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. 

Vampire Vs Vampire “Vampire Syndrome” Style

Today I have a really special treat for all you vampire-philes!! Daven Anderson from “Vampire Syndrome” agreed to write a special article for Vampire Wednesday. I’m honored to present. . .

“Vampires versus vampires”
Daven Anderson

One of my main motivations when crafting the Vampire Syndrome universe was to create a world where vampires make sense in both scientific and folkloric terms.

This was not an easy task.

Making sense of science’s yin and folklore’s yang ultimately required two types of vampires. Human vampires, and alien vampires.

A spaceship full of carnivorous predatory humanoids crashes in what is now Romania 25,000 years ago. A number of normal humans are suffused with the aliens’ DNA over time, creating mutant hybrids known as human vampires.

Many science fiction authors would say that aliens are a “convenience” for writers, allowing them to explain almost anything scientifically. And they’re right.

But when you analyze existing life forms on Earth, and compare them to many folkloric attributes of vampires, you find many things that simply do not apply to any animal on Earth.

Does any animal on Earth disintegrate to dust in direct sunlight? Does any animal above the jellyfish level lack an “end-of-life” aging sequence in their DNA? Can large animals cling to flat-surfaced walls and ceilings without the aid of claws or tools?

The human body has millions of years of evolved tolerance for direct sunlight. Could even DNA mutation change this (without killng the host)? I don’t think so. Thus, my human vampires can go about in daylight, just as normal human beings do.

The aliens, or “Pures”, are another story. Since the Pures evolved on planet Sek’Met, which has full cloud cover, they have no tolerance for direct UV radiation. Or for acidic plants such as onions and garlic (!!) which don’t exist on their home world.

Ironically, a scientific case could be made for “immortality”, as it may become possible in the future to slow or stop humans’ end-of-life DNA programming through scientific means. In my case, the infusion of the “immortal” alien DNA merely slows down the humans’ aging process to one-tenth its normal rate. A personal choice here, as I could have gone for “immortality” by this means. Folklore is reconciled by the fact that normal humans would not live long enough to see human vampires age very much, hence the presumption of immortality.

The Pures’ immortality reflects the conditions of evolving on Sek’Met, where all life forms are predators. Evolution has gifted them with inner gravitational forces, an important advantage for survival on any planet. An advantage no life form on Earth enjoys.

However, the human vampires’ evolved tolerance for sunlight and normal food (among other things) give them a huge advantage for survival on this planet, consequently they far outnumber the alien vampires.

The human and alien vampires are also metaphors for the vampires of modern fiction and the vampires of ancient folklore respectively. A conflict has arisen in the last century as the vampire has evolved from the revenant to the revered. Many readers long for the “good old days” when vampires inspired terror instead of teenage lust.

With “Vampire Syndrome”, I give my readers human vampires that are fully human, far beyound simply being “goody-goody” paranormal romance tropes. And the fans of the classic “monster” will take delight in the Pures, the human vampires’ terrifying yet realistic foes. The demon bloodsuckers that haunt your dreams, at last reconciled with science.

Vampires versus Vampires. And you, the reader, win.

***Daven Anderson Bio***

On June 13, 2009, Daven Anderson’s life changed. After forty years of reading other people’s stories, the impetus to create finally struck. Daven set about to fill two large “voids” in the field of modern fiction. One; to create a story where a person with special needs is portrayed as a wise, dignified hero, without being bogged down in a mawkish sentimentality that turns many readers away. The other; create a new class of vampire book where the back story makes complete sense in both scientific and folkloric terms. Where the conflict betweent two types of vampires, human and alien, lets readers explore (and debate) what it really means to be “human.”

Daven AndersonMany would see the concepts of “a wise hero with special needs” and “vampires struggling to define and maintain their humanity” to be mutually exclusive, yet “Vampire Syndrome” proves these pair of concepts can be seamlessly integrated, and complementary. People with special needs struggle to define and maintain their humanity on a daily basis. As Daven’s main character Jack Wendell finds out, becoming a human Vampire besets him with a myriad of new problems. The challenges he faced in becoming a record-setting Special Olympics champion athlete pale next to the road he now must run. The hidden world of the Vampires, where even living to see the next sunrise will be a challenge for him. Even if he survives the challenges from other human Vampires, Jack will also have to deal with the alien Vampires.

When Daven first submitted his novel to publishers, his “pitch” drew widespread attention. PDMI Publishing LLC was able to see beyond the single-sentence “Forrest Gump meets War Of The Roses” pitch, and appreciate the true meanings behind “Vampire Syndrome.” To deliver the message of “a dignified hero with special needs” to those who would never read a book like “Forrest Gump.” To build a vampire world free of the “plausibility holes” that pause many readers dead in their tracks. And to be the first book that offers a sensible explanation for the menacing Blue Mustang statue at Denver International Airport. Unlike many other vampire novels, You do not have to check your sense of humor at the door to read “Vampire Syndrome.”

Daven’s writing credo is simply this: “Build the world first, and the writing will follow.” All too many speculative fiction writers build their stories’ universes as the writer goes along, and it shows. As several readers have said, “The scariest part of Vampire Syndrome is that everything makes sense.”

Meet The Vampires

Vampire Syndrome


Muse With Coffee book review

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