's got to submit to every publisher in the world. It's not like I feel that way. But I want that, that, that freedom to go where the story takes me. And that's another thing like, I don't write with an outline, I go, and so how can I start a project at the beginning, knowing that I'm going to leave it ambiguous, right? And I just I just knew that that wasn't going to work. And so I really, I knew like a year before, maybe even two years before I ended up changing representation. I knew about two years or a year before that, that I needed to, like, deep down, my gut was telling me, you need to move on. This is not gonna work. But I was, you know, so I go back a lot of it's insecurity, I go back to when I was getting rejected by everybody on the planet, right people I didn't even submit to were rejecting me just for fun. And I, and I was like, you know, I don't want to go back to that. It's, it's probably the same fear that people have, like, when they've been in a relationship. They don't want to be single, right? I don't want to go back to the dating scene. That sucked. That was so awful. That was difficult. I don't want to go back to those times. So I'm sure there was some of that, right. I didn't want to take backward steps because I had to claw so hard to get to where I was. But ultimately, you know, talking to people, my wife had been saying it for a while. My kids had been saying, like, Dad, you need to move on, you need to get another agent. And you know, people like Joe Lansdale in phone conversations. Brian Keene was telling me that. And then finally, you know, in Ryan Lewis, you know, my manager for movies and television. He was always super diplomatic, more diplomatic than some of the other people I've mentioned. They were they were so blunt. Like
Michael David Wilson 11:29
Jonathan Janz 11:34
Oh, he was not the slightest bit like hold even holding back at all. Lansdale I remember Joe's I can't do his East Texas accent very well, Bob, you could probably do it. But Lansdale, I remember saying? Yeah. But I feel like I've got to be loyal to this agent. And Lando is like, he's like, Jonathan, your loyalty is to your wife and kids. To hell with that other person. Right? Okay, clarity, clarity achieved, right, like, okay, I guess that makes sense. My it's true. Like, that's where my loyalty is to my wife and my kids. So that was a really long winded way of saying that I realized that it wasn't working. But it took me longer to make that change than it should have. I finally did make that change. It was amicable, she's still a really good agent still really knows her stuff, but just wasn't the agent for me. So then I went about querying agents, trying to find a different way. And ended up getting a lot having a lot of conversations. It went much better than the first time actually fell is super fast. That agent I just described was actually my second agent in the one I have now was my third. I actually had a secret first agent, way back in the day, way before I was even, like, remotely ready to have an agent, there was an agent who read one of my things and liked it and decided to represent me. And man in that guy. He was the nicest guy, but he just wasn't like, he wasn't a big power broker. Let's just say that was certainly not a power writer. And we were only together for a very short time. And I look back upon that time with just kind of a weary affection. Because I'm like you two knuckleheads like, you weren't, you are no more gonna make a sale together, then then I'm going to solve your cure cancer. I mean, that's like how, how far away from that goal. We were neither one of us knew it. And he was nice and all that stuff. But boy, boy, that was way before I was ready to have an agent. So the one I have now is actually my. And in Yeah, so it's, it's new, it's relatively new. I had several offers of representation this time, which is way different than the first couple times. And that was hard, because like, now you actually have people who want to represent you. And how the heck do you say no to any of them, especially when you really super like love, like four of them, and really want to work for them. So that was a super hard thing. It was a good, you know, it's like you never stopped having problems, the problems just morph and change and hopefully, sometimes better problem. But that's like, like we you all have had really like super big writers. I'm friends with super big writers. And they have problems, right? They're just different problems. They're the problems that most people would kill to have. But there's still there's still challenges. So anyway, I finally like made that decision about which one I was going to choose. And, and yeah, so I've been happy with her so far. So we'll see.
Michael David Wilson 14:46
Yeah, yeah. And you said that there were four agents that you loved when you had these offers. So I mean, what was it that made you go for the agent that you did or what was Summit? considerations and factors when having to make what was obviously a very difficult decision.
Jonathan Janz 15:07
Man, I gotta tell you, it was so hard Michael, it was. So it's still hard, because I maintain friendships with with two of those others that I have those for. And the other one wasn't like an angry thing. It's just she's not on the same social media I am. But two of the others I maintained, like really good friendships with. And you know, there was just never, it was there was never anything wrong with any of them. And it was like, there were reasons to go with them. Ultimately, it came down to having to make a decision, I had to choose like I couldn't, and I delayed it. And that dragged my feet, and that my wife and I had stayed up late talking about it. And ultimately, I guess I just I though the one I went with, I obviously saw a lot of positives, too. So I went with her. But it was it wasn't. The reason why it wasn't glaringly obvious is not because of any lack on her part. It's because of all the positives with really all four of them. And it's like I could see myself being happy with any of the four. And honestly, I think if I would have chosen one of the other ones, I think that I would like them and be very happy with the job that they were doing. I don't think that they would have done a bad job at all. I just think that I had to make a decision. In the end, the one that I ended up choosing was a really good and I perceived her I guess as a as being a very passionate, like advocate for my work. And I liked that. And I guess that's probably and it's not that the others weren't. But she was. So I think that maybe was the thing that pushed me in that direction.
Michael David Wilson 16:52
Yeah, yeah. And of course, you said that your second Agean here, she's a great agent, it has happened that you, you had to go your separate ways you want in the end the right fit for one another. And I think that is so important having the right fit. And it can be a difficult decision. But I mean, you want someone who really believes in your work, who's going to be a strong advocate for you. So I mean, actually, when we get rejections from agents, that's a good thing. Because that means that they weren't feeling it, you want someone who is 100% Feeling your work and really invested in it.
