Interview with psychological horror author Charlie Jack Joseph Kruger

Today’s
guest, Charlie Jack Joseph Kruger
writes psychological horror.
Don’t be afraid to read a bit about him and his newest novel
In Stark Weather. I promise that no
monsters will leap off the page and follow you around.
Welcome, Charlie. Please tell us a
little bit about yourself.
I am a
storyteller. It has always been the one calling that has screamed out for me
the loudest, I feel. So it is only logical, I feel, that I would find myself on
the scary side of a typewriter, clicking away and vomiting out all of my
emotions and ideas. I feel weird when I am asked for a ‘bio’ or a little
‘rundown on who I am’ because I feel like the stories I write paint a truer
image of who I am than anything I can actually say about myself…
Please tell us about your current
release.
Well, In Stark Weather is my most recent
novel. It is a tri-narrative, following three characters, a failed musician, a
terrified author, and an abuse victim who has fallen into extremely unhealthy
coping mechanisms. These three lost souls all rip out into America from
different starting points, trying to find sanity, safety, and sanctity. Along
the way, their own monsters and fears victimize them, each other, and others. I
really felt like I was able to purge not only a lot of my own thoughts, but
also a lot of my own monsters and fears through these three unwilling heroes. I
would say that it this novel is a ‘psychological literary horror’. It has more
to do with Chuck Palanhiuk than Stephen King, you know? haha.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was
inspired by some of the people I have known, some of the people I have been
afraid that I am, and some of the people I know I have almost become. I feel
like writing, although you twist and bend life to make it become the story you
want, is something that must be approached with honesty and reverence. I
believe more in this novel than I do in myself as an author, if that makes
sense. And as such, I feel that I should only write when something, the spirit
of the story maybe, moves me to do so. So with this novel, I just felt these characters
in my head, they built themselves up Franken-stitched together out of ideas and
moments from my life. People I have worked with, or heard speaking… and once
the characters were real to me, once I could see them and hear them in my head,
I had to give them a story to live within. I knew the emotional resolve I
wanted the story to have, but I didn’t know how the plot would work to get me
there, or what the physicality of that emotional finale would be, so I just
started writing.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
Well, I’m
working on a draft of my next novel, it is so far existing under the title ‘A
Junkyard God With Broken Legs’, and it has to do with love, blindness, and
deification. One of the main characters is in love with an idea, not a person,
and so he smears that idea onto people so that he can love them, but… I don’t
want to give too much away yet.
I’m also
working on a short story, and getting a few stories put into literary ‘zines
and collections.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I go back
and forth on this. In a way I guess it could be when I was in 6th
grade and I wrote a whole notebook full of a story… but no one else ever read
that. And maybe it was when my first poems were sold for publication. Maybe
when I saw my name on my first novel in person. Maybe when I had my first
official book signing. I don’t really know. I feel like I am almost constantly
feeling more and more like an author. I mean, with five other books in print,
when my latest In Stark Weather came
out… I felt more like an author than ever before. Or when my publisher created
a commercial for my new novel… that was an odd moment of adulthood. I guess I
don’t have a good answer. But I have always felt like I was supposed to be a
writer, and with every passing day, I feel like I am closer and closer to that
goal.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
Well, I
would say I am a full-time creator. I paint, I write, I play music, I review
movies/books/music for the underground website www.horror-punks.com and I do a little
work on the side as a graphic designer for a few friends’ bands. I also
co-coordinate a food outreach program in Olympia, Washington with a few other
awesome folks, to make sure that three days a week there is free, healthy food
available to those in need of it, and I work part time as a trauma and abuse
counselor. I’m also working with a few other outreach groups on some other
projects. So… I do have a full schedule, but I love everything I do. I do these
things because I believe in them and they fulfill me. They all drain me in
different ways, but with the amount of things in front of me, I try to make
sure I never feel too burned out on one thing, when I am feeling a little dry,
I try to change over to a different field so that I don’t end up resenting the
work. And I find time to do the things I love, because they each deserve time.
So I just have to make it work.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
Hmm… I
guess I use a lot of truncated/fragmented sentences. I like to write in a
conversational tone for the most part, and as a result, when it comes to
personal or challenging moments in a story, I sometimes end up shattering up my
paragraphs like glass, leaving little slivers of sentences here and there.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
An artist.
I think for a short while there I wanted to be Swamp Thing, but for the most
part I have always wanted to be an author, and a creator. I just want to be
able to get all of the things and ideas out of my head…. So that there is space
for more to grow.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
Yes, thank
you so much for sitting and doing this interview with me! I hope you will mosey
on over to my website and
check out some of the work I have posted there. My books are available through
local retailers, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, and my own website. If you get
them from my website they each come autographed and with an inscription. So… I
recommend that! But thank you for interviewing me, and for all of you reading,
thank you for taking the time and reading this!

Happy to have you here today, Charlie.
Enjoy the writing!


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