Today’s A Haunting of Words interview is with author K.N. Johnson.
“The Blue Amberol Turns Again”: Two families, two eras, one house and one haunted music cylinder. Does it foretell the future or just replay the past?
What inspired you to write this story?
I love to roam antique shops. In a particularly cool shop in Louisville, KY, I discovered loads of phonographs, including an old Amberola and a box of dusty cylinders. And that’s when I remembered my trip to the Thomas Edison house where I learned Edison recorded music on wax cylinders before records were invented. The scratchy melody coming from these things is eerie – like a voice scratching its way out from the past.
How long have you been writing?
As a child, I’d create family newspapers, children’s books in scribble pads. My sisters still remember me forcing them to act in my plays. In middle school, my best friend and I wrote a paranormal YA book for fun. I was the high school newspaper editor, but also churned out handwritten pages of a soap opera for a few close friends. When my twins were toddlers, I wrote a screenplay with my husband. Miramax passed on it and I haven’t tried romantic comedy again. I worked as a reporter and email marketer for years before finally giving time to my pile of short story ideas.
What genres do you most associate with in your writing?
In general, I write horror. But it’s not the slasher gore most people consider horror. It’s more cerebral, strange, unsettling. I’ve been drawn to Folk Horror recently. I think the combination of woodlands and religious elements reminds me of my childhood.
What are you working on right now?
I had a Netflix marathon of reality forensic shows about young kids who committed murder. Really disturbing stuff about the Slenderman murder and other cases. This inspired a story about a psychopathic teen who manipulates another into helping her commit murder. They get away with it and head their separate ways. But paranoia sets in. Each begins to wonder if the other will rat them out, and if one more murder is necessary to keep their secret from ever coming to light.
What else do you have available/published?
My dark science fiction story “Regolith” will appear in the upcoming anthology Terra Nullius later this year. My dark story “Frigid” won Mythraeum’s Pygmalion contest and is available to read on their website: http://mythraeum.com/story-pygmalion-contest-winner-frigid
What advice do you give to new writers?
Read writers you love and try to figure out why you love their stories. Then, make time to write. Write absolute rubbish just to get your story down. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write, write, write.
List links where people can find your work: