TIH 473: Jonathan Janz on The Dismembered, Marla, and Method Writing

TIH 473: Jonathan Janz on The Dismembered, Marla, and Method Writing

In this podcast, Jonathan Janz talks about The Dismembered, Marla, method writing, 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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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 we're masters of horror, about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, today's guest is Jonathan Jan's the author of many books, including the dismembered and Marla and this is the third in a three part conversation. But as we've all heard is you really can listen in any order. So by all means, listen to this one now. And then when you're done, check out episodes 471 and 472. Now, in this part of the conversation, we do dig deep in terms of those new releases that Jonathan recently put out. So the dismembered and Marla as I said before, we also talk about what it was like being published by cemetery dance and indeed, how Jonathan landed that, how did it come about? And we also talk about Jonathan's fitness routine, we'll talk a little bit about how the writing process has changed since Jonathan started writing. And we even go a little bit supernatural and philosophical and downright bizarre as we ponder whether it is indeed possible to create a fiction or evil. And for that, to manifest in reality is a little bit of a weird direction for the conversation to take. But at this point, we had been talking for about three or four hours. I don't know if we were consciously quiet there. Maybe we expanded our consciousness, we went beyond it. But anyway, this is the finale in what, as Bob often says, and very rightly so this one was an epic and epic conversation. It was an emotional journey. I think, you know that already if you've listened to part one and part two, so instead of me going on, let's have a little bit of an advert break.

RJ Bayley 2:50

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Bob Pastorella 2:59

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Michael David Wilson 3:58

Okay, well, we are going to jump into the conversation now. Although I want to let you know that after the conversation, I've got some things to say in the outro a little bit of a personal update. It's actually quite bizarre how after talking about this publicly for the first time, that is something that I want to update you all on. And I should say to that after the outro we have about 20 minutes of outtakes and that is a kind of fun thing to listen to. with Jonathan so do stick around post the music. So without sad here it is. It is Jonathan ganz on This Is Horror. I mean, you will be soon releasing The Dismembered if I'd have mentioned it in the first half off, it would probably still be forthcoming probably by the time this airs. Now we are in the third part is out now, that this man. So, I mean, when you're writing a gothic period piece as I would say this is how do you make it fresh and relevant and modern?

Jonathan Janz 5:27

Nice. I think that like, you know, we all, you know y'all are readers. And so we read probably pretty varied things. And I really I feel like the fresh part of it. Okay, this sounds so cheesy. Let me take a step back here, Chuck Wendig. Y'all know who that is? I'm sure you've heard of that writer. He, he has this article called 25 things a great character needs. And it's one of the pieces I use for my advanced creative writing class with my high schoolers. And we go through these 25 elements. It's very well written and very funny as you would imagine. But the 25th element, and it sounds so cheesy, but like so many cheesy things are, it is so true. The 25th thing a great character needs is you, you the writer. And I feel like that's how you make it fresh. You bring yourself to it, you bring your own lens, your own sensibility to it. You don't consciously think about it being fresh, you just bring yourself to it your own unique viewpoint, and you are vulnerable enough on the page. vulnerable enough is a conduit for the story to pass through that that that alone is going to make it fresh and new. I think that if somebody were consciously trying to do to channel this particular writer or to ape this particular story, then I could see I would feel stale. But I think if you come to something with that kind of bright eyed child like excited excitement, I think that that freshness is going to be there. It's going to it's going to thrum between the words and you know, as far as the the Gothic elements of it, the kind of classic style. I love. I love to read that kind of stuff. I love to read. I love I love Frankenstein. I love Dracula. I love the stories of Mr. James I know I'm mixing like eras here to a degree. And I love like Algernon Blackwood, I love to read older things, and I love to revisit those older things. So that style, the style of this particular story poet, gosh, I love Edgar Allan Poe, I teach Edgar Allan Poe. And so like those kinds of styles like so an amalgam plus my own lens, like all of that fuse together in this Frankenstein's monster that comes very naturally to me. So that was really, I was just I was a 1912 author, who had been through this, who'd been to this terrible events. And I was on the this train in this box car, in the opening scene. And I just went, I just started to tell the story I was there I was the character. So I really didn't approach it differently than any other book. But in this case, the character that I was, was not a contemporary family, man, you know, it was not a contemporary teenager, it was a guy back in that era who had been through that situation. And I just feel like approaching it that way is going to bring the freshness.

Michael David Wilson 8:37

Yeah. What did you do? To get yourself in the mind and to give yourself the voice of the Alpha Pierce character? I mean, in a way, it's kinda like, method writing, particularly when you're writing about someone from a different period to the one in which you're living.

Jonathan Janz 9:05

100% Yeah, absolutely. Dude, I love that that method writing thing, I think you and I think you and Bob, we've talked about this before, but I think that that's, that's, that's where the fun is. That's where the art is, is like you become the character. And so we I think that if you've, I mean, you can't fake it, right? You have to be I believe you've at least for me, you have to have a working knowledge of that particular time period of those kinds of stories of the mores of that time. And this sounds really silly, but one of the shows my wife and here's the thing I am really I'm against snobbery. I'm against, you know, economic stratification where people are, you know, one group of people is mistreated. Another group of people feasts off the spoils of of their own privilege. I'm not for any of that obvious slowly. But having said that, a show that my wife and I watched for a while was Downton Abbey. And you know that that takes place roughly around the same time period. And so I had been watching a lot of that show around that time, and I had been watching things like Pride and Prejudice and things like that. So it was really easy for me to imagine myself in that garb, it was really easy for me to imagine myself in a boxcar in going through the English countryside. But you know, when you watch enough of Dan waters, I think is the actor's name, who played Matthew on Downton Abbey, as you watch him, you know, go undergoing similar settings in similar like, I don't know, of not events. But situations, I think that it becomes more natural to imagine yourself in those things. Because I think that we do that when we watch a show that we're into, we are on some level thinking of ourselves as that character, that's why we feel their horror, that's why we feel their hopefulness or their yearning, or whatever. Because we are, you know, by proxy, we are kind of psychically traveling in their bodies. As we watch these things. At least, that's the kind of viewer I am, you know, I am a very involved active engaged viewer. So in a way, those are all like simulator runs for this story, where I'd been in, you know, in the Keira Knightley version, or in the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice, the BBC version. I've already been, I've already been marked RC for five hours, right? I've already like imagine how Mark Darcy would feel. And so Arthur Pierce is obviously a different character than that. But you know, they're they're all living in bygone times. And so I think that if you absorb enough of that, and participate enough in that, then becoming that is a lot more natural.

Michael David Wilson 12:02

Yeah, yeah. I wonder to how much of you is in a character rough appears,

Jonathan Janz 12:10

I think there's the fact that his wife cheated on him is not something I can directly relate to. But I can definitely relate to the fear of a relationship going badly. I think most of us can relate to that, right? Most of us can relate most of us whether it's happened or not, I had I had relationships like that in my teens and 20s, where, you know, things went wrong, or whatever. So I think if you live long enough, everybody goes through a relationship that is spoiled somehow. And so and I think that leads unless you're just like, I mean, unless somebody is so rosy or confident about the future, I think we we are afraid of being hurt. In you know, for good reason, because most of us have been hurt. So I think even though, you know, my wife and I are, you know, together and everything's going well, it wasn't hard to imagine that fear, you know, that worry? How would I respond? You know, how would I feel if this horrible, you know, situation that occurred? You know, because I have those emotions from my wife, I love her dearly. So how would I feel if that love were betrayed, that's not a pleasant place to be. That's not a happy headspace. But it's necessary for the story. And so I was, you know, cuz I can, we can all be insecure, right? And so I'm sure like, there have been times when I've been insecure, like, when I was dating my wife, you know, what if she, what if she find somebody better? Right, that kind of thing. So I think that we can, we've got those things we can tap into. I have a former student who's an actress, in her process, she describes it is so much like mine. It is so similar. Like, she'll go through something bad and she'll say, but it's okay. Because because I can use that. And I'm like, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. You can and that doesn't discount, whatever pain that she's going through. But like as a writer, like you go through all like everything on the emotional color wheel. Like if you live long enough, you're gonna go through all these things. And so you've just got to you've got to be willing to tap into those things, even if they're a painful, even if they're frightening, even if they are like depressing. So yeah, with Arthur's marriage, I was able to go there with whatever insecurities I've had in the past. With you know, Arthur, also this character, he really wants to help. You know, he's, it's, he's not perfect. He's far from perfect, but he does want to help and that's a positive urge. And I like to think that I want to help I want to do good, even if I'm often unable to or even if I'm often clumsy about it, I want to do good. So So I think you know, Arthur is a character was very easy for me to connect with both his both the positives and the negatives.

