TJ Vargo


TJ Vargo has written novels in multiple genres, including crime, horror, action-adventure, and science fiction. His novel, LOW MAN, called a "character-driven tour-de-force" by Blood of the Muse reviews, won a silver medal in ForeWord Magazine's 2008 Book of the Year Awards. According to reviewers, Vargo crafts characters that are incredibly real. According to Vargo, characters bring stories to life. Vargo's novel TOMBS was selected as a finalist in The Great Novel Contest 2014. Visit his website at

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Parma and Seven Hills, Ohio, suburbs of Cleveland. Growing up in that area was a big influence on my writing. When I was a kid there were a number of local television personalities who hosted late night horror shows, and these shows made my Friday and Saturday nights a blast. Me and the other neighborhood kids would stay up late, get pizza and watch scary movies - some good, some bad - but it was always fun. I didn't know it then, but those monster movie hosts with names like "Ghoulardi" and "Big Chuck and Houlihan" had a big influence on what I thought of horror. Sure, it could be scary. But these guys made scary fun. That's when I first became a fan of horror, which I continue to be to this day. I think these first encounters with horror and how the television personalities emphasized the fun nature of being frightened are why I never shy away from writing scary situations in my novels.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing fiction in college. It was a very hard time in my life. I had zero money. And when I say zero, I mean zero. I painted houses to pay rent, pay for college and if there was anything left over, pay for food. There were months where I really scraped bottom. So, to pass the time and forget about my hunger pangs, I started writing. I was a big fan of Robert E. Howard, the guy who created Conan the Barbarian, so I wrote some poems and stories that were similar to Howard's style. It was dark stuff, but it also had a heroic edge, always showcasing someone overcoming unbelievable odds or conquering an unbeatable foe. None of what I wrote was good, and none of it exists today (which is a good thing) but that dark hero dynamic still plays out in my writing today.
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Where to find TJ Vargo online


Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 71,190. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Deep in the Amazonian rain forest, Doctor Wilton Lomax leads an expedition looking for a legendary tribe. His search ends with the slaughter of nearly all his men by unseen predators. Together with scientists from the National Health and Science Corporation, Lomax returns to the darkest heart of the Amazon - a place where legends live.
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 102,850. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Curtis Monroe is living the wrong life. He hates being a thief, his buddies who stole his get-out-of-town money, the crime lords who destroyed his family, and the idea of facing off with the killer who's on the crime lords payroll. But he knows he can't start a new life until he erases the old one. It's a fight he can't win, but one he can't turn away from. Welcome to the city of Tombs
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,220. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Drug lord Juan Carlos Martinez has been in prison eight long years. But now he's out and revenge is on his mind. The five who put him in prison are in for a treat. A remote island wilderness will be the scene of a game of survival designed especially by Juan Carlos. The first person to cross the island will live. The rest, along with their families, will die. Get ready. Get set... Survive.
The Little Blue Book On Writing Fiction
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,210. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Reference, Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
Learn the secrets of writing compelling fiction with this simple, step-by-step guide. Award-winning author and creative writing expert T.J. Vargo offers six no-nonsense workshops that boil down the lessons he learned over twenty years of writing. Unlock your best-seller potential today with The Little Blue Book On Writing Fiction.
The Devil's Due
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 101,010. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
The Devil is real. He walks the Earth, on a search for the one woman who can give birth to the Antichrist. And now she’s in his grasp. But one man stands in his way—her long-lost twin brother. In an isolated town in the middle of nowhere, a battle for the fate of mankind is waged. One man stands alone against the most powerful and evil creature ever created. He is our last hope.
Low Man
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 59,480. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Crime, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Benny lost his job. His wife is on the verge of leaving him and his son is deathly ill. And now he’s been shot by a robber. Near death, he enters the afterlife and learns that he has a chance to save his dying son, and maybe his marriage. But to do it, he’ll have to travel through a dark forest where demons wait to take souls to Hell. A ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year award-winner

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