Jonathan Janz 17:38
And what you just said, Michael, is something that is going to make every querying writer, every writer trying to get an agent, roll her eyes, like emphatically, but it is also 100% True. It's not an easy thing to hear or believe. But it is 100% true. Because if they do not have that enthusiasm, it is not going to work. It is not going to work, you're going to waste each other's time. And it's going to end up causing more heartache down the road. So it has to be somebody who gets you who loves your stuff. Who is excited about your stuff. Because this I mean, that's the that's the the oxygen. I mean, that's the that's what because this this business is so hard. There's so many people vying for so few slots, and editors are so overworked that that you need that passion to cut through all the static and fatigue and outside factors that are that don't have anything to do with with writing good stories. So you need somebody to really like be in your corner through thick and thin. I think that's it. So what you said was probably not what people want to hear. But oh my gosh, it's true. Oh, it's true.
Bob Pastorella 18:52
If writers don't want to hear that, then to me, it's like, if you're trying to get an agent, and your agent is like, well, I guess I'll take you on. I'm not gonna go with that agent. As bad as I would want an agent. I'm not going to do it. You know why? Because what you said there's no enthusiasm. Your agent should be chomping at the bit to get your work. Right. Yes, they work for you. Not the other way around. That's right. And they need to have that enthusiasm. They need to be begging you please. Yeah, you have to be good enough to get to that point. Yeah, yeah. So it's the works all on your part.
Jonathan Janz 19:35
It is true. I was I this summer. I think it was a summer time flows together. But I was in Michigan. Josh Malerman mutual friend. I think you all know Yeah. Up at his house and one of the reasons why Matt went up there to see Josh but also went up there because Ryan Lewis, our manager was staying up there. He did visited and I wanted to go is that Known Ryan for a couple of years, but I'd never met him. And Ryan and Ryan and I and Josh and a few other people were sitting on this picnic table in Josh's backyard. And somebody basically somebody knew Josh it was a friend of Josh but didn't know me It never heard of me and never heard of my work, whatever. And Ryan started talking about my work. And I like it, like gave me chills. Because, you know, again, who knows, Ryan can't control the market. Ryan can't wave a magic wand and just make people want to buy my stuff in who knows like something he shops of mine might not say whatever. But, but what matters is what matters is that he loves it. What matters is is that he's passionate about it. He was in there talking about it, I got I got like, almost choked up. It was like out of body. Because I'm like, Oh my gosh, he really means this. He really means these nice things saying about me? Because the person whom he was saying it wasn't somebody who was going to like acquire my work for film. I think it was like this just a buddy random buddy of Josh's. But yeah, you know, that that kind of passion can't be faked. It can't be feigned. But boy, when you find it, that is a really, really special wonderful thing.
Michael David Wilson 21:19
Yes, yeah. And actually, I got a rejection from a literary agent the other day, an agent that, you know, I really wanted to land. But I mean, she just wasn't 100% behind the specific story that I sent. And actually, my in her rejection email, she said, and she absolutely nails it here. And it goes along with what we've been saying. You deserve an unequivocally enthusiastic agent as your advocate. And that is 100%. Right? And that is why you know, we want the right fit for one another. That's what it comes down to. As you said, it's a hard truth. It's not something a lot of people want to hear. But absolutely, we've been speaking about Ryan Lewis, my relationship with Ryan Lewis as my film manager is the reason that I've been looking for a literary agent, because it's such a positive thing, his like, belief in me His guidance is help his support his friendship. And I know, you know, my main thing is writing books. Why do I have a film man, if he ever I don't have a literary agent I want. So I want the Ryan of the book world. And now this is almost sounding like some sort of weird kind of literary dating thing. And it's like, so if you're the Ryan Lewis of the book world, I'm here. I'm looking for you. Come find me. You know, seriously, Ryan is so positive, Ryan. is, he's exactly the kind of person that you want to champion your work. And, yeah, I've I mean, I've been thinking a lot about what, what are the next steps for me, because I've, I had The Girl in the Video, then novella come out in 2020. And then, later that year, me and Bob put out, collaborative novel They're Watching. And I have I haven't put anything out since mostly because of the personal stuff that has been going on in my life. I don't, you know, I'm not really in a position to kind of fully market and champion my work that I would want to. But I mean, now in, in spite of all the hurdles, it's like, look, I'm, I'm going for it, because life is short. And, you know, this has dragged on long enough, and I can't put my writing career on hold. So I've started query engagements. Looking into next steps. I'm writing a script with Bob, where we're getting excellent guidance from Ryan will probably jump into that in a little bit because I know you're doing a similar thing. And so I thought, Well, why don't I start looking for this agent? And I'm just trying to think what what my next steps I could like, I queried a few agents somewhere I don't I'm not going for a lot. Let's go for for quality over quantity, and then just see what happens. And if I don't get a positive from from those agents, then I've got a decision to make rarely do I put out this novel that I've been shopping around you independently do I find a press on my own? Or do I kind of keep querying? And that's there seem to be different schools of thoughts. And of course, like everything in the writing game, there's not a one size fits all. So I know, we're Brian Asman. And with his age and you era, she was trying to sell his debut novel. And he was independently publishing novellas. And I know that that's an interesting way to go. Because I think having the debut novel that has a little bit of clout, so it can be a card to kind of sell to prospective publishers. But then, also, I mean, I just want to get my work out there in the world. And there are countless examples of people who have gone with small press. So indie presses, general, more being one example known for more than just drawing depths in the sand actually a very successful writer too. And, you know, putting out novels independently did not stop her finding an agent or getting a traditional publisher. And I think what this boils down to is we're all we're all looking for, what is the formula? What is the perfect way of breaking in to the business, so maximizing our opportunities for success? And actually, the answer the uncomfortable answer, like a lot of these things are, there is no one size fits all, there is no definitively good or bad choice only choices. So whoever I in the pub this year, whoever I wait for that to be a literary agent, whenever I put it out myself, that they are all choices with different kinds of different advantages and disadvantages. But certainly, if I put this out independently, it won't mean in the future, I'll no traditional publisher or literary agent will touch me. Because if there's like success, if you've got a good story, then you know, keep submitting, and eventually they're gonna go for it.
