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Group Reads: Guest Author Invite > Jonathan Janz-Wolf Land!

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message 1: by Char (last edited Dec 28, 2015 09:06AM) (new)

Char  | 11619 comments Mod
We are SUPER EXCITED to welcome Mr. Jonathan Janz to January's group read of Wolf Land!! Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz

This group read will start in January and Jonathan will be on hand throughout the month to answer your questions about Wolf Land, his other books, or on writing in general. Please remember to be respectful, of both Jonathan and our other members.

HUGE THANKS go out to Jonathan,( for taking the time), and to Ken McKinley, (a fellow HA member), for coming up with this idea in the first place! You guys ROCK!!


Fungi From Yuggoth (HauntedReadingRoom) | 162 comments Mucho thanks to Jonathan, and Ken!! I read this in Dec. for tour, and I am totally stoked that the illustrious author will participate!

My question for Jonathan is sort of open-ended:

You've brought so much to the horror world in, really, a brief time..
Where do you go from here?
[thinking of your incredible imagination!]


message 3: by Char (new)

Char  | 11619 comments Mod
Great question, Mallory! He may or may not be here prior to the official start, but way to get your question in early. :)


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks | 725 comments So cool! Welcome, Jonathan!

Now to see if I can snag a copy and squeeze it in for the January reads...


message 5: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (Kimberly_3238) | 4313 comments Mod
I agree with Mallory on that one--we really have seen a lot (and getting even better!) from Jonathan lately. Can't wait to add some WOLF LAND questions/comments! :D


message 6: by Scot (new)

Scot | 634 comments If Wolf Land is anything like the rest of his catalogue, Janz's fans and HA members in general are in for a treat. I'm stoked for this one.


message 7: by Quentin (new)

Quentin Wallace (quentinwallace) | 146 comments I've read Nightmare Girl and Exorcist Road, so I'm in for Wolf Land too. Looking forward to it!


message 8: by Ken (new)

Ken McKinley | 933 comments Mod
Of course, I'm in. I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one!


message 9: by Eric (new)

Eric Compton (goodreadscomDenimandLetters) | 54 comments Sounds great! I will join in for this as well. The synopsis for that one is intriguing. Thanks Jonathan and Ken!


message 10: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Charlene wrote: "We are SUPER EXCITED to welcome Mr. Jonathan Janz to January's group read of Wolf Land!! Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz

This group read will start in January and Jonathan will be o..."


Thank you so much, Charlene! I am twenty steps beyond excited to be a part of this, and I'm deeply honored to get to spend time with the wonderful people of this group. We're going to have a blast!


message 11: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Mallory Heart wrote: "Mucho thanks to Jonathan, and Ken!! I read this in Dec. for tour, and I am totally stoked that the illustrious author will participate!

My question for Jonathan is sort of open-ended:

You've bro..."


Thank you so much, Mallory! I truly appreciate your support. And I appreciate your question. As far as where I'm going from here…

I have at least three releases slated for 2016. The first is my coming-of-age novel CHILDREN OF THE DARK. It's a combination of heartfelt emotion and visceral horror that I'm really proud of.

Also in 2016 we'll see EXORCIST FALLS, the sequel to EXORCIST ROAD. Though the first tale was a novella, FALLS will be a full-length novel. It will feature the same elements that made the first story so wildly successful, but as my fans would expect, the story will venture into uncharted waters as well.

This year will see the re-release of a new version of my novella WITCHING HOUR THEATRE. That story was my very first one published, and I had the publisher pull it from publication a year or two ago. I figured it was time to polish it a bit and enhance it in some subtle ways (including a new foreword and afterword).

In addition to those three projects, I've got three shorter works cooking and several novels either partially written or about to be written. It's a busy, exciting time!


message 12: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Michael wrote: "So cool! Welcome, Jonathan!

Now to see if I can snag a copy and squeeze it in for the January reads..."


