Interview with J.T. Savoy

What are your five favorite books, and why?
In no particular order
The Bible- simply the best
Eye of the Needle- Ken Follett. One of my all time favorites of his. I loved the period, the adventure, the female character and how the suspense wove all three together remarkably well.
Catcher in the Rye- J. D. Saligner. As a New Yorker and H.S. book nerd this was required reading that turned into a minor addiction. There was just something captivating about this loose, rambling journey that seemed to serve no purpose except explore a place I lived in but was (generational gap) wholly unfamiliar with.
War of the Worlds- H. G. Wells- I had seen the film before getting to the book, but have been completely enthralled with this particular first person narrative. Nothing I have seen on film can really do it justice. IMO this was and still is the best apocalyptic tale written, hands down
Frankenstein- Mary Shelly- having devoured mostly H.P. Lovecraft tales way into the deep of night as a kid, I read about authors who had influenced his writing. This lead me to pick up my first copy of Frankenstein. I had admittedly discounted this and Dracula as "works of art" because I ad seen so many bad movies with them as leads I never imagined the stories being worthwhile reads (more archaic, long winded tales). Glad I was proved wrong as this is the best example of horror writing's potential available.
What do you read for pleasure?
My tastes vary. I enjoy horror in the vein of Lovecraft, Ashton Smith, Matheson, Doyle. I love Batman comic books and Star Trek (TOS) novels. I am a huge fan of early Steven King, H.G. Wells, P.K. Dick, and Ray Bradbury.
When I am brain locked for a story I have this gem of a book I found at a second hand shop ages ago that has fifty ghost stories by obscure and classic horror writers. I also get into phases where I need a good Tom Clancy novel or Mack Bolan series.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I started off mainly with a host of comic books in my formative years. My mom did me a solid though, bringing home these little square early readers (Call of the Wild and Treasure Island). So I started off with two well known classics and was hooked. Call of the Wild had the greatest impact on me with my love of dogs and the entire setting/pace/adventure. I must have read that book repeatedly for a few weeks letting the whole experience sink in. Oddly, to this day that was the only Jack London book I ever read, even though I developed a deep rooted respect for and love of classic literature.
How do you approach cover design?
Terribly. I have a very vivid imagination but some of the concepts I think of don't translate well to a single panel. I spend a long time bouncing ideas off of close friends, checking what designs have come out from other well-received authors, and sketching down general concepts. For my latest book I distilled my writing down to what I thought was the best scene in the book and picked the single image from that scene expressively. That got well into the planning stages before I happened to mention I was working on a book cover to an old friend of mine who used to do graphic design. Two hours later he had a rough concept, which I rejected- mainly because I thought it was finished. A day later, after he polished his concept, it looked spectacular. I scrapped my initial plans altogether and went with his excellent design.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I currently read on my iPad and Android phone.
Describe your desk
Earth is my desk. Seriously. I write anywhere and everywhere. On the subway on my way to work. At a bar. In a coffee shop. On a plane. When I used to confine myself to just a desk I would always end up pacing, walking around the house, going out for a bike ride. In other words, procrastination was my homeland.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. During the summers of my childhood I vacationed with my grandparents in North Carolina. Having two formidably diverse environments shaped my writing dramatically. I found the fast-paced, energetic and violent but lovable NY to be a cultural treasure trove. North Carolina offered wilderness settings, hours spent walking the rails, church an chicken, and a deeply religious experience that could not be replicated in the East Coast. I find I can draw upon these experiences, as well as my European adventures, to craft a wider range of certain believable traits and characteristics in my stories that create a more engaging experience than I might otherwise have been capable of.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first stories in the third grade when I couldn't keep my vivid imagination in check and would fill up notepads, sketch books, and basically anything that permanently accepted pen and pencil.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Bloat King is a labor of my love for the supernatural. I tend to write niche novellas. I have all these vivid nightmares and thoughts about the thin veil between what forces exist that darkly influence individual lives. This second book connects to my first in building a mythos similar to what Lovecraft was able to achieve in his concepts of the Old ones.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am blessed to live in an incredible time where I can take ownership for my talents and put stuff out there where my audience can accept or reject what I tales I have to tell. Fewer barriers exist between me and the people I believe would enjoy the types of stories I write. I also have a love of challenge and being an indie author has so many levels of learning and exploring that it is a full-time and compelling endeavor that keeps me constantly pushing forward.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is an excellent platform. This will be my first publication with SWs, but I already benefited from the writing and marketing resources they have made available. Just the little starter kit was enough to give me a shot of confidence that this is a worthy endeavor. When I first opened my formatted book, based on their Style Guide, I was impressed how well my ebook stacked up against the published work in my iBook collection. If even half of the advice I have read from Mark works out then I believe I will have a tremendous advantage over other authors who have not yet (but hopefully will someday) found their way to Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love everything about the writing process. Holding the completed work in my hand is every bit as exciting as editing and plotting. Mostly I love to hear back from fans, both the positive and the negative about the stories I craft. Honest opinions have helped me shape memorable characters as well as engage in some enlightening conversations about culture, lifestyles, hopes and dreams. Words should entice opinion and few are more opinionated than great fans.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are terrific. Without feedback the creative process is never as stimulating or rewarding. We all love to imagine something. Finding like minded people to populate a story world with their ideas and critiques and criticisms is a lofty endeavor, no matter how much or what you write. We inspire one another, so without fans forward progress loses steam.
What are you working on next?
First up I want to turn my first book, Snippets of Midnight, into an ebook to publish through Smashwords. I will also look to release the third work in the series following a more personal work of non-fiction I am drafting as of this writing.
Published 2014-02-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Snippets of Midnight
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 180,670. Language: American English. Published: February 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Unlock the secrets that begin in Snippets of Midnight. Escape into dark, twisting realms embedded within these ten tales. This interconnected tapestry is woven with the sinew of dread and terror. Along this eerie path life teeters on the serrated edge between hope and damnation. A saga of malevolent fantasy awaits.
The Bloat King Tales of Assorted Madness
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 147,590. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Horror » General
10 chilling tales of macabre madness launched from the dark recesses of the mind of J.T. Savoy. The Bloat King Tales of Assorted Madness is a fast-paced rush of blood curdling terror the likes no mortal should ever hope to face.