Jonathan Janz 27:17
Absolutely. Absolutely. Right. Yes.
Michael David Wilson 27:20
I'm glad you said that. Rather than saying, Actually, Michael, there is a formula.
Jonathan Janz 27:24
And. Yeah, I didn't know what you said. It's exactly right, dude. I mean, that's exactly right. I think that it sounds super cynical, this little part. But I think that it is something to remember. I think that when we Yeah, the passion is important. But so often, you know, the, the question comes down to this, let's put this way that's in the realtor world where there's an agent, you know, they're not going to be your realtor, if you don't have a house to sell. And if they don't think if they don't think that they can make money off you, if they think the property that property that you're selling is not going to sell. And it's just going to be a blight on the landscape. And it'll sit there with their sign on it gathering dust and looking bad for them. They're not going to take you on as a client. I think that, you know, with a literary agent, I think it was an editor, you know, yeah, I know that passion plays a role on stuff. But let's be honest, this is a business. And when someone feels like they can make money off of something you wrote, they're gonna take it on probably. Right. Yeah. And I think I think that, you know, whether you are somebody who's published, you know, let's say that somebody's self published 17 books, if the 18th book they write is a book that the that an agent feels like they can make a lot of money on, they're not going to say, Oh, well, you have this stigma of self publishing this number of No, if they feel like they can sell, they're going to sell that thing. They're going to do it gleefully. And gladly. I think that we it is important to be as strategic is we can be but at the same time, I think that we don't have the power of prophecy. And I think that we can get into this cycle of overthinking and then being debilitated by indecision and worry and speculation. And in this might be right it might be wrong. Maybe there there are agents or publishers who hear this and cringe for me what I have the realization to which I've come is, i This sounds like such a platitude. It sounds so just fake and but but I mean it. I am going to write something that I'm excited about. I'm going to write it as well as I can. And I am not going to write this to a specific market to a specific trend, whatever. Yeah, I'm a either so I have an idea, a vague idea of what this market is or whatever. But if I try to make it about that, if I try to make it about, you know about the sale, or about the type of advance I get, or about who's going to ultimately publish this, if I think about all that stuff, that doesn't help me, all right, that doesn't help the story that doesn't help me find the truth of the characters. So I find it best personally, to not worry about all that. And then to write the best stories I can. And then, you know, hopefully, if I've, if I've done a good job and gotten to the truth of those characters in that story, hopefully things will work out well. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 30:41
Yeah. And I mean, talking about not thinking about these things when writing. I mean, do you ever find yourself kind of because you said you don't have a plan? So you're pantsing, the entire novel? Do you find yourself, you know, coming up with things in the moment, that then means that like, even let's say, 100 pages through, you then have to kind of stop and edit the entire novel there? And then to keep it consistent? Or if you have those moments? Do you just make a note to do that on the second draft? I mean, what does this method look like practically?
Jonathan Janz 31:26
Yeah, I think you know, what it ends up being is a really crappy first draft. All right, my first drafts are wretched. That's the first thing. And that's okay. And the second thing is, is that they are Stephen King's formula, I think it was an on writing, his formula is Final Draft equals rough draft minus 10%. For me, it's always like Final Draft equals rough draft minus 30%. Like, a lot, a lot end up cutting, and the majority of what I cut, you're kind of like alluding to this with the way you phrase that question. But it's from usually the first half of the novel, where a lot of stuff is getting cut, changed, altered, whatever, to retrofit, what comes after it. But I just I think that, you know, whatever, I'm sure I could I could find aspects of my craft that I want to improve. But let me just say this, at the risk of sounding self aggrandizing. One thing that I think people would say about my work, if they've read it, even if they come to it and read something, I think they would say that it's not predictable. And at least I think most reviewers would say that. That is the Some reviewers would probably say, Well, I saw the endgame coming from the first sentence. All right, and this guy sucks, okay, you're always gonna find people who hate your work or whatever. I think the majority of readers would say that they don't see everything coming in my books. And that sometimes includes like major things like character deaths. And I think the reason for that is because of the way I write, I think that because I allow for that organic discovery to take place. If it's unpredictable to me, it's probably going to be unpredictable to the reader. And I liked that. I think that's a positive thing. Personally, is self aggrandizing. as that sounds,
Michael David Wilson 33:20
yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I wonder, too, because we've mentioned, Ryan Lewis, and we've mentioned script writing. So let's start at the beginning. So in terms of how your relationship with Ryan Lewis came about, and then what is it that you're working with him on at the moment?
Jonathan Janz 33:45
Yeah. So what happened was this, it's, I cannot even begin to tell you. This sounds so world weary and jaded. But you know, you see somebody, it's just all part of the process. So somebody will say that they have this happen. And I don't even want to sound jaded about it. Because we should be excited about every little success that we achieve. Like, you know, if somebody if if an agent requests a partial manuscript from somebody, you should be excited about that. That means you wrote a good query, and a good sample, right. So that should be excited. That should be exciting, and it should be celebrated. I guess, you know, I've been to the point now, where I've known Ryan for about like, three years now. But two or three years, I guess, but I've had so many I've had a lot of like close calls. I've had a lot of people who have contacted me about my work. And a lot of people have been really interested in my work from the world of movies and television. But you know, ultimately, you know, something this for whatever reason doesn't come to pass or this, for whatever reason, doesn't quite make it over the finish line. But it was one of those moments that led me to Ryan. So in a nutshell, super fast what happened was, I out of the blue got a got contacted by a major studio on one of my books. And I, that was the first time that had happened. This is a few years ago. And so I didn't know what to do, because I hadn't had that happen before. So I contacted a couple of people that I knew from like Twitter, and whatever I asked Brian Keene, of course, I asked Lansdale and then I also contacted Josh Malerman. And at that point, I don't even know if I met Josh, maybe we had met at stokercon. Maybe, at that point, but it was super brief. And all our interaction was online. But here's the thing, I'll just say this, like, you know, you, you said some very nice things about me before the show, you know, at the outset of the show about whatever about my kindness, I feel the same way about you to just being you know, just just rays of sunshine, not even I know, that sounds so cheesy, but it's true. But I people, I think don't realize how kind Josh Malerman is, like when they're talking about the nicest people in the business. I think they for the I think he gets left out of the conversation, because he's so successful. Because you know, Birthmarks and all the other things he's done. So what happened was, was that I tweeted Josh, a message. And I said that I got contacted by the studio. Do you have any advice for me? Do you have any things for me to do or not to do? And so I said, he says to me, he was his response. His response was, Well, this is obviously super exciting. But we have to be smart. Okay. And his response was, we have to be smart. And I remember at the moment, he said that, that struck me is just an odd way to phrase it. I'm like, What do you mean, we need to be smart? Like you and I don't know each other that well, we've only met in passing at a conference like once, you know, what's the Wii that you're referring to? And, and basically, from that moment on, Josh, like, took it upon himself to do every single thing in his power to help me in any way he could. It was just, it was the wildest thing. And he didn't, obviously, he didn't do it, what am I going to do for him, right? He's got a show on, he's got the, like, one of the biggest selling movies in the history of streaming. And it's like, there was nothing for him to gain by being kind to me. But what he did was he said, so we have to be smart about this. And let me make a phone call get back to you. He gets back to me. And he says, Okay, here's the number for my manager. He's amazing. And he will help advise you. And at that point, I'm still thinking, okay, he's just going to help me figure out what not, you know, he's just going to talk to me and be nice to me, and humor me a little bit is a favorite of Josh. All right. And so he starts talking to me, right? And this is Ryan, of course, and we start talking. And, you know, he advises me through this whole thing. And here's the irony of this. This thing ended up being a crushing defeat, painful moment for me, because what happened was this major studio, this this person who reached out to me set up a call, right, and I talked for like an hour, and he told me some things to say and not to say and some things to ask and not to ask whatever. This person sets up a call. doesn't respond doesn't even show up for the call to this person set up. This person from this major studio completely stands me. I feel like the kid in an 80s movie, like a John Hughes movie who gets stood up at the prom. Like, I'm like, wait, I'm so excited about it. My family is so excited about it, because this has never happened to me before. And in this person hasn't even bothered, like, coming through on the Zoom call. I'm sitting there waiting. Like an hour goes by two hours go by. And I'm like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer. Right. I'm like sitting there at the altar. I'm like this. I cannot believe this happened. And I feel so foolish for getting my hopes up. I felt so like rejected and just silly. And so what happened was then in Ryan was like, you know that I'm sorry that happened, but that happens. Here's what you should do. And so basically, I reached out and I set up another call with this person. We ultimately had the call. The person was late the second time on the call still late. Finally, showed up and seemed interested in this book. But then ultimately, it didn't get back to me. So really, the whole thing was just fraught with disappointment. Except Ryan and I met through that. And then, and then I was like, Well, you know, Ryan helped me through that little moment. That was nice of him. And so I go back to my normal life or whatever. But he like, called to see how it went. And, you know, I told him that went horribly. And you know, that first time it went horribly, and the second time it went better, but then nothing happened. And he was like, Well, you know, what else do you have? Let's, let's talk about it. And so he was the one who kept this this like, just tiny little connection on life support. He was the one who like, because then I think by that time, he'd read this book that this studio had inquired about, and he loved it. And he was like, that's, you know, I really love it. Let me see your what else? What else do you have? So I sent him some other stuff, really enthusiastic about it. And then basically, he was like, Well, you know, it's up to you. But I'd be interested in representing you. I was like, You mean for that book that got rejected? He's like, no, no, I mean, in general, I'd be interested in representing you. And it's like that out of body thing I talked about, like, holy crap, this guy who's like, again, he doesn't need me, right? He's doing so well, already. He doesn't need me. So the fact that he like love my stuff, and want to work with me, that those are the kinds of things that like, again, there was no monetary reward at the end of that particular thing. But just the fact that he believed meant everything to me, and still means everything to me. And you can speak to that mic. Well, you know, exactly, yeah. Oh, that's.
Michael David Wilson 41:52
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, it was kind of a similar situation, with me and Ryan, as well, in terms of how we got connected. I mean, and, and also, I mean, it speaks, again, to the kindness of Josh Malerman. It, you know, it's such a parallel story, that it's almost not worth saying mine, because it would be repeating yours. So thankfully, I didn't get stood up by a studio executive. So there is that it's like the positives of your salary without the negatives, which, I mean, I'm fucking sorry to hear that that happened. Unfortunately, it does, though. I mean, it just shouldn't. There's no excuse really, you can send a little email to say like, I can't make it or, you know, even to say, I've changed my mind. I know that that's not ideal. But I've changed my mind. So I'm not going to be there. But, I mean, what are you working on at the moment? Because I understand that you've now branched out into screenwriting. Now. Is this the first time that you've jumped into screenwriting? Or were you doing some of this prior to your relationship with Ryan?
Jonathan Janz 43:12
Yeah, no. Right. So what happened was, was that Ryan asked me, this is maybe 2020. He asked me, have you thought about writing screenplays? And I have to be honest, because I I've taught film for like, two decades now. So at that time, I've taught for like 18 years taught film. And I just always felt like it would be beyond me. I just always felt like it was something that I couldn't learn to do. It's just whatever insecurity impostor syndrome, whatever, stupid doubt that I had in myself. But it was just recently before that, that Lansdale said to me, Jonathan, you need to be right. You need to try writing screenplays. He says you've got a cinematic style. I think you will translate really well to screenplays. I think you need to you need to get on that you need to try that. And this is right around the time. I was talking to Ryan for the first time. And so Ryan says to me, you know, have you thought about writing one writing a screenplay? And I'm like, Well, I wouldn't know where to start. Ryan's response. And this is like Ryan and Josh. They're different people, but their attitudes are so similar. So Ryan's response sounded so much like Josh's Twitter response. Ryan's response was three words, exclamation point, I'll teach you that was it? Or three or a contraction in irregular words? I'll teach and yeah, it was like, for him is that simple? Um, he's like, you know, no, I mean, it was like, you think it would be easy, but but he was saying, like, Yes, this is feasible. We can do this. You can do this, you know, together, we can do this. And I'm like, Oh, well, maybe I can do this. So he started to teach me and has been teaching me and mentoring me in screenwriting for the last whatever, a couple years. So currently, we are working on an adaptation shooting for a feature film of exorcise Road, which is a possession serial killer slash demonic possession novella that I wrote. And we are working on adapting that for the screen. And it is going extremely well. And it's going so well because Ryan's awesome. He is like, Gandalf and Obi Wan and Yoda rolled into war. He's brilliant. He's patient. He's insightful, these creative, supportive, but like, it's always my work. Like him. He always likes. He always reminds me of that. Like, I remember the first thing I wrote, this is like the second thing we've written together that we've worked on. But I put by Jonathan James and Ryan Lewis, because he'd helped me so much. I wrote it, but he helped me so much. And so I wanted to do one or two, Ryan. And Ryan was like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, you're my name is not going to be on there for that. I'm like, Well, you know, he's like, no, no, Jonathan, you wrote this, you wrote this. This is your work. Your name is on it. And he's and that's just Ryan. He's so like, so like, genuinely self deprecating, like, there's no it's not for show. Like he genuinely like believes in the people that he works with, and wants them to have ownership of it, and wants it to be their vision. And then he like a teacher coaxes the best out of you. It is it is my work, but it's the best version of my work because of him. He coaxes the best out of me through his insight and his support. And it's just really kind of brilliant, the way he works.
Michael David Wilson 46:44
Yeah. Yeah. And I wonder I mean, from the screenwriting. How, if at all, has it changed how you approach fiction writing? Or how you approach storytelling? What are perhaps some transferable lessons or changes that have been made as a result?
Jonathan Janz 47:08
Oh, man, it is. There's such cross pollination between those. And you know, it's a cross pollination of which I was aware, like in the abstract, because I like the classes I teach our film literature, advanced creative writing, creative writing in English. And obviously, those are different classes. But they all have all these beautiful connections, where they were they are, you know, intimately intertwined. And I've for years known how, like film, studying film can make you a better author of pros, and how writing short stories can make you a better, more informed film goer like so for years. I've known in the abstract that these things are really symbiotic. But it wasn't until I actually started to write screenplays that I could see, oh, my gosh, you know, this is and that's I feel like I'd become a better like, novel writer through my screenwriting. And I feel like all the work I do on novels makes me a better screenwriter. You know, just so many, yeah, they're different mediums. But it's like the particularity that's necessary, like the economy of language that's necessary, and a screenplay helps me be more particular. In my choosing of details on the page is a writer of novels and short stories. It helps me be more efficient. In my word choice. Even if I'm not in this interview, it helps me be more efficient in my choosing of words. And so it's made me a much more economical writer. And I think all those years of trying to make things cinematic on the page have like prepared me for being a screenwriter. They are so so like nurturing to each other. I just can't I can't tell you how much I love doing both. I love screenwriting. Obviously, I love doing the other two because I've done it for a while. But I love screenwriting so much. It's something I always want to do. Regardless of the success I have or don't have. I'm gonna keep doing it because it's a blast.
Michael David Wilson 49:12
Yeah, do you think in terms of your screenwriting you're more up for purely adapting your work? Or do you like the idea of tackling a story as a screenplay initially is writing something you know, originally in that format?
Jonathan Janz 49:32
All of it, all of it. Everything you said, including including going back in the novel lysing my screenplay? Yeah, all all. I love that. And I want to write I want to adapt my work. I want to write original screenplays. I want them to adapt those things when when some screenplays are done. It's so it because each one is a little different. But they're all like just such purely wonderfully creative Have endeavors and so fun man. Like, you know, movies are so much fun, good television. Oh, much fun. And so it's really like, and I've been, in a way, I've been preparing for that. And you're probably the same way. But I've been preparing for that my whole life. You know, when I was three, Star Wars The theater for the first time, you know, when I was with my mom watching the twilight zone as a little kid, just watching shows like Three's Company with John Ritter, you know, watching storytelling when I was a little kid, I feel like I've been preparing for this my whole life. And man getting to do it. Getting to direct on the page is such a rush. It's such a blast. And then with you i in there, to kind of, you know, say, hey, this works really well, nice job, or how about we revisit this? And how about we take another approach to this part, you know, in for him to then guide me to find the best version of that story. It's just so much fun, like, every facet of it is so much fun.
