• Gaby Triana

Author Interview - JONATHAN ROSEN

Today on the Witch Haunt is funnyman author, JONATHAN ROSEN! For my horror readers who don’t know, I also write young adult fiction and have many, many friends who write picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels in all genres (horror included). Jonathan is one of those special breeds who not only writes for kids, but also incorporates humor into his tales of terror.

WH: Welcome to the Witch Haunt, Jonathan! Please give us a brief introduction of your fabulous self:

Funny, you started that way, because for years, “Fabulous” used to be my stage name. But anyway, I’m originally from Brooklyn, NY, but now live in sunny, South Florida with my family. Although I’ve written many different things, among my favorites is Horror for Middle Grade readers, which can be tricky. I like to infuse mine with a lot of humor, which is the type of horror I love. Big fan of movies like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, Fright Night, and others like that. Horror and humor are a great mix.

WH: And those who do it successfully, like you, prove how talented you are. What other career would you have if not writing/publishing?

My first love was acting, and the bug is still somewhere inside me. I loved being on stage. Especially, comedic pieces. It’s such a rush to be able to be in front of a live audience and get people to laugh. Stand-Up would be a good alternative as well. Haven’t done it, but I feel very confident that I could do a good set.

WH: Your Facebook posts alone have people cracking up on a daily basis. I can see you doing stand-up. Tell us what your writing process is like:

Nobody should emulate my writing process. But, I do it whenever I can. Every morning, I start engaging my mind a little, by having a routine of going through the news. And by that, I don’t just mean heavy world news, although there’s that too. But, I read sports and entertainment news as well. From there, I start going over what I wrote the night before. Seeing how it looks and making little changes. Then, I’ll start the new chapters. At some point during the day, I’ll crash for a couple of hours and then every single night, I’ll continue with new material. Usually for a few hours until 4 a.m. or so (thus, the crashing element in the afternoons). But night is the best time for me writing-wise. Less distractions and disturbances. I put on music to match what I’m writing, and go to it.

WH: And as a father, that has to be tough to get your writing done late at night but still be expected to be involved with the kids during the day. So, I ask everyone this questions, because you know I used to bake. Do you have a favorite dessert?

Banana Splits. Nothing else is close. And it better be with pistachio ice cream, hot fudge whipped cream and sprinkles. Curse you, Gaby Triana! Now, that’s all I can think about!

WH: Not the first time I’ve been cursed. Won’t be the last either. Which of your written works are you most proud of?

This is a tough question. I think regardless of anything else that happens, I’m always going to have a soft spot for Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies. I’ve had other work published, but that’s my first fiction book out in stores. When I pick it up and read through certain passages, it still makes me laugh. With that being said, I have written one that’s being shopped now, and is extremely close to my heart. Another MG horror/humor, and for personal reasons, is special to me. When I’ve received each of my books, I’ve gone out to the cemetery to “show” my dad, and this one makes me think of him. So, my answer might change at some point.

WH: I think that’s awesome that you take your books to show your dad, even though he was probably sitting right next to you as you wrote them. :) If you could interview any horror author, gone or alive, who would it be?

There are soooo many who I love. A ton of great horror writers out there right now, you included. Still, if there was one person who I’d love to speak with, it’s Edgar Allan Poe. I’m such a huge fan. In my opinion, he changed the genre. Everything about him was mysterious. Even his death. But, when you think of Poe, it instantly strikes this image of Gothic Horror, and I’d love to hear his thoughts on the genre.

WH: Aww, thanks!! I became obsessed with Poe too from an early age, and in 10thgrade I wrote my first research paper comparing/contrasting Poe and Stephen King. [In Queen chorus: I’m just a Poe boy, nobody loves me…]. How have you changed as a person from your early life until now?

Much more confident. I was extremely shy back then. Now, I feel somewhat more sure of myself and am much more extroverted. I was also picked on a lot as a child, as I suspect a lot of creative types were, but that person’s not me anymore. I mean, he’s in there somewhere, but not who I am, now. In that regard, I’ve also dealt with many cases of anti-Semitism growing up. Just about any fight I’ve ever been in, was due to that fact. So, I used to try to hide. Not the fact of being Jewish, but avoided confrontation to anything that might be construed as anti-Semitic. No more.

WH: Sorry, Jonathan, but f*ck that. I don’t put up with bullshit much anymore. Nobody should, and if that ever happens to you again, you call me--I know people. How do you like your coffee? Do you have a favorite libation?

