Interview with Joseph A. Pinto

I love being a writer.
I get to meet amazing people and become friends with them. In the 16 months that I have been blogging and such I’ve met some amazing writers. (I’m also lucky because I get to beta read their work and get exclusive interviews) Today I got to interview a brilliant Horror writer, Joseph A. Pinto. I greatly enjoy reading his work on his own site Author Joseph Pinto and at Pen of the Damned  (where he writes with other amazing authors) If you enjoy reading Horror, this author is a must!

When did you start writing stories?
I started writing when I was a little kid (trust me, if it made any sense it was purely by accident lol). But I loved books and craved to recreate the worlds I discovered between the pages I read.

What’s your long-term writing goal?
My long-term goal writing is to become a name readers remember. Continuously crank out novels & short works of fiction. Of course, I’d be thrilled with a book contract someday, but I’ll let the chips fall where they may.

What’s your writing goal for this year?
My writing goal for 2014 is simple: write. I’m pulled in so many different directions, and in 2014 I hope to curtail that as much as possible. I have several projects that are screaming for completion, and I hope to devote more time to that.

Something I also need to do. 😀

What’s your favorite genre to write?
Of course, my favorite genre to write would be horror, hands down. I’ve never attempted to write anything other, with the exception of poetry.

What’s your favorite genre to read?
Again, that would be horror, although I do immensely enjoy reading periodicals like National Geographic as well.

What’s your favorite novel?
My favorite novel is ‘The Wolf’s Hour’ by Robert McCammon.

What made you decide to write?
I don’t think I ever made a conscious decision to write. It was more of a calling. It was there at my fingertips; there in my mind. A writer, much like a musician, is a creative beast. Either it’s in the fabric of your being or it’s not.

Where do you get ideas from?
I get my ideas from people watching (a favorite pastime of mine lol). The news is a good source. Mostly, I see visions…snippets of movie panels, for lack of better word…running through my head. The harder I try to envision something, the more I get nothing, so it’s important for me to stay calm and allow it to flow on its own.

Has anyone influenced you to write?
No one on a personal level has influenced me to write, although many authors have influenced me. Over the years, I’ve made sure to vary my readings so that no one author’s voice “sticks” with me.

Do you have an author Role Model?
No, not really.

Do you have any real life experiences that have influenced your work?
I have many, many real life experiences that have influenced my work, but I never reveal too much and won’t now. Any good magician keeps his tricks to himself; I think a writer’s creativity should be respected that way as well.

Any paranormal experiences that have influenced your writing?
Good question. I have a few experiences, but nothing that has made its way into my fiction. Yet.

Do you believe in ghosts?

Which do you prefer Zombies or Vampires?
Hmm, to be honest, I think both are so overdone in the world of fiction. It’s not one of the choices you’ve given me, but I’m going with werewolves.

I should have known this… 😀

Which do you prefer night or day for writing?
Lord, any time I can squeeze my writing in! lol But my preference would be writing at night. My brain “sees” things differently then.

I personally think the dark lends to the atmosphere of Horror and Paranormal 😉

In one sentence why should we read your books?
You should read my books because my ideas, as well my prose, are refreshing and often times outside the box.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve ever had?
My craziest writing idea has been that people close to you will be genuinely interested in what you’re attempting to achieve. At least in my case, it’s the farthest thing from the truth. So that’s the chip on my shoulder to continuously push myself.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
My English teacher from high school, God rest his soul, once told me: “Write what you know. Just twist the hell out of it.” Point well taken.

Is there a theme song for your books?
Great question! I don’t have a theme song for my books, or any of the stories I’ve created, but a great deal of musical inspiration is involved in them.

Thank you for such a wonderful interview Joseph. Everyone reading…. scroll back up and click on those links. Enjoy some awesome horror stories. Grab a cup of  your favorite drink and some snacks. You’ll be there for a while. 😀

Also Joseph was recently published in a top Horror magazine. There are links on the side of his site to his published books. 

