The Nightmare Engine Podcast

Between Reality and Fiction: The Horrific Worlds of John Lynch

November 20, 2023 David Viergutz Season 2 Episode 3
Between Reality and Fiction: The Horrific Worlds of John Lynch
The Nightmare Engine Podcast
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The Nightmare Engine Podcast
Between Reality and Fiction: The Horrific Worlds of John Lynch
Nov 20, 2023 Season 2 Episode 3
David Viergutz

How did you like the show? Text us and let us know.

What if you had a front-seat ride into the mind of a horror author? Get ready for a terrifying journey with prison worker and writer, John Lynch, as we uncover his unique writing process and delve into the eerie world of his upcoming horror novella. John gets candid about his day job, his writing passion, and how he masterfully juggles the two. Listen in and get a glimpse of his creative process, right from his unconventional writing setup to the creative spark behind his spine-chilling tales.

Strap in as we traverse the nightmare engine of John's debut horror novel "The Warrior Retreat." We explore the fascinating blend of horror and romance, breaking down reader expectations and the unique narrative style that sets his work apart. We reveal the supportive community surrounding Lynch's work and discuss the mechanics of the horror genre. Stay tuned as we delve into the promotion strategies for his upcoming Christmas horror book, the business dynamics of writing, and the niche status of horror as a genre.

Ever wonder what fuels the author's fear factor? We explore the impact of real-life experiences like PTSD and military service on John's horror writing. As we wrap up our chat, be prepared to have your mind blown by the fear factor in Lynch's writings and how it captivates his readers. It's a thrilling journey into the alluring world of horror writing that you won't want to miss. So, sit back, relax, and prepare for a thrilling ride.

🔗Connect with David
🌎 Website | 🎥 Youtube | 👨‍🏫Facebook | 📸 Instagram |🐤 Twitter | 🕰️TikTok

⭐️ Leave a Review

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please do leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and let us know in your review who you want to see next on the podcast. Thanks!

You can also Tweet me @ViergutzDavid and tell me what horror author you want to hear from next, or what topics you want me to cover. 🙏🙏

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

How did you like the show? Text us and let us know.

What if you had a front-seat ride into the mind of a horror author? Get ready for a terrifying journey with prison worker and writer, John Lynch, as we uncover his unique writing process and delve into the eerie world of his upcoming horror novella. John gets candid about his day job, his writing passion, and how he masterfully juggles the two. Listen in and get a glimpse of his creative process, right from his unconventional writing setup to the creative spark behind his spine-chilling tales.

Strap in as we traverse the nightmare engine of John's debut horror novel "The Warrior Retreat." We explore the fascinating blend of horror and romance, breaking down reader expectations and the unique narrative style that sets his work apart. We reveal the supportive community surrounding Lynch's work and discuss the mechanics of the horror genre. Stay tuned as we delve into the promotion strategies for his upcoming Christmas horror book, the business dynamics of writing, and the niche status of horror as a genre.

Ever wonder what fuels the author's fear factor? We explore the impact of real-life experiences like PTSD and military service on John's horror writing. As we wrap up our chat, be prepared to have your mind blown by the fear factor in Lynch's writings and how it captivates his readers. It's a thrilling journey into the alluring world of horror writing that you won't want to miss. So, sit back, relax, and prepare for a thrilling ride.

🔗Connect with David
🌎 Website | 🎥 Youtube | 👨‍🏫Facebook | 📸 Instagram |🐤 Twitter | 🕰️TikTok

⭐️ Leave a Review

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please do leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and let us know in your review who you want to see next on the podcast. Thanks!

You can also Tweet me @ViergutzDavid and tell me what horror author you want to hear from next, or what topics you want me to cover. 🙏🙏

Speaker 1:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Nightmare Engine podcast. It is November 19th, so I'm going to give the data away. This time we're looking at episode number three of season two. I think that's right. It's a cool show today. It's a really cool show. It's Sunday afternoon, it's, and it feels good to be on again so quickly, without massive delays, so we've got a full stacked house today. My co-host is quiet over there. Jay Bauer, how are you? I'm doing good, man. How are you doing today? Pretty good. So what is on the chopping block for you? What do you got? What do you got for me?

Speaker 2:

Oh, he froze up on us.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Of the three of us, it was David. Oh, I froze, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's weird. Oh, okay, let me ask again. So what's on the chopping block for you? What do you?

Speaker 2:

got Just working on a couple new projects Working on our project Big Fricking Spider, and also working on an iBiter story which kind of ties in a little bit with our guest today. But yeah, just working on that and getting my new, my little Christmas chat book out in the wild. It's been pretty cool to see the reaction to that too.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome, and so that iBiter story that is from your conservators' collective story, that three way written right.

Speaker 2:

I wouldn't say three way, but yeah, it's the book that I wrote with John Lynch and John Durgan. We each have three brand new novellas, kind of based on a certain theme, and this, the theme of this one, was derelict and we all kind of took it in our own direction and really enjoyed my character and I had a lot of super positive feedback and I was like you know what, let's do more. And so I'm working on doing one, maybe two, maybe even three books. It depends on how this all shakes out. But yeah, you enjoyed the threesome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was a lot of fun. It was John, john and Jay. I mean. You know why not?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so we. At this point, it would be. I would be remiss if I didn't introduce our guest here. So anyways, I don't know, jay gave it away, but we've got Mr John Lynch on the side. How are you, sir?