I like my coffee non-existent. I don’t drink it at all. I love the smell, but know so many people who can’t function AT ALL, unless they have coffee first. I feel like I’m addicted to enough things, so I never wanted to start. As far as other drinks, I might love a Coke Slurpee if it was offered, but my all-time favorite is a chocolate egg cream.

WH: I know you’re a Fall freak like me, so what’s your favorite Halloween tradition?

This is a funny question to me, because I LOVE Halloween. I assume most people who write or love Horror, also do. But, as a kid, we never celebrated it. My parents didn’t believe in it, and I always wanted to do it. I was envious of other kids, so I let my kids do it. And I love everything about it. The creepiness, the spookiness and that sense of anything magical can happen. So, while I don’t necessarily have a favorite tradition, since I didn’t have my own growing up, I do love immersing myself in it now. Especially the whole witch aspect.

WH: Glad you followed your own path! Speaking of witches, what is the witchiest thing about you (we’re all a little witchy)?

Fascinated by witches. Want to visit Salem, New Orleans, and all the other witch-associated places. It’s something that I study and research a lot. Hauntings, afterlife, things like that. Have had an experience myself, which was amazing. I just love going to different cemeteries. There are so many stories there. But, I guess the thing that always sticks out to me is, I get senses of Déjà vu at times. So overwhelming, that it stays with me, and I try to take in the surroundings because I feel like I know exactly what’s going to happen. How things will play out.

WH: You would love Salem and New Orleans! Who would be your favorite Addams Family character?

Gomez. He’s funny and treats everything as matter-of-fact. This is his reality. There’s such dark humor involved with the family, and he embraces it. I love the comic strips even more, because they were so darkly comic. But Gomez has a glee to everything that’s going on.

WH: Gomez ROCKS. What do you feel makes a horror novel scary?

The suspense and build-up. Even if you’ve read or watched a ton of horror, and you feel like you know what’s coming and when, it’s a delicious torment to see how the author or director gets us there. What steps they take. The scare itself is over in seconds, but the anticipation of the scare is much more nerve-wracking. I might be a little different than others, because I love injecting humor. So far, in my series, I’ve given little winks to the reader. Like, I know you know the tropes. My characters even point them out. Yet, let’s go on the journey together. The build-up is the fun. In my latest, From Sunset Till Sunrise, a vampire story, the characters, Devin and Tommy, basically know someone is a vampire. They go over all the signs, and when Devin’s mother invites the vampire in, they point it out, and the reader knows it’s just a matter of time before the vampire will appear inside. So, we’re just now counting down the moments, but we don’t know when.

WH: I agree 100%. Suspense is everything. Character is everything. What is the most awesome thing happening in your life right now that you’d like to share with us?

You know what? I can’t say anything specific, because there isn’t anything specific. I’m just going out there and doing the best I can. I used to think that everything would change once I was published, and it doesn’t. But, it is a huge sense of satisfaction that I am. Still, there’s no resting. I’m writing a ton. I’m happy with what I’m writing. I’m happy I have an agent I like. And I’m happy that I’m in the game. Years ago, when I first started this journey, that’s all I was hoping for, and I got that, so that is pretty awesome. I have an opportunity, and I get to do my best to try and take advantage of that.

WH: I’ve learned that too. Nothing changes overnight. I’ve been doing this for 17 years and can say the transformation is slow, a day by day process. So, what’s next for you? We can’t wait to see what you have coming up!

Next, I have the sequel to Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, which as I stated is called, From Sunset Till Sunrise. Same characters, but this time they battle a performing arts school filled with vampires. It’s scary and very funny, if I do say so myself. After that, I have things being shopped by my agent, and hopefully, I’ll have good news soon!

Curtis and I read Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies and we loved it. Can’t wait to get From Sunset Till Sunrise on August 21st! Thanks for being here, Jonathan. To check out Jonathan Rosen, visit the following links, and have a great day!

* Website: http://www.houseofrosen.com/

* Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jonathan-Rosen/e/B01FZ66ITA/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

* Latest release: http://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/9781510734098/from-sunset-till-sunrise/

* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JRosen18

* Twitter:https://twitter.com/houseofrosen

* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/houseofrosen/

Jonathan Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time chauffeuring around his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into, in particular the Choose Your Own Adventure Series, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Jonathan is proud to be of Mexican-American descent, although neither country has been really willing to accept responsibility. He is the author of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, which is out now, and the sequel, From Sunset Till Sunrise, coming August 21. You can find him on TwitterFacebook, FromtheMixedUpFiles.Com, The Tuesday Writers and his own website, www.HouseofRosen.com.

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