Michael David Wilson 51:05
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I feel with my limited experience, adapting. They're Watching with Bob than if we've said that on a public This Is Horror Podcast before, but now we have, but it really does force you to absolutely put story at the forefront in a way that like, I mean, with fiction, you can sometimes be a little bit self indulgent, but you just can't you have to be there's no room for error. There's no room for kind of messing around everything has to be about furthering the story. And so, in a way, I feel like we've created the kind of purist Rauris form of the story. They're Watching and it, it demands that you focus in on story that you made sure that every line is absolutely considered. And I mean, because of that, I could see I mean, similar to what you said, if I was writing something, as a novel, and I was feeling a little bit stalled, I might be tempted to take the story and write it as a screenplay. And then once I finalize the screenplay, go back and adapt it as a novel. Because then you have got the ultimate plan, you have got the raw story there in screenplay form.
Jonathan Janz 52:36
Right? Exactly. Exactly.
Michael David Wilson 52:39
That actually makes me wonder, and I'm putting you on the spot here, Bob, but I know that you've been struggling with a story for the past few months. And you're you decided, like for a bit to abandon it to give it a bit of a breather, which I think is a sensible idea, or something's frustrating you, but would you consider and you know, when the time is right to revisit it, actually revisiting it as a screenplay initially to see if that's kind of what you need to get this off the ground.
Bob Pastorella 53:14
100% that is, that is actually my plan. I want to to just set it aside. And that was, it was, it was a tough decision. But you know, it's not the first time it's not gonna be the last time I've got a project that that I've actually shelved, and so I'm reworking it, feel pretty good about it. And I'm going to, I'm going to, to finish it. And then I'm going to take this, you know, story and work it as a you know, basically a screenplay. The you know, the thing and we were talking about screenplays, that thing that that, wow, this thing to me is that screenplay structure is so rigid. In so in, so I guess irreligion is probably the wrong word. But it's, it's basically it's, it's a form that you have to, to, to, to kind of tighten your story with. That story comes first. And it's written in such a way that it's never going to be published. But you have to pay more attention to detail in it than you do in a novel. And I'm not saying that you can be sloppy in prose or anything like that. It's just that you're putting so much into into the screenplay. And it's not, it's never going to be published. It's something that you're using to sell an idea with. And the people who read the screenplays, have read them all. They have read every one of your job is to plant images in their brain to make him see the film that you're thinking. That's what the screenplays it's a selling tool. And to me just the concept of that, it still blows my mind. Because yeah, you can obviously find screenplays online. They get published with books and things like that. It's like, yeah, also now includes the screenplay, you know? So it's, but it's this format that that's really, you know, nobody's you know, you're not going to Barnes and Noble going, we just got the new script, Stephen King put out and got the new Stephen King script.
Unknown Speaker 55:42
You know, is it a movie, it
Bob Pastorella 55:43
helps just script? You know, it's like, some people who are unfamiliar with it. It's like, what do you do write a fucking play? I mean, what what is it?
Unknown Speaker 55:50
Bob Pastorella 55:52
And that would Stephen King running play would actually be pretty cool, actually. But yeah. If you're listening, sir, you can do that. You don't need my permission. Yeah. But it to me, it just blows my mind. It still does. In working on this, this adaptation. I mean, Michaels even said, hey, when we get done, do you want to like read, like, redo the novel? And I'm telling man, no, but I see the allure of that was like,
Unknown Speaker 56:27
I really do see the see the, the temptation to take that, you know.
Bob Pastorella 56:35
But I mean, if somebody said, Hey, you know, we're gonna do a novelization. And I would probably almost demand, you know, if the, if the script became a film, and then we're just gonna be a novelization of the script, then at that point, I'd probably be like, nope, me and Mike are gonna write it.
Michael David Wilson 56:50
And just, I love the idea of you got the original novel. And now we've got a new story. That is the script, because of course, you know, the script is inspired by but it's not like a direct, you know, I mean, it's a riffing, really. So then I, I know, I like the crazy idea of then not realizing the script. So you've kind of got these three versions that are vaguely the same story. I know, wholly different. And a maybe it's a little bit self indulgent. But also, you know, sometimes you have to indulge,
Unknown Speaker 57:26
Bob Pastorella 57:30
But I think that the new story would work good as a script. I really do. I mean, when I was abandoning, I could see it as a film. And so yeah, that idea was not planted. That was it's kind of like, you know, in the background, I started thinking that a couple months ago, I was like, man, maybe I should just write this as a script. Yeah, but I have another script that I'm also working on. So it's like, Man, I just felt like I got too much stuff, you know, going on. It's just it's better to shelve it. And I didn't have a handle on the characters exactly the way I wanted them.
Unknown Speaker 58:08
Bob Pastorella 58:10
this, this, this other story, has reared up his head, you know, in jealousy going you
Unknown Speaker 58:16
you've been outbid me.
Bob Pastorella 58:20
young writer probably goes through that feeling. It's most stories are jealous of each other. Right,
Michael David Wilson 58:27
right. Well, I mean, how about for you, Jonathan, when was the last time you abandoned a story? Hmm.
Jonathan Janz 58:35
Well, I've got one trunk novel. And I don't know if I'll ever do anything with it or not. And I have a I have a novel that I've set aside for a good while, because I am uncertain about the ending I wrote. But I'm gonna, I'm gonna finally get back to that very soon and redo it. So as far as just out and out and abandoning something, probably just that, that trunk novel. There's, I guess, there is another one that I started back in like 2013 that I abandoned because I wasn't ready to write it. It just wasn't working. So I had to abandon that, but I'll probably get back to that at some point. So I've done it before. It doesn't happen often, but it's happened a couple times. I think if you do it long enough, it'll happen just about anybody. That's my guess.
