Passive and Active engagement with your passions…

Now, this might be a massive generalization, or it might be accurate, I don’t really know, but talking to people, reading about people, I get the feeling that at some point in all of our lives, we feel stuck, or sense that we have a lack of purpose.

The common scenario I’ve noticed is we do what we see, what we were programmed to do. Grow-up, find a partner, get a job, have kids or don’t, and just settle in until you retire and then die. And at the beginning, all of this can be exciting. You’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, what your friends are doing and you get to talk to them about it, comparing lives and congratulating each other on your successes and supporting each other through failures. And this is fine… at the beginning.

Then the job you were so jazzed to get starts losing its shine. Maybe getting out of bed to go to work becomes a battle everyday. Maybe you look in the mirror and think, how the hell did I get here? But what can you do? You have people depending on you, depending on your income and you love them, and your problem shouldn’t be their problem so you get up, and you go to work and the next day, you do it again ad infinitum. But that’s not it. Well, it doesn’t have to be.

For me, I didn’t start writing until well into my late thirties. Before that, in order to quit smoking, I started racing in 5K runs, then a half-marathon, then triathlons, and when the quitting smoking finally took, I was like, now what? (Over the past two summers I finished a marathon and an ultra-marathon- I will not be doing either again). It is obvious now I was looking for something extra. Something to occupy my brain and body. I needed stimulation outside of my work. And you know what? This is a great time to live in. If I had been born just a decade earlier, some of the options available now would have passed me by.

I started writing and submitting stories online to magazines and book compilations and bam! Published (after many rejections, of course).

Years ago, you’d have to type out a manuscript, mail it off, and wait for weeks on end for the acceptance or rejection letter to arrive in the mail. It’s called snail mail for a reason. And it was considered bad etiquette to send out your story to multiple places. You had to send to one, wait, and then if rejected, send to another and wait. Ugh. How disheartening!

But for me, at the time I tried to give writing a go, all I had to do was write it, attach it to an email and click send. And the answers came within days, weeks, but not months. Perfect.

And this is not just applicable to writing. There are so many people out there who are returning to what they are passionate about and trying to turn that passion into a reality. You can create your own online store, design T-shirts, 3D print products to sell, create a YouTube channel where people watch YOU play a video game or critique a movie, a book, or you could start a micro-brewery, I mean, the options are limitless! For the first time, in a long time, the options truly are what you can imagine.

And it’s the trying that’s important isn’t it? Even if I had never been published, I know I’d be writing, and like now, trying to get better everyday. I went from passively wishing to actively pursuing my passion for horror and it’s paying off.

What obstacles are in your way? I know it’s cheesy, but I found the only real obstacle to any of my goals had been me. Just me. And I’m still learning to get out of my own way.

I don’t know a lot, but I do know that you shouldn’t hold back. You get one shot at this incredible thing called life. I’m sometimes blown away at the idea of it. I mean billions of years, billions of obstacles, billions of evolutionary changes that created you, in this moment, in this time. Enjoy it as best as you are able. Chase your passion (cheese, I know, but no less true).

John Hunt is the best-selling author of Doll House, The Tracker, and Off The Grid. His newest book, Murder Run, is also available on Amazon.

Horror Stories and Fun. All right here.

Is Horror a dirty word in the publishing industry?

A writer friend of mine once mentioned that even if they wrote horror, they would market it to potential agents and publishers as a thriller or mystery. Horror, it seems, is a dirty word in the publishing industry.

I don’t have any stats to back this up. I looked, and the stats are either dated, or the sample size is too small. So, I don’t know how true this is. I know horror is a niche market. Either you like horror, or you don’t. No one, for the most part, is in the middle. The only authors I know who write mainstream horror is Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill. Both awesome and they have both more than earned their place in the mainstream market. People continually give them a chance because they are a household name, and in my experience, they never let the reader down. But what do you do if you’re not one of them? Change genres?

I love writing. It is a great escape. It’s like a movie of my own making playing out in my head, with the characters surprising the heck out of me as they manoeuvre through my grey matter landscape.

See, I don’t plan my books. I write, letting the characters flesh out a little idea I had. Then I refine it, and refine it, and refine it. I can only write horror. I couldn’t change genres even if I wanted to. And thinking about it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again; horror is one genre in which the reader can experience the entire gamut of human emotion. It’s all there, and there is usually an awesome villain or villains in the mix. Who doesn’t like villains and the heroes who take them down?

I have to say though, when I read comments about the gore in my books, I’m kind of surprised. I shouldn’t be. It’s right there in front of me, but with what I read and watch, I think I’m not that gory, really. But I must be wrong. Right?

If you love horror, and don’t mind a little gore, let’s show the publishing industry that horror is a marketable, profitable genre, shall we? Read horror. Watch horror. Support horror. Talk about horror.

What are your thoughts on horror? What, in your opinion, is the most popular genre?

John Hunt is the best-selling horror author of DOLL HOUSE, THE TRACKER, and OFF THE GRID. His newest book, MURDER RUN, is now available on Amazon.

Horror stories and fun. All right here.

Don’t you love it when you find a new author to read?

I was looking for contemporary horror to read, so I used the Googles to help with the search and I stumbled upon a blog listing 10 scary books in which not one of them had been written by Stephen King. I know, I know, I was surprised to find such a list as well.

And on this list (sorry, I forget the blog name and didn’t bookmark it, and I really would have liked to give them credit) was BROTHER by Ania Ahlborn.

I read quite a lot of books from multiple genres, and after a time, you can sense the trends, the story and what direction it is going in, and sometimes, the conclusion without having to finish the book. This happens to me a lot, actually, to the annoyance of my family and friends (they don’t like to watch movies with me because I can predict the ending quickly). And I can do this because I practice it a lot. I read all the time. I watch movies all the time, so, after a while, nothing truly surprises me.

I like being surprised. I try to surprise my readers with my books, and so far, luckily, I’ve been successful. And when an author surprises me, I am over-the-moon happy about it.

That’s what happened when I read BROTHER.

I won’t spoil it, but I will say that you usually know what type of book you’re getting into when it involves a family of backwoods cannibals. So I wasn’t expecting much in the way of a new storyline. I was absolutely wrong. And I am so happy that I was.

If you love horror with new, clever, and surprising storylines, you’ll love this book.

I mean, go get it now, off of Amazon, or wherever you can get it. Me? I’ll be buying the rest of Ania’s books.

John Hunt is the bestselling author of Doll House, The Tracker, Off The Grid, and his newest novel, now available on Amazon, Murder Run.

Horror Stories and fun. All in one place.