Speaker 3:

I'm doing good. How are you guys doing?

Speaker 1:

Good, good man, good. So your folks can't see it, but you're calling in from your vehicle outside of work. Yes, where is that? What side of the country are you in?

Speaker 3:

I'm on the East Coast, I'm in Rhode Island.

Speaker 1:

Rhode Island that's a state.

Speaker 3:

Yes, Very small one. I don't know, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Between Massachusetts and Connecticut. And so what are you doing for a living man?

Speaker 3:

I work at a prison. It's my day job, and then writing is my hobby. Hopefully one day I can make it a living, but right now it's just kind of like something I'm doing and I really enjoy doing it.

Speaker 1:

But I didn't know they let you have electronics and laptops in prison.

Speaker 3:

No, they don't. I keep it in my car, oh okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, no yeah.

Speaker 3:

This can't go in there. I'm all done. If I go to America, I leave it all in my car and then I just come on break. You know, I grab it and I write on my break.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's cool. So how long, how long, you been in prison? Business, corrections, corrections, business.

Speaker 3:

I mean corrections.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

For about 10 years. Oh, my 11th year.

Speaker 1:

This is actually my 11th year now Same prison, or a couple of different ones, or same prison.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the same one, yep.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. So do you have? I mean, I assume you've established some relationships with the people that you are in charge of there. I mean, you've seen a lot of the same folks. You know people aren't going anywhere. It's not like county jail, right, so it's people who have extended sentences. I mean, do you feel like you've maybe established some relationships with them?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's, um, I'm in a medium security prison, so their sentence guys here, um, everybody that's here sentenced, you know, and it could be anything from. It could be anything from under a year to life, depending on the circumstances and stuff like that. It just really kind of depends on the depends on what they've got going on and how there are, but there's, you know, there's people that you see once and you never see them again, and if they're doing a short time, and then there's guys who it's kind of sometimes it's like a revolving door, you know just kind of prison goes. Some guys come go once and they never come back, and other guys it's kind of a all the time thing with them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and um, and so you said you've got some time to write. Um, I guess on break you come out to the car and get some words in, or something.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because, um, I usually end up work on the days that I work I usually pull doubles, Um, so I don't. So by the time I get home I'm burnt out. So I leave my, um, all my writing stuff I just leave in my car and then, you know, I go on break. I'm, I go on break, I sit in the car and I have a. You can't see, you can't see it right now in the video, but I have one of those little steering wheel Um, oh, yeah, tests, you know the little train that attaches to your steering wheel and my laptop's propped up on that, and that's, that's how I write.

Speaker 1:

You don't look like a writer.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I know, I don't.

Speaker 2:

Is there a look?

Speaker 1:

I didn't realize there was a look, I know, but put 1800, put 1800 of them together like we went to 20 books. I just got back from 20 books. Uh, vegas put 1800 of them together and there there there is a general look, I think, for writers. So yeah, I don't know until that. Look Well, that's awesome man. So, um, if it's no surprise to anybody listening, I mean we tend to interview horror authors or those who align themselves strictly in horror.

Speaker 1:

Um, we, if people tell us that it has horror elements and we don't really think that that's what we're looking for. So, um, you write horror. What was your? What was your first? What was it? The warrior retreat. I think that's right.

Speaker 3:

Yes, um, the warrior retreat was my first release. I actually had finished my short story collection prior to releasing that Um, but I had talked to a lot of authors and publishers and most of them had told me um, you know, collections don't typically do well, you're better off sitting on that until you get a book out there so people can know you first. So I had it finished, I had a cover, it was almost ready to go pretty much, and then I decided to write the warrior retreat, um, and that was something I had been writing for like two years. Um, the first draft of it was horrible. I mean, first drafts are always bad. But I look, I look back at this thing and like there were three chapter threes back to back and the story was like all over the place and it was like completely different than it is now.

Speaker 3:

Um, and I talked to the side just to work on short stories and other things and kind of just learn like the craft of writing. Um, because I had started writing, I tried it a couple of times, you know, like a decade ago, and I just got a couple of rejections and I was like, well, I guess I'm not a writer. And then I started really getting into like the car and seeing how many people were writers, I was like, well, why not, you know, if I keep getting better, if I keep trying? And then I started to pick up a little traction with short stories and then I realized, you know, like you know, I can do this as long as I keep learning and improving. Um, and that's kind of how the warrior retreat came about, and so, yeah, so yeah, there's one roundabout way of saying yeah, the warrior retreat was my debut.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know, that's awesome To hear you say about um. You know your first draft and how it came about, because you know I've been behind the scenes with you since like April, something like May, something like that, you know, and kind of seeing how your process goes with our book that we did. And you know hearing um, you know hearing what you say about, you know your drafts and things like that. You know we see all that stuff and and um, hearing what you say about that, I could absolutely see you saying like this sucked and I had three firsts, you know three chapters. Um, because I, you know, we've, we've been through all of this, which is kind of a cool.

Speaker 2:

But you know, that was my intro to you was the warrior retreat, and I've read everything that you've written so far, um, almost except for the one year you're currently working on. But um, and I've loved every bit of it. You know, and I know you've got I had a lot of military themes to it, which I'm not military, you know, but I absolutely relate to the story, absolutely relate to your characters and you brought so much life to them. You know, because of um, because of your experience and it, it goes beyond just military. Right, you know you, I know you've got some amazing fans that um aren't military, that will, will, uh, promote your stuff to the ends of the earth. You know, I know you've got some huge, huge fans, which is great. You know, and just kind of hearing all this backstory is kind of cool yeah.