Michael David Wilson 59:27
Yeah. Yeah. And it's impressive that you know, you pretty much pants everything and yet the abandonment rate is low. Because yeah, it can be a tough one pants in gear. I mean, if I purely pants it then it seems to go really well up until the 30%. Mark, and it's like, Oh, shit. Well, we go in now. We got a hell of an opening.
Jonathan Janz 1:00:00
I do think that if I'm if I'm being completely honest, I do think that there's this theory called the headlight theory where you can see a little bit ahead of you, maybe you know a few things down the road, a couple of landmarks, that's probably more, if I were to describe it that probably be a little more accurate than the way I have described it, where I'm just completely blindly flying blind, I wouldn't say I'm totally blind, I would say that I definitely don't know for sure where it's heading, I might have a few ideas, a few little like turns in mind. But still, like you're talking about that is kind of a scary and exciting way to write because it means that you could quickly completely go off the road and crash. It also means that there could be like a hidden passageway that you don't know about, and you discover, and it's like, Oh, my God, this is really cool and exciting. That kind of happened with Marla, to be honest with you, I end the dismembered actually. And blood cut, I mean, really, all the three that have just come out recently, those three are kind of ones that I didn't really have that much of an idea of where they were heading. And they ended up going this is surprising places. And honestly, as I as I think about the majority of my work, I think that there, I think there are moments in most of my work that have surprised me. And I think again, I think that's a good thing. I mean, I I'm sure I can find areas of my work that I want to improve. But I do I do like that I do I do. Like the characters, I feel like if you are if you let the characters breathe, if you let them take the wheel that they will, and that they'll they'll start taking the story, they'll drive on their own. And then, you know sometimes like in Marla, that book there was there was a twist that I didn't see coming, this character that died. And I'm not obviously gonna say which character it is. But I resisted it a bit. Like I was so surprised by it, that I like put the book down for maybe a month I stopped writing it. And I worked on other stuff, because I didn't really want it to happen. And I was like, Okay, I gotta get myself time. I gotta I gotta regroup because there's no way that this can be where the story's going. And I realized it was like, after a month, like my, like, the characters were still driving down that road in that direction. I guess they were like at the at the stop sign with the with the blinker on, like, Hey, dude, you know, we're ready to turn. Let's go. Let's get moving. You know, you have enough guts to do it. And I was like, Okay, I get I guess I do. I guess I have to, because if I don't, it'll feel wrong. So I followed the characters to this really shocking place. And, and I feel like the book is better for it, even though it was something that I resisted.
Michael David Wilson 1:02:50
Yeah, yeah. And I certainly get a lot of that. I mean, then novel that I'm writing at the moment, I've really planned it out a lot. And I think actually, as a result of screenwriting recently, that has enabled me to see story in a clearer way, which made it easier to really plan and to put all of the beats in. But then I found through how the writing, there are just these moments where it's like, oh, but that obstacle would, would be a hell of a thing to put in. Or like, imagine if that happened. And it's like oil. Now you imagined it has to, it has made the writing infinitely more complicated. And it's added a lot more obstacles. But I think if your mind is presenting these ideas, then, you know, if you want to trust the story, then you should go along with it. Even if it makes the composition more difficult, it probably makes it a lot more interesting. Because I mean, the plan can be a little bit pedestrian at times, but creativity in the moment, just I mean, literally deliver things that you couldn't plan for and that's where you get the original writing and the original stories.
Jonathan Janz 1:04:12
So true. So true. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. It's funny, like you talked about planning out the beats. I forget if you're talking about a novel or a screenplay, I think you said a novel, but you know, oh, like which one was it? Was it a novel?
Michael David Wilson 1:04:29
I was talking about a novel of course, we do the same for screenplays, but in this specific instance, it was a novel Yes.
Jonathan Janz 1:04:38
Yeah. That will I find this fascinating that Ryan he really like the what I'm describing is a little bit counter to the way he works because like with with a beat sheet and all this stuff like he will he he sent me one that another writer had done and it was pretty specific about like the beats In the story, and I feel like that's just the thing too. It's like, I think that there are places there are types of stuff. It all depends on the story. Like, it all depends on the screenplay. It all depends on the story. Some stories are better, maybe plotted out, like and I had never be dismissive about that or like, turn up my nose to that really extra this road isn't novella, when I wrote that novella. I did plan it out. Alright, so I have done that before. And Ryan works that way with screenplay, where he wants you to really think the story through where he really wants you. And I guess it's, it's worked for me really easily. Because, you know, it's it's an adaptation of something that exists. So it's easier to do that. But I have a sense that even if I were working on an original screenplay, he'd probably want me to put more thought into it, than I do like long term with my novel, I think that he would want me to plan out beats. So there's this kind of grand design, so you can make sure that everything is heading toward something. And I think part of that is because screenplays are so much shorter. Right? There's, there's so few words in a screenplay, and you can't spin your wheels for 14 pages, right? Whereas with a novel, you can scrap a whole scene you can I guess you can scrap a scene in this in the screenplay. But I do feel like with a screenplay, at least in my experience, you've got to be really, you've really got to have a plan, you've really got to have a good idea. And it's funny that even like with a movie that doesn't seem like it has a plan, you take a step back and it does barbarian is a movie that I saw recently. And and I read I read like reviews of that which were in there basically. And, and maybe I'm wrong, maybe the screenwriter, maybe whoever wrote that had no idea where that was gonna go. And it just went off the rails and went all these different directions. And all that was just a happy accident for me. And maybe this was in the editing process for that screenwriter. For me. I'm like that all clicks so well, like this opening scene works so well with this ending scene. Like this detail. That was probably on page seven of the screenplay works so well with this detail that was probably on page 91. And so I feel like that even when a story seems to be going into these chaotic directions, if it's a well written story like that. One was, I feel like that it's either either there was a plan, or they so persuasively and effectively edited it that it felt like there was a plan all along. Because I don't know, like so my screenwriting process is very different than my novel writing process. I don't know about you. But for me, they're very different.
