New interview with writer John J. Rust

I’m happy to welcome John J. Rust back to Reviews and Interviews. He visited on April 20 to talk about novel writing. Today he’s going to talk about short story writing. His newest short story, “The Art of Fear,” is featured in
Halloween Dances with the Dead from Whortleberry Press.
Welcome back, John. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I come from New Jersey,
where I spent about three-and-a-half years working as a reporter for New Jersey 101.5 and
WBUD-AM radio. Then in 1996, it was off
to Arizona,
where I am currently the sports director for KYCA-AM.  Along with my short stories, I have also
published the science fiction novel “Dark Wings.”  

My hobbies include exercising, collecting
T-shirts and ballcaps, and studying history. Some of my favorite authors include Harry Turtledove, Tom Clancy, Lee
Child, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, John Birmingham and Vince Flynn.
What
do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
It’s a challenge. With a novel you can go on and on and
on. But when you have something like
4,000 to 6,000 words to work with, it forces you to really focus on the plot
and the character development and decide what really needs to be in this story.
Can
you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of
your favorites?
My favorite would have to be “The Art of Fear,” which
features the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe. One of the reasons I wrote it is because of my opinion of modern day
horror films, which is very low. Horror,
to me, means you’re supposed to scare the audience. Most of the directors of horror films only
seem concerned with killing characters in the goriest and weirdest ways
possible. There’s no suspense, there’s
no fear factor. So I said to myself,
what if the man many consider the father of the horror genre ran into one of
these directors? How would he react?  And that’s how “The Art of Fear” was born.
What
genre are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
Science Fiction. There are just so many possibilities to
explore and your imagination can run wild.
What
exciting story are you working on next?
It’s a very short story that deals
with superheroes and social media.
When
did you first consider yourself a writer?
Back in high school. I wrote for the school newspaper and lit mag,
but I also did my own little action-adventure/science fiction stories.
 The writing bug has stayed with me ever
since.
How
do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
Many times writer friends of mine alert me to markets looking for specific
short stories. If something strikes my
fancy, I start thinking of a story. I’ll
also look at publications like Writer’s
Digest.
What
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to go for a walk
before I write. Anywhere from a
half-hour to an hour. Besides being
great exercise, it helps me plan out scenes for my short stories and novels.
As
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A baseball player, but
without any athletic ability, that wasn’t going to happen. So I decided to become a sports reporter.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
I have some other short
stories on fictionpress.com. “The Burden
of Leadership” deals with a young Marine caught up in a Chinese invasion of America. “Fallen Sun” is about a Japanese fighter
pilot coping with the end of World War II. You can also find another of my short stories in “What If? A Collection
of 14 Short Science Fiction Stories.” It’s titled “The Last Soldier,” and follows an alien warrior taking on
an invading army single-handedly.
Thanks for visiting again. It’s a pleasure to get know more about you and your writing projects. 

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