Friday, May 11, 2012

8 Questions with.......writer Joan Lemon

Its 2:01 pm

   Welcome to the 2nd installment of "8 Questions With......" here on my new blogging home. After a sluggish start in trying to reboot my series,I think its finally picking up some steam. That makes me pretty happy since there are a lot of great people I like to ask a few questions of.
    I met writer Joan Lemon back in August of 2010. She and her very hard working husband live in Pennsylvania along with her family. When she asked me to read and review her first published book "Nightshade",I jumped at the chance. I am so glad I did as Joan's skills at weaving both horror and mystery along with the human condition made her book one to remember.
 Besides her love for all things horror,a good Michael Connelly or Stephen King novel,Joan is also a huge fan of black and white cats. You can see how nice of a person Joan is just by the last statement. But again,who isn't right?
That said,please take a few minutes to enjoy getting to know Joan. If you are interested in getting a signed copy of her book,you can contact her via her FB page listed at the bottom of the interview.

    1. Where were you born and what was your childhood like?

    JL: I was born in Antigo, Wisconsin – 1967. My father was in the US Air Force and stationed there. The family moved 18 months later to Glen Burney, MD, then to Glenn Burney, Maryland and then to Fort Meade, Maryland...Iowa Park, TX...Omaha, Nebraska...Lackland AFB, TX. Needless to say my childhood was spent moving from here to here and back again. My authoritarian father made my childhood very difficult. The only emotions I remember feeling were fear, shame, and loneliness. I can't explain the shame it just happened somehow. I remember feeling “judged” for everything I did, therefore becoming very secretive about what I liked, needed, or wanted. Those feelings continued into adulthood and never ended.

    2. Who encouraged your love for reading and words?

    JL:  Who did you read as a child/teen? I didn't read much as kid. For me, television was my habituation. Moving around as much as we did, It was the only constant in my life. But, where ever we went our television programs remained the same therefore provided a sense of security and feeling of “home.”

    3. When did you know you wanted to write?

    JL:  I didn't know I wanted to write until I entered college later in life when I was told by a professor that I exhibited a talent for it. However, I always had a love for movies, since we went every Saturday for over 4 years, and I began to invent stories in my head. The first story idea I had was when I was about 12 years old. I was floating on a raft in my mother's pool and imagined how scary it would be to fall asleep in the pool on that raft and wake up in the middle of the ocean. That idea became “Adrift” many years later. Since I was always criticized by my family for my “silly ideas” and “that's stupid” responses. I stopped sharing these thoughts and ideas and therefore was never encouraged.

  • 4. What goes into your creating a subject matter to write about?

  • JL: Things just pop into my head, literally, and I go from there. The idea for “OOPS” hit me like bolt of lightening and I had the story written in a matter of hours. I wish that bolt would hit me more often.
    Do you look at today's world or within your own life? I look at the world and say “what if...?” and go from there. I have a plethora of Adolf Hitler scenarios that could sink a ship – hence, “OOPS.”

    5. How did writing your first book come about?

  • JL:  After I graduated from college I went through my meager collection of short stories and decided to write a few more in order to have a substantial collection to actually do something with.

  • 6. Where did you come up for the idea for "A Buxton Tale"?. 

  • JL: That was a very inspired story, by the way. This is a very interesting construct. One night I was watching a movie titled “Wide Sargasso Sea” and it wasn't until the very end of the movie that I realized who it was about. It was about the wife who was imprisoned by her husband, Edward Rochester in the Charlotte Bronte classic, Jane Eyre. Brilliant! That's what I remember thinking. The next movie I happened to see was The Shawshank Redemption and I remember having the epiphany about one of the characters. I wanted to give the heavyset man in the beginning who was killed a story, an explanation as to why he was there. I truly felt that the character was innocent and I wanted to prove it somehow.

7. Take us into a typical day of a writer,how does one go about in writing a book?

JL:I realize that I can't wait to be inspired. I have to think of it as a job or chore – I'm too lazy. I believe I would be much more prolific if I had the pressure of deadlines. 

8. What was the publishing aspect like as a new author? In other words,how did you get discovered?

JL:I was reunited with an old friend on Facebook. I found out she was in the publishing business and I told her about my collection of short stories and she said she could help me. I went the self-publishing route to avoid any form of rejection. 

9. What genre do you like the most to read/write about and why?

JL:  I love to read crime dramas and horror. And with the latter, the more shocking and gruesome, the better. I like to write horror mostly. I was influenced most by The Twilight Zone as a kid. I really love the “what if” premise.

10. And when you write another book and if you already doing so,can you give us a hint about the plot?

JL: I have a few more short stories in the works. One in particular is title “Apartment for Rent.” It's about a very vain, yet, solitary man who is cursed by his landlord and slowly turns into something grotesque. I need someone to tell me to “hurry up” so that I can finish it soon. I need that fear and pressure.

  To learn more about Joan and her current book,"Nightshade"along with keeping updated on her new project,you can find her here:

I like to thank Joan again for taking the time to answer my questions.
Next time we'll be visiting with Carl Henry,a local Detroit music legend who has been playing the blues and holds nothing back when he is playing or answering 8 Questions! Thanks for reading! Comments and feedback are always welcome!

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