Tell us, if you don’t mind, a little about yourself.
Born and raised here in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. I’ve been married to my soulmate, Glenda, for the past 21 years, and we have two sons, Jamie (17) and Jacob (6). I’m an avid reader, film geek, and music lover (primarily hard rock and metal, but I enjoy stuff from just about every genre except country . . . and there are even one or two exceptions to that).
My published work includes the novels Midnight Rain, The Wicked, Animosity, Ugly as Sin, the collection People are Strange, and the quizbook 666 Horror Movie Trivia Questions (told you I was a film geek!).
Could you give us some background on how you began writing, and in particular, what drew you to writing horror?
I’ve been making up stories since I was old enough to read. There were usually monsters in those stories, of course. I’ve loved this stuff for as long as I can remember, in no small part because my parents were very liberal about what they allowed me to watch when I was a kid. Believe it or not, I distinctly remember it was my mom who saw Re-Animator first and told me how cool it was!
I knew I wanted to be a writer when my fifth grade teacher caught me working on a book of horror stories when I was supposed to be paying attention in class. She confiscated the book, but after thumbing through it she invited me to read a story each day to the class. I felt like a miniature rock star, decided I wanted more of that — there is no greater feeling than hearing that people are crazy for something you created.
Can you tell us a bit about your story that appears in Turn to Ash, Vol. 1?
In my case, it’s not a story but a nonfiction column scheduled to appear in every issue. It’s called “Take It From Me (But Give It Back When You’re Done): Random Thoughts On Horror Cinema.” It’s written in a very loose, conversational tone — just me chatting about horror films. Sometimes the topic will tie in with the theme of the current issue, sometimes not. For the debut issue of Turn to Ash, I talk about terrifying moments in non-horror films. Fun stuff, and a subject I definitely plan to revisit in a future installment.
Do you have any recent and/or upcoming work that you’d like to share?
As a matter of fact, I do. The signed/limited hardcover and limited paperback editions of my novella Odd Man Out were just published by Thunderstorm Books. I’m really proud of this one, as I think — at the risk of sounding incredibly pretentious — it’s the most important thing I’ve ever written. It’s about bullying, and how it can get out of control if good people don’t stand up for what’s right.
Where, if anywhere, can we find you on the Internet?
My official website is http://www.james-newman.com. I rarely update it, though. As a matter of fact, I might have let the domain expire a few days ago, now that I think about it . . . oh, shit.
I mostly spend too much time on Facebook, talking about books and movies and music. And sharing pictures of my kids. ‘Cause you know people can never get enough of that.
Anything else you’d like to share about your work or anything else going on in this universe (or any other)?
I think that’s it for now. Thanks for inviting me to be a part of something really cool — I look forward to watching Turn to Ash turn some heads (heh). Now I have to get back to work on that column I still owe you for the next issue. These conspiracy-themed horror flicks I’ve set aside for research, they aren’t gonna watch themselves.
You can pre-order Turn to Ash, Vol. 1, which features James’ column “Take It From Me (But Give It Back When You’re Done): Random Thoughts On Horror Cinema” – HERE -It is also available from Amazon. Find the link to your country’s Amazon page -HERE-.