Speaker 3:

Um, I'm sorry, Go ahead, go ahead. Yeah, I was going to say yeah, my, um, my readers are great because you know it's, you know, I'm sorry, I think the warrior retreats a hard. It's a hard pitch for me. It's not hard for readers to pitch it because they pick up on the stuff that they really like about it, you know, and they'll sell that to other readers by doing it. But for me it's a hard pitch because I'm thinking about it.

Speaker 3:

Well, it's like it's part war action novel, part like PTSD exploration, part slasher. And if you don't like extreme, it's not extreme hard, but if you don't like extreme hard, you're probably not going to like it. Just because my writing style is, you know, I will get graphic and violent and explicit. It's not wall to wall. You know cover to cover that. But if you don't like those things in your books, then you're not going to write it. I mean, enjoy it. But my readers, you know, those are the ones who, like we'll talk to you about how they picked up on the PTSD and they can relate with it, even if it wasn't like their PTSD is not war related, just to the feelings of it and things like that. So you know, my readers are great and they're always helping me promote where I'm not doing a very good job at it, they're doing a great job at it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think horror is very unique and it immediately gives you grounds to connect to a reader versus other genres which kind of have to force it through the characters. So by just labeling your book horror, you have made that connection immediately with them and you can tell them exactly what they should experience through the book. I mean, that's the same thing with romance. So romance of close cousin to horror, because of that is, you know, the genre, is the emotion, which is really just kind of cool. It's also very difficult. I think readers have a higher expectation of what to present to them. I think a lot of readers are getting used to the idea that there are no jump scares in horror books. You can't make something pop out of them and so, you know, maybe they become. I thought at first it would become a little disappointed when they read a horror book and they're like I'm not scared. Well then I think then I don't know what to say in that regard, because it's like what might be incredibly terrifying to

Speaker 1:

somebody may not be, to somebody else it's so, it's so unique, so, depending what broad strokes can be useful in that, in that regard. But a lot of times too, it's like, hey, I wasn't really scared during this one. It's like, well, how did it make you feel? You know it's being scared and being forced to feel something from horror, I think, is where things get a little bit, you know, a little bit more unique. I guess you could say I don't know, I don't know if you've experienced that. I know one of my first books.

Speaker 1:

I tried to write a jump scare into a book and I was like this didn't work. You know, it's like and then this big scary thing. I just kind of felt like I was deflated. I was like, oh, I've right, here's the big scary thing. Now, what you know, it's like what are we going to do? It's like, what am I left with? I'm left with an action scene, pretty much a survival scene or something like that, or survival. For the rest of the book. There's scary things there. So I mean, when you were talking about your types of horror that you write, you know you say it's part slash or part adventure. I mean, would you say it falls in the psychological aspect, would you say it falls into the supernatural, like where do you think you fall?

Speaker 3:

in line yeah, so the warrior retreat is definitely it's more, it's more psychological because it's kind of, without giving it away, it's exactly what's going on. It's kind of like Chris Kyle type of thing, the American sniper. So it's definitely it's not supernatural, it's real, it's something that could happen. And I kind of feel like the same way with with you do about the jumpscares, because once there's a reveal, there's a reveal. You know you can't, you can't reveal that. And I ran into the same thing when I was like, Well, once this first kill happens, you know I can't. There's not really a way for me to drag this on for another 100 pages and have this. You know, this terrible thing. It's kind of it's got to go Now. It's going to go balls to the wall for you know the last 40 or so pages, because I've already had all this lead up to this and you know we're ready to go now.

Speaker 3:

I can't just keep trying to have a guy pop out of nowhere and it kind of really didn't fit. You know, it didn't make sense. Plus, like you said, it just it kind of didn't work. It's, it's you, probably. I mean, I'm sure somebody's done a jump scare a good way in a horror book, but it's probably, you know it's not hard, it's not easy, I mean it's you really can't jump scares more of a visual, visual thing and auditory thing. So I can, I can make things described well and put you in a setting, but I can't, you know, I can't actually make auditory noises that are going to usually be associated with something like a jump scare.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I know Jay and I were kind of discussing about our latest book, big Fucking Spider, which is kind of a really clever title. I don't think people understand what's going to be about about you know when, when do we show the big, the big spider? You know? Because it's? I mean, that's the whole point of the book and we've kind of talked about it a little bit and said you know what it? Maybe it needs to be on the nose, maybe it needs to be right there in front of us the whole time and it just becomes one of those survival type stories, not necessarily like grab a flamethrower, run around you know, less, less eight legged freaks, more arachnophobia, if that makes sense. Yes, if you're going to compare it to movies, which I don't think it's a good, but those two movies are, I mean, they stand on two different lines of horror, I think, and it's kind of fun to think about. And so, where you retreat, jay said you got something else besides the conservators derelict that you're working on right now. What, what, what book is that?

Speaker 1:

Okay so if you can talk about it.

