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Interview with Scott A. Johnson






Today we have an interview with author Scott A. Johnson. I'm so very pleased he was able to stop by Cloth's Chapel and discuss his latest work.



BKE: For the folks who haven't had the chance to read any of the Stanley Cooper chronicles, can you describe what they're missing out on?

SJ: The Stanley Cooper Chronicles is a series of pulp-horror/urban fantasy noir stories centering around Stanley Cooper, a reluctant clairvoyant.  Stanley died in a fall, but was revived by paramedics.  Since his death and return, he can see ghosts and the living energy that surrounds all things.  He's joined in the stories by Maggie, a card-carying spell-slinging witch who becomes Stan's love interest.

BKE: What kind of a reader is especially going to love this series?

SJ: Readers who like their adventure with a side-dish of sardonic humor will like Stanley.  People who are tired of the chisel-chested, strong-chinned heroes will relate to him.  It's not just horror, but more about the human experience.  If you like magic, mayhem, and a smart-alecky guy telling the story, you'll like Stanley.
 
BKE: Stanley Cooper is being cast in a big Hollywood flick, who is your first choice for the lead? Who's your runner-up?

SJ: Seriously, that's a tough one.  I always kind of pictured Stanley Cooper as myself.  Sean Astin, maybe?  I mean he's short, a little doughy, and has big bushy hair.  Physcially, he's kind of like a cleaned up and less hyper-kinetic version of Jack Black.  That would turn into an entirely different movie, though.  I think, if I had my say on it, it would probably be someone like Seth Rogen.  For Andi, maybe Mila Kunis.  For Maggie, Julianne Moore I think.  But to avoid controversy, maybe it should just be a cast of unknowns.
 

BKE: With Ectostorm, do feel the Stanley Cooper stories are now complete? Or will you continue to write more installments?

SJ: No, they'll never be complete.  I could live the rest of my life writing the Stanley Cooper Chronicles.  I have too much fun with the character.  Whether or not there will be more is up to two factors:  The fans and my agent.  If my agent can sell it to a larger press, I'll keep going.  If the fans tell me they want more, I'll keep writing them.  I've got the plot-lines already mapped out for the next two installments.  Right now, though, I'm concentrating on writing a stand-alone novel for my agent to shop around.  Currently she's shopping around two stand-alones and the Stanley Cooper Chronicles.
 
BKE: Pittsburgh seems to be a hub of all-things Horror these days. Do you think the city lends itself to creepiness or disquiet? Or is the Romero legacy directly linked to this connection?

SJ: For me, it's neither one.  I moved to Pittsburgh and lived there for a couple of years and just fell in love with the place.  The people were fantastic, the food was awesome, and I defy anyone to show me a prettier city at four in the morning when the buildings are all still lit up but the sun is just starting to warm the sky.  The people and the place just made that big of an impression on me.  

BKE: What is the most rewarding part about being a writing instructor?

SJ: I like giving young writers the help I never got.  When I started, I had no one to tell me what to do, where to go, how to write queries, etc.  I made a lot of mistakes because of ignorance, and I like to help people not make the same mistakes I did.  I love working with students who respect the craft of writing, and I love hearing their ideas.  There's something magic about a room full of writers throwing ideas back and forth.  

BKE: What are your future projects looking like at the moment?

SJ: As I said, my agent has several manuscripts of mine.  But up next, I'm trying to take a classic monster that's been neutered and bring it back to it's original horrific glory.  After that, I may write another ghost story. I love ghost stories.  I also have my first collection of short stories out, Droplets.  They're weird little stories from all over my writing career, including my first professionally published piece!  

BKE: Thanks so much for the interview Scott! I really appreciate it.

SJ: Thank you!

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Scott A. Johnson writes horror, dark fantasy, and horror-themed pulp-noir. A native Texan, Scott grew up in a small swampland town near the Gulf of Mexico that was culturally rich with ghost stories. It wasn't until he was in college that he decided to try writing, and discovered that he had a knack for disturbing fiction.

Over the years, he's continued to grow as a writer while working at a variety of interesting jobs. He has been a waiter, bouncer, salesman, professional musician, actor, model (really...he used to be much thinner), baker, teacher and computer technician. In 2007, he picked up his family and moved to Pittsburgh, where he took a teaching position at Waynesburg University. Two years later, he returned to Texas for a better job, and continues to live there, though he does continue to teach at Pennsylvania's Seton Hill University in the innovative Masters in Writing Popular Fiction program.

Scott is married to Tabatha, and together they have two children and three cats. When he's not working for Texas State University-San Marcos, he is writing. In his spare time, he teaches Kajukenbo Karate, hunts ghosts, and plays golf. For more information on him, visit his website.

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