Michael David Wilson 1:07:46
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think I think they have to be, as we said, with that, just not being that room to kind of be so self indulgent. I'm not sure if that's quite the way to phrase it. Hopefully, you know what I mean, with there being Yeah,
Jonathan Janz 1:08:06
absolutely. I think that's what you're doing. Like, we like the way I write novels. It's like, I'm just going I'm having fun. I'm not worried about this or that. But with a screenplay, I'm thinking like really hard about this particular line of dialogue. And I'm and I'm sitting there at the computer looking at that one line of dialogue, you know, making sure that it's going to set up what's on the next page. So at least for me, I don't know about for you, Michael and Bob, but for me, man that they really are different processes.
Unknown Speaker 1:08:36
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I feel that they are.
Michael David Wilson 1:08:44
Thank you so much for listening to part two with a conversation with Jonathan Jan's. Join us again next time for the third and final part. But if you would like to get that ahead of the crowd, if you would like to get every episode ahead of the crowd, then become our patreon patreon.com. Forward slash, This Is Horror. Not only do you get early bird access to each and every episode, but you get a number of other perks including becoming a part of the writers forum on Discord, exclusive Patreon only podcasts such as the q&a sessions, or myself and Bob Pastorella. And story on box the horror podcast on the craft of writing, in which we analyze and dissect a variety of short stories and films. And of course, you get to submit questions to each and every interviewee. And we have a number of exciting guests that we are confirming now for the end of this year, and the start of next so plenty of reasons to become a patreon. You'll also get to support us and to help keep the show alive. So it is patreon.com forward slash, This Is Horror. Head on over, see what we offer and if it's a good fit for you then I would love you to join us. Now before I wrap up a little bit of an advert break
Bob Pastorella 1:10:19
from the host of This Is Horror Podcast comes a dark thriller of obsession, paranoia and voyeurism. After relocating to a small coastal town, Brian discovers a hole that gazes into his neighbor's bedroom. Every night she dances and he peeps, same song, same time, same wild and mesmerizing dance. But soon Brian suspects he's not the only one watching. She's not the only one being watched. They're Watching is The Wicker Man meets Body Double with a splash of Suspiria. They're Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella is available from this is horror.co.uk. Amazon and wherever good books are sold are on Main a new weekend convention for the horror community. exploring all the shadows of horror. Our guests include writers, actors, but also artists, publishers, directors, composers, and more. We've been going to cons for over 20 years, and are changing up the little things to make the big picture amazing. Beyond guest contests, movies, panels, and podcasters. Our layout and programming are designed to further incorporate the very idea of community. Join us Memorial Day weekend 2023 and Hunt Valley, Maryland, come to the block party and meet your new neighbors horror on
Unknown Speaker 1:11:31
Michael David Wilson 1:11:33
Now next year is a very special year for the This Is Horror Podcast, because he is going to mark 500 episodes. And 10 years of This Is Horror Podcast. And we are hoping to do something special. We're looking at different guests that we can get on the show, Dream guests as it were. So perhaps rather than just having one big episode 500, which we'd like to, we might have a whole month for two of these dream guests that we've wanted to get on the show. And of course, if anybody out there knows how we could get Stephen King on the show. If you have a line to Mr. King, then do let me know do let us know because Stephen King is basically the number one guests that we would love to get on. This Is Horror, his number one guests that everyone wants to get on their horror fiction podcast. But if ever there was a time to do it, then it is now for the 10th year for one decade, and 500 episodes. Of course, Stephen King doesn't need to go on a podcast, he doesn't need to do any promotional thing. For the rest of his life. He is gonna sell millions of books every time he publishes something I said that makes it hard to get somebody like Stephen King on the show, because what is the pitch? What is it that we could possibly do for Stephen King that he cannot do for himself. I'm not sure that there is anything but we would love to get him on the show. It is a lifelong dream. As you backtrack, it is a podcast lung dream. I didn't know when I was born, I was going to have a podcast. But it has been a dream from a very young age to talk to King. And me and Bob are both huge fans of his work. So a bit of an odd one to put that out there to almost manifest it into the world. But if by chance anyone is listening, who might be able to help us make that happen, then please do get in touch. Michael at this is horror.co.uk. Now I'm sure that a lot of you by now have seen that the This Is Horror awards have been announced. And they will be running until early January. So if you head over to this is horror.co.uk forward slash awards. You can see what is up for This Is Horror award. And all you need to do is email in your votes. This is a publicly voted horror award. So the most votes in that shortlist of the five and each category is going to win the award. So this is very much a horror fan driven award. So we want you to be a part of that. We've already got a lot of votes that have came in. And for once we're really on top of it and we're counting them as they're coming in almost. But we need your help because we want to make sure that as many people in this room Wonderful horror fiction community, get their vote registered, get their voice heard so we can really celebrate who's written the novel of the year who's written the short story collection of the year. What is the fiction podcast of the year the nonfiction podcast of the year so an tremendous amount of categories. Head over to this is horror.co.uk forward slash awards, check it out and get those votes in. And that really does do it for another episode of This Is Horror. Thank you for joining us for this wonderful journey. This roller coaster of a journey with Jonathan Jan's Part one was the heavy stuff it got a little bit later in part two, and in part three coming up next episode, we're going to jump more into the writing we're going to talk about the latest release of Jonathan's the dismembered. We're also going to talk a little bit about the release before that Marla, and we'll jump into some of those Patreon questions that fantastic patrons have submitted. So join us for that. But until then, take care yourselves. Be good to one another, read horror. Keep on writing and have a great, great day.