Speaker 3:

I can talk a little bit about it. I haven't done a cover reveal and I haven't named it or anybody, but it will say it is a Christmas horror book. I will say that and it's kind of it's just me having fun with kind of like a. It's like a slasher, you know, but it's like I would say it's more. Again, it's not extreme hard, but if you don't, if you don't care for that stuff, you're not going to like it. It's more of like a gory 8090s, 8080s, early 90s kind of cheesy slasher.

Speaker 2:

I believe we described yesterday is a Hallmark Christmas classic.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's going to go right there, right there on your shelves, with all the you know, the elf on the shelf book that you read your kid every Christmas.

Speaker 3:

It's going to be right there along to it. But yeah, that one is. So it's almost finished it's. I plan on doing like the pre-orders the very beginning of December, because I do. I know that Releasing a Christmas book without promotion is I'm almost sending it out to die basically. So I have to hit really hard on the pre-orders and I think you know very early December to give that lead up, especially because it's not coming out until the end of the month, like December 22nd. So I'm barely gonna hit Christmas.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this would be a great get. It sound like to me. You just need to have it as part of a stocking stuffer for children under 10.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, you man, you would get a lot of great reviews on that, oh yeah.

Speaker 3:

I'll select the age. You know the children's age on KDP when I upload it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so we? This reminds me of when our writing group so we've been Jane, I've been part of the same writing group for about probably going on four years now and we were joking because it's romance author she just like, out of nowhere, published her first book and made like six figures on one book, just just threw it out into the ether and made stupid money off of it. And I looked at Jay and I was like I guess you're writing romance now, dude, and we're just gonna call it, we're gonna write it, we're gonna call it written by five guys. And so that was gonna Answer like yeah, this is gonna go over.

Speaker 1:

Really, really well, we know it's gonna turn and we know we didn't know anything about it, about writing romance. But it's like when you're starting to see numbers like that, we're like, okay, maybe, maybe I need to. You know, maybe there's a point to this. But Taking that little box that says, you know, written for children, it's the same thing as us saying like, written by five dudes, yes, this is exactly, this is exactly what these romance readers want.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I've seen like I'm in groups like the 20 books to 50k and wide for the win and stuff like that, because I like to try and Learn about the business from other authors as much as I can Because I do know, like I've seen, I've seen like Andrew Van way Show business stuff where he was showing, like you know, the breakdown of spending. My genre and horror was like the lowest and the next lowest, I think was like sci-fi and that like is like double the revenue of horror books yearly. So I try to learn the business as much as I can to set myself up for it. And yeah, when I see that about the romance and I see authors being talking about like they have like 10,000 pre-orders or like or 5,000 pre-orders on their Book and it's not even like it's the first book they've ever written. They don't have any short stories out and I'm like how did you even find 10,000 people to like To take that jump and pre-order your book when you don't have a word written and you have like somehow they have a newsletter with like 50,000 subscribers and it's like I don't know, I don't understand how they. I know I wish I knew how they were doing it.

Speaker 3:

But you know, horror is just a different beast, I guess it's. There are a lot of people who what kind of pioneered, like being on ebooks and stuff like that for a while, but I don't think the readership has caught on To be as big yet. It's still kind of a niche genre. You know us being horror authors and horror readers, we don't see it as a niche genre but in comparison to other, to other readerships, you know there's just not as many readers out there yet. But I think that's changing with groups of like book, of books, of horror on Facebook and tick tock. I think it's bringing in a lot of people into horror readership. That we haven't and I do think that it's gonna start catching on Sooner rather than later, as far as you know how many people are reading it. It's just a matter of time. It's. I think people have just long neglected the horror genre.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I see that you know you're setting yourself up for that eventual success. Right, you know for when, when those folks start coming to us, you know start looking at horror, and you know you building that foundation, building it the right way. Right, you know putting out quality books, quality stories, Making those connections with other authors, with the readers. You know building those things up and and. So when that time comes, when you know when they start coming this way, you know they're like oh yeah, John Lynch, like yeah, he's. You know definitely read his stuff. You know he's got great work, you know he's super nice guy, all that stuff You're just building on the right things and that's all you know. That's all you can do.

Speaker 1:

You know, and and I've been seeing you doing that Kind of pretty much every step of this way- you know, one of the things that we talked to, one of the other Kind of big names in the horror community. So we talked to both Tim Wagner and we talked to Jonathan Mayberry, and Both of them come from a traditional side but they do a little bit on their own kind of indie style, I guess you could say. I guess that's what that means is roll out, you know, having to be self-sufficient and doing a lot of the legwork yourself to promote your books and stuff so they can commiserate to a point with it. And one of the things that they said was horrors making resurgence. It's coming back, it's seeing it's being both desired in the trad industry as well as it is in the independent industry. And and horror has long survived on the independent side, both in the small press and an independent horror authors, for a very, very long time because they could not find a place in the mainstream. And what we are experiencing is a is a real. Is a real is these relationships with readers, horror readers, that they are just Waiting for the next book. They're just. They just their issues always been discovering it. It's never been do I buy it. It's always been discovering it.

Speaker 1:

And so one of the things that I've, you know, really focused on the last few years is just making myself more available. That's why we started this podcast was just so we could have that more connection with other horror readers and be like, look, we're here, we, we want you to read our stuff. We write good stuff, I think you know, we think you'd enjoy it and we'll write the stuff that you want. If you communicate with us, tell us what you want, we'll write, we'll give you exactly what you're looking for, you know? Yep, so I know that some folks like to. There's some folks that are kind of naysayers about you know. There are this horse, the smallest market and and whatnot is like. Well, there's an article called a thousand true fans and, to be honest, that's that's all you need. A thousand people out of this entire world. And it's not difficult when you start looking at those types of numbers.