Ice Marriage

A few of my friends do a writing challenge at Writng Upside Down I wrote a short story for the March challenge, but I got way to busy and missed the deadline. Story of my life, do the work miss the deadline.
Anyways, I didn’t want the story to sit in a folder on my computer without ever seeing the light of day, so I’ll share it here.

Ice Marriage
By Mari Wells

I worry he knows what I’m thinking and will drive us straight into a tree to stop my thoughts.
The night is so cold, but not as cold as our bed has been for the past few months. If I’m honest with myself, our marriage has become colder every day since the honeymoon three years ago. I don’t know where we went wrong. When did it happen, I search everyday in my mind. We were happy. We laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.

Why us, I keep asking myself repeatedly everyday for seven weeks now. I can’t find the answer. We both know the end is just around the corner. It’s much better for us both to cut what we have while we’re still friends. I don’t think he agrees with me though. He refused to talk when I brought it up earlier today. It’s all in your mind he said I know it isn’t.

I look out the window at the trees. Ice or is it snow, I can see it well, covers the branches. Could our problems just be a phase of marriage too, similar to the seasons affect these trees. Three years of winter seems too long to be a season of marriage. Winter, is equal in length to the other seasons, we haven’t had three years of happiness. No, I’m sure this is the end. I’ll try to explain my feelings and thoughts again.

“I was telling you earlier,” I’m still staring out the window, “We’ve hit a bad spot. We need to talk this through or call it quits.” I wait for him to answer. The trees speed past my window. Seconds pass and he still doesn’t respond. I turn to look towards him not wanting to see him though. His hands grip the steering wheel, knuckles turning white.
“It’s in your mind. We’re fine.”

This isn’t true, and he knows it as much as I do. “We’re not fine, we haven’t talked,” tears well in my eyes, “really talk, in weeks.” It’s so quiet inside this car, as if to prove my point. I can hear the air swoosh around us as he continues speeding in the frostbitten dark.
“Well maybe if you had sex with me once in a while I’d want to talk to you!” He almost barks at me. I can’t believe it, I’ve tried he doesn’t pay attention when I’ve tried.

The tears spill from my eyes. They roll down my cheeks. I won’t let him see them. This isn’t the man I married something has taken over his body. Every scary movie I’ve ever watched comes to my mind. I know this isn’t a scary movie, this is real life and his outburst proves my suspicion, that he doesn’t love me anymore. I inhale deeply gathering all of my strength.
“I want a separation.”

Stillness, silence, he hasn’t even taken a breath. I didn’t think he could squeeze that steering wheel tighter than he already was. I was wrong. The speedometer rises. My heart beat races.
I search him for answers. His eyes are glossy. He twists the wheel. The sound of the tires hitting loose gravel scares me. “Shane!”

My eyes open and squeeze shut again. Bright lights are all around me, they burn my eyes.
“Mrs. Douglas,” a deep voice says.
My head pounds echoing shattering glass, and smashing metal. My fingers dig into my sides. Something on my left side starts beeping.
“Mrs. Douglas, can you hear me? Do you understand me?” the deep voice says.
The light burns my eyes. I can see the tree coming right towards us. Shane won’t stop. He wants to drive us into the tree or flip us off the side of the road.

Make it go away. I don’t want to hear anything. I want the darkness back.
“Mrs. Douglas,”
My head nods in response, against my will.
“Do you know where you are?”
“No,” my throat burns, my whole body hurts. Why wouldn’t they just leave me alone in the darkness.
“You’re in the hospital, Mrs. Douglas.”
Hospital, the tree, my hurting body, Shane, he didn’t want us to separate. Shane.
“Shh…” I can’t finish it hurts too much.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Douglas,” the deep voice replies.
My eyes close. I’ll listen another day.


My Muse loves music.

I depend on my music director (read my 14-year-old daughter) for that music.  She either downloads music on to my pc or hands me her earphones while she pushes on her mp3 player’s screen. I move the songs on my PC into a playlist or send it to the garbage bin; if it’s on her MP3, I’ll ask her to put it in to a playlist.

