Features Week #4 November 2018: Justin McCarthy

There isn’t much Justin can’t do. He’s a photographer, podcaster, voice actor, streamer, and writer! For the sake of this interview, he’s a writer, but links to all of his projects will be linked below. He’s amazing and you need this dude in your life.

How long have you been writing?

Donkey’s years


What inspired you to become a writer?

The daydreams, the stories, the scenarios that would play out in my head as a kid and even to this day needed an outlet. Initially I told them as campfire stories, or at gatherings. Eventually I found tabletop role play. Then I kept suggesting things to writer folk and eventually decided to pull the trigger on writing myself.


Are you published anywhere?

I am not. My work is, at this time, exclusive to Hooks of Horror. Though other stories and creative direction have gone in to other podcasting projects over the years.


Which of your written pieces is your favorite?

Hard to say, and hard to choose. I think eventually I’ll go back and expand and rework ‘my Uncle Ike hunted monsters’ from episode 3 of Hooks I think it was?


In what genre do you write?

I love Horror and all it can encompass as a medium. You get to take the world, which is already a pretty scary place, and turn it aside just a smidge. Open up a space for the unseen and the unwanted to come in and mess with everything. Everything is possible! From the slow certainty of death made manifest in the form of zombies, to the unknowable terror of a mind so alien to ours we cannot possibly understand its impulses and drives in the form of an ancient monster or alien. You have the freedom to destroy the comfortable world we all inhabit in big or small ways, strip your characters of the trappings of every day life and lay out who they are at their core in their worst moments. Or if you don’t want to go big, you can tell stories that are subtle, just slightly unsettling events. Or a freak occurrence, a chance encounter with something spooky. Horror is where it’s at. It’s all possible!


What is the most challenging part about being a writer in the genre you’ve chosen?

Knowing what is scary. Knowing what might be just creepy enough that it’s more than just a head scratcher, it’ll keep someone up at night. I’m not there yet, but I hope to be.


What writer(s) do you look up to?

I’d say the big names but honestly it’s anyone out there. Anyone who writes for NoSleep. You. Anyone who takes the time to write on one of my prompts. You’re all so good! It’s inspiring.


Do you have any funny stories about your writing adventures?

The scrambling at the end of every two week period to write for Hooks is a sight to behold. So much coffee, so much frustrated babbling to myself.


Do you have any encouraging words for those that want to write?

Just write. Don’t worry about it being good. Just get it done. Save the worry for the editing. Biggest thing is to just get the story down. We are our own worst enemies when it comes to writing anything that often you’ll kill your idea before it had a chance to be anything more than that, an idea. So, write. Share it with friends. Share it with strangers. Improve over time and don’t expect gold right out of the gate. I believe in you!


Is there anyone you’d like to promote?

Tara Devlin Kowabana. I love eastern horror and creepy urban legends. Her podcast is great!


Where can we find you on social media?

You can find me @jthuluphoto and Hooks of Horror @HooksofHorror on Twitter. Everything else I do is a bit of a list, but I tend to post on Twitter about it all! My voice acting, podcasts and all the other goodness.

Justin is an amazing dude. I don’t know how he hasn’t exploded with all of the projects he has going on. Follow his other adventures at these links:

Photography Site

Hooks of Horror Podcast (hosted by Justin)

Calling Darkness Podcast (voice acting)

Digital and Dice/ Creature Pasta (podcast cohost)

Forgive me if I’ve missed something, this dude is everywhere.

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