Speaker 1:

You know, one of the things that I've experienced is that I don't get a whole lot of love from Amazon for my books ever. They don't ever show my books to anybody. I don't get anything organically through Amazon. So I tell everybody said, go to my website. You know, if I, if I'm gonna, if, if I, if Amazon's not gonna help me, then I I'm not gonna feed Amazon, I'll feed, I'll feed myself, and so what readers are starting to be more interested in is buying directly from the authors that they like, and so the connections with horror readers Are very tight. They want paperbacks, they want signed paperbacks, they love them, they collect them.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I saw this girl. She had a coffin shaped I bookshelf was the coolest thing in the world. I was like I'm not a, I'm not a, you know, I'm not like any kind of devil worship or anything like that, but I'm like a coffin shaped bookshelf. That's so cool. Like you know, if I could get away with painting my house dark black on the inside, I would, but I'm not really, you know. This just makes the house really dark. So, but I like the idea of kind of like a Gothic, you know style house that just horror images will like that, though, and I don't know if your experience has been the same way, but they're just when you meet them, they're die hard, and they love to connect with us.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's been my experience. So I mean, as you guys both know, I've only just been published. You know, a novel for the warrior treat is a little bit over a year old. It came out on Veterans Day last year. But I went to author con and that was part of the reason why I put my collection out so fast is because I wanted to have at least two books out before I went to author con and I got a table and it was dude, it was crazy. There's readers there with gigantic like trays, like pull trays, like something you would see in an airport, somebody pulling their luggage just stacked with books and books and books. And I heard readers telling me like they came over with just like vacuum sealed bags for their clothes so that they could bring all their books back in their luggage and stuff and they just like shipped the clothes back or they were. Some people were saying they spent tons of money like shipping their books back. And yeah, they're great there's. The readers are out there, it's just a matter of finding them.

Speaker 3:

Discoverability, and discoverability is getting easier and easier by the day with places like the like.

Speaker 3:

I bring it up again the books of horror group on Facebook the last time I looked there was like 40,000, 43,000 people in that group.

Speaker 3:

That's a lot of people just waiting to read horror book and even a lot of times still, you know, everybody's just discovering like, oh, it's not just Stephen King, it's not just Joe Hill and Dean Coots and Anne Rice, there's all these authors out here and they're telling their friends about it and their friends are joining the groups and telling other readers about it. And it's just discoverability is getting easier and easier. It's just, you know, making yourself available. We do because we still are, you know, into your, whether self-published or small press, you have to make yourself available and put yourself out there to find readers, because you know the publisher usually can't do that for you, either won't or can't, just because of the nature of promotion and what it costs. So you know there's a lot of readers out there and, like you said the article about, you know a thousand will do you. If you get a thousand people who want to read every one of your books, man, that's a lot of people buying your books.

Speaker 2:

I've got like 10, so I'm on my way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we've mentioned short stories a lot here and so one of the things I set out this year was I wanted to write a short story a month. And so I have a subscription where my readers get to kind of vote and stuff and I write a short story a month. It kind of forces me to write a short story a month. I figured I could dedicate myself to that and you know, over the course of the next three years it starts to add up. You know of how many short stories you really you start getting really good at them. I think horror short stories is. You know that's really big and hard. You know you gotta publish your own collection. I mean, if you're a horror writer, you gotta publish your own collection. At some point you gotta write a vampire of some sort and you gotta write a zombie of some sort. I mean, that's just write a passage, right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And so you got your first collection. Did you publish that already, or are you still working on it?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I published that. I published it like two months after the Warrior Treaty, which was kind of like that was a bad idea too, because it was so soon after the Warrior Treaty, like people hadn't even started finding that yet, and I had already had the second book come out. But, like I had said, I did that specifically because I felt I needed to have at least two books out before AuthorCon last year. Otherwise I'm just kind of like wasting money on a table and not really giving readers options so and so well. Sorry.

Speaker 2:

No, no, go ahead.

Speaker 3:

Sorry, that came out. I believe it was like January of 2020. Yeah, January of this year, I really used that.

Speaker 2:

And so I was gonna say AuthorCon is where you and I kind of really met. Originally you were in the very, very back room with Ronald Kelly, lucas Miller and a few others, just like but way back there. And then eventually you got moved out and you were kind of just like right outside the door from where I was at and I know we talked a lot that weekend. But it was cool to see the readers that were getting your stuff that were like oh yeah, I'm familiar with this Cause. That's an awesome feeling. I saw it, I saw it happen with you quite a bit, which is really exciting.

Speaker 2:

And I understand why you would want to get that collection. I would have done the same thing, man, like I absolutely would have done that. And, as we all three know, short story collections often aren't the biggest sellers for horror authors. But it is kind of a rite of passage in horror. It's like you have to have a collection, so it. But it is good and I have read it and I loved it. And from your feedback, from your readers, what story of that is the one that they bring up the most? I think I know, and that's why you're smiling.

Speaker 3:

One that everybody brings up the most is a cock meat sandwich.

