Ladies, gentlemen, metal freaks and horror junkies, this is the author for you!! Justin Boote is the kind of horror writer who invents and owns his own world, and I would strongly suggest becoming a part of it. When I read Justin’s entry for this article, I was amazed and charmed actually. Not only did his stories sound absolutely amazing, but his philosophy and process rang quite close to my own vision. Please enjoy Justin Boote’s candid methodology here:
Horror comes in many shapes and sizes, constantly evolving, adapting to the needs of each generation. Be it slashers, slow-burn psychological horror where we’re afraid of every shadow, every creak on the stairs, to extreme, no holding back body horror, each victim’s death vividly detailed in enterprising, unique ways. Every horror author has their favourite subgenre they prefer to write in but occasionally an idea pops into our heads seemingly from nowhere that begs to be told. With me, it happened on my soon-to-be released 5-part zombie series, The Undead Possession Series. On Facebook, someone mentioned all the tropes they were bored with; haunted houses, zombies, demonic possession, creepy kids, etc. So, jokingly, I said that what we needed then was zombies roaming the land, our protagonists hiding in a haunted mansion with their creepy kid who gets possessed and falls in love with the zombies! A joke! Until…I started thinking about it. A lot. What haven’t we seen yet with zombies? A demon-zombie hybrid, perhaps, scurrying up walls, across ceilings. But how do we create them? How do you get undead creatures to ‘perform’ to get our possessed woman pregnant? What if Mother had a secret stash of Viagra she secretly slips into her husband’s drink when in need of a little fun? Done! And that’s often how it comes about—an idea, sometimes silly, but with a little thought, playing of ideas, a book comes of it.
This is how all my stories have come about. A simple one-line synopsis maybe, or a single image in my head. Then what if this? What if that? Sometimes it can take weeks, other times immediate as the process is all relayed mentally or scribbled down in a notebook somewhere.
While writing, I like to do so in silence, but while those ideas are slowly forming, music often helps to stimulate the muse. During my teens there was a space-rock band, Hawkwind, that I loved (where Lemmy from Motorhead began his career). Their songs told of journeying among the stars, astral projection. Then they released a live album called Chronicles of the Black Sword about Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone series, even participating himself reading poetry during the live tour. I thought this amazing, dreamed of writing my own series one day, perhaps seeing it turned into a rock album. Would that be amazing, or what?! So, the question remains, will we one day be seeing some famous rock band singing about demons, zombies, and a little, infamous blue pill? We can but dream…If you’d like to follow the zombie-demon journey, book 1 being released on Sep. 1st, you can sign up to my website, grab a free story for doing so, and enjoy!
There is so much to relate to here, and I thank Justin for sharing his process. I too am heavily influenced by metal, but I also write in silence. I know a lot of authors who go to coffee houses to write, or throw on the headphones, but I have difficulty concentrating that way. That said, metal is often a theme in my novels. Sometimes it is part of the plot. The dark hero of my fourth novel, The Sculptor, is a 10th grade metal head named Meagan Mullin. Her favorite bands are the doom / sludge masters Electric Wizard, and the metalcore band out of Brazil called April 21st.
Concurrently, I come up with my ideas from a slice of life, a poetic vision, a thread. I never outline. How would I know where my characters might be eight months from now? They have to evolve, right? Therefore, I let stories build themselves, but like Justin, I usually start with a bloody and aesthetic dream-portrait.
I strongly suggest going on Justin’s website and subscribing. He is a pro and you don’t want to miss taking part in his journey. Also, my fourth novel mentioned before, THE SCULPTOR is being released by Night Shade / Skyhorse Books September 7th. Please do me a solid and pre-order here.