A few days ago, I asked her for some tunes. She started playing a song from Alanis Moresette.  A character I thought had died screamed “I need this song.” She started giving me a scene and some dialogue for another part of the story.

“Will you put this in my “WW” playlist?” I murmured.

Daughter sighed.

I turned to look at her.

She was shaking her head.

“I know…”

“You didn’t like it three months ago.”

“I know but this character didn’t exist then.”

She rolled her eyes but her mouth turned up at the corners. This happens often in my house. Another scene might be me asking to hear the same six songs repeatedly.

My daughter throws her hands up in desperation. “You only know the same 10 songs! It’s beyond annoying.”

I stood beside her frozen by the shock before I started laughing. “Sorry Haylee has my head right now and those are the songs she likes.”

She laughed.

She is desperately trying to find new songs for my characters.

Psst, here’s a secret she doesn’t know about….I have a few new characters floating around trying to make themselves a home. They might like some new songs.

World Building

While creating a fictional world much thought must be given. What is needed to make the world or town complete? You may find yourself at the table with paper spewed out. Rulers and pencils within you reach. You may be making a grid or already have a grid, you will use this to map out your world.

If you are building a world, (I have yet to build a world, forgive me if I lack in my details). You must decide on the climate, landscaping, and bodies of water. Countries, States, and towns are created and labeled. You’ll have to name all of these countries, states, cities, and towns.

If you are building a city or town, you begin naming roads, deciding what building and offices you need and where they should be. How many schools do you need? Do you have enough residents to need a hospital or will you have an on call doctor. Is your town close enough to get to another city with a hospital?

Most of this has to be done before you start writing. I have to know my characters and a little about them before I could start to build the town of Sathan. I’m still not sure about it; I keep adding some things and moving others to make the story work the way I want it to.

Some of it is just strange. I need things that my own small town doesn’t have. I am the person who questions everything. Therefore, I have to stop and really decide if my made up town has to follow the rules of my local town. I search to find town with similar populations to see if they have hospitals, or separate middle and high schools.

When we build our world settings, I think the most important thing to do is think about what world we are working with. If we are building a normal Earth town, I really don’t think it’s necessary to freak out so much about the size of your town and what buildings, stores, or schools you have. If you’re building a foreign world, I think you have to go into extreme detail. It might not all be written in your story but YOU as the author have to know everything there is to your world.

We as writers will be able to make our readers believe what we right only if we ourselves believe what we write.

Did I leave anything out? Do you have something to share? Have you built a town, city, or world?

In the beginning

As writers were told to start at the beginning, but, what or where is the beginning. We obviously don’t want to start at the protagonist’s birth (or do we). Who is to say that was truly his/her beginning, maybe the Protagonists’ parents were the beginning. We should start where the beginning of the story starts…

Where is the beginning of the story? In the words of Shakespeare, That is the question.

I keep hearing the beginning is where the action starts. What if you’re writing a romance.. there is no action. Well, there is acation, but. . .

So you’re writing a romance, you’d start when the romantic interests comes into the picture right? That’s not a good idea, why, you might be asking me. We are suppose to show what is normal for our Protagonist if he or she changes because of the romance we wouldn’t know that.

What if our Main Character smokes, yet the guy she’s crushing on is a Health Nut and hates smoking. So she’s forcing herself to stop. If we (the readers) aren’t given at least one smoke break where she decides to quit so Health Nut will pay attention to her, then savors her last drag before squishing the butt. We wouldn’t understand what she might precieve as the ulimate sacrifice to prove her love.

We might think she’s normally cranky when it’s really the withdrawal that’s making her act that way. She could be as sweet as pie to Health Nut, and be cruel to everyone at home, in attempt to hold her withdrawal symptoms from her crush but her family understands what’s happening and they get all of it directed to them. If the reader isn’t told this in the beginning, insanity would likely be the culpirt they think up. Is your MC insane….

Maybe but that’s not what we’re going for here.