Michael David Wilson 15:08

Yeah, yeah. And I mean, this one is being published via cemetery dance. And really, the dismembered feels like the perfect pairing was cemetery dance. So I'm actually wondering, was this specifically commissioned? Or did you have a view in writing something for cemetery dance? Or is this just a wonderful case where everything lined up?

Jonathan Janz 15:39

Okay, so this is a really funny one. And I don't think that Kevin Lucia or Richard chizmar, or Brian James Freeman, I don't think that they would be bothered by me saying this. But here's, here's how this happened. I have wanted to work with cemetery dance for a long time. I just really have liked them as a as a house. I just think that they do good work. They put out really cool books. They work with a lot of writers that I admire. And you know, like Richard, and Brian, you know, Brian, I think Brian's kind of focusing more on the writing part now. But you know, those for a long time, those two were kind of cemetery dance, at least in the time period I'm talking about in the late teens like 2017 2018. And I wanted to work with them. So I reached out to Richard and I said that I would like to work with you at some point. And you know, not being pushy, or whatever, like we interacted enough where I knew it wasn't going to be, you know, he wouldn't feel like I was pressuring him unduly, but I just said, I'd like to work with you at some point, that's all. And he's like, Well, you know, I like to work with you, too. So let's talk about it. So we taught them we brainstormed a little bit. And he said, you know, you could be part of our novella line, do you would like to write novellas? And I'm like, Well, you know, I haven't written a novella. I wrote exorcise road. I wrote, witching hour theatre. I've written a few novellas, and I like to do them. I just haven't done a ton of them. So maybe I'd like to do another one. Sure, that'd be great. And so they said, he and Richard was like, that's, that sounds awesome. And we'll pay you this amount of money, it was a good sum, especially given the word count. But he said that we have a queue, a line of authors kind of waiting, because we have several that are in the pipeline. And I really think that was was kind of around the time that like, you know, Wendy's, the Gwendy series was Stephen King. And you know, Richard's really blown up. His writing career is really blown up, and Brian didn't Freeman has done really well, too. And cemetery dance has been super busy. I think even before all of their success, I think that they were a, again, I don't think that they would be offended by me saying this, they're a little slower. As far as their pipeline goes, like some publishers, they're more I guess they're more like a traditional publisher, like it like a random house or HarperCollins. Those publishing houses move slow. All right. It's not like if you get a contract from them, your stuffs gonna come out in nine months, like it's gonna be, like 18 months or two years sometimes. In cemetery dance has always been more like that. Like, they're just you know, that their stuff takes a little longer. And they never ever, ever were misleading with me. They were never like, oh, well, Oh, yeah. Well, we'll get it out by this date. No, they were like, it's gonna be a while. So are you okay with that? I'm like, Yeah, and again, full disclosure here. They paid me the full sum really quickly. All right, so they paid me They treated me well, all this stuff. But and this was for the dismembered by the way that we're talking about this a few years ago. And, but you know, they, they couldn't just have me jump the queue, and like, pass up all these other writers. And so they in slowly, they're getting these novellas out, but time is passing. And I was never like ever belligerent or unhappy with them, because I knew going in that it would take a while. And they were always just completely transparent, completely cool. But I'm like, you know, kind of eager for this to come out because I want people to read it because I really like it. And then Kevin Lucia starts talking about and I knew Kevin, because I'd read his work really, really good writer. And I knew him we'd met at scares of care before he started talking about this new cemetery dance paperback and ebook line. And he's talking about this in this is right before. I think this is right before author con of 2022 I think that's how this all worked out somewhere. Anyway, the whole point is, whatever it was, whenever it was that Kevin and I ran into each other, I just started to think I'm like, this book is under contract with cemetery dance. Like we've already like done. They've already paid me for this book. They have this book, but they just have the limited edition like novella version, right? That they're going to do like a hardcover run and So I was like to Kevin, I was like, hey, like, I'll talk to Brian and Richard about this. But what would you think about this becoming part of that new paperback ebook line you're talking about? And he was like, Well, that sounds cool. To me. That sounds really neat to me. And let me talk to them. And so he talked to them. And I talked to them, and they were both super awesome about it. They're like, Yeah, that sounds great. And so we decided it just it made a lot of sense, right, because it's already a cemetery dance, it was intended to be a cemetery dance book. And then this way, this would like fast track it. So then, and also, then it's not a limited edition. So a lot of people get to read this, which was really appealing to me, because I wanted as many people as possible. In fact, that was one thing that I didn't like before. I didn't like that this was a story that was only going to be available to a small number of people. Because I just wanted a lot of people. I just felt like it was a lot of fun. I wanted a lot of people to read it. And so when this started to materialize, I'm like, Oh my gosh, alright, that that now I can scratch that itch to have a lot of people read it. And everybody from cemetery dance from Brian, Richard and Kevin, they were all excited about all cool about it. And that's how it came to pass. And what's great is is that they don't like their contracts is not overreaching at all. So they just took the rights for basically for the paper book or paperback and ebook. So I got to attain audio, and everything else. And then Blackstone publishing is a publishing house that I was interested in working with. And Brendan Dineen, Brendan Dineen is a guy that is a big part of Blackstone, and just a really cool guy. And he does a lot like the a bunch of movies and comics and all this stuff. And I'd wanted to work with Brendan for a while. And so then I was able to like talk to Brian and I'm like, hey, you know, I think the audio for this might be available. What do you think and then so the he put, I think, somebody from Blackstone in touch with my agent. And then they talked, and then that ended up materializing. So the audio book version is going to come out in late November just did like 11 days, I think, after the paper book and ebook, but it all came about, like in a really organic and cool way with a lot of like, really cool, transparent, honest understanding people. It just went really, really well, I think. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 22:23

And I mean, Blackstone is basically their premium public here within Audiosuite. You can't get any better and and Blackstone,

Jonathan Janz 22:33

they're awesome. They're I love with I love their work. And I love like, I love Brendan, like he's just he's been somebody, he's another one of those kind of guys who's just really kind for the sake of being kind. He during my agent search was like, no advice, and telling me about the ones he knew. And the ones he didn't know. And he told me what he knew. And honestly, he didn't make it any easier. Because he just said positives about the four that I was talking about. Yeah. He said, he's about all of them. And so I guess that didn't help me discern, but but he it was kind of him to offer that, because he has so much more experience than I do in the industry.

Michael David Wilson 23:12

Yeah, yeah. And we've so many connections that you have, I mean, when you're looking to shop a book, how do you decide whether it's you personally, or it's your agent that reaches out to them? Are there different rules that you have? Do you discuss it with her first? What does that logistically look like?

Jonathan Janz 23:36

Yeah, that's a great question. I think it's really on a case by case basis, and I make mistakes sometimes. Like I, I'll just give an example. I recently, one of my books, there's been a lot of interest from the film side. And I like I had like several conversations going on my own. Because you know, people like they don't know, like, they don't know me. And so they you know, just reach out which is amazing. It's awesome when they reach out to you. And by the way, these people all actually answered back and stuff on like that, that like that when we talked about where I was Robbie Hart while I was Adam Sandler and Wedding Singer stood up at the aisle. But anyway, they were like talking to me and then I was communicating all this to Ryan. And at some point Ryan was like maybe can you just like he was so he's always so nice about it. But I was I think I'm the one who said like do you just want me to like have them contact you? He's like, why don't you do that? He's like that would make it really a lot easier for me to manage all this because there are all these moving parts and all these different conversations and ones on Instagram ones on the email ones on he's like, just just funnel under me he was super patient with me. But you know, really because I'd made some work for him I'd I wouldn't say headaches but it's like he had to like send several emails to like clarify things. is because I've been the one having a couple of these conversations. And I don't know what I'm doing. Like I'm, I'm, I know enough to know what I don't know. You know, I'm just enthusiastic. I'm just excited, right? And, you know, especially if I talk to somebody who's made something that I know, then I get really excited, like, oh my gosh, like you made that. Let's talk. This is amazing. And really what I needed to be more like was, let's talk with Ryan on the phone. Right, let's let me have you contact, right, and then we can zoom. But I think that I need to err more on the side of that, than just like, you know, kind of winging it and being excited. Because that's not my expertise. I'm not as much of a businessman as I am a, I guess, a creator, but then be just a man of books and movies and television shows.

