Meet This Author: Jerry Roth

Q: When did you decide to become a writer?
I can honestly say that even as a small child, listening to my parents reading me bedtime stories, I always knew I wanted to be a storyteller. If I had to put ma pin into the very time that I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life, it was when I entered high school and I discovered horror authors. All at once, my attention to my classes and grades to a back seat to the worlds that I found inside worn, paperback editions from authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, and Ray Bradbury. Their style and dark energy fueled my future and set me on a path to create my own worlds full of mystery and tragic ends.

Q: What inspired you to create your collection, Throwing Shadows
As a child of the 80s, nothing was more exhilarating than watching old episodes of Tales from the Crypt or taking in a Twilight Zone marathon. The creativity that those televisions shows were able to capture in less than a half hour was astounding. When I became more established as a writer, I never forgot the effect those shows had on me. My goal was to bring a book of character-driven short stories to life in one collection. The challenge was to give my short stories a feeling that the characters inhabited a real world and had a life before you met them. I wanted to bring the essence of the episodic stories to life on the page for a modern audience.

Q: How would describe your writing style?
When I got my start as a writer, my first ambitions were as a screenwriter. The art of screenplays is a balance of setting and sparse descriptions. Writing for the big screen means getting your point across with as little words as possible so the director can fill in the empty parts. It is this early start that influenced how I write horror novels. My experience with screenplays allowed me to keep only what was necessary to move the story along but with the shackles off, I was free to flourish my stories with dread and atmosphere.

Q: What was the journey like for you as you were writing, editing, and publishing your works?
As anyone who has spent time in the book business will tell you, it’s a difficult and sometimes thankless profession. But even as I always knew I wanted to become a published author, I let life sidetrack me for a while. I got married, had a family, and worked on another career for most of my life. But in 2020, I decided to reach out to a few publishers about my novel Bottom Feeders that had been sitting in a drawer. And as if destiny had a hand in it, my manuscript was accepted by Sunbury Press books and published through their imprint, Hellbender books. From that moment on, I worked hard to hone my craft and keep writing a large part of my life.

Q: Can you tell us, readers, what two your characters are like? 
In my latest novel, Throwing Shadows, a character I’m proud of is a teenager named Matt who discovers an old Ouija board and receives messages from the beyond. Creating the character Matt was my way of placing the readers behind the eyes of a vulnerable boy who had to somehow save his family.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers in your genre?
As a writer, you will always be drawn to a favorite category. But when it comes to reading, step out of your genre. You will be surprised how little, unexpected things will trickle into your “Work in Progress”. Leave Grammar behind: The biggest mistake I see aspiring writers make is editing as they go. Too often, writers will restrain themselves during a first draft (tone, language, and descriptions) because they are concerned that a reader might be offended or bogged down. Let yourself go! Let your future self or
editor argue about what is appropriate. Your job is to get it on the paper.

Q: Would you ever write books in any other genre? 
My one and only self-published book is titled, On the Tip of Her Tongue. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to create this science fiction/thriller about a woman who discovers someone else has been stealing her memories. Although, I moved beyond horror, my true love when it comes to writing will always be horror. There is a seductive nature to frightening others that I can’t get from anything else.

Q: What were your favorite moments as a writer when working on your book? 
Writing this novel was a labor of love and I was happy to explore each character and understand their journey. But the true happiness I got from writing this collection was the feeling that although this type of writing is nothing new, I was able to create stories that were unique from other books authors were writing.


Q: Where can readers find you and your book online? 
My new novel Throwing Shadows: A Dark Collection, and my other books can be purchase on my website: www.jerryrothauthor.com, on Amazon, or from my publisher Brigids Gate Press.

Author Bio:

Jerry Roth is an award-winning author of Bottom Feeders and his follow-up thriller, On the Tip of Her Tongue. He has written for Ohio newspapers and sports articles for the Disc
Golf Pro Tour. His fiction career began as a screenwriter.

Although his career began as a screenwriter, novelists such as Anne Rice and Stephen King have influenced his writing. After reading The Stand, he became enthusiastic about creating a novel of his own. The author currently lives in a converted 1908 Catholic church in Ohio with his wife and children.

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