Speaker 1:

So cock meat sandwich.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Okay, let me. Let me just make sure I get that with my clear mic Cock meat sandwich. That is the title of the story.

Speaker 2:

Yes it is.

Speaker 3:

Yes, that's the title of the story and, believe it or not, that is usually the one that people liked it the most. I wrote that one originally for DNT's ABCs of Terror, volume 4. And the idea was that the theme behind it was like lousy neighbors and then you each get a letter. So that's where the ABCs of Terror came in, because each author got randomly assigned a letter or you could choose it. If you were fast enough, you could, you know, state claim on a letter.

Speaker 3:

And originally the story was titled because I had always wanted to call it cockmeat sandwich and like I pitched it like the first paragraph of it. It was my first time trying to write something that was like kind of gross or extreme, so I wanted to just see if I could do it and it used. It was originally published under G is for Gary Gilroy, because every title was like A is for this, b is for that and mine was G is for Gary Gilroy, but in my head the title was always cockmeat sandwich. So when I republished it it had to go under that one.

Speaker 1:

And what's the story about? The story about me.

Speaker 3:

About a man who was by himself. His wife and kids are gone, he's by himself and he's just got this awful, awful, terrible neighbor. They're always loud. The place is like, you know, the neighbor's yard is like a junk yard. There's like animal shit on the yard, the grass is like waist high because he doesn't mow it and it's just kind of like a not not quite, but the closest thing will be, if you think of like hillbilly horror type thing and the neighbor and you know he goes over there and they get into it a little bit and the neighbor is just being gross. And then you know he wakes up one day and he's washing, washing dishes and over his kitchen sink and he looks out the window and the neighbor is barbecuing his own penis and then it just goes and then it's kind of like a home invasion thing from there.

Speaker 2:

But you know, and I think the reason why a story like that has resonated with your readers, you know, other than you've got this fantastic title for it right. It's just it is. It's a disturbing thing, like you know, having read that, you know it's. You have these disturbing visuals that you just like you, can't get rid of. You know, and it's like, and that that sits with readers, and the way you write it, you know, with your style and the flow you're writing and just everything, it takes something that's called cockmeat sandwich but it turns it into something that's super entertaining, something that lasts with the readers and something that they want more of. And I know we've talked about that. You know, and I think that's that's a testament to your skill and to your writing, and I think that's that's awesome that you can go for something gross and and disturbing and yet it really resonates with readers. You know.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I've, and people have asked me like, like you said, like about you know, continuing and people actually believe it or not want me to write a book based off of this. I've had more than a few people ask me about it and I want to do it. But, like Jay said, it's just for me, it's not just about wanting to do something that's only gross or only gory. I do want there to be somewhat of a story to. It doesn't have to be anything crazy, you know what I mean. It doesn't have to be the next great American novel. But that's why I said with my story, why I it's kind of like I want to have story and fun stuff in there, along with the gory and splatter and gross, and I'm going to do it eventually, but it's I want to. I want to have a story that's worth doing.

Speaker 3:

That's the thing for me is that I want to have a story that's worth doing. That's the thing for me is I'll go to the crazy places and the gross stuff, but I want to. I want to have at least, like you know, kind of like a decent story to tell with it to or otherwise. It's just more the same. You know there's I want somebody to know if they, if they're reading my stuff. I want them to know they're at least. You know, I took the effort to try to make like a really good story and not not just gross or gory, but you know what there's. But I want to just like stress I don't think there's anything wrong with books that are like that too, because I read a lot of books that are just gross out stuff or just just wall to wall gore. It's fun, sometimes it's. I don't want everything to be like like a very heavy book. Sometimes I want that and then other times, as a reader, I just I'm just looking for some fun.

Speaker 1:

So you know, I think I think horror has a place in that. Where it can? You know, tim Wagner and I sat on this for a while. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but a while there. You know, tim, when we asked him you know why horror? He said because horror is fun. You know he didn't want to believe he didn't. He didn't agree with some people think. You know, horror allows you to visit these traumas, you know, from a safe place, that sort of thing. Or allows you to reconcile with past differences. Or, you know, to approach your fears in a safe way. He didn't believe they was like it's just fun, it's just fun, it's fun to be scared. And you know, I think there was another, there's another additional on that. You know which he didn't say, which was Horror is it is fun to be afraid when it's safe.

Speaker 1:

You know like it's not fun when you're in a, you know, in a bad spot, you know when in. You know you've been in prison and in prison garden and then me being law enforcement. There are times when you're scared and it's not fun, I mean, it's just the reality of it. But then you go into a book you're like, okay, you know the same type of escapism that we get from any other type of book. It's just different and horror. And that it's fear that we're going to be scared, it's fear that we're playing with, not just the escapism. And so you know, I think that I think there is a, I think you seem like you're the type who believes to that. You know horror can be fun. You know it's not just as you said.

Speaker 1:

So you know serious and, and you know emotional and connective. It's, sometimes it's just fun. I mean, that's my mind, that's what Krampus is. You turn. I mean you turn Krampus into. You know that's fun. To horror. You know it's Christmas horror. I mean how, how terrifying and scary can it really be, you know?

Speaker 3:

Krampus is a perfect example. There's nothing scary about it. You know, those gingerbread cookies, like coming down the chimney, like it's not scary but it's fun and it, you know it's. It's kind of like a modern Christmas classic. Now it's not very old but I would say it's.