Bob Pastorella 25:52

Yeah, I think we can all be experts and be excited about something that that could be to your own detriment. Yeah. You know, and so it's good to have that, that you know, that that safety net, it's just you have to, you know, catch yourself before you need to use a safety net, or use it properly. You know,

Jonathan Janz 26:17

yeah, it's so nice for me to have somebody who knows what the hell he's doing. Like, that's no good thing for me, just because I a few times here since I've known Ryan like, I've like gotten myself into the situations where I am. I'm now like, you know, maybe going to accidentally hurt someone's feelings through zero malice, but just because I don't know how it works. Like, I don't know how, I don't know all the ins and outs of the I mean, I know more than the layperson about the book industry or the movie movie industry. But I'm still a layperson. I mean, I guess I know more than the average layperson, but I'm still in the layperson category. And so I've had a couple of situations where I have with zero negative intentions, created a little bit of awkwardness. And so I think that that's something I need to continually remind myself is to just, you know, put Ryan in charge of it, or put Priya in charge of it, if it's on the books side, and let them let them do their jobs. Right. And I'll I will be available as needed. They need to bring me in.

Michael David Wilson 27:28

So back to the dismembered I mean, in some way, the pacing is like a psychedelic prog son in that it starts off as a slow burn. But then, you know, we're here signing maybe at about the 30%. Mark, and it just goes absolutely wild until the finish. So I mean, I'm wondering, what considerations do you have when pacing a story? And how do you do it in such a way to ensure that you maintain interest, which you certainly do in that first half with the slow burn part. So the people who are really into as Bob actually put it, the Roger Corman staff, really stick around. I mean, it's got to be quite a difficult dance, because I mean, to have the effect of the breakdown, you need the buildup, but you need to make sure that the builder is engaging and peaking interest and foreshadowing, the breakdown. So how do you orchestrate the stance?

Jonathan Janz 28:48

I almost kind of wish that question would have never ended because I loved hearing you like talk about that. I loved it. I loved hearing Bob talk about it. When we were when we were off air earlier, I loved hearing you both talk about the novella. Because I think you both like really encapsulated Well, the the different years of that story and the different codes, right, because it's not one little thing. I think it all fits together. And I think you're saying that too, but I think that clearly it has different different modes, different shifts, right, like it starts out as one thing then room. Oh my gosh, where are we really get we're really gonna go here. We're really going your holy crap. It's going here. And that's kind of how I felt as I was writing. I was like, are we really this? Is this did that just happen? Or is this next thing? Oh my gosh, that happened. I have found so I'm not going to just give you the canned answer of I follow the characters which is true. I have found that I think about this a little bit I think of myself is is somebody who loves books and movies, okay, and TV. I bet I bet if you think about yourselves, I bet you might be the same way I love it when something surprises me. I love it when something surprises me. I think now I don't love it when it doesn't fit in, we've all seen stories where something is forced, like a happy ending is forced and it wasn't or two people get together that shouldn't have, right? They got together because their names were both on the poster, right? They didn't get together because the story really made it so they could or their characters would actually be together. They got together because that's the ending that the studio dictated or whatever. I think that we we sense when a story genuinely goes to a place, and we like it when it's earn that and we like it when it's unpredictable. Here's a weird example, one of the Mission Impossible movies. I think it was directed by David Fincher, I think it might have been the one with Philip Seymour Hoffman is the villain. But there's might be MIT or MI three, but whichever Mission Impossible movie it is, I remember I was watching it in my basement while I was lifting weights, and I was on like, whatever Netflix. And there's a scene where they're transporting Philip Seymour Hoffman, this villain this is in the middle of the movie, they're transporting him across this endless bridge. And Tom Cruise in the rest of his team are like I guess accompany him. And all of a sudden, I think this jet comes out of nowhere. And like, like, drops a bomb, like fires a missile. And then these helicopters come and like it is this gigantic, climactic action set piece out of nowhere. And in their their missiles exploding on the bridge, and Tom Cruise is almost dying and multiple main characters are getting shot and killed. It was wild, it was like what is happening, there's another hour and a half left in the movie, this kind of another hour left, this cannot be happening in the middle of the movie. Because that's not what's supposed to happen in an action movie. That's not the that's not the structure. That's not the blueprint of an action movie. And I loved so much that it diverged from that. And it stuck out to me. And we can all think of stories that do that, like barbarian, I talked about that earlier. I love that you seem to have a complete reset. In the middle of the movie, you completely switch you switch plots, you switch characters, you switch seemingly you're switching themes, even though the themes end up unifying. It's like what are we doing here, I don't know what we're doing. But I kind of like it. I kind of it's kind of cool. And it ends up working. And so when you see that done in a story, I think that's a reminder that we need to do that. There's a novel I wrote called The nightmare girl. And in the nightmare girl, that story is a slow burn for like 75% of the book. It is a slow burn Suspense Thriller kind of a lens daily and kind of book like I was really reading a lot of Jor Lansdale at the time. And then in the final quarter of that book, it is just absolutely mayhem. It is just wild. Where I mean, there's a character who is naked, fighting cult members with a sword in a burning building, trying to rescue a toddler from the third story with snakes on the ground that he's trying to avoid. There's a scene he gets attacked with a character with a power drill, he ends up turning the power drill and like drilling through this other care. I mean, it's like the most, you'd never guess that that's where the story is gonna go in a million years. Oh, and by the way, in that scene, he starts off, they're gonna sacrifice him, he's in a sec swing, tie it up in there. This cult is chanting this ritualistic like incantation about to kill him. I mean, it's like nobody in a billion years could have guessed where that's where the story was gonna go. But that's one of my favorite novels of my own work because it goes so wild in such a different direction than where the reader and the author thought it would go. And I feel like the dismembered does a similar thing. It's like you read this, it's very staid, it's very buttoned down. It's very proper, like, yeah, there are these moments of like, shocking, that there's a moment with a cat that I'm sure will have some readers despising me, and I love cats, by the way, but I just felt like that was right for the story. So there are some some surprises here and there. But like there's nothing to indicate, I think that the story is gonna go where it goes. And I think that I believe that it fits. And I think that it's rewarding for readers when stories do that in an organic way. And so that doesn't, I guess that doesn't really answer the question about as an author, I guess, is an author. All I would say is that I admire that as a consumer. And so as an author, I really try to like, like, what do they say and hunting of Fill us they want to water that seed. I want to water that aid in my own stories when it arises, I want to really chase that feeling when it's there. I don't want to ignore it. I want to go after it and have fun with it.

Bob Pastorella 35:14

It's that logic. It has to be logical and unpredictable. Yeah, you have to earn it. And then that the dismembered does that I mean, if anyone's on the fence about this book, I'm gonna go ahead and just give you my little spiel. Okay? It is it starts off as Gothic is anything that you've ever read Gothic. You have no idea what the fuck you're about to get into. Okay, everything in everything is earned. It's it starts to ramp up. And it goes into this Roger Corman, Vincent Price mode. Until Until that that kind of like in a psychedelic Kaleidoscope swirl turns into Clive Barker doing Gothic. Okay, that's, that's where we're at. That's where we're at. If you're on if you're on the fence, you can go ahead and just hop off on the other side and go get the book. Because it's you know, and here's the it was fun. It was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it so much. And it had that debt. That freaking from dusk till dawn. You know, that feeling? It's like if you could forget what what from dusk till dawn was about and could go in so I had to get this new movie man says it's Robert Rodriguez, man. It's gonna be action. You know, from dusk till dawn charts cleansing you know, and you go see that movie? You don't have no clue. You go in blind you go in as blind as possible. You know? And then halfway through you're like, Can vampires Where'd that come from? And it's like it but it makes so much sense. It was that's that's where we're at with this. I mean it's do more like that. Yes.

Jonathan Janz 37:28

makes me so happy man. Thank you. I love the Clive Barker does Gothic oh my gosh, was Clive Barker. You talking about legends of the legend of Legends right? Oh my gosh, anytime anything remotely about him ever gets connected anything right that's that makes me so happy because that guy I just I can't believe what a master he is. And then I love you know the dusk till dawn. It does it's like in in the dismembered in from dusk till dawn there's like a switch that gets flipped. Right? I'm sure there's foreshadowing or whatever and it but it's like it is like boom, it changes. And I do feel like in the dismembered like in in, you know the scene and Michael, you know the scene, there's a scene, there's one scene where everything changes. And it's like we are one moment we are in this kind of story. And then all of a sudden, this is now happening. And yeah, I think you all described it probably a lot more eloquently than I just did. But thank you.

Bob Pastorella 38:28

Yeah, I know the scene, it's in my mind that that character was embodied by Vincent Price. And I can just it up until that point it wasn't and when when it changed. I was like, I go, Oh, you spent some price. And I can't even I'm not even going to attempt to do a Vincent Price impersonation. It's very hard to do.

