James Gregory Faherty, but I go by JG Faherty for writing.
Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
I almost drove through Olean once on one of my trips to Toronto. This was pre-GPS, and the Mapquest directions weren’t really that reliable. Taking the left at that split would have been a hell of a detour.
Well, if you're into cow tipping, bars, and chicken wings, it's a helluva place. Of course, I can't talk badly about it. I had some great times there, and on Wikipedia I'm listed as one of most notable people to come from Olean.
I have been known to eat several dozen chicken wings every now and again.
Favorite city and why?
I have several – Miami, Las Vegas, Ocean City MD. I like all of them for the same reason: they are warm and have lots of things to do.
Birthday / Age:
01/27/1961 / I'm 54 (ugh, I hate saying that!)
Well, getting older is what happens if you keep living, so try to view it as a consolation prize for not being dead.
How would you describe yourself physically?
Average – height, weight, losing some hair, don't exercise enough but I eat right, kind of, average.
How would someone else describe you physically?
Probably average. 6', could still lose 20 more lbs, brown hair, brown eyes.
The first thing people notice about you is…
I have no idea. I've never asked anyone.
Alright, well now you have some homework. The next person you meet that you’re meeting for the first time, and them what the first thing they notice about you is and let me know.
Religion, if any?
Lapsed catholic who believes all organized religions are just in it for the money or power.
Easter is just a nice meal with the family, and my mom still gives my wife and I little baskets of chocolate. I like Christmas because I enjoy everyone sitting around opening presents, the food, and even the whole atmosphere of kindness surrounding the holiday. But I hate the crowds at the stores, the endless holiday songs and commercials that start in October, and the general greed of some people.
Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
A little bit superstitious. My phobias are heights (I hate going up on tall ladders or roofs, but I have no problem flying) and being in crowded places (malls at Xmas, packed subways, etc.). But nothing to the point where it prevents me from doing those things, I just get uncomfortable.
Do you smoke/drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I gave up partying when I turned 40. Now it's just the occasional glass of wine or after dinner drink or a good pumpkin beer.
Current occupation / Dream job:
My day job is I own a resume company (www.a-perfect-resume.com). Have done that for 15 years. Wouldn't trade it for anything, except maybe NY Times best-selling author!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Play guitar. Hike. Vacation. Concerts. Fun things.
Electric, acoustic or both?
Both. I have 3 acoustics (2 at my house, 1 at my parents') and 5 electrics (an old strat, 2 Gretsch semi-hollows, a Gibson SG, and an Epiphone Les Paul). I still have a couple more I want to buy, my 'dream' guitars. A Gibson Flying V and a Vox Phantom with all the built in effects. And I wouldn't mind a Gibson Les Paul or a Telecaster with humbucking pickups, either.
What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Find a small town with a reserve army base so I have a stronghold, weapons, and lots of food without a lot of people around.
Good answer. This questionnaire was adapted from a survey I created for contributors to a post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic book project I was working on and the zombie questions just sort of stuck around. Part of the research I did for the book was finding a map of where all of the military bases were because I also figured that they’d be a pretty secure place to head for when the dead walk the earth.
We have a couple of closed ones near me; I'd guess they'd make good strongholds.
Weapon of choice:
In general? Pistol.
For a zombie outbreak? Machine pistol and machete backup.
For the pistols? None. Zombie heads appear to be pretty soft, so I'd worry less about caliber and more about reliability and a decent length barrel to make aiming easier. Probably 9mm, only because you'd want ammo to be very plentiful. And large clips, no revolvers like that dumb-ass Rick uses in the Walking Dead.
Do you have any special skills?
That would depend on the situation. What good is being a master carpenter in a zombie outbreak? Or an artist if you're stranded on an island?
Actually, I think that carpentry would be a valuable skill to have in the event of a zombie outbreak or any kind of apocalyptic scenario. It’s the art historians of the world that are going to have to dig ditches and fill sandbags if they want to earn their way in the wastelands.
In my mind, things like hunting, trapping, and skinning wild animals (I can do those, but I'm no expert), welding (never tried it), and repairing automobiles (I haven't worked on a car myself since 1979) would be critical. And survival tactics – how to purify water, how to build a fire from scratch, etc. I've camped, I have a background in ecology and biology, and I'm okay with a gun and a knife. I'd survive against the zombies. It would probably be something stupid – flu, bandits, etc. – that gets me.
Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I have a BS in Biology.
I've loved science and writing since I was a little kid. Going into college, I thought I'd have a better chance of making a living in the sciences. I wanted to be a park ranger or work as a curator in a zoo. Found out the money was terrible and switched to medical technology. Over the years, I worked in lab services, R&D, and lab management before starting my current resume company.
Any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
Not any longer. Last year our dog Harley died at the age of 15, joining her sister who died the year before. As a kid growing up, I had dogs and snakes.
What is your favorite animal?
For a pet, a dog, followed by snakes. In general, wolves and tigers.
Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Rude people, arrogant people, bullies, liars, thieves (small time and corporate), politicians.... I guess, mostly people and the things they do.
Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Favorite is tough, it changes from mood to mood: Pizza, burgers, tacos, Chinese, chili...
Least favorite is easy: Liver, followed by brussels sprouts.
I got talked into trying brussels sprouts in recent memory. To me they just tasted like warm wet wads of newspaper. I’m sure that there’s a way to make them palatable but I haven’t had them that way yet.
I've hated them since I was a kid. Last year I tried them the 'new' way – chopped and fried with bacon. Even bacon couldn't save them. To me, they taste like they smell: farty.
If a foodstuff can’t be saved by being teamed up with bacon it’s probably better left to its own devices. See also: okra
Yes, okra. Another unpalatable vegetable. I once bought a bag of what I thought was frozen mixed veggies only to discover as I started eating them that they had okra as one of the ingredients.
What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
Non ci sono penguini in questa bosca. I said that as the toast at my friend's wedding and it's stuck with me through out the years. Followed by, Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.
I had to resort to Babelfish,com for the first one.
“There are no penguins in this bansod.”?
As for the second one, my advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Ha! It's a tough one to translate. It's actually "There are no penguins in the forest." I worked long and hard to find something for that toast that no one would understand. As it turned out, I was wrong. My friend's grandparents spoke Italian and wanted to know what the hell I was talking about.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Making the decision to put my dog down. It still haunts me, even though everyone, even the vet, agreed it was time.
What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I don't know what you mean by best. Saved a person's life? Saved an animal's life? Writing my first novel?
The questions are open to interpretation. It depends on what you think is best in life.
I probably still can't answer that. I've worked in hospitals, so I've save more than few lives, or at least helped to. I've run literacy programs, still do. I've gotten married and we're still together and happy. I've had great times with friends and family. I've had novels published, which I never thought I would. I've traveled to some amazing places. I've worked as a photographer and gotten to work with naked models. Things that seem 'the best' at the time can often fade to great or good, or get replaced by another great thing later on. Guess this is a crappy answer!
It’s not a crappy answer. But it is kind of a trick question. Because what is best in life is to crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women! http://youtu.be/6PQ6335puOc
You didn't say I had to answer as a barbarian!
I thought it was implied.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
As kids, my friends and I were really bad. Vandalism to the extreme. We caused a lot of damage with our stupidity.
If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
I can't answer that. What if I got the chance to do it? This would put me on the suspect list.
What do you do?
I'm a writer, see job answer above. Plus, you know, the whole fiction thing as well.
How did you get started doing what you do?
Decided I was tired of working for others and decided to start my own business. Lucky for me, it worked.
What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Don't bother. Find something else. It's an overcrowded field and for people just coming into it, the money sucks. I got lucky and got established at a time when there was no competition.
What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
My first novel, Carnival of Fear, came out in 2010. By then I was already getting my short stories published in horror and fantasy mags. In 2011, my 2nd novel, Ghosts of Coronado Bay, was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for YA Novel. Between 2011 and this year, I've had 3 other novels (The Burning Time, Cemetery Club, The Cure) and a lot of novellas (Legacy, Cult of the Black Jaguar, Castle by the Sea, The Cold Spot, and others) come out. With more on the way.
If you had to pick one thing for someone to pick up as an introduction to your writing, which would you pick?
For adult readers, I'd say either Carnival of Fear or my collection of short stories, The Monster Inside. Or The Cure, when it comes out in May. For readers under the age of 15, Ghosts of Coronado Bay.
