Interview with Joseph J Christiano Tell Tale Event


First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in Connecticut’s Naugatuck Valley. I’ve been a voracious reader from a very young age. I was always captivated by scary stuff. My parents told me I watched the Spielberg movie “Duel” cross-legged about two feet from the television. I was either four or five years-old at the time. Since then, if it’s horror done right, it’s for me.

Newest release?

Product Details

Dark Annie, published by the fine (and intelligent) folks at Tell-Tale Publishing.

What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance, sex, blood and guts?

There’s very little in the way of blood-and-guts. That’s not scary. I try for a more subtle form of horror. I go more for gothic horror than the indestructible killer wiping out carloads of stoned teens.

Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?

I do but I’ll never choose among my children in public.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

I don’t know if I have a least favorite character in my novels. There are some I can’t wait 
to kill, and it’s very satisfying to me when I get to do it. But since I created them all, I can’t 
honestly say I dislike any of them.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

I based the fictional town of Deacon’s Landing, Connecticut on the city where I grew up (Waterbury)
and the town in which I now reside (Watertown). Anyone from the area might recognize some of the
landmarks mentioned in the novel.

Has there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?

Inspired? God, yes. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Michael Jan Friedman. Not a one of them helped me out, though. I hope one of these days they might return my calls.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Spread the word! Get your friends interested in picking up a copy. Post reviews online so others who
are on the fence about it might give it a go. Every single reader has the potential to affect many other
readers. Smaller press authors like me depend on that.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

For readers, I’d say read the cover blurb so you know what the novel is about. Nothing is worse for an author than to have someone flame him in a review because the reader thought he was picking up a historical novel only to find it is speculative fiction. The cover blurb tells you all you need to know about the novel’s plot. Read it!
For writers, it’s simple: Write! Every day, if possible. And read. Reading is very important. If you want to write horror, read works from other horror authors. See what they did and how they did it. And research every possible publisher. Some of them are wonderful and some are considerably less so.  Know what you’re getting into.

Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?

I’d say Agatha Christie. I can’t remember the first novel of hers I read. It was either Death on the Nile or maybe Ten Little Indians. Whichever it was, it made me a lifelong fan. Nobody writes like her. Nobody.

Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?

I was eleven years-old and I wrote a horror story that was maybe five or six pages and it was terrible. Its altogether crumminess is why I remember it so well today. I’m cringing just thinking about it now.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?

From life. It sounds like a cop-out but it’s true. I wish I had a more specific answer but, alas, I do not.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?

I’ve been a reader/collector of comic books since the age of five. It’s a hobby/addiction I still indulge

Favorite places to travel or visit?

I’d like to see the great cities of Europe before I shuffle loose the mortal coil. Beyond that, I can spend an entire vacation browsing through old book stores.

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:(Include links to where we can find your work)

From the first chapter of Dark Annie:
Anderson regarded the front entrance of DLMS and could not believe he had allowed himself to get this
close. The set of glass doors with their gleaming silver handles seemed to beckon to him and warn him
away at the same time. It should have been an improvement. The old front entrance had consisted
of double doors which had always made Anderson think of oblong eyes that seemed to watch him as
he approached. It was ridiculous, of course, and he had realized it even then. But there seemed to
be some credence to the adage, What scares you as a child scares you as an adult. He nodded in the
direction of the entrance. “Looks different, doesn’t it?”
“Not nearly different enough.”
“Can’t argue with that.”
Murphy pointed to the right of the new doors, a corner of the building obscured by shrubs sitting in a
bed of red mulch. “Right over there is where Kenny Atkins ripped Holly’s sweater and I clocked him in
the mouth. Remember that?”
Anderson grinned in spite of himself and nodded. “Like it was yesterday. The little shit had it coming
for any number of reasons, believe me. You know, I saw him a few days ago. In town to see his father
would be my guess. I don’t think he recognized me.”
“Some people change,” Murphy offered.
“He didn’t,” Anderson said. “Long, greasy hair, fingernails blacker than black. Looked like he hadn’t had
a bath or done laundry in months.”
“Typical Atkins.”
They stood in silence for a few more moments. Anderson’s eyes moved slowly around the front of
the building. He did not know what he was looking for, if anything; nor did he know if he would be
able to spot something out of the ordinary if he did see it. It had been years, decades since he had
allowed himself this close to the school, let alone seen it. It all looked new, but he knew from one of
the newspaper articles that much of the existing structure had been left in place. Some cleaning crew
earned their pay, he thought. Although they should have asked for double time just for having to go
inside that fucking building.
“I’d offer you a beer,” Murphy said, “but you’re on duty.”
“And you’re driving,” Anderson replied. “You’ve already defied expectations and not run this beast into
the reservoir.” He patted the Chevelle’s hood. “Don’t blow it now.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Murphy said. He sighed loudly and put one hand on the door handle. “They never
should have renovated this place. Should have knocked it down when they had the chance. You know
I’m right.”
“You hear me arguing?”

Image of Joseph J. Christiano

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