Q & A with John Palisano

Another wonderful Indie Gentleman has offered up to be my next victim! Please welcome John Palisano!

What would your bio say?

The writing of artist John Palisano began appearing in print a few years ago, with over a dozen short stories. His novel NERVES was released in April 2012 from Bad Moon Books, and he has a novella BiPOLAR EXPRESS due out from Dog Horn Publishing in 2013.

When did you start writing and why?

Stories came early. In the first grade, there was an exercise where we were given pictures and were asked to write a story. Mine was of a soldier climbing into the cockpit of an F-16. To me, it was the President off to fight aliens. From then on, there was trouble.

 If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

Yes. My son is six years old, and my everything. Of course it changes things—for the better. One wants to succeed and make your child proud of you. It also gives perspective and passion. He’s also inspired a ton of stories directly for or about him. It’s the greatest gift of all time, being a father.

Who is your favorite author and why?

God. He creates everything.

As far as mortals? There are so many favorites: Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Clive Barker, Thomas Ligotti, Sarah Langan, Joe R. Lansdale, Deborah LeBlanc,William Peter Blatty, Michael Chabon, Lisa Morton, Brian Keene, John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow…the list goes on and on. So many great authors.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

Need to get the stories from driving me crazy, and the only way is to write ‘em down. The rest is all candy. It’s wonderful when people read the stories and really enjoy them. That’s one of life’s best pleasures.

Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

I self-published over ten years ago, right out of college. It was a disaster. The cover was terrible. No one bought it. The book was not fully cooked. Bad. Bad. Bad. For me, at least. Not closed to it in the future, and it’s fine for those who have got that bug, but not for me right now. We’ll see. Who knows? We might all be self-publishing and distributing sooner than later.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

A few years back, I struggled painfully. I gathered hundreds of rejections without a sale. I was gunning for ‘sales’, though, and not just non-paying, website things. It was well worth it. I learned a great deal, and eventually found my writer’s voice through all those rejections. Well, the beginnings of an author’s voice, I should say, as it’s still developing rapidly.

Tell us about your book (s)

What if you could bring things back to life with the touch of your hand? Things that should stay dead. And what if, by your very presence, things die when they come close? That is the story of the two brothers in NERVES.

In BiPOLAR EXPRESS, the Boy wakes to find it is snowing happy pills. He soon gets a prescription to ride the BiPolar Express to the Middle Pole, where he is to meet Manic Clause. This is a riff on the children’s book, but is also a commentary on how over-medicated we’ve become. It’s definitely in the bizarre humor category. Pretty fun.

UNNATURAL TALES OF THE JACKALOPE is an anthology I edited, all stories concerning the mythic jackalope. At times tongue in cheek, and other times, deathly scary, this was a great experience. My first book from my publishing company WESTERN LEGENDS, and it’s value priced at only $7.95, so please go buy several copies. Or the King Jackalope? She’ll have it out for me!

 What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

Visions. Strange and powerful. They fill my thoughts. I write them down. Not sure where they originate, but it’s always been intriguing to me, the supernatural.

 Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

In NERVES, I think you’re going to feel both about Josiah and Horace at different times in the book, as they both do some amazing, powerful acts, but also some of the most heinous. Their villain, Ogam, is quite popular. He is a real bastard, but readers have told me they love him.

 Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

NERVES has its own. I went so far as to write six songs for a character in the book, which he sings, as he’s a down and out, formerly famous R & B star. Hopefully readers will hear the songs in the story. It was quite a bit of work to pull it all off. Hopefully it’s successful.


One final note from John:

It was a pleasure speaking and writing with you. Thank you for this. I hope anyone interested will seek out some of my work (free sample chapters at Amazon!) and will like it enough to connect. Best wishes!

Reach out to John on his blog!

You can find his books through his Amazon page or his publishers website!

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