I recently reviewed dark fantasy novel The Spitting Post and because it’s fun to find out a bit behind the scenes, asked author Jason R Barden some quick questions.
Question 1. Your first book was a cross genre dark fantasy novel. Are you yourself a fan of both genres ?
Jason. ‘Absolutely. As a child, I became a fan of Maurice Sendak’s book Where the Wild Things Are and movies like The Dark Crystal, The NeverEnding Story, and Return to Oz. In middle school, I was reading The Hobbit, several of Stephen King’s books, and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. I also like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which in my opinion has some elements of horror due to its constant mention of decapitation. I believe dark fantasy is a branch of horror. Just not as straightforward as horror.’
Question 2. In The Spitting Post, the main character finds himself in a nightmarish landscape he hadn’t chosen to enter. Is that sense of being unable to control your surroundings a personal fear ? What does horror mean to you ?
Jason. ‘Yes, it is a personal fear. Unfortunately, there are many things in life one cannot control. In these moments of chaos, I think it is necessary that we persevere and when pushed down we keep getting back up no matter how many times. I think the main character is a good example of this. To me, horror is about dread, fear, and repulsive experiences.’
Question 3. Now your first book is out there, do you have any advice for other authors still working on theirs ? Are there any resources for aspiring authors you would recommend ?
Jason. ‘Don’t give up. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Research writing and marketing. Learn to accept rejection. Darkmarkets website, Poets & Writers website, and FaceBook are good resources.’
Karen is a full time artist living in Whitby (perfect location for a horror fan). Her own monsters have taken over to the point where they actually have their own closet space and so she takes refuge in books and films, some of which she’d like to share with you.