So as you can see your beginnings are very important.

I hate starting a story, I personally don’t sit down and start writing at the beginning. The first words I may write might be at the end or the middle of a story. I usually don’t write what I believe to be the beginning until I’ve written a couple thousand words.

I prefer it this way. If I were to try to start at the beginning I wouldn’t ever write a thing. I would be so stuck that I would just sit here and stare at a black screen. I write what I am told to write. (Remember my characters talk to me) I go in later and connect scenes. There are times when I can write around 5 pages of a story. There are other times when I write ¼ of a page. When I go in to “patchwork mode” all of the pieces that make sence together get added together. I “patchwork” when I’m ready to make chapters…usually once there’s so many documents in my folder I can’t find the one I’m looking for. .. This isn’t about beginnings anymore..

So WHAT I’m getting at if you want to write but the beginning has you stuck. Or maybe you already are writing but your stuck somewhere else in your story…

It isn’t necessary to write in the order your story will be read. I don’t do it (unless its a short story of around 1000-2000 words. Sometimes I don’t do it even then.) I’ve been told that my writing is good. So you can copy me if you’d like.. and still end up with something other’s would like to read. Or you can sit at with your blank page and wish you were writing.

In all honesty, you can’t be a writer if you don’t write. You won’t get better at your craft if you don’t practice. So I give you permission to break any precieved rules about writing. You can do whatever you want, if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work out for you, that’s fine, call it a learning experince and start over. Keep what works (that you wrote) and toss what doesn’t. (Or save it all in a scraps folder. What you wrote might be something tha will be beautiful later in a different project.)

What Tools Do You Use

When you write do you use your PC/ laptop or good old-fashioned pen and paper?

If you use pen and paper, do you have a favorite pen or favorite style of paper or notebook?

I use both.  it depends on where I’m at but also my mood.

I use regular college ruled notebooks and at times whatever scraps of paper I can find, but I love writing with a silver pen. (Have to keep the evil away 😀  I plan to kill my bad characters with my pen! Ha ha ha Bad pun. I didn’t even notice that until right now. I was thinking I’d stab them with my silver pen, but I could just write them dead… The pen is mightier than the sword or the pen in this case.  )

During the day, I scribble out notes that come to me. At night, I try to write out scenes from those notes. The next morning I type them. I try to type them straight away, but there is only so much time a day in front of a keyboard that you can spend without going crazy.

I heard that you shouldn’t have a special routine or equipment when writing because you won’t be able to write if you’re missing some part of that routine or equipment. My favorites aren’t necessary for my writing. If I have red ink at the time, I use it. Sometimes to increase creativity I write in colored inks. It’s quite fun! My notebooks are full of black scribbles, and looking boring then all of a sudden there is purple and green scribbles, or red and blue or even orange. I don’t recommend orange; it’s hard to read later. Anyways, you get the point.

What do you use when writing? Do you have a special routine; you have to do before writing?

A Poem

Hey everyone.


My dear friend asked me to write a poem for her. She was running a challenge. I as a writer and poet just had to help her out. So I wrote her a poem.

It wasn’t just any poem though. No, that would have been too easy. Her challenge had a little kick to it. The poem had to be about Burning The Nail….


So head over to the site A Life Among The Pages Read my poem, leave me some love.

Thank you.

It freaks me out

A little peak into my writing mind…

I’m working on a WIP, and a new idea comes to me. I sat it to the side knowing I’d come back to it. A few weeks later, I came back to it. I looked around through all of my mental files, moving mental piles from one place to the other. I know a file is missing. I am sure. I sat it in the corner of my mental desk. I was sure the faceless form of a character waiting to be, sat in the corner of my mental living room, too shy to join the other characters there.
I sighed, plopped myself down beside my first character. They all seemed nervous.  Not one of the dozen there wanted to chat. I said bye and walked from the room. Something wasn’t right.
I now think they got rid of that new idea. I can imagine a few saying, “We had, to get it out of here. It freaks me out!”