What projects are you working on now?
I just finished the edits to my next novella, Winterwood, which comes out later this year. So I'm presently working on some short stories and novel or two.
What are you watching?
Right now, it's mostly Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, and Justified on regular TV and Haven on Netflix.
What are you listening to?
When I write, nothing. When I'm doing the day job, it's Howard Stern in the morning and then either new wave, classic rock, or hair metal in the afternoon.
Hair metal? What’s your favorite hair metal band?
Hair Metal Band: Either Bon Jovi or Poison.
Heavy Metal: Iron Maiden or Judas Priest
Classic Rock: Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow, UFO
What are you reading?
I can't list all the book titles, but I can give you the authors most recently read: Chantal Noordeloos, Tim Waggoner, Catherine Cavendish, John Palisano, Russell R. James, and some guy name Stephen King.
I hear that King fellow shows some promise. Hopefully if he sticks with it he’ll make it someday.
Him and that Straub fellow.
Favorite author / book?
Insomnia by Stephen King
Favorite band / song?
Don't Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
Least favorite band / song?
Too many to name. Put it this way: if you need autotune to sing, if you don't play your own instruments, and if you can't perform live, I will most likely hate you.
If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Wild animal rescuer/sanctuary owner, veterinarian, or park ranger. Or fashion photographer.
Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. – Stephen King
Dead. – Da Vinci
Fictional. Spiderman/Peter Parker
What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Best job is now. Worst job was working as a chemist in a makeup company and I spilled hot wax all over my hand and came home every night coughing up colored phlegm.
Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Nothing in particular, but I do run the Horror Writers Association's literacy and library programs, so if you want me to talk about those, I can. I also used to own a collection of deadly snakes, if that's of interest to anyone.
What does running the Horror Writers Association's literacy and library programs entail?
And of course I want to know more about your deadly snakes!
The Library/Literacy program started almost three years ago. We've developed a lot of resources for libraries to use – lists of authors available for presentations, lists of medium and small press books available for libraries to purchase, etc. – because we found that libraries, for the most part, only stocked horror from the 'big' publishers. Yet horror is the #1 genre for YA readers and #2 (after romance) for adult readers. So libraries are always looking for more. The idea is that if we get more kids to read, we'll end up with more adults who read, which benefits libraries and writers alike. We've partnered with the American Library Association on events, and now we even offer scholarships and promote literacy at multiple conventions throughout the year. We've had people such as Jonathan Maberry, Amber Benson, Richard Christy, and Nancy Holder involved in the program in one way or another.
In college, I was studying herpetology before lab technology. Reptiles and amphibians. I also ran the school's reptile collection. Over the years, I acquired a Chinese tree viper, 3 puff adders, a copperhead, and a rattlesnake to go with my assortment of rat snakes, king snakes, and a 9 foot python. After a few years, when everything started getting too large, I donated them to the school. We used to have a great time at my house, though, betting on how fast the snakes could kill their mice/rats on feeding days.
Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Other authors might be Chantal Noordeloos and Michael McBride.
I don’t think I’ve talked with Michael McBride so if you want to point him in my direction feel free. Actually, I checked, and we’re imaginary friends on Facebook, so maybe he’ll notice that I’m doing interviews and maybe not. I imagine that not everyone that I’m imaginary friends with has me in their News Feeds.
I'll drop Michael a line and tell him to contact you.
Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote. All of them.
A life-long resident of New York's haunted Hudson Valley, JG Faherty has been a finalist for both the Bram Stoker Award® and ITW Thriller Award, and he is the author of six novels, eight novellas, and more than 50 short stories. He writes adult and YA dark fiction/sci-fi/fantasy, and his works range from quiet suspense to over-the-top comic gruesomeness. He enjoys urban exploring, photography, classic B-movies, good wine, and pumpkin beer. As a child, his favorite playground was a 17th-century cemetery, which many people feel explains a lot.
About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island, and Condemned; and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
Check out his electronic music here: soundcloud.com/master_control
And here: master-control.bandcamp.com
Check out his Etsy here: www.etsy.com/shop/ScottLefebvreArt
Stalk his Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre
E-mail him at: Scott_Lefebvre@hotmail.com