Thank you, Michael! I'm so excited and honored to spend the month with you all. :-)


message 13: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Kimberly wrote: "I agree with Mallory on that one--we really have seen a lot (and getting even better!) from Jonathan lately. Can't wait to add some WOLF LAND questions/comments! :D"

Thank you, Kimberly! I really appreciate your support and friendship. You rule, my friend!


message 14: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Scot wrote: "If Wolf Land is anything like the rest of his catalogue, Janz's fans and HA members in general are in for a treat. I'm stoked for this one."

Man, Scot, thank you! That means a lot to me. This one is bloodier than my others, but it's a tale I'm really proud of.


message 15: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Quentin wrote: "I've read Nightmare Girl and Exorcist Road, so I'm in for Wolf Land too. Looking forward to it!"

Hey, Quentin! Thanks for coming along for the ride (and for reading my other works too). :-)


message 16: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Eric wrote: "Sounds great! I will join in for this as well. The synopsis for that one is intriguing. Thanks Jonathan and Ken!"

Awesome, Eric. It'll be fun hanging out with you.


message 17: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Ken wrote: "Of course, I'm in. I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one!"

Ken, I can't thank you enough, my friend. Thanks so much for coming up with this idea. I really appreciate all your work and support! :-)


message 18: by Maxine Marsh (new)

Maxine Marsh | 736 comments I'm in too, this one has been at the top of my list.


message 19: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Maxine wrote: "I'm in too, this one has been at the top of my list."

Hey, Maxine--that's fantastic! I'm so glad you'll be with us this month. :-)


message 20: by Ken (new)

Ken McKinley | 933 comments Mod
First off, I just want to say that I'm not being a Homer here trying to push Jonathan's work to satisfy any alterior motives. There are no kickbacks coming to me. LOL. Jonathan's writing earned him his spot here. Anyone that's been on HA, for a while now, knows that Jonathan's work progressively gets better with each new story he releases and he's quickly become one of the hottest and most sought out writers in horror today.

But don't take my word for it, check out his The Nightmare Girl, Dust Devils, The Sorrows, Savage Species, and my particular favorites, Exorcist Road and The Clearing of Travis Coble.

There are some great reviews of his works out there on Amazon and other horror blogs. If you'd like to read a couple, Char has a wonderful blog that she writes for, www.horrorafterdark.com, and I've also reviewed his stuff on mine as well, www.kenmckinley.wordpress.com.

I've also conducted an interview with Jonathan, for this reading, that will be up by January 1st, if you'd like to check it out.

Last, but far from least, anyone that has had the pleasure of talking to Jonathan on HA knows that he's a very active member that loves horror as much as we do and is extremely easy to approach and discuss all things that go bump in the night. He really does bring a lot to the table and he's also one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet in the industry today.


message 21: by Janie (last edited Dec 28, 2015 03:33PM) (new)

Janie C. | 2507 comments I've enjoyed Jonathan's books in the past, and have been wanting to read Wolf Land for a while - count me in!


message 22: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (Kimberly_3238) | 4313 comments Mod
Having already read and rated the book (it will be on my "TOP reads of 2015 list"), I'll try to stay away from specific questions/comments, so as not to ruin it for those just starting.

I will say that I honestly feel his characterization is at an all-time high with Wolf Land. With each successive book I read, I find myself increasingly impressed. My question for Jonathan is, how do you get yourself into the mindset of so many different characters--the good, the victims, the perpetrators, etc--so effectively?


message 23: by Bill (new)

Bill (Shiftyj1) | 4885 comments Mod
This is gonna be fun. I already read (and really enjoyed) Wolf Land, but I will be lurking and asking some questions too, I'm sure.

Jonathan is quality peeps and I think this will be a big hit for the guest author group read. Thanks, Ken and Charlene for setting it up and thank you to Jonathan for taking the time to discuss his work. Very cool!


message 24: by J.C. (new)

J.C. Longbrake (JCLongbrake) | 6 comments I've never heard of Johnathan Janz, but after hearing about him and reading some reviews, I'll admit I'm very excited to read this book, and others by him. I'm a huge fan of Layman and Ketchum so it sounds like I'll be a fan of his too.


message 25: by Shane (new)

Shane Keene (shanedkeene) | 0 comments I've already read and reviewed WOLF LAND. In a nutshell, this book rocks and you should definitely jump on the bandwagon if you haven't already. If you want to check out the full review, it's right here: http://bit.ly/1QDd8HR.

