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Jonathan Janz

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Jonathan Janz

Goodreads Author


Born
in Colorado Springs, The United States
October 27

Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences
Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, Joe R. Lansdale, Ray Bradbury, Brian Kee ...more

Member Since
October 2010

URL


Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels. He is represented for Film & TV by Ryan Lewis (executive producer of Bird Box). His work has been championed by authors like Josh Malerman, Caroline Kepnes, Stephen Graham Jones, Joe R. Lansdale, and Brian Keene. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novels Children of the Dark and The Dark Game were chosen by Booklist and Library Journal as Top Ten Horror Books of the Year. He also teaches high school Film Literature, Creative Writing, and English. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children. You can sign up for his newsletter (http://jonathanjanz.us12.list-manage.... ...more

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Popular Answered Questions

Jonathan Janz Hey, Perry! I'd say it's a combination of many things, the first of which being the fact that I'm doing my very best to write books that folks want to…moreHey, Perry! I'd say it's a combination of many things, the first of which being the fact that I'm doing my very best to write books that folks want to read. I don't say that sarcastically or immodestly; I simply mean that word-of-mouth is the most powerful force in the advertising universe, and people are telling other people about my work. There was a time when I'd go two weeks without a single rating. Now, I'm getting ratings and reviews every day. It's all due to a gradual word-of-mouth-fueled growth.

Aside from that, I'd guess that the way I approach Goodreads has something to do with that. I'm here as a reader first, and other readers sense, respect, and appreciate that. There's a vast forest of white noise generated by authors screaming "Look at me! Look at me!" and as a reader, that turns me off. Which means it undoubtedly turns off other readers too. So by being a reader, I share a love of books with other readers rather than treating them like potential marks.

Which leads me to the last thing--engagement. When people are nice enough to say kind things about me and my work, I appreciate that, and I make sure I let them know that. No, I don't go around responding to every positive review, but if someone reviews three of my books and says incredibly kind things about all of them, I think that deserves a thank you. I also never, ever respond to negative reviews because that will never go well.

Anyway, that was way more than you asked for, and being a writer yourself, I know that you already know most of these things. But for others who read this answer, I think these are good guidelines. (less)
Jonathan Janz Hey, Richard! I'm so sorry I missed this question until now.

My story ideas come from all over the place, but I'll give you a couple examples of "igni…more
Hey, Richard! I'm so sorry I missed this question until now.

My story ideas come from all over the place, but I'll give you a couple examples of "ignition points" (I love your verb "ignites").

My debut novel THE SORROWS grew out of a single image and a song. The image was a tower standing by itself, unattached to a castle. In the uppermost room of the tower, there was a piano. Then, for no apparent reason, the piano began playing Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C Sharp Minor." The song is so shattering and ominous that, when coupled with the tower imagery, it was able to generate the entire backstory of my villain. Then, the rest of the narrative grew out of that.

In my upcoming novella EXORCIST ROAD, I thought of all the exorcism stories I'd seen and read. William Peter Blatty's LEGION did a great job of creating a mystery within the horror, and I wanted to do something exorcist-related that focused on the mystery as well. So when I thought of the idea for the Sweet Sixteen Killer, the mystery I was seeking began to grow.

This sort of answers your question, and it sort of doesn't, but it shows how diverse the sources can be.

Thanks, Richard! :-)(less)
Average rating: 3.93 · 10,586 ratings · 3,007 reviews · 41 distinct worksSimilar authors
Children of the Dark

3.89 avg rating — 1,576 ratings — published 2016 — 7 editions
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The Siren and the Specter

3.89 avg rating — 1,101 ratings — published 2018 — 12 editions
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The Dark Game

3.83 avg rating — 733 ratings — published 2019 — 7 editions
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Witching Hour Theatre

3.70 avg rating — 585 ratings — published 2005 — 4 editions
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The Sorrows

3.73 avg rating — 567 ratings — published 2012 — 10 editions
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Exorcist Falls

3.88 avg rating — 543 ratings — published 2017 — 5 editions
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The Nightmare Girl