Michael David Wilson 38:53

But like Michael Caine, no, because

Bob Pastorella 38:58

here's the thing, Vincent Price, you know, a lot of people's like, he wasn't his, his tone was very, very proper, but he wasn't British. I mean, I think he was like born in Missouri. You know? Yeah, basically this other gentleman. But he had, he was very articulate and had a specific way of speaking. In but he could, but he could mix it up. That's the whole thing. And, and this, this character, just like, just embodied that. And it was like, and then once I realized that, it was like, it became even more of a page turner was like, Oh my God, you know, that's how I felt. I was like, oh, okay, I'm gonna I'm gonna be up late tonight. And be reading this damn book right here and it's gonna be worth it. Yeah, why are you so tired because I read a book last night.

Jonathan Janz 39:57

That's amazing. That's fantastic, man.

Michael David Wilson 40:00

You know, joking about Vincent prices iconic voice citing the nearest I've had to someone kind of candling Vincent Price as the former Taoiseach to terrify host, Larry Santoro, do you both remember him?

Jonathan Janz 40:16

I do not know.

Michael David Wilson 40:19

No, no. Okay. Oh, you can tell I'm surprised. Yeah. I mean to tell yours to terrify, I would say particularly, you know, 10 years ago was right up there with sudo pod in terms of the best podcasts to have your horror fiction on. And the original host Larry Santoro, unfortunately, now passed away. Just that was something so horror, and so, Vincent Price and so perfect for what he did. So I mean, I, I think if if nothing else, you should definitely seek out that kind of older, pre 2014 episodes of tales to terrify, and so you can see what I'm talking about? Oh, absolutely.

Jonathan Janz 41:11

100% sounds awesome. Yeah,

Bob Pastorella 41:16

the best impersonation I've ever heard a mention price. And I don't even I don't even know if he can still do it is done by Dana Gould. In part of its act, and it's on YouTube, you can basically Google you know, Google Dana Gould, Vincent Price and find it and it's uncanny how he sounds like it's just unbelievable.

Michael David Wilson 41:39

So yeah. Yeah. And to clarify, like Larry's not doing a Vincent Price. Is

Bob Pastorella 41:47

that is that style?

Michael David Wilson 41:49

I mean, this is just yeah, this is how he was. And so like, you know, it's a pairing as it were with Vincent Price. It's, I mean, it's obviously not enough to say it's a cover version is disingenuous. It's like he, you know, he was his own person. But yeah, you need to get familiar with him. And as far as the dismembered goes, I mean, we could talk about it more, but honestly, like, i ng Bob just sold the book to everyone listening. I think Job done. We just sold it to everyone. Yeah.

Bob Pastorella 42:29

I mean, I'm very enthusiastic about things that I like. I'm an expert in enthusiasm. And so and I mean, it's to me, I feel like a lot of some some of the things that I read, it's like, I just want to like shove it into people's face when you need to read this good griping, there's no good hard fight in front of your face.

Michael David Wilson 42:54

Bob is an aggressive salesman.

Jonathan Janz 42:57

I love that. I love that.

Bob Pastorella 43:00

Nothing good out there. Yet, there is just so much. Great stuff out there. Especially to dismember. But yeah, thank you.

Michael David Wilson 43:15

Well, we are getting towards the end of the time, we have to give her because at some point we should sleep we should eat. We should do other things with our lives. But it would be remiss not to mention Marla the other recent release of yours. And I mean, I don't know what you don't but but I think just the cover and just the name. It feels iconic. It looks classic in there kind of timeless way. Like I always, I always can't believe that. It's only just came out. It feels like it's always been with us. I don't know if that makes any sense. But it just taught Yeah, just perfectly encapsulates what horror is all about.

Jonathan Janz 44:04

That's awesome. Yeah, I tell you what, I do think the I'm super proud of the book. I absolutely love the novel. But I have to say that I think that a lot of that iconic feeling is due to the cover art of Matthew Rivera. And I hope I said his name right. I've never met him in person, ar e v e r t I've heard of pronounce reverb and reverb. I think it's revair Matthew River. That guy is one of the best cover artists in the world. He did the Marla cover for earthling publications, which is a limited edition. He did children of the dark he did excesses falls, he's done some other work for me. And I just he's just such a unique artist and he's got such vision and like you use the word iconic like that's exactly the adjective I would use is iconic. For Marla because it like looks like a cover that is has always been, it doesn't look like a new release, it looks like it has always been there. And I just I think that to be able to do that, and I think particularly with that book, it's awesome that he was able to do that. Because Marla, it's this novel that I really feel like has. It's it's it's new, it's its own thing, of course, but I feel like it in its own little way pays homage to like books like ghost stories, some of those amazing 70s And 80s horror novels. It feels just slightly retro in like the source of the horror. I mean, horror can come in so many different places. But I do feel like you know, like with ghost story by Peter Straub. And I'm mentioning that right now, by the way, because a reader, I think his name is Peter Schweitzer. I think it was his name, messaged me, and he told me I could quote him. But he said that he felt the same way reading Marla, that he felt like reading ghost story for the first time. And again, by the way, that's not my saying, I'm not saying they're equal. Ghost Story is one of the best horror novels ever written. It's one of my favorite three horror novels of all time. It's extraordinary. So I'm not I'm not putting my work up there. I'm just saying that it gave him he said it gave him those vibes. But in ghost story, there's this at the heart of that book, there's this evil entity, who goes by the name, I think it's like Alma Mobley, or Anna most and she goes by all these different names. But she is like the the dark heart of ghost story, this woman and and she's the connective tissue that connects these old men together in the outer society with this shared sin that involves her, and I feel like that kind of aura, not that plot. But that or that kind of vibe, is present in Marla with that central character of Marla, because she is the connective tissue that ties together their three point of view characters. And but she's the one who ties them together. She's the one who kind of ties everybody in this town together, for better or worse. And so I feel like to have this this kind of fearsome woman at the heart of your book. I feel like it does kind of harken back to ghost story in some of the other novels that I just love so much from that era.

Michael David Wilson 47:27

Yeah. And a lot of people will want to know, is there going to be a wide release of Marla?

Jonathan Janz 47:35

Well, that is a great question. My agent currently has it. And she is just now starting the process of showing it to a couple of people. So we shall see. I have super high hopes for it. But obviously Those aren't my those decisions are above my paygrade. So we'll have to see. But I would love for there to be I would love for everybody to read it eventually. The early word has just been like off the charts exciting. So you know, and some people that I really love and respect have said some wonderful things about it. James, Jim Moore, who's an extraordinary writer, wrote an amazing introduction to it. You know, Caroline Kipnis one of my favorite authors and people was said some amazing things about Nick cutter. Brian James Freeman has a lot of writers that I really respect have been you know, talking about it so in ROSS Jeffries I don't want to leave him out said some super awesome things about it. Anyway, the point is, is that I think that it's a book that deserves to be read by a wide audience. I think that the reception to it shows that it should be but we shall see my friends we shall see. I hope it I hope it is hope it is read by a really wide audience.

Michael David Wilson 48:56

All right. Well, I mean any publishers listening who shall we shall we publish it because apparently they wade through three hours of This Is Horror Podcast conversation to make their decisions. I mean, we've already said this is iconic. This is classic. It's always been so you got to do it. I love it.

Jonathan Janz 49:21

That's great advice man.

Michael David Wilson 49:23

Would you rather find yourself stuck in the dismembered or Marla and why?

Jonathan Janz 49:30

Wow. Oh, man. Wild That's wild. I have to say if I have to be stuck in either because there man they're both so horrific. Oh Trump in the dismembered because like I'd say the dismembered is maybe a little more fun, or as Marla is a little more disturbing. And in also, you know, like, Who wouldn't want to the reality of that time would be terrible, right? Like the mortality rate was much higher and lower age and all that stuff and medicine was so bad compared to what it is now. So I mean on a literal level would be terrible to live in probably but you know, if you if you take the movie versions and book versions, right like the dismembered or like Dracula, there's some romance to those bygone times right to like 1912 for instance. So I think that would also be really fun to wear those clothes to go in those castles to ride those horses to do those things. At least in my romantic side of my mind, I would love to do that. So I'm going to choose I'd rather live in the dismembered because honestly, Marla in this sounds like I'm this sounds like such a cheesy like I'm trying to be a salesman or a huckster. I swear I'm not Marlis scares me like this. The character scares me. The cover scares me. Like when I see that cover, like in the basement, I'm walking in the basement, I don't like it, like those eyes follow you. Like he really creepy. So both the cover, and then the characters scare me. So I don't think I would like to live in that world very much at all the dismembered as long as I could survive it, I would really love to. And I really like Lizzie, by the way, there's a cure, I shouldn't give it away. I like the character, Lizzie, I'll shut up. Anyway, I would. I would like to I would like to live in that world first.