Speaker 3:

You know, if I'm going to pick horror movies to watch every season, you know Krampus is going to be one of those ones that don't, that don't watch every season, because it's fun. And I think stuff like that is also good because it's kind of like it's it's. It's like a gateway movie too. You know you could, you could get your kids into that. They don't have to be and you don't have to be worried about what they might see in there because it's not, it's nothing like too crazy, you know, provided they're not like you know, five, I wouldn't show, like my five by four year old Krampus. But you know my 12 year old I would show Krampus. It's not. I don't think it's too bad for a 12 year old. But yeah, you're right, I do, I do.

Speaker 3:

I do think that horror is fun and I think you hit that nail in the head. It's, it's. It's fun because you can be in a safe space where you're doing it. You know, because being scared is fun. When you're scared in a safe way, like you said. You know the driving like down the road in Iraq and not knowing if you're going about to run over a bomb that's not fun. You can have fun with your friends, like you know the conversations you're talking about and things like that. You can have fun with each other, but like that's, that's a different kind of scary and I think horror books there, you said.

Speaker 3:

They allow you to experience the fear and have fun doing it, because you know that that book is not going to hurt you. At the end of the day, where's she going to get hurt from a book You're going?

Speaker 1:

to get paper cut. Yeah, absolutely, hey, john. So okay, now you're back. You froze for a second there. You got your, we got your audio. So that's good. Okay, but just to the folks listening, let me reiterate John is in a parking lot from, I'm assuming, a Wi-Fi.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, actually. So not even Wi-Fi is on my phone. That is incredible the quality.

Speaker 1:

The quality you were getting out of this. Like people can't see it, but the visual quality is absolutely incredible for that connection. So we'll we'll forgive the slight delays that we're boasting to be having. It's not a big deal at all.

Speaker 3:

The the T-Mobile Tower is like I could. If I had a strong arm, I could probably hit it with a rock.

Speaker 1:

So that's probably what's doing it, but you have absolutely a phenomenal connection.

Speaker 2:

So let's so. We won't hold it against you. Shout out the T-Mobile. We are not sponsored. However, if you want to sponsor a T-Mobile, we would absolutely love it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we'd love to see some return from this podcast, but yeah, that's awesome man and we like to say it and we say it pretty often, at least every couple of shows that, like horror writers are some of the coolest people we ever meet. Yeah, you know, they're just, they're just average people, normal people, who, who, who enjoy a scary movie, who aren't, you know, who aren't afraid to to read a scary book, who aren't afraid to, you know, or who are, maybe who are afraid, but they're okay with facing that over and over again because they're like you know what it's, it's fun, that's what it's supposed to be. You know, like there's certain types of fears that we're, like, totally fine with and other types are like, no, I could really do without. You know, like when I'm, when I'm on the streets, like there's certain type of fear when someone's, like you know, rummaging around in their car and I'm fixing to approach it and I can't see their hands, like that's a different type of fear I don't really want to approach all the time.

Speaker 1:

Versus, you know, I pop open. You know, friday the 13th, and I'm watching something. You know, something happen there, I mean on a movie, I think. I think there's different types of fear and I think that's really cool to see that. Just another horror author. That's just totally normal, just like the rest of us. Now, jay said that you were in the service. What did you do in the military? What branch?

Speaker 3:

I was in the Marine Corps Um 2007 to 2011,. I was a mortarman, so I was in the infantry and then my MOS was a mortarman.

Speaker 1:

Oh, during the invasion, cool, so I'm a rack, or Afghanistan.

Speaker 3:

I went to Iraq in 2008 and then I went to Afghanistan in 2009. So I've been to both.

Speaker 1:

Wow. Well, I appreciate your service man. I didn't get the opportunity to deploy. I did four years in the Army and that was the end of my contract, so they didn't. I was in a unit that wasn't deploying but I definitely appreciated everyone who did and I mean I remember our unit. There's a lot of our unit who's like I'll re-up right now. If you'll deploy me, can I sign up for deployment Because everyone else is going.

Speaker 1:

You know we all want to go and support and be a part of that and you know you come back and you're like. You know at least I did what my job was. I did what the Army told me to do.

Speaker 1:

I did what the Marines told me to do. You know, regardless if it was going to, you know, but I do have a level of appreciation for folks who got to, got to, had or had to experience that. So thank you for that. Thank you, when were you in the Army? 2009 to 2012. Okay, and, and I got out right at the end of 2012. I was medically discharged. I got hurt. So it's, you know. I think I think there are some influences. You know I wrote I didn't realize how big mental health was a part of my stories until I wrote one that was like strictly 100%.

Speaker 1:

nothing supernatural about it, just want mental health and based off the stuff I'd seen, you know, in law enforcement and you got to a point, like some of our readers were, like you need to put some mental health resources in the back, because this is too intense, this is too real and I'm like that's what I want. Yes, and you know, you want that. You, you want that connection, but at the same time you're like oh, man like sorry, you know, but yeah, man, so that's, that's really cool.

Speaker 1:

So you said you had some influences from PTSD and stuff like that in in the warrior retreat. I mean, it's in the title, right? Yes, so that's. And? And how would you say? You know, some people can't really relate to PTSD, you know. So how did you make it so that people who may not have PTSD could? They don't understand. You know what that was like.