4.03 avg rating — 479 ratings — published 2015 — 11 editions
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Exorcist Road

4.24 avg rating — 398 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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House of Skin

3.77 avg rating — 424 ratings — published 2012 — 11 editions
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Wolf Land

4.08 avg rating — 376 ratings — published 2015 — 11 editions
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More books by Jonathan Janz…

STRANGER THINGS and CHILDREN OF THE DARK

Howdy, friends. I haven’t blogged in…well, just about forever. That’s because my newsletter has usurped my blog and is now my main form of information dissemination and–


Oh, just sign up for the dang thing.



Occasionally, though, there’s a topic that calls for a blog post. Like the one you’re reading now.


STRANGER THINGS has become a cultural juggernaut, a critically-acclaimed audience darling. An

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Published on January 03, 2018 19:26
Night Terrors The Children Dark Zone The Arena The Old One
(5 books)
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The Sorrows Castle of Sorrows
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3.78 avg rating — 679 ratings

The Raven Blood Country
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4.15 avg rating — 264 ratings

Pimp My Airship: ...
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Jonathan Janz Jonathan Janz said: " What a ride! As entertaining as it is incisive, Maurice Broaddus has crafted something wholly original here. It's crammed with awesome character work, immersive storytelling, and powerful thematic resonance. It's also set an hour south of me, which o ...more "

 
The Witch and the...
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Books of Blood, V...
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Jonathan Janz Jonathan Janz said: " Clive Barker is a master. Two areas, I think, distinguish him from other writers. One is the sheer breadth of his imagination. I cut my horror teeth on stories like "Dread," "Rawhead Rex," "The Midnight Meat Train," and the incomparable "In the Hills ...more "

 

Jonathan’s Recent Updates

Jonathan Janz is now friends with Larry Torre
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" Marie wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "MARLA (coming soon)..."


How soon for this book? lol I keep seeing it popping up on facebook and I think the book cover f
...more "
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Ghoul N' the Cape by Josh Malerman
Ghoul N' the Cape
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A Great American Novel. An otherworldly thrill ride. This is the apotheosis of all road stories and an odyssey unlike any you’ve ever read. It’s like a long-lost collaboration between John Steinbeck and Rod Serling, but it’s much more than that. It’s ...more
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With Teeth by Brian Keene
With Teeth
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Jonathan Janz and 6 other people liked Ferry Visser's review of House of Skin:
House of Skin by Jonathan Janz
"Dedicated to David Haynes

On Goodreads I regularly read that Jonathan Janz's work is good. There is no thinner term than good, because that is different for everyone. And that's why I wanted to know what the term 'good' means in relation to 'House of " Read more of this review »
Jonathan Janz answered Rounak Raj's question: Jonathan Janz
That's a great question! I'm pretty sure he's fictional. If I'm remembering correctly, for that character I think I researched old serial killer stories, but I think the name might have come from one of my favorite short stories, Arthur Machen's "The See Full Answer
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The Cormorant by Stephen Gregory
The Cormorant
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Last Days by Brian Evenson
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The Cipher by Kathe Koja
The Cipher
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Kathe Koja is an artist who writes like no one else I've ever read. As I sometimes do, I read this more for the writing than the story, which isn't a criticism at all, but rather a compliment to the writing. Koja conjures words and phrases that are a ...more
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Quotes by Jonathan Janz  (?)
Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more)

“watched after her sourly and considered correcting her grammar—it wasn’t could care less, it was couldn’t care less. It was an error that always irked me.”
Jonathan Janz, Children of the Dark

“This thing shook me, Jason,” he said, his voice lower still. “Like every man, I’ve questioned my faith at times… especially after Ariana died. There are things I’m still not sure about. Like how can you hold it against somebody that he was born in a third-world country? If someone’s never heard of Jesus, how can we expect a person to believe in him? And then we…” He made a pained face, ran a palm over his stubbly cheeks. “…we put distance between ourselves and others. We pick out differences between people and we amplify them and act like they’re lost and we know the answers, and the truth is, we’re all lost. We’ve all sinned.”
Jonathan Janz, Exorcist Falls