Michael David Wilson 51:30

Yeah. Do you have a print of the cover of Marla that you put on your wall? And if you don't, would you consider it? Or is that cancer step too far, you're not having literally follow you around the house.

Jonathan Janz 51:45

Oh, my gosh, I need to do that. Because I've got one for children in the dark, which is the same artist. I need one for that. And I think that after I did that, I think I would regret it. And I think that my wife would hate it. And I think my kids would hate it. And their friends would all hate it. And they would probably want me to put it away. Here's what it'd be like when I when my son was little. So when I back before I had kids, I got a Michael Myers mask. Okay. And I just thought because I was in my 20s. And that's the kind of stupid irresponsible stuff you spend $50 on in your 20s. So I bought it. And my son was so unnerved by it when he was like three and four years old. He like he like didn't even like the thought of it being in the house. And so I remember like, I'm like, Honey, do you want me to just get rid of it? He's like, yes, please just get rid of it. And so I did. I literally threw it away. It was he got put in the trash. And like I look back on now I'm like, why didn't you just lie to the kid? Why did he just like hide it somewhere? Because that was a cool mask. You know, that was expensive. You should have just kept that and like hidden it somewhere. But I just want I was so eager to like, you know, help him that I did that. I think that that would be the fate of Marla. I think if I had a print of Marla, the kids would make me promise to throw it away. Because it's so disturbing. And this time though, I probably would lie and I would just hide it somewhere.

Michael David Wilson 53:12

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, no, that's an interesting one. And this is gonna sound it this is a little bit tongue in cheek, but also kind of serious. But do you think it's possible for one to accidentally create fiction or leave or lend for it to become part of our reality? So when we were speaking to Brian Kirk, a number of years ago for one of his stories, it might have been a will haunt you. You know, he was talking about looking into all these things to do with the coat and how he had to be pretty careful really didn't want to take some of these things into the house in case like, you know, Vic conjured up something. So, I mean, do you think that there's ever the possibility that like, if you create something for someone like Mala and then you put it in the house, could it ever manifest as part of our reality? I know some people listening are gonna be like, fuck that he might have been up for a long time now is getting very crazy. He's never asked the question. quite like that. But look, if Jonathan ganz is four or five hours, we don't even know anymore. I'm not sure where I am. That's where we're going.

Jonathan Janz 54:42

Yeah, no, I gotta tell you did. And I think you and I are both on Bob probably has to we're on the same wavelength here. i The responsible, scientific logical answer would be no, Michael, of course. No. That's never going to happen. No, I don't believe in that. But honestly, if I'm going to be truthful, yeah, I do think I could happen. I do. I do. I like in and I do. And I think I've probably in some way written about that, and certainly will write about that. Because I do it's like, I think that you can will things even unintentionally into being, like, in so many ways. And you know, we can get kind of meta here a little bit. But like, you know, I think about, I don't know, and here's the thing, I don't want to I don't want to, like, take us into a place that we would all disagree with, like, none of us would agree that like a criminal should be able to blame murder on a book. Like, I don't think any of us would agree with that. I don't think any of us believe that rap music or rock music causes, whatever massacres and all this stuff like that is complete crap. I don't think any of us would believe in that. But I do think that when you start, you know, dealing with evil stuff, well, okay, so there's a story called The road virus heads north by Stephen King. And it's, it's in the collection, everything's eventual. There's a painting, there's a painting called the road virus heads north. And in that painting, this, the conceit of the book is, is that this author, or sorry, this painter, this young kid, ended up, like taking his own life. But before he did, he was like, creating these disturbing paintings. And he was like, it was almost like he was channeling something else. And he was getting a little bit too much truth into these paintings and a little bit a little too much of this other world, the shadow world beyond this veil into the paintings. And, you know, I guess, if I didn't believe that that was possible. I don't know that if I didn't believe in that at all. I don't know that I would write the stuff I do. I don't know that we would if we didn't believe it was possible. But I think that, you know, I there is a part of me that believes that there is evil, and that you know, that those things have power, that those kinds of stories and characters have power. And, you know, in the in the right or the wrong circumstances may be may be, you know, and everybody listening to this thinks that we're complete weirdos. And they're, you know, completely like writing us off. But I guess I guess I do believe in some part of me that that stuff, you know that there's something to that? Not not not not the blaming stuff part. You know, hopefully that disclaimer was clear enough. But in the way that you're talking the way that you're talking about? Yeah, maybe.

Michael David Wilson 57:53

Yeah, yeah. And I think so many of us who don't believe we want to believe we have that X Files kind of approach. So I think even people who are like, no, they don't believe that that's possible. They're not going to be turned off by this. Because, yeah, there's a little part of them that secretly wants to so yeah. I mean, maybe, maybe this is dangerous. But I genuinely feel anyone who's got this far in the conversation, there are very few things that we could say what I like, right, that's, that's the limit. Now. I've had enough. I'm turning it off. It's like, look, you've already sat through so much of this. And we're, we're getting towards the conclusion that the big reveal from Bob, so you got to stay tuned for that.

Jonathan Janz 58:52

Don't act like you don't know, Bob.

Bob Pastorella 58:53

I still don't believe

Jonathan Janz 58:56

we know. Yeah, but we know that this is all part of your master plot. So you can play it will

Bob Pastorella 59:03

be logical and unpredictable.

Michael David Wilson 59:10

Well, Roger Venable has a question via Patreon. So maybe you didn't predict that. And he would like to know. Can you please discuss if and how your writing process has changed since you started writing? I'm interested to hear about planning and pre writing, composing the first draft and revising.

Jonathan Janz 59:35

Yeah, I think the thing that's, I think that my first drafts have become, like less self conscious, like the more I go, the more willing I am to go to just, you know, let myself fly. And I think that the editing process has gotten like ridiculously meticulous that I need to really just chill out. I need to chill the hell out on my editing book. cuz I've just become so stinking, like, exacting. And so I guess dissatisfied with with something that maybe already works that I feel like I have to look at it from a billion. I mean, imagine a golfer on the green and I hate golf, by the way, but just go with it. A golfer is on the green, and he's about ready to putt. And he, you know, he eyes the ball, he looked, he lies down to look at the lay of the land and all that stuff. Well imagine him doing that for like, you know, 17 hours before he puts, that's what I've become. That's what I become with my editing. Like, I've just got to like, chill out a little bit, and be willing to let things go. Because it's like, I will go through my manuscripts so many times, that it's just like ridiculous. Like, I've just got to learn to like, move away. So to answer the question, it has become more arduous, more involved. I mean, I think improved in some ways. And hopefully the manuscripts are improved because of it. But it's just become preposterously exhaustive. Like I go through them so many times, and looking for the tiniest minutia. And then And then sometimes I'm not even sure what I'm looking for, I'll just open it random, and find something to be dissatisfied with. So I really need to honestly scale it back a little bit. And to do, because, you know, there gets to be a point you don't even know if you're, I mean, what if you're disapproving your book? Because you're just beating it to death? Right? I mean, let's breathe a little bit. So I feel like I need to get to I need to, like, come to a healthier place where I'm editing a reasonable amount of time, rather than the amount of time I'm spending now.

Michael David Wilson 1:01:53

Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. And something I want to know about is so we've spoke at the start of the conversation about looking after your mental health, but I know that you take care of your physical health and you have a fitness routine you mentioned you're watching movies and lifting weights and maybe it's just me because this is like a kind of particular interest of mine but I'm wondering what does your fitness routine look like? What is a kind of weekly routine? How many days are you lifting? What are you doing to improve what are the Jonathan Jan secrets? I mean, people they've seen you've got good trousers. You got some good biceps as well. How do we get the look here? Here are the secrets on This Is Horror.

Jonathan Janz 1:02:52

I love that. You mentioned the jeans pants.

