• Gaby Triana

Author Interview - BRIAN J. SMITH

Today on The Witch Haunt is horror author, Brian J. Smith! Brian has been featured in numerous anthologies, e-zines, and magazines in both the mystery and horror genres. His books, Dark Avenues, The Tuckers, and Three O’Clock are available on Amazon for Kindle. He recently completed a short story collaboration with fellow author, Lenore Sagaskie, and is recently hard at work on a short story collection.

WH: Welcome, Brian! Please give us a brief introduction of your fabulous self:

My name is Brian J. Smith and I’m the author of over thirty short-stories and three Kindle books. I live in my home state of Ohio (Go Buckeyes!) with my brother J.R. and four dogs who I treat like my children (who doesn’t do that, right?). I love horror and action movies but I’ll take a good horror movie any time of the week. I love spicy foods that no human being should ever consume, drink more coffee than is necessary and have too many books but I’m always buying more.

WH: I feel you. I have more books than I can read, but I’ll eventually get to each one. Brian, what other career would you have if not writing/publishing?

I wanted to be a cop because I watched a lot of action movies as a kid. Then I wanted to be an actor and then I wanted to be a cook right after I got out of high school, but my scholarship was messed up because of a state measure that was passed. I still cook though.

WH: Love men who cook! So, what is your writing process like?

I write each chapter out in short hand on paper (it has to be a certain type or I won’t do it) and then I type it out on my computer, and then I go through each paragraph to make sure every sentence sounds and looks better but because I’m a good typist, I’ll leave out a certain word and bash my hand against my head until I remember never to do it again. Half of the time if I don’t write it down on paper, I’ll put a note on the side to remind me what to put there especially if it’s important.

WH: I ask this of a lot of people, because I used to bake for a living…do you have a favorite dessert?

Yes. I like whipped cream to go with my pumpkin pie.

WH: Ah, a Fall dessert. Love it. So, which of your written works are you most proud of?

I’d have to say my Kindle book, Dark Avenues, because of the message it conveys. Death has a profound impact on us but it’s how we deal with the emptiness it leaves behind that explains what kind of a person we really are. Do we allow that absence of their presence to gnaw at us every second of every day, or do we go about the rest of our lives as they would want us, or vice versa? That’s the question that lingers on our minds a lot when the death of a loved one has occurred.

When my mother died on July 2nd 2013, I was able to harness those emotions and apply them to the story. I’ve always been proud of this story because it allowed me to do that in a literary sense instead of letting it gnaw at me.

WH: What a great method for coping with loss. I’m sorry to hear about your mother. If you could interview any horror author, gone or alive, who would it be?

Jack Ketchum. His novels were the catalyst for me to continue writing horror fiction. I’ll never forget the first time I finished Off Seasonbecause it was like someone had come up from behind and slapped me across the back of my head and said, “This is how you write real horror.”

When I got news of his passing, I cried because he was such an inspiration to me.

WH: As he was for so many of us. How have you changed as a person from your early life until now?

I’ve learned to deal with rejection in one way or another. As a teenager, whether it was asking out a pretty girl or a response for a short story, I’ve learned that rejection is a major part of life. We don’t always get what we want, but–like I said with death and dying–it’s how we deal with it that defines us. Rejection doesn’t destroy me like it used to. Like all good writers should, I brush it off my shoulder and go about the rest of my day and fix the story before submitting it again.

WH: Very true. Rejection is natural. Can’t please everybody, can we? How do you like your coffee? Do you have a favorite libation?

Two sweeteners, no cream. My mother, my brother and I used to buy the tall cans of Bud Light and wait until the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve then drink it until our gums felt cold, but I don’t do as much as I used to, though.

WH: What’s your favorite Halloween tradition?

After Trick-Or-Treat was finished in town (I live in Chauncey, Ohio now), we’d order a pizza and make a fresh pot of coffee. I would shut the house down and drop in a DVD of my favorite horror movie, Night Of The LivingDead (’68 not 90). I’d always save a piece of pizza for the scene where the zombies eat the young couple who died inside of the truck so that they wouldn’t be stuck eating alone. Since I own all three Dead Movies, I’m gonna watch them in reverse, starting with Day and ending with Night.

WH: You’re making miss the man, George Romero! Switching gears for a second, since this is a witch blog…what is the witchiest thing about you (we’re all a little witchy)?

I like dark clothes.

WH: Hmm, mysterious. And who would be your favorite Addams Family character?

Gomez. Him and I have a lot in common because we treat our women like they should be treated; there is never a sad face on our ladies’ face and we like to keep it that way.

WH: Gomez is also the man! What do you feel makes a horror novel scary?

The situation. Whether it be a flat tire on a quiet country road in the middle of the night or the creak that a house makes when it settles, there’s some terrifying trait to it. We tend to wear our fears like a tee-shirt whenever the unexpected occurs.

WH: Indeed, and fear is so personal to each of us. What is the most awesome thing happening in your life right now that you’d like to share with us?

Well, I’ve finished a short-story collection that has yet to be published. I’ve done my first short-story collaboration with the lovely and talented author, Lenore Sagaskie.

WH: Lenore will be our featured guest coming soon! So, what’s next for you, Brian? We can’t wait to see what you have coming up!

I’ve written many mystery stories in the past but never of a noir quality. I love Jim Thompson’s novel “A Hell of a Woman” and it inspired me to write my own noir-crime novel. I’d written the outline back in 2016 and never got to writing it.

Excellent. Well, good luck with all your endeavors, Brian, and here's where you can find Brian on social media:

* Website: www.darkavenues.wordpress.com

* Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/brianjsmith

* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100026276646967

* Twitter: @BrianJSmith13

* Instagram: buckeyefan37

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