“Nobody cared if you plagiarized in the third grade. All”
Jonathan Janz, Children of the Dark

Polls

More...
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter
hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as
much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first
blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last
blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
Jacob A. Riis

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”
Stephen King

“Good books don't give up all their secrets at once.”
Stephen King

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”
Stephen King

108 Horror Aficionados — 21387 members — last activity 0 minutes ago
If you love horror literature, movies, and culture, you're in the right place. Whether it's vampires, werewolves, zombies, serial killers, plagues, or ...more
61973 Gore and More — 1165 members — last activity Nov 27, 2022 05:32PM
This book club is dedicated to horror and dark fantasy/sci-fi books. Icons such as Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Clive Barker, Richard Laymon, Bria ...more
199180 Castle Terror — 709 members — last activity 2 hours, 52 min ago
Come for the Castle - Stay for the Terror! 🏰🐺💀🔥 This group is for everyone who loves vampires, werewolves and creatures of the dark books. Horror, go ...more
45884 Books Stephen King Recommends — 2245 members — last activity Feb 20, 2022 04:35AM
-------------------------------------------- Are you curious about the books and authors Stephen King has enjoyed reading in the last 40 years or so? ...more
13824 Literary Darkness — 4166 members — last activity 10 hours, 35 min ago
This group is dedicated to an appreciation of important works of literature, both classic and contemporary... that happen to fall into the category of ...more
203 Stephen King Fans — 15432 members — last activity Nov 28, 2022 09:35PM
A place for all Stephen King fans to gather and discuss his work. Welcome Constant Readers!! EST 2007
51245 Book Talk with Kealan Patrick Burke — 402 members — last activity Nov 25, 2022 01:17PM
Chat all things literary with Bram Stoker Award-winning horror author Kealan Patrick Burke.
19126 The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group — 24141 members — last activity 24 minutes ago
“It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning flashed and thunder rolled across the sky. Rain spattered a mysterious, hooded stranger who peered over th ...more
220 Goodreads Librarians Group — 170740 members — last activity 3 minutes ago
A place where all Goodreads members can work together to improve the Goodreads book catalog. Non-librarians are welcome to join the group as well, to ...more
93882 SCAREDY CAT — 590 members — last activity Oct 22, 2022 07:50PM
Grab a blanket, a good book, curl up in a cozy chair and be too afraid to go to the bathroom.
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Comments (showing 80-129)    post a comment »

message 129: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz Jennifer wrote: "I am working my way through the works of Jonathan Janz.
I am a long time fan of John Saul and Richard Matheson and I am so glad to find an author I can enjoy as much as them.
The thing that strikes..."


Wow, thank you so much, Jennifer! I’m so happy you’re enjoying my work. I haven’t read John Saul yet, but Richard Matheson is one of my main influences and inspirations. Any time he gets mentioned, I light up.

Thanks again, Jennifer. This was very appreciated. :-)


message 128: by Jennifer (last edited Nov 21, 2018 05:04AM)

Jennifer I am working my way through the works of Jonathan Janz.
I am a long time fan of John Saul and Richard Matheson and I am so glad to find an author I can enjoy as much as them.
The thing that strikes me is that he writes horror that doesn't resolve into happy endings. The kind of endings where the evil is defeated and the heroes come through learning a lesson.
When the real monsters show up, no one gets away. That's a true horror novel.


message 127: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz Mariℓina wrote: "Happy 2016, filled with love, happiness and a little bit of luck!
"


Happy New Year to you too, my friend! :-)

JJ


Mariℓina Happy 2016, filled with love, happiness and a little bit of luck!





message 125: by Scott

Scott Roberts Merry christmas


message 124: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz Maria wrote: "

"


Thank you so much, Maria! I really appreciate the beautiful image! :-)


message 122: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz Ashley wrote: "Hi Jonathan! I LOVED your review of Dark Places and how Gillian Flynn = Mike Trout (fellow baseball fanatic here, WOOHOO!!)"

