Joseph J. Patchen
Where are you from
Milford, Connecticut by way of Norwalk Connecticut USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am married with no human children but we have with five rescue dogs and one rescue parakeet. These are our children. I have a juris doctor degree and am a court Magistrate. I also teach writing in my community.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest short story has been published this past week in the “Schlock! Webzine” Christmas issue titled ‘The Thing In The Floor’.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Ever since I can remember I would weave tales about supernatural themes and monsters and try to tell them to friends and family.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was 15 and I saw my name in print in a magazine.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Vanity I think. I knew I could do it and everyone including my family thought it to be a fool’s errand. My wife was the only one who stood by me and encouraged me, even dared me, at that time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, I rarely use names or name places. I try to make my stories universal in that sense. I want the reader to believe this can happen period and can happen anywhere to anyone at any time. I try to make my narrative personal and point of view, so to speak, so the reader steps into the narrator or a character’s shoes to experience what they experience firsthand.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For ‘Corpses Don’t Bleed’ the title just hit me out of the blue after I finished writing it. I liked the rhythm of the phrase and the story itself has to do with multiple hauntings and multiple murders replaying themselves as they the protagonist to his own murder.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No one is ever safe.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Only the paranoia.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Everything I write comes from nightmares. I have difficulty staring at a blank screen and brain storming. I lack the creativity to come up with plots on my own. I have always written via nightmare since childhood. I have always been flush with nightmares and night terrors most nights. Generally I continue to visualize and see the nightmare as if it were a movie playing on a continuous loop until I write it out.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
‘Tales of Soldiers and Civilians’ by Ambrose Bierce. This is my bible. I consider it to be one of the most important short story collections ever written. Bierce had a crisp and hard edge to his writing. He had an honest realism and the ability to draw the reader in to a normal confine and slowly make his readers feel uneasy at the finish. His tales were pure psychological horror; tales that stay with you for decades at a time; with endings that pack a punch and a chill.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
It is without a doubt Bierce and Charles Beaumont whose stories were a large part of ‘The Twilight Zone’.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading a true crime book titled ‘Ratman: The Trial and Conviction of Whitey Bulger’ by Howie Carr.
It has to do with the last of the ‘great’ organized crime bosses whose trial and conviction wrapped up over this past summer. Whitey Bulger had eluded capture for over twenty years and was the FBI’s public enemy number one for much of that time. I am very interested in the subject matter and a fan of Mr. Carr.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Lee Sykes and S. C Hayden. I have worked with them in connection with my column on Lurid-lit.com.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have two novels inching their way to completion along with a slew of short stories being edited. It depends on my mood and my day job work load as to which I can tinker with. The novels are more humorous than terrifying; and I wanted to do some comedic pieces. Overall it is my hope that in 2014 we will have two rather offbeat novels out involving ghosts at their heart, to make people laugh and more short stories to keep people uneasy when they turn off the lights at night.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
After I re-committed myself to writing seriously again after a long, long hiatus, a friend of mine, Howard Cornwall who is not a fan of horror, will buy and read everything I write and encourages me to keep going. He is a great and true friend.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to but right now it is a wonderful alternative to paying a shrink.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. ‘Corpses Don’t Bleed’ is meant to be as it is written.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
From watching episodes of ‘The Twilight Zone’. I became fascinated with the story form.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Curious how the spittle first pools and then drips over so slightly from the left side of his mouth; all the while not disturbing that smudge of chocolate in the crevice of is lips on the right. Poison acts fast when pure and the sugar in the pastry makes for a fine accelerant.
I had no choice.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Trying to find a publisher since my stories are more weird tale than anything else.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Again that would be Ambrose Bierce. What strikes me about him is his unabashed straight ahead style.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. God Bless my nightmares, the internet and Amazon.com.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I left that up to the publisher.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Waiting for an acceptance or rejection. They are fairly easy to write because I’m presented with an entire product; it’s just the business end I find hard and not as enjoyable.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I received a real education in the publishing process.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Persistence and listen to your gut rather than others.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for allowing me to share my stories with you.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
‘The Collected Stories of Edgar Allan Poe’. Really.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Reading. I am in love with books.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
‘Top Gear’ because they make me laugh; ‘That Metal Show’ because I get insights into the creative process; ‘Breaking Bad’ because it is perfection.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love all foods except for sea food.
Black as well as blue. And this is not a cliché.
Jerry Lee Lewis and Metallica.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Play in a band. I love music and wish I could write music.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes, thank you. My website is josephjpatchen.weebly.com My blog is WideAwakesRedux@blogspot.com and I am the literary critic for Lurid-lit.com.