Michael David Wilson 1:02:58

Literally nothing to do with fizzy get like, well, for

Jonathan Janz 1:03:04

those who are more famous than I am, those are better known than I am. Yeah. Their own story. No, I love those pants. I wear them once you discover as a kid as flowers. No, as far as, let me just say this about fitness. I am not fit. It is really I am really dissatisfied with myself. And I'm not saying that like the falsely modest saying. What I'm saying is is that my cardiovascular health is not very good. And I need it to me. Like when I get my cholesterol checked and blood pressure or whatever, it's all good and all that stuff. But what I'm saying like I have no lung capacity right now, not because of I just had COVID but because I don't run like I should like I'm an act like I teach and stuff and I move around all day, but I don't run and I really need to get in cardiovascular shape. I just don't so honestly I am if you figure out the secret to that to being consistent with that tell me because I don't know. Now I do. I will say I lift about four times a week. During the summer it's more like five and I felt like with that like something that's helped me and again it's not like there are a lot of writers with much better grasp James White asked that guy like that guy is like a specimen. And there are other writers too that are like Gabino Iglesias has got these arms the size of Sycamore trunks but but anything good about my physique or whatever. I think that one thing I've learned to do with lifting is to not overtrain like back in the 20s I'm really just about as strong as I was in my 20s and in my 20s I was doing like 3640 44 sets and Pre Workout. I knew like just a ridiculous number of sets on a specific body part. And I think what I was doing was counterproductive. I mean, I think that I would have been a lot stronger back then had I trained less. And so like, now I listen to my body. When I lift it's like, usually for about a half hour, and I'm tweeting between sets or looking at Instagram between sets. And I'll only do like probably 15, like 1415 sets. And so I mean, just a much more reasonable expectation I put on myself than I used to. So I think that's like if I were to I'm not, I'm certainly not in the position to give advice. But if I were to give any advice, it would be to listen to your body and don't overtrain it. And if any of you out there have a good way to stick to to be more like to be more regular in your cardiovascular health. Please tell me because I've been trying to find the secret sauce for that for like a decade now. It's been a long time since I've had good cardiovascular health.

Michael David Wilson 1:06:06

Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, I think for cardiovascular high intensity interval training is a pretty good thing to go for, you know, with Sprint's just go for, or loud Sprint's that could be something to consider. But you do that I have to. I have done it before, I think you'd have to say do I do it would suggest some regularity. I much prefer lifting and calisthenics than I do. Cardio, but I have found, you know, when I do high intensity interval training that it is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. But yeah, it could. It's just not that sexy. Is it? Really, you know, working on your cardio is? What was yeah, maybe there's also just some primitive masculine bullshit thing about Yeah, it's better to lift this wait, oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean,

Bob Pastorella 1:07:16

I know, you're gonna go there. I mean, it's like, if you're thinking, hey, it's a masculine thing to lift this weight, then you know, you, you might as well just go to the other side and just go, I'm into fitness, fitness cheeseburger down my throat, you know, because you're not really doing anything at that point, you want to live something yet looked at Burger? You know? That's probably the best exercise you can possibly do. I mean, no,

Michael David Wilson 1:07:43

if it's chronic cardio, and then you're gonna put a lot of strain on your health, you got to be smart about it. Things like a heart rate monitor is a good idea to make sure that you're not going into that area.

Bob Pastorella 1:07:58

Right. But I mean, would you know that that's the thing that helped me lose 80 pounds, you know, and get to a point to where I was, you know, actually comfortable. I went from a 44 inch waist to a 34 inch waist. And and I've kept that weight off you know, and I and I fluctuate and I'm going to admit you know, I'm not in the best of shape right now. I'm doing cardio doing any any form of cardio is probably like, not good at this point. Because I've got this planner fasciatus going on. And, and I had the longer I go without my my heel actually causing, you know, like excruciating pain, the better it's healing, and last me do is to tear the tendon again. So I'm kind of at this point to where I have a gym membership, but I can't go you know, because I I've already been there. And it's like, I like walking, walking like good. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 1:09:06

Yeah, yeah, I think with the plantar fasciitis, I mean, rowing could be an option for the cardio, but as you say, just like old fashioned walking, you know that. That'll do it.

Bob Pastorella 1:09:22

Well, to be able to walk.

Michael David Wilson 1:09:25

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'm wondering with the sets that you were talking about. He said you do about 15 sets, what kind of reps are you looking at per set and what what are some of your go to lifts that you're doing?

Jonathan Janz 1:09:44

Yeah, actually, you know, if I'm gonna be totally honest, this makes me feel really like okay, I'm being vulnerable here. It's probably more like 12 or 14 set or 12 or more toward 12 or 14, then 14 or 15. And I only exaggerated just because As I felt like that sounded cooler.

Michael David Wilson 1:10:02

Like it happens so much though, doesn't it? Let's just be honest. A little bit more. And it's so silly because there wasn't either of us being like our Wi Fi says, teen like that guy.

Jonathan Janz 1:10:23

YouTube, okay, nobody listening cares. Why did they do that? Anyway?

Michael David Wilson 1:10:28

We do. We just don't fucking beat yourself up about it for years. We don't want to hear next time it's like, Oh, I'm so sorry. I said that on everyone.

Jonathan Janz 1:10:43

Yeah. Okay, so here's the deal that, alright, so I will do like on a typical day yesterday was my first day lifting after like having a week off because of COVID. So when I lifted I did. Let's see here, I did four sets of military press. And I did, like probably 10, nine or 10 reps. So they say and again, I don't even know, I'm going by the stuff that I was taught, it might not even be right now. But like, like higher reps would be like more definition. And then lower reps would be more broke, right. And so I usually try to I try to go in between, I try to have some definition and some bulk. So I think that you know, that happy medium was right around like 10 for me. So I did like nine or 10 reps per set. And then I did a tricep pushdowns on our Bowflex. I use the Bowflex site and that's I tell you what, like people make fun of both flexes like I like hardcore, free weight lifters, like, you know, they'll look for clout or whatever, they make fun of Bowflex people, whatever, I use that and it really worked for me, it's compact it, you know, it's smooth, all that stuff, I don't have to pay for a gym membership, I can do almost everything I want to do on that and my free weights, I can do those combined. Anyway, I did probably like seven or eight sets of tricep pushdowns on that. And then probably more like 12 reps, just because on that on I like to get a really good burn. And I don't usually feel the burn until a little bit later. So that was my big workout for yesterday. So there you go. I, I don't have any fitness secrets. But that's what I that's probably a pretty typical workout for me. I'll do two body parts sometimes three. Okay, let me be honest with you. I'm gonna tell you something else. Like we're being vulnerable and all this. Okay, because that's like the name of that's what we do here on This Is Horror when we talk to each other. Right? So my wife was saying, and she you know, she's awesome. But she was saying the other day, because I always skip leg day. All right, always. Because like, I'm like, who cares? Like, who sees my leg?

Michael David Wilson 1:12:53

stand off?

Jonathan Janz 1:12:55

Yeah, exactly. Right.

Michael David Wilson 1:12:57


Jonathan Janz 1:13:00

Probably did as I just lost Corvino. So anyway, my wife was walking because my son is like this. He is like, as he's turned into a specimen, this kid. He's like doing like 500 pounds on like reverse lunges, just like ridiculous amounts of weight. He's like becoming a total animal. And my wife

Michael David Wilson 1:13:20

was 500 pounds on reverse lunges. You exaggerate. And again, is the

Jonathan Janz 1:13:26

result? No, I really don't think I think that's what he did. I'm pretty sure it was something on reverse lunges. It wasn't squat. He doesn't do quite as much on squat. I think reverse signs I think he did. Maybe his deadlift I don't know is one of those like ones that I don't do. Okay. It was one of those ones that I don't do basically lower body. And, and he and he just won a contest. He works with his trainer, who trains like all these MLB like these MLB level, like this trainer my son works with is training, the number one draft pick potentially in the next MLB draft. My sons are working. And they had this contest this trainer did for who could do the most positive weight gain, like muscle weight gain in 90 days, not even making this up. My son gained 24 pounds of muscle. He's up to like two away. So he's like this absolute freak specimen. So he's, he's only a junior in high school. And and I'm just purely happy for him. There's no jealousy, I promise. Here's where the jealousy kicked in. My wife was talking about how she was walking on campus the other day, because she walks through Purdue, we live by Purdue University. And there was this guy walking ahead of her and she noticed his butt. And he turned the corner and he was on the baseball team. And she made this kind of global comment about baseball players having nice butts. And I'm sitting there at the island feeling like an old like unattractive loser. You know, because and I love for my son to have this great physique because you know, it's whatever totally unselfish with him. But this random baseball player way why What when I'm sitting here like, I'm your husband, you're talking about this guy's you know, and it wasn't like I was. I wasn't like offended in a in a jealous like way but but yeah, but there was like that pride way that I was I was like oh man, you know, like I went about my butt. And so like, all of a sudden I'm like, Okay, I gotta start doing something now I can't skip leg day anymore. So I got online, and guess whose butt workout I looked up? Okay, I bet like, are you guys Marvel fans at all? Like, do you know who they call America's best but or something like that? Captain America, I looked up I like I Googled Chris Evans. Like his, he has a glute workout that he did for Men's Health magazine, or somebody did about him. Because like, that was the big thing on and one of the Captain America movies, I think, or maybe it was Avengers endgame. But they made a big joke about it. And I always remembered that. So I like I've been looking up glute exercises that Chris Evans did for that movie. And I am determined for my wife to like, notice a butt ahead of her and not realize it's me. And that's gonna be the twist. And I'm going to turn the corner she's like, wait, I'm married to that guy. That's my new goal in life. That's my new dream for her to notice. But or not no, it's her husband. So all that's by way of saying that I started to do like lower body exercises like about two weeks ago, because my confidence was shattered by this conversation between my wife and my son.

