I write horror, dark urban fantasy, and sci fi.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t really want to be a writer until later in life. Most people write all through high school, or that sort of thing. Not me. It wasn’t until I got into college, and I took a critique class because it was the only thing that fit my schedule. So I wrote my first story, about a guy who wakes up in the middle of the night and discovers his whole family’s been butchered, and handed it in. Next class period, no one wanted to sit next to me. People were telling me that I scared them with my story, that I disturbed them, and I thought really? So I tried again. I wrote a story about a guy who beat up a mime in Central Park. Then mimes come out from everywhere and drag him under the park to “mime court,” where they turn him into a mime and sentence him to life in the invisible box. And that was “Mimes,” my first professionally published short story. And I thought you’re kidding… People will pay me for this weird stuff I have rolling around in my head? And I’ve been doing it ever since.
What do you consider the most influential book you've ever read?
The one with the biggest influence on me was Richard Matheson’s “Hell House.” But that’s also a very long list. Hell House would have to be at the top of it.
What other authors are you friends with, and how have they helped you become a better writer?
So many… Nikki Hopeman, Kristin Dearborn, Gary Braunbeck, Tim Waggoner, Gabrielle Faust, Cody Langille *cough*, Lucy Snider… There are so many that I know, and they help me by challenging me to continue to improve.
What’s the best way you've found to market your books?
Heh… I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Right now, I’m working through social media.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Depends on the book. I mean, I’m writing one right now about the first people to colonize a moon, so I’m doing a great deal of research on space travel, physics, environmental issues, etc. I do a great deal of research by doing, by which I mean if I need to know what it’s like to ride a horse, I go ride a horse. If I need to know what it’s like to be kidnapped, I have a buddy throw me in the trunk of his car and drive me about for a bit.
Any last thoughts for our readers?
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things: Read everything you can get your hands on, and write every day. No excuses. Those are what you have to do.
You can find out more about Scott A. Johnson by visiting his website: http://www.creepylittlebastard.com