My question for Jonathan is: Do you listen to music or some other type of background noise (other than your children ;)) when you write? If so, what do you listen to?


message 26: by Walter (new)

Walter Spence (WalterSpence) | 573 comments Read Exorcist Road, enjoyed it. Look forward to joining in for Wolf Land. :)


message 27: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Ken wrote: "First off, I just want to say that I'm not being a Homer here trying to push Jonathan's work to satisfy any alterior motives. There are no kickbacks coming to me. LOL. Jonathan's writing earned him..."

Ken, that was freaking wonderful, man, and I deeply appreciate your kind words. You're a great dude with a passion for the genre, and you've always treated me with kindness. Thank you for everything! :-)


message 28: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Janie wrote: "I've enjoyed Jonathan's books in the past, and have been wanting to read Wolf Land for a while - count me in!"

Awesome, Janie! It'll be a blast hanging out with you, and I appreciate your checking out more of my work.


message 29: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Kimberly wrote: "Having already read and rated the book (it will be on my "TOP reads of 2015 list"), I'll try to stay away from specific questions/comments, so as not to ruin it for those just starting.

I will say..."


Kimberly, that means so much! Thank you!

To answer your question, I'd say that all writers have strengths and weaknesses. One thing that I really used to struggle with was figurative language. Five years ago I couldn't come up with a decent metaphor or simile to save my life. Now, though I wouldn't say it's my *greatest* skill, it's definitely an area in which I've grown.

All this is leading to my answer, which is that one thing I've always been pretty good with--and at the risk of sounding like an asshat here, I'd say I'm this way as a writer and a person--is empathy. I've always been fascinated by people and wondered why they were the way they were--whether they were kind people or vicious ones. For me, there's no greater joy than unlocking a character and figuring out how he/she came to be where he/she is at the beginning of the story, and then to dramatize that character's development over the course of the tale, be it a positive one or a negative one.

Hearing you say that about WOLF LAND means a lot to me, and I do feel as though the characters in this book demonstrate my fascination with the human animal.

The last thing I'll say is that I "method write." Like a method actor who tries to become the character, I try to become the POV character I'm inhabiting. I'm sure most writers try to do that, but I try to burrow into that character's body and soul. If I'm not tasting marrow, I'm not doing my job.


message 30: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Bill wrote: "This is gonna be fun. I already read (and really enjoyed) Wolf Land, but I will be lurking and asking some questions too, I'm sure.

Jonathan is quality peeps and I think this will be a big hit fo..."


Right back atcha, Bill. You're an excellent dude, and I'm excited that you enjoyed WOLF LAND. It'll be great having you in this group read too. Thank you!


message 31: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments J.C. wrote: "I've never heard of Johnathan Janz, but after hearing about him and reading some reviews, I'll admit I'm very excited to read this book, and others by him. I'm a huge fan of Layman and Ketchum so i..."

Hey, J.C.! I hope you enjoy the novel.

Like you, I'm a big time fan of Ketchum and Laymon. I sadly never got to meet Richard Laymon, but he was and continues to be a major influence on my work. I don't think any writer excelled like Laymon did with *pace.* He understood how to make a story move, and I've tried very hard to learn his tricks.

Ketchum is a beast of a writer. He's also a wonderful guy who has been very kind to me. I love anything Ketchum writes, but particularly love RED, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, and OFF SEASON. THE WOMAN, too, blew me away.


message 32: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Shane wrote: "I've already read and reviewed WOLF LAND. In a nutshell, this book rocks and you should definitely jump on the bandwagon if you haven't already. If you want to check out the full review, it's right..."

Hey, Shane! I'm so glad to see you here, my friend. I loved your review of WOLF LAND and appreciate your kind words about it.

