Jonathan Wood is an Englishman in New York. There’s a story in there involving falling in love and flunking out of med school, but in the end it all worked out all right, and, quite frankly, the medical community is far better off without him, so we won’t go into it here. His debut novel, No Hero was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a funny, dark, rip-roaring adventure with a lot of heart, highly recommended for urban fantasy and light science fiction readers alike.” Barnesandnoble.com listed it has one of the 20 best paranormal fantasies of the past decade, and Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels described it as, “so funny I laughed out loud.” His short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Chizine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, as well as anthologies such as The Book of Cthulhu 2 and The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year One. His next novel, a sequel to No Hero, is called Yesterday’s Hero and is due out in September 2014. Follow Jonathan on Twitter as @thexmedic.
Worth a 1000 words
by Jonathan Wood
Whenever I want to start writing something new, the first thing I do is look for a picture. It’s become a ritualized part of my writing process. When I’m first starting to plan out a novel, I move like a magpie from tumblr to DeviantArt to Lost at E Minor, looking for fresh sources of inspiration that I can add to my stockpile. Then when it’s time to flesh out an idea from nascent impression into an actual plot, I crack open my art file and start digging. Soon, I’ll find a piece that feels like it’s somehow part of the nascent story in my head, so I’ll stop and use the picture as a springboard for a scene. Just a few hundred words, but enough to generate an idea, a moment of wonder, a potential conflict that will make its way into the novel.
I started this process with my first novel No Hero, and I’ve repeated it a number of times now. Over that course of time, a couple of favorite artists have risen to the fore, old faithfuls that I can always rely on to spark new ideas.
Jonathan Wood is an Englishman in New York. He is the author of the Lovecraftian urban fantasy novel, No Hero, named one of the best paranormal fantasy books of 2011 by Paul Goat Allen. He also writes odd little things that show up in odd little places, such as The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Chizine, and Weird Tales. Follow him on Twitter as @thexmedic.
Looking for Lovecraft in All the Wrong Places
If there was a fight between the big three staple monsters of horror writing—vampires, werewolves, and zombies—do you know who would win? Goddamn Cthulhu. I know he wasn’t in the fight. It doesn’t matter. He’s Cthulhu. He has tentacles coming out of his face. He is dead and dreaming. He’s on an island called Rl’yeh. It has an apostrophe in it and isn’t really pronounceable. He goddamn wins. Live with it.
This is the genius of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. A man whose horror writing was so good that he has transcended the silliness of his own last name. Because Lovecraft tapped into a terror deeper than any fear inspired by our own bestial inner nature (suck it werewolves) – he managed to capture and crystallize exactly how small and meaningless we are in the face of the large uncaring universe. His work taps into a profound existential terror that can freeze your blood.
And then he gave it tentacles.
Jonathan Wood is an Englishman in New York. He is also the author of No Hero–the upcoming Lovecraftian urban fantasy that dares to ask, what would Kurt Russell do? Read the fist chapter for free at http://www.wix.com/jtxm27/no-hero.
Across the aisle
I love how misleading the phrase “sf” is. The label sits there above me as I browse the shelves in my local bookstore, and pretends to represent just a single type of book. But instead there’s a myriad of sub-genres: epic fantasy, swords and sorcery, urban fantasy, steampunk, cyberpunk, space opera, military sf, hard sf, and I haven’t even gotten to the obscure ones yet (seriously, who can resist the phrase arcanepunk?). But as I skim the book spines, one subgenre is marked in its absence.
Where’s the pulp?