Michael David Wilson 1:16:37

I'm just now imagining some weird kind of The Shining meets man obsessed with but novel way like neglect so lover, kind of familial cancer hands and he's just obsessively working.

Jonathan Janz 1:16:54

That's what I have. You heard me like grunting during this interview. I've been doing like exercises as we've been speaking, to try to shape and grow like anybody here like hold me accountable it fan conventions here, like you know, check and see if there's any more of a pronounced bump back there. Or if it's still that same unimpressive old man old that old husband, unimpressive thing that my wife doesn't even notice.

Michael David Wilson 1:17:24

Yeah, I mean, I did find it a little bit strange when we got on the call and I heard you say God at work, but but I don't

Jonathan Janz 1:17:36

know why this is my purpose in life.

Michael David Wilson 1:17:40

Wow, that is the end of the this is Tara

it's been enjoyable for people to have that little section we've worked out some butts you know? Already you want more of that. Do you want us to ask our office how they sculpt their butt is that via regular feature or only when ganzes on we get the button update

Jonathan Janz 1:18:16

I believe that's what we're in the but in a way it's almost perfect. That that is that is the final topic right because we've just we've we've hit such a kaleidoscope of topics and in some weird place

Michael David Wilson 1:18:29

Yeah, yeah. Well, where can our listeners connect with you? I mean, probably down the gym or in your basement doing

Jonathan Janz 1:18:41

basement Yeah, yes, they can connect with me well, you know it was gonna be Twitter until like this week and now that's exploding so maybe not Twitter anymore. First so the three books I'd love people to read read The Raven to blood country which is just out read the dismembered which we've talked about and I'm so excited about. I'm excited about both of them. Read, Marlowe, hopefully if it gets wide release, but for now it's limited edition so you can't read it. So probably pointless for me to mention it. And then you can connect. You can connect with me on Facebook on my newsletters. Go to Jonathan jones.com Sign up for my newsletter. That's a good way to connect with me. I'm on Facebook still occasionally. I'm on Instagram I'm on Tik Tok Instagram was Jonathan dot Jan's Twitter for as long as that still exists, who knows if that's going to blow up or not blow up in a negative way. And then yeah, those are the main places so connect with me. I love to interact with people. I have a blast doing it. So I met so many of my fans that way some of my readers, so please connect with me because I just love talking to people on there.

Michael David Wilson 1:19:52

All right. Do you have any final thoughts to leave our listeners with

Jonathan Janz 1:19:59

Oh, Um, man, I feel like I shouldn't say anything serious because it doesn't really fit them the mood we've been in here for for the last part of it but you both are awesome. Love you guys so much. Thank you for having me. And as far as the listeners would go, if you are struggling with something, just know that you are not alone. Know that there are people who care about you. And and remember that just remember that even when you seem insignificant when it seems like nobody cares about you, somebody does. And try to cling to that thought because it's a true thought. And try to remember that no matter how low you get

Michael David Wilson 1:20:46

ranked you so much for joining us for the podcast with Jonathan Janz. Join us again next time when we will be chatting with Brian Asman. But if you would like to get that ahead of the crowd. If you would like to get every conversation ahead of the crowd, then join us on Patreon. Not only do you get early bird access to each and every episode, but you can submit questions to each guest and you can listen to exclusive podcasts including story unboxed a horror podcast on the craft of writing and the patrons only Q and A's sessions and myself and Bob Pastorella. Now before I wrap up, a little bit of an advert break.

Bob Pastorella 1:21:35

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Bob Pastorella 1:22:11

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Michael David Wilson 1:22:41

At the time of recording this, I'm pretty tired. I've had a full day. But I want to talk about a few things. And firstly, I really want to implore you to buy Jonathan Jan's his books, because he is such a good person. And we need to be kind to good people. And we need to support each other. And we need to support the good people and the good writers of this world. And every time that we talk, Jonathan not only provides a brilliant conversation and advice for all of you, but he personally helps me in ways that I don't even imagine he's going to or I don't imagine, I can't conceive that the conversation is going to go, where it's going, or where it went. And goodness, Part one was painful. And I spoke a little bit about my personal situation. I spoke about the fact that I hadn't seen my daughter for 17 months. And finally now as I'm recording, I haven't seen her for 18 months. I have wanted to talk about this on the podcast for so long. But it's a private matter. And I've been reluctant to talk about these kinds of things. Unless hasn't seemed like the right thing to do. Even though I wanted to and I needed to, in a sense. So that was a real weight when I spoke about it with Jonathan. And then subsequently when we publish the episode, you know, a week or so ago and I receive such an outpouring of love and messages and good vibes and praying and hoping and so I really, really appreciate you all giving me those wishes and also putting that energy into the universe. There have been numerous times during the past 18 months, where I have tried to record an outro. I have tried to explain my situation in more precise terms. And either I've broken down crying, or it just hasn't came out the right way. Or I found myself to be waffling. And since then I've gone and deleted it. And so the timing of putting that episode out last week has been somehow serendipitous. Because earlier this week, I had an important event due to this personal situation that I found myself in. And as I say, all of you, you'd been praying, you'd been wishing me well. And I used that positivity and that energy that you've given me, and I put it to good. And I can't go into the specifics. But I took a leap and I took somewhat of a risk. And there's been a little break through an earlier this week, I saw two photographs of my daughter for the first time. In 18 months, I saw her. I haven't seen her in person. I haven't spoken to her. I haven't held her yet. But I saw her. I saw photos of her. And I think I think there might be a path forward, I think that I will get to see her next year. So that's really exciting. I'm optimistic. I just wanted to say that to you. I don't know what else to really say. But it's unbelievable, after 18 months of pretty much no progress at all. And then we put that episode out together as a community, we do that we put these good vibes into the world. And now I've seen my daughter. And she's beautiful, and she's looking healthy, and things might be okay. Thank you, I think I think there could be a way forward. So I'm kind of hopeful. And I want to try and put positivity out in the world. And I want to put positivity out to you people listening, as I say, a little tired now. So I'm just going off the cuff. Now really, who knows how this is gonna come out. But if you're fighting with someone, here, just make sure you're not doubling down for the principle of it. Maybe someone has hurt you, or you've hurt someone. That's probably happened. I think we all have hurt people and been hurt by people. But if you just keep hurting and hurting and hurting and you're fighting for the principle of it, then no good can come out. So like we said in part one where Jonathan looked at forgiveness, consider forgiveness. It isn't always going to be easy to forgive others who have wronged you. And it might be even harder to forgive yourself. But if you're focusing on regret or past hurt, than that's the way you live in, you're living in the past. We can't change what's happened in the past. We can shape the present and we can shape the future. Okay, so we've got and so maybe you can give yourself a clean slate today. Or maybe you need to give someone else a clean slate to look to that forgiveness, like we spoke about with Jonathan. Like I implored Him to forgive himself. So almost as a challenge the day I implore you to forgive someone seriously, forgive someone you can tell them or you can keep it private. I mean, from time to time we even see fighting within our own horror fiction community when most of us are on the same team, so I challenge you to forgive someone who you hold a grudge with. Maybe reached out to them. I mean, I know they might tell you to fuck off on a might not respond well and if they if they do then don't rise to it just Let it be, you did your best. I love all of you. I don't have a grasp of anyone in this community and have a grudge with or hate anyone in this world. No matter what happened, I don't hate anyone. I'll promise you that. And I believe in the power of redemption and forgiveness and I believe in love. Maybe this is getting weird. Maybe I'm just riffing on what we spoke about in part one more articulately. But I just want you to be good to each other and let's try and let go a hatred and grab yours and let's just try and have more love in the world. Wow, what a fucking happy ending of an episode this has turned into well, let's get a little bit lighter because after this outro after the music we got 20 minutes or so of outtakes with John at then it's pretty funny. It was originally how part three was gonna start but then we don't we can't do that. So get ready for it. And until next time we have special guest Brian Asman for a bit of a Christmas special with Return of the Living yells take care yourselves be good to one another read horror. Keep on writing and have a great great day.

you're wielding the power that can temporarily put you in the green room. It's not the best kind of power but I'm working. I've got

Jonathan Janz 1:32:43

it felt so sadistic. You just seem like such a maniacal evil mastermind. Casting me out.