As far as music goes, I listen to Yo-Yo Ma and many other artists play the music of Bach, Vivaldi, or Handel. Anything baroque works well for me. Sometimes I'll listen to music scores like Bernard Herrmann's music for PSYCHO. But mainly I do classical, and that seems to get my creative juices flowing. I guess the one thing I avoid is music with lyrics, though I do take a lot of inspiration from music lyrics. Just not when I write.


message 33: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Walter wrote: "Read Exorcist Road, enjoyed it. Look forward to joining in for Wolf Land. :)"

Hey, Walter! I'm glad you enjoyed EXORCIST ROAD and look forward to hanging out with you here as we check out WOLF LAND. :-)


message 34: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Okay. The first quick tidbit I'd like to share with you all (if you don't mind, I'll be doing this over the course of the month…kind of like Easter eggs on a DVD)…

The prologue/epigraph of WOLF LAND was written near the end of the novel's composition. I had originally introduced the three characters mentioned in the prologue in a completely different way. As you'll hear over the course of the month, a great deal of material had to be cut to fit the publisher's word count (which was under 125K), and the chapters featuring the three characters were some of the most painful cuts.

Having said that, I love the prologue/epigraph and am really happy it's in the novel.


message 35: by Char (last edited Dec 29, 2015 09:22AM) (new)

Char  | 11619 comments Mod
Jonathan, wow you're off to a quick start in here. This is going to be fun. :)


message 36: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Charlene wrote: "Jonathan, wow you're of to a quick start in here. This is going to be fun. :)"

Charlene, it's going to be epic! :-)


message 37: by Shane (new)

Shane Keene (shanedkeene) | 0 comments Jonathan wrote: "Shane wrote: "I've already read and reviewed WOLF LAND. In a nutshell, this book rocks and you should definitely jump on the bandwagon if you haven't already. If you want to check out the full revi..."

Thanks for your reply, Jonathan. I'm pretty much the same. Mostly classical music when I'm writing. Every now and then I'll slip in some instrumental Sonic Youth or NIN. Like you, nothing with lyrics. Lyrics empty my brain quicker than anything I can think of.


message 38: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Shane wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Shane wrote: "I've already read and reviewed WOLF LAND. In a nutshell, this book rocks and you should definitely jump on the bandwagon if you haven't already. If you want to check ..."

Perfectly said. Hearing other words is a killer for me while I'm writing. I fill the containers at night, let them simmer while I sleep, then pour them in when I write.


message 39: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Another thought about the prologue: I absolutely love novels with a sense of *history.* It's probably why I favor the Gothic structure so much, where the past ultimately becomes as important as the present. The prologue/epigraph of WOLF LAND provides a little bit of that, even though basically the rest of the book takes place in the present.


message 40: by Glenn (new)

Glenn Rolfe | 198 comments Jonathan wrote: "Another thought about the prologue: I absolutely love novels with a sense of *history.* It's probably why I favor the Gothic structure so much, where the past ultimately becomes as important as the..."
I enjoyed Wolf Land. One of those things that I really would have loved to see and read more of was that sense of history. I think there's another novel there if you ever choose to walk that road. What you did put into this one made me think of the elder werewolves as perhaps part of some ancient order of werewolves, almost like a vampire set up, but with the potential to be way cooler.
I would love to see a book that's focused on them.
Again, nice job with Wolf Land and I am feverishly looking forward to Exorcist Falls!
Here's to a great 2016. I know you have a wave of awesomeness coming our way.
Cheers!


message 41: by Nickronomicon (new)

Nickronomicon | 145 comments This is kind of fun . . . . I'm convinced! This will be my first Janz novel, though I've had The Nightmare Girl on my shelf for a while. I love a good werewolf story and I'm looking forward to this experience.

I think I might be the only person here who hasn't read it yet - haha! Do we want to have an assignment of pages to read every few days to stretch it out for the month? Just a thought. Thanks!


message 42: by Janie (new)

Janie C. | 2507 comments I haven't read it yet either, Nick. More fun for us!


message 43: by Eric (new)

Eric Compton (goodreadscomDenimandLetters) | 54 comments Nick, great question. Being a newbie and my first group read and first book from Jonathan...I probably need a little "coaching" on how fast or slow to sink my teeth into 'Wolf Land'.


message 44: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Glenn wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Another thought about the prologue: I absolutely love novels with a sense of *history.* It's probably why I favor the Gothic structure so much, where the past ultimately becomes as..."