Speaker 3:

So what I tried to do is is, after we have, you know, the the war stuff, at the beginning I tried to give you a little bit kind of almost like vignette chapters with each of the main characters so you could see what they're doing after the fact, now that they've come home, and how they were dealing with it in different ways. Like, for some guys it was just kind of partying. Still, you know, they're just, they haven't. It's like they never left Hawaii. They're just kind of like going to like the strip clubs every night. And other guys are just, you know, they're finding it in medication and other guys are dealing with it in the bottom of a bottle. And then there's then there's other guys who have kind of battled those demons and and came out the other side and now they're trying to help people, you know, like a social worker or things like that.

Speaker 3:

I just tried to show how each guy was dealing with the after effects of it and what it was doing, because everybody does, you know, copes a different way. You know, we all know people who have been. We're all of the age where we know people who have been in the military, or we know people who have PTSD from other things, and it's something that everybody deals with in a different way. So it's sometimes it might be like it sounds like it's a cliche, like you know they're just drinking because the things bother them, but you know, but that's how some people deal with it. And some people deal with it through drug abuse and some people deal with it, just, you know, by taking medications that they get from their prescriptions from their doctors. And other people just deal with it by not dealing with it and they don't realize that it's just completely, you know, destroying their physical and mental well-being because they don't think that they have a problem with anything and they don't realize that they need help. And then other people recognize it and you know they're, and they're able to go and get help and kind of push past that, and so it's different for everybody.

Speaker 3:

So I think that's why and I think you know now that we know more about PTSD and we know that it's not only something that people in military or law enforcement experience, it's something that anybody can experience. You know, I could get into a car accident and that could be a traumatic experience for me, if, if, if you know, depending on what happened and what's all, that could be so traumatic. I might never be able to drive in a car again, or I might not want to drive on a highway again. So I think that's why it resonates with people, is because they see that it's not, it's not just. You know, once they get past the more part of the story, that they see a little bit of themselves and some of these characters, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And as someone who's read it, I absolutely like what you said about the vignettes, about the characters. That's exactly it. You know, all of those little snapshots of the behind the scenes of those particular characters drew me as a non military individual that hasn't experienced that, drew me right into it and I could connect with them right away.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome, man. So that's a great little homage to you know, to to your service and to to those you recognize.

Speaker 1:

You know, I would say it's probably you know, influential, you know you can, and people appreciate that for its authenticity. You know, and horror authors, we, we try to be as authentic as we can, you know. We try to write about the things that scare us, you know, and that that becomes a fear that we could pass on to somebody else, and so that that seems like a great, a great place to stop this. You know, I know you're short on time. We definitely appreciate you coming out for during your break and and and making this happen with us, and it's been an absolute pleasure, man, so I appreciate you guys having me.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, we'll definitely plan to do it again. Like I said, this is season two and there's not many horror authors, so we try to have you know. We're trying to figure out, or maybe a rotation, or just bring the same guys on. So, don't expect this to be the last time we get ahold of you, but before we go, can you tell people where you want people to find your books? Man, tell them where they can keep up to date with you and where you want them to go.

Speaker 3:

Okay, yeah, so if you go to my website johnlunchbookscom I said John Lunch because I had talked with John Lynch L-I-N-C-H bookscom If you go there that's kind of like the hub you could get to my online shop from there, you could get to my newsletter from there and then it will also link you to like Amazon from there. So if you like signed copies, you can get to signed copies from there. The best way to know everything that's going on kind of what my writing would be is to subscribe to the newsletter. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you know you can have links to my socials from there. You'll be able to get to everything and everything that's me from there or my website, and kind of find out what I'm up to.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome, man. We appreciate you coming on, we appreciate your service and we appreciate your time today. So, Jay, do you got anything else man?

Speaker 2:

No, just it was awesome to have you on here, john. I know we, you know we've been talking a lot and we worked pretty closely together on our book and it's awesome to finally get you on the podcast.

Speaker 3:

That's good. I'm glad to be here and I'm looking forward to actually get slaughtered late coming into mail. So I'm going to read that one. It should be here any day now, probably, and then I'm looking forward to big fucking spider too. I keep pounding Jay about it. I'm like this book is going to come out in time, right, because I need this book. I don't know. I saw the cover and I was like this sounds great. It sounds like it sounds like a fun, fun book. So I'm really looking forward to that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think we'll make our deadline. We're doing pretty good. We set it far enough in advance so that all the delaying that we did it was okay yeah.

Speaker 3:

But I think I pre-order the day you put it up, the day that I saw you want that, you want to pre-order is like I'm getting that yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I've got people that, that message being said, I'll buy anything but this.

Speaker 2:

I don't do spiders and I'm like that's exactly why you read.

Speaker 1:

You need to read this. But anyway, folks, so let's let me wrap it up here. So this, ladies and gentlemen, you've been listening to the Night Marriage and Podcasts, episode three of season two, with our wonderful guess, what we so much appreciate, mr John Lynch. Thank you, folks, for your time. John, thank you. And Jay, you got anything else for us, man?

Speaker 2:

No, we're good to go, man All right, Y'all folks have a good night.

Horror Author John Lynch's Nightmare Engine
The Writing Process and Genre Exploration
Horror Genre and Building Reader Base
The Appeal of Horror Stories
PTSD and Military Experiences in Horror Writing
Night Marriage, Podcasts With John Lynch