I'm proud and honored to have horror author Joe Hart back to discuss the release of his new supernatural thriller, Lineage. If the success of his amazing collection of short stories is anything to go by then Lineage should do very well indeed.
Griffin: Tell us a little about yourself to get started.
Joe: Well, I’ve been writing since I was 9 or 10 and finally got serious about four years ago. I write mostly horror but I did write a screenplay that was more of a spy-thriller. I’m married with two kids and I’ll actually be transitioning into writing full time soon so I’m excited about that.
Griffin: So, your new novel, Lineage is out now. Tell us a little about it.
Joe: Lineage is basically a haunted house story involving a successful writer. He grew up with a horrible home life and turned his misfortune into a career. A nightmare from his past suddenly shuts off his writing ability and he’s drawn to a house on the north shore of Lake Superior where he makes surprising and horrifying discoveries. I wanted to convey the importance of writing in a writer’s life in this novel. I wanted to show people how important the creative process can be for someone who is dependant upon it. It’s a pretty scary ride with more than a few twists and turns so I hope people enjoy it.
Griffin: Was the novel easy to write or was it a labor of love?
Joe: Ha ha! It was both, I guess. The story was there from the start. It only took a few days to wind my way through the plot but it definitely changed as I wrote it. All in all it flowed well without too many hiccups or road blocks. I’m definitely pleased with how it turned out!
Griffin: You’ve written mostly short stories before. How was writing a novel different from creating a shorter piece of fiction?
Joe: You know, it wasn’t extremely different. I normally knock out a short story over a period of a week or so when the idea comes to me. Lineage definitely took longer but I kept the same writing regiment I set up for myself earlier. Right now I work in the evenings and write for about two hours. I basically just wrote the novel a section at a time and polished the hell out of it after it was done.
Griffin: Any thoughts on the current state of the publishing industry?
Joe: You know it’s a crazy time to be a writer. I think the digital market and the self publishing option are great tools for writers who might never have the chance to get their work read otherwise. People still have the option to get an agent and go the traditional route, that’s hasn’t been eliminated, but now they can also put something out to the masses and actually feel like a writer when someone leaves a shining review of their work or they have a great sales day and sell a ton of books. For me it’s all about reaching your audience and right now the self publishing path is working great!
Griffin: Any words of inspiration to those who are tentative about taking the first step in a writing career?
Joe: Just sit down and write. There’s no substitute for the real thing. Write as much as you can and then edit the hell out of it. Get input from others but trust your instincts and most of all just follow the story, it won’t lead you astray.
Griffin: Awesome. Any last words?
Joe: I just wanted to thank you for having me on you blog again. I really appreciate the time and opportunity!
Joe Hart grew up on a lonely 91 acres of farmland in Northern Minnesota and without many playmates or company, began writing when he was 9. His first literary love was Stephen King (and still is) but he has expanded his scope to other influential authors. He published his first poems at age 17 and his first collection of short horror stories at 29. He is currently working on a novel. He lives with his wife and two children in northern Minnesota.