Thanks for the kind words, Glenn. Yeah, I'd like to go deeper into the history of the wolves, too. My favorite werewolf novel--McCammon's divine THE WOLF'S HOUR--does an amazing job with that. The origin story of the protagonist becomes as immersive as the main narrative.

The main reason I didn't go deeper into the history in this book was word count. I had to bring it in at under 125,000 words, and the first draft was over 170,000. Had I more wiggle room, I would have explored the history more, and maybe someday I will. While brisk, shorter novels are fun to write and read, there's something delicious about cozying up with a big epic (like McCammon's book), and I'll hopefully be creating some of those bigger novels in the years to come.


message 45: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Nick wrote: "This is kind of fun . . . . I'm convinced! This will be my first Janz novel, though I've had The Nightmare Girl on my shelf for a while. I love a good werewolf story and I'm looking forward to this..."

Hey, Nick! Delighted to have you. I'm also glad you have THE NIGHTMARE GIRL. That's one of my very favorites of my own work.

It'll be fun hanging with you this month. And I suspect there will be many folks joining us who haven't read WOLF LAND (and several who haven't read any of my other books either). :-)


message 46: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Janie wrote: "I haven't read it yet either, Nick. More fun for us!"

Absolutely! I love having folks who are familiar with the book and ones who haven't read it yet. That blend will make the month even more enjoyable.


message 47: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Eric wrote: "Nick, great question. Being a newbie and my first group read and first book from Jonathan...I probably need a little "coaching" on how fast or slow to sink my teeth into 'Wolf Land'."

Hey, Eric! So glad to have you here.

The others can probably speak more objectively about the book since they didn't write it, but for my part I don't think there's a right or wrong way to read it. I'll be sharing loads of info about the book all month, and if there are ever any spoilers in my posts, I'll be sure to signal those clearly so nothing gets ruined.


message 48: by Ken (new)

Ken McKinley | 933 comments Mod
Jonathan, could you explain why the strict word count? Are you contracted that way by the publisher? What if you wanted to write a longer WolfLand? Do you have to be Stephen King to get the go-ahead to write those 1000 page + monsters?


message 49: by Jonathan (last edited Dec 29, 2015 08:42AM) (new)

Jonathan Janz (JonathanJanz) | 517 comments Ken wrote: "Jonathan, could you explain why the strict word count? Are you contracted that way by the publisher? What if you wanted to write a longer WolfLand? Do you have to be Stephen King to get the go-ahea..."

Excellent question!

The answer is sort of complicated, but it boils down to a number of factors. I guess the two main factors are the publisher and the author. The publisher of WOLF LAND is Samhain Publishing, and while they have a number of USA Today Bestselling Authors on their roster, they're a relatively small publisher (compared to the Big Five, for instance). As such, they don't feature large initial print runs like Harper Collins would, instead utilizing POD technology with smaller print runs and, as demand diminishes, single copies "printed on demand."

Because they utilize this technology, it's vital for them to keep the word count down to a "manageable length," which for them is 125,000 words. All publishers are extremely cognizant of word count, as a longer book involves a great deal of added cost, but my understanding (and I could be wrong about this) is that POD technology makes it even more important to keep word count down.

Secondly, even traditional companies have to be careful about word count. My agent and I have had several conversations about this, and it boils down to marketability. The more marketable/recognizable you are (or if the publisher thinks the book is going to be huge), the more likely you are to garner that word count wiggle room. Stephen King can write at any length because he will sell at any length. At this early stage of my career, a 200,000-word novel would be virtually unsellable to just about any publisher.

As a baseline, the Samhain "range" is 65,000-to-125,000 words. Before Dorchester/Leisure folded, their target was between 80,000 and 110,000 words.

Like I said to Glenn above, at some point I want to write some big, sweeping epics. I love stories told on a grand tapestry.


message 50: by Tom (new)

Tom | 340 comments Just bought this yesterday. I have wanted to be a werewolf since I saw I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Looking forward to it


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