Michael David Wilson 1:32:52

I know. I know. That is often what people say about me. You know, keep that as part of the record and there'll be very confused. It's like wait a minute. He liked him in that one. It's like yeah, well yeah. This is the ox This is storytelling. But yeah, I edit the podcast that is is true. And this is gonna be a fairly lengthy one. I wonder if your family is like how do they have more questions? They interviewed you for over three hours last time you've now done three hours this time well, what don't they know about you at this point?

Jonathan Janz 1:33:43

That's true, right? They're like dude, what's the suit? You're just you're your dad There's nothing interesting about YOU WHAT THE HECK right I can't talk to you for three minutes much less three hours and find something interesting

Michael David Wilson 1:33:57

it's like when did the episode ended? Like I'm I'm afraid I've been sucked into a perpetual This Is Horror Podcast episode I'm not sure it does

Jonathan Janz 1:34:09

okay, this is seriously at some point we could do this we at some point if there's if there was ever like you know we could do it for like scares that care or something some point we can do a marathon like the thing is

Michael David Wilson 1:34:25

the thing is I have I have previously put this idea across to Bob in Am I joking Am I not joking way I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure myself. But like, Yeah, but Bob is less enthusiastic about the 24 hour straight podcast you know, for just yeah for for charity as well. I mean, it's possible it's like if if horrid characters or or Brian Keene because I assumed Mike Brian Keene heads up the majority of our charitable endeavors. I mean, he certainly seems to do a lot. If, yeah, if people are listening, who can help make this happen, then I mean that seriously, you know, consider it, let's look into this.

Bob Pastorella 1:35:25

I'm just I fear that we're gonna, I'm gonna sound at the end of it. Like, you know, mercury in the theme, you know, just, we're all just very, very tired.

Michael David Wilson 1:35:44

I mean, here's the thing like a 24 hour podcast, right? I mean, it's possible that we could do it. I mean, as well as us, we have got Dan Howarth who co hosts some of the podcast episodes so we we could potentially do it in shifts you known as like to interviewing this person. Okay. Now, this is the portion where Bob actually goes to sleep for a little bit.

Jonathan Janz 1:36:13

That's a call Sibley we

Michael David Wilson 1:36:15

yeah, we can even you're saying we as well, like Jonathan Jan's has now confirmed itself.

Bob Pastorella 1:36:27

We can we can have rotating guest.

Michael David Wilson 1:36:31

And post? Would that? Yeah, that's the thing. And I mean, you know, so calf Harrison is a big part of the This Is Horror Podcast team. So I'm sure that we could get him to co host, John crane. And I have said before that, if ever I needed a replacement for whatever reason, I have hand picked him. So he's my protege, as it were, even though he's a little bit older than me, but that's fine. He's my protege. And I mean, well, Max, Max booth has been on so much he could co host one or should I say that Christ alive. But in Max booth as a co host might be a good way to undo the 10 plus years of this one episode. You know, you got to take the risk with the 24 hours.

Bob Pastorella 1:37:25

Thinking Max would just come on and just go Hey, everybody, this is Max boot. Host and you're listening to

Michael David Wilson 1:37:35

we don't we don't we don't want him to sabotage you and also yeah, that's, that's fair. Also, like I consider. Yeah, I mean, I consider the leaders of the Friant, Lisa Quigley and McKenzie care are part of the This Is Horror Podcast extended families. So you know, they're welcome to join in as well. And I'm sure any of the people were mentioning listening are like, Oh, thank you very bloody much for volunteering me to do this quite long and difficult task. But you know, we're not saying like, Max, can you join us for 20 hours? It's like this could be like, the our portion maxes involved now, it's Lisa for an hour and yeah,

Jonathan Janz 1:38:26

dude. This is why this I'm a little slap happy. Now. I gotta tell you, I have an excuse for this. All right. There's an excuse for why I didn't think of this when I initially broach that topic. But I just realized that Brian Keene did do this. Like at least twice there was his telephone for the for the scares that care telethon that he did, and I can't remember if he did it in Yeah, he did it in conjunction with a horror show with Brian Keene that he used to have. So he would do a telethon to raise money for shares here. And I remember even being on at least one of those briefly, but it's been like, six, seven years 567 years ago. So I think that's maybe why I forgot, but I can't believe that I forgot. But as I started to say it, I'm like, This sounds so familiar. Why is it sounds so familiar? Because it happened. He did this. Not saying it should never be done again. But I am a little slap happy and the reason why and I don't want to go down this rabbit hole too much. Because what you know, we're all about rabbit holes. But I got COVID for the first time. And I am like just recovering. It hit me pretty hard fellows, and I'm like, I'm good. Now. I'm like, Mike, my, I'm totally good for interview, but I'm just weaker than I normally am. And I'm ground a little clearer than I normally feel like normally I'm totally lucid, all the way up like way past my bedtime because I can never sleep like now. I'm little slap happy, because I'm kind of recovering and just getting my energy back, like my ability to be up right back. So, so I just can't believe I brought that up and didn't even think of the fact that it had already occurred at least a few times back in the day, you know, whatever. 567 years ago, Do y'all remember that? Remember this?

Michael David Wilson 1:40:18

I do have a recollection of that. And I think you need to give yourself some credit. I mean, obviously, you're talking about, you know, suffering post COVID. But let's also remember that we've nearly been talking for four hours at this point. So I think, you know, it's okay to like, in the fall foul of be like, Look, sorry, listeners, I'm not a sharp it's like you're recovering from COVID. And only in the fourth hour, you suddenly start to like, you know, lose your focus. I think that's okay. That is more than okay.

Jonathan Janz 1:40:59

We're doing we're doing our own little telephone here. I love it.

Michael David Wilson 1:41:03

We've inadvertently happened.

Jonathan Janz 1:41:10

I don't know about you, but Bob, I think Michael is like orchestrated this. I think Michael somehow got win from somebody that we maybe Josh, you're right, that I had this, he knew I was going to be in a vulnerable place, like, mentally and like, like, you know, cognitively. And he knew that he could really use that. So I feel like he's got some real hardball questions coming. He's gonna try to catch me. I'm gonna say some stupid things. And this is gonna I'm gonna just really cut my own throat here, Michael, is that your plan?

Michael David Wilson 1:41:44

And if and what is going on here the first hour of the show everyone was very generous about me that we're kind of free. And I'm the fucking villain in this story. We we must be given people a hell of a roller coaster, particularly those who are patrons only $4 patreon.com forward slash This Is Horror. And that listen to the full conversation and the light anger now, there was crying in the first part. Now there's laughter Michael was well, I was gonna say the hero maybe that's the villain, but it's all changed. So yeah, I can't wait to see

Jonathan Janz 1:42:35

turns on him. It's like a Greek tragedy, Jonathan, turns on him. All sorts of malfeasance. Oh my gosh.

Michael David Wilson 1:42:44

Yeah. And Bob's been a bit of a quiet player. But towards the end of this episode, like his master plan is gonna come to fruition and he's been orchestrating it and playing all of us from the beginning. But you know, you'll have to listen to the start to see how we foreshadowed that when we've concluded, but I do like, I do like the 24 hour idea. Of course, that kind of sadist in me likes that idea. And also the competitive part is like so Brian did a 24 hour duty. All right, Brian 2525. telethon Don't make a noise like that as if well 24 was okay, but 25 is my limit. It's like Luke been up for 20

Bob Pastorella 1:43:39

There's no limit. It's like we did 25. Next year we do 48.

Michael David Wilson 1:43:46

No, no, we only do is Brian does 47 A few months later. I don't know why. Now apparently, the modus operandi of This Is Horror it is to is to be Brian Keene, maybe, because I can't as a fiction writer, so I'm like, but can I can I answer podcast host? Let's, let's try that one. I mean, some would maybe argue just fucking leave him alone. hasn't He done enough? Why He's a graduate of Brian Keene who you like who has been very generous to you very generous with his time with a horror community. But you know, don't expect any logic. I do like the idea to have Yeah, like involving people like the leaders or the fray and then also, you know, involve Livia Sneden and Rob Olson of book to the homeless via like it here. Here are the classic podcasts from back in the day. Anyway, it's an interesting Start to what will presumably be the third part I'm gonna blow everyone's mind and actually jump into a book so why don't you have gone I know I know it's a shocker in the third hour

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