Thank you so much, Ashley! It's great to meet you, and I love the double-threat of great book fan and baseball fan. That's a wonderful combination! :-)


Ashley Marie Hi Jonathan! I LOVED your review of Dark Places and how Gillian Flynn = Mike Trout (fellow baseball fanatic here, WOOHOO!!)


message 120: by Scott

Scott Roberts Merry christmas.


message 119: by Maggie

Maggie

Hope you have a wonderful day! : D


message 118: by Maria

Maria Donna wrote: "


Have a good one buddy :D"


Yours is perfect, Darling, just like you! XO.
I mean Donna, of course, but enjoy your birthday, JJ. : )


message 117: by Donna

Donna Maria wrote: "


: D"



This is soo cool Maria :D


message 116: by Donna

Donna  photo 960641fc0928369da9fa02a0d325ef8e_zpsnthldbsi.jpg
Have a good one buddy :D


message 115: by Maria

Maria  photo happybda_edit_1414368570339_zpsxkv9c02r.jpg
: D


message 114: by Carey

Carey Anderson Thanks for the add


message 113: by Rusty

Rusty Nugent Thanks for your friendship.


☆~Stephanie ~☆ Thanks for the friend request Jonathan! :->


OddModicum Rachel Hey there, Jonathan! Thanks for the friend request! So funny... I was just asking in another thread if anyone else thought that early exposure to good horror writers might have really been influential... made them horror lovers for life. Seems like a trend... more than other genres, even. Your mention of a childhood between a dark forest and a graveyard brought that to mind. ;) Your books look amazing. All the synopses sound intriguing. Do you have a fave, or a particular title you'd suggest starting with?


message 110: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz Midu wrote: "Thanks for the invite!"

It's great to meet you, Midu! :-)


message 109: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz Cheryl wrote: "Thanks for the friend request, Jonathan. Your books sound very intriguing! I've put "The Sorrows" on my wish-list."

Thank you so much, Cheryl! And sorry for the late response. I hope you check out The Sorrows, but no pressure--no promise! :-)

Thanks again, and I'll talk to you soon!

JJ


message 108: by Cheryl

Cheryl Landmark Thanks for the friend request, Jonathan. Your books sound very intriguing! I've put "The Sorrows" on my wish-list.


message 107: by Midu

Midu Hadi Thanks for the invite!


message 106: by Maria

Maria Jonathan wrote: "MARIA!!!!! I'm so sorry for the delayed response, but we JUST got back last night from our Virginia vacation (mostly in the boonies, way off the grid). Happy Independence Day! :-)"

No worries, Jonathan.
Hope you have a relaxing day today!!
Enjoy the fireworks. : )


message 105: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz MARIA!!!!! I'm so sorry for the delayed response, but we JUST got back last night from our Virginia vacation (mostly in the boonies, way off the grid). Happy Independence Day! :-)


message 104: by Maria

Maria  photo fcd76be12dec22ff8420dfac2f00c159_zpshm2gb8bj.jpg
:D


message 103: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz Maria wrote: "


Enjoy this special day with your family!! : )"


Thank you, Maria! You're fantastic! :-)


message 102: by Maria (last edited Jun 15, 2014 05:01AM)

Maria Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Enjoy this special day with your family!! : )


message 101: by Jonathan

Jonathan Janz Alissa wrote: "Thank you for accepting my friend request. I'm looking forward to reading your work, a good friend of mine recommended them to me and I'm always up for a good book especially horror."

Thank you so much, Alissa! I'm glad your friend recommended my work to you, and I hope you find it worthwhile. Thanks again for friending me, and I look forward to interacting with you on here! :-)


message 100: by Alissa

Alissa Thank you for accepting my friend request. I'm looking forward to reading your work, a good friend of mine recommended them to me and I'm always up for a good book especially horror.


