Sunday, July 20, 2014

An Author Interview with Joseph Mulak

Canadian Author and Father

Joseph Mulak is a Canadian author with the independent publisher, Creativia.  He has many titles that make up his fascinating body of work!  Joseph's latest novel is his first book with Creativiaentitled "FLUSHED"
I wanted to introduce you to the new Creativist joining our publishing family, so I decided to interview him.  Of course, Joseph was very kind and readily made time for me to meet with him.  He is a delightful person and he had me just a giggling!
I am sure he'll delight you too!

My Interview with Joseph Mulak
·         First off, I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to interview you!  As I do in all my interviews, I will begin by asking you to describe yourself in your own words.
o   I never know how to answer this question. I'm 34 years old, I have 4 kids. I'm Canadian and live in a small city about 4 hours North of Toronto. I'm divorced and have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for a little over a year now.
o   I'm the author of the story collection, Haunted Whispers and the ebook, Little Angels. Both in the horror genre. I've also written a novel, Flushed, which is a love story and I still don't believe I actually wrote it.
·         I read that you began writing at the age of 15 years old.  What prompted you to set pen to paper?  Most young men that age don’t have the desire to accomplish such a feat.
o   I was always a bit of a loner as a kid and reading was always my way of dealing with that. Especially in my teens. Writing pretty much stemmed from that love of reading. Plus I was making some money at it since some of the other kids paid me to write short stories for them for our high-school English class. That was my first income as a writer.
·         I read that you were introduced to Stephen King’s writing by you mom; is your mom a big fan of the horror genre?  Did your mother’s interest in that genre have anything to do with you pursuing that platform for storytelling?
o   Part of the reason I mention that it was my mother who introduced me to Stephen King was because she is the last person you would expect to have done so. Mom hates horror. At the time, I was reading Hardy Boys mystery books and Mom ended up at some book sale that was raising money for our local literacy council (mom was the president at the time). She comes home with this Stephen King book and hands it to me, saying, "Since you like mysteries, I got you this book. I think he writes mystery."
·         What was the first book you read from Stephen King?  Which of his books made the biggest impact on you?  Has that changed at all?  I mean, does the book that most influenced you at that tender age still affect you in the same profound manner?
o   The first of King's novels I read was The Dead Zone. That was the one my mother had given me. It's not my favorite of his books, but I think that one in particular had a huge impact on me. First of all, it jumpstarted my love of the horror genre. Second, my first attempt at a novel, when I was about 15 or so, was basically a rip-off of that book.
o   The only thing that has changed regarding Stephen King is that I haven't read any of his books since high-school. I got into other writers I enjoyed and poor Stephen kind of got kicked to the curb. I have bought his two latest books though (Doctor Sleep and Mr. Mercedes) and plan to read them very soon.
·         I am assuming that Stephen King is one of you favorite authors.  Of course, you know what they say about assuming, right?  LOL J  So, I am inclined to ask who your favorite author is and what your favorite book is and why?
o   I always have a hard time answering the favorite author/book question. My favorite anything tends to change with my mood.
o   Two authors I was introduced to by a local librarian, who noticed I was checking out book after book by King, are Ramsey Campbell and Graham Masterton. Both are power houses in the horror genre and I've been reading their stuff since my teens. So if pressed to choose a favorite, I would probably have to say it's a tie between those two.
o   Honorable mentions would be Ed Lee, Brian Keene, John Everson, Jonathan Janz, James Herbert, Poe, Lovecraft, and so many others I could name, but there isn't nearly enough room.
o   Favorite book is Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I read that book in high-school and have reread it a couple of times as adult. I love that book.
·         I also read that you are straying from your horror roots and branching out into other genre styles.  What can we expect from you in the future?  Does this change in genre have anything to do with your decision to move from short stories to a full novel?
o   No, it has nothing to do with short stories or novels. The book I just finished is almost novel length. It's about 50,000 words and it's a zombie novel. I never think in terms of genre when I write. I just write what comes to mind. For the most part, horror has always been the label my work fits into.
o   The novel Flushed isn't my first time out writing outside the horror genre. The story "A Tad Bit Ghostly" (from my collection Haunted Whispers) is more of a detective comedy than anything else. It has supernatural elements to it, but I feel it's a far cry from being horrific. I ended the book with it in the hope that it would leave people feeling a little better than they do after reading the other stories, which are pretty dark in tone.
o   Flushed is just a story that needed to be written. It's very autobiographical in some ways, and I just had some emotions that I needed to get out. I never actually thought I'd published it and I was originally planning to put it out under a pen name, but Graham Masterton pointed out how many of his books are from different genres (horror, thriller, drama, sex instruction) and all published under his own name. So I took his advice and did the same with this one.
o   As for the future? I have no idea. I'm back to writing horror right now. I mentioned I just finished writing a zombie book. My beta readers are looking at it right now and then I'll send it to the publisher once I make some final changes. In the meantime, I'm working on a 30,000 word novella, also in the horror genre, that I'm very excited about. This one is going to be more creepy than violent and it's being written for a specific publisher that I've been wanting to work with for years, so I'm hoping this might be my foot in the door. After that, one more novella, then it's back to work on another horror novel that I've been planning for a few years now.
·         What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment in life?
o   My kids. I have four kids ranging from 13 to 9 years old. They are the most important thing in my life.
·         How many books do you have published so far and of them, which would you say is your favorite and way?   Does the answer to very question change if you are asked which project did you enjoy writing the most and if so why?
o   I have 2 actual book-length books. The novel Flushed and my story collection, Haunted Whispers. I also have a 10,000 word story available as an ebook called Little Angels. I can't pick a favorite. Everything I write is a part of me in some way and they're all important to me for one reason or another.
o   In terms of the enjoyment while writing, "A Tad Bit Ghostly" maybe. That story was just one joke after another. Same thing with a zombie short story called "Cognitive" (published in the charity anthology Dark Light). I like writing the comedy/horror stuff because I make myself laugh as I write them. Tad Spanner, my P.I. in "A Tad Bit Ghostly" is a character I'd like to revisit in the near future. I already have an idea for a novel-length work starring good ol' Tad.
·         Is there anything you would have done differently in your writing career, if given the chance?
o   Absolutely. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have self-published. I'm not good at it because I'm terrible at marketing myself. I'm going to be using a publisher for all my future work so that I can get some help with that side of it.
·         How did you come to the decision to sign on with the independent publisher, Creativia? 
o   Another author, Carole Gill. I noticed her books were being published by Creativia, so I signed on with them after she told me how much she loved working with them.
·         Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
o   I see myself doing exactly what I'm doing now. Raising my kids, working my day job, and writing every chance I get. Hopefully I'll have a few more books out by then.
·         Do you have other passions in life outside of your love for literature?
o   Not too many. My favorite thing to do, when I have the time, is sit in a coffee shop with a good book. That's my "me time."  I like to walk. I spend two hours walking to work most mornings and it gives me a chance to listen to audiobooks and work out the kinks in whatever writing project I've got on the go. I also enjoy movies. My girlfriend, Alicia, and I spend most of our nights cuddling on the couch watching horror movies.
·         Thank you so much for your time today!  I look forward to seeing more of your great work and to reading your full-length novel!  I wish you much success!
o   Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

Other work by Joseph Mulak

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