Jonathan Janz M.C. wrote: "hi, thank you for adding me as a friend :)"

No problem, M.C.! It'll be fun interacting with you here.


Jonathan Janz Armina wrote: "Thanks for the friend request, Jonathan!"

Thanks for accepting it, Armina!


Cristina Sburlea hi, thank you for adding me as a friend :)


message 96: by Armina

Armina Thanks for the friend request, Jonathan!


message 95: by Maria

Maria Jonathan wrote: "Maria wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Maria wrote: "Too late Jonathan, Donna & I saw your "fan" post before you deleted it.
We were enjoying ourselves, way to spoil our fun!! : ("

You two are EVIL!!!! ..."


JJ, what a nice way to say we're sneaky! : P
Have a great day!


message 94: by Donna

Donna Jonathan wrote: "Donna wrote: "No wait, what is it my girls say when I wont do or go along with them on something...Oh yeah, "FUN SUCKER!" That's you Jonathan :)"

Ah, when I do that, my wife sings the party pooper..."



Lol!!! Sounds like my kind of woman :)
For the record...you are a riot as well!
Enjoy the rest of you week Jonathan.


Jonathan Janz Donna wrote: "No wait, what is it my girls say when I wont do or go along with them on something...Oh yeah, "FUN SUCKER!" That's you Jonathan :)"

Ah, when I do that, my wife sings the party pooper song. I think you and she would get along. :-)


Jonathan Janz Maria wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Maria wrote: "Too late Jonathan, Donna & I saw your "fan" post before you deleted it.
We were enjoying ourselves, way to spoil our fun!! : ("

You two are EVIL!!!! Hah! I thought..."


Yes. You two are masters of stealth. :-)


message 91: by Donna (last edited Apr 21, 2014 04:37PM)

Donna No wait, what is it my girls say when I wont do or go along with them on something...Oh yeah, "FUN SUCKER!" That's you Jonathan :)


message 90: by Donna

Donna Party pooper! We were having so much fun imaging you squirm. So what happened this time Jonathan? You did once say I was a sadistic woman...remember? LOL!


message 89: by Maria

Maria Jonathan wrote: "Maria wrote: "Too late Jonathan, Donna & I saw your "fan" post before you deleted it.
We were enjoying ourselves, way to spoil our fun!! : ("

You two are EVIL!!!! Hah! I thought of you two right..."


"Bring it"!!! LOL.
You shouldn't have warned us, a surprise attack is best. : )


Jonathan Janz Maria wrote: "Too late Jonathan, Donna & I saw your "fan" post before you deleted it.
We were enjoying ourselves, way to spoil our fun!! : ("


You two are EVIL!!!! Hah! I thought of you two right away when I saw I'd become a fan of myself.

I'll get you both back one of these days. :-)


message 87: by Maria

Maria Too late Jonathan, Donna & I saw your "fan" post before you deleted it.
We were enjoying ourselves, way to spoil our fun!! : (


Jonathan Janz MELISSA wrote: "Thanks for the friend vite Jonathan! :))"

Thank you for accepting it, Melissa! It'll be fun being friends on GR! :-)


MELISSA *Mel Reader* Thanks for the friend vite Jonathan! :))


Jonathan Janz Shari-amor wrote: "Thank you for the request, Jonathan. I just checked out a couple of your books and they look really good."

Thank you, Shari-amor! I really appreciate that, and I look forward to interacting with you. :-)

JJ


Shari-amor Thank you for the request, Jonathan. I just checked out a couple of your books and they look really good.


message 82: by Maria

Maria Hi JJ. HorrorHound Weekend sounds like scary fun! Enjoy!! : )


Jonathan Janz Maria wrote: "Just saw the cover for Castle of Sorrows by Jonathan Janz, I think it looks amazing!! : )"

I'm so happy you like it, Maria. I think it's amazing too. I'm very thankful to have Angela Waters as a cover artist. :-)


message 80: by Maria

Maria Just saw the cover for Castle of Sorrows by Jonathan Janz , I think it looks amazing!! : )


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