Monday, August 7, 2017

Six Simple Questions with Beau Johnson

I discovered Beau Johnson through a short story on Shotgun Honey. As I sat there and read the words I thought, damn, this guy is good, but it was the last line of his story where my man crush developed for him. It was an ice pick that stuck you right in the knee and hurt so good. I commented to let him know how much I enjoyed the story and shortly after we were Facebook friends. This was all apart of my plan to have Beau submit some work to Story and Grit, he'll have a story published on the site in a few months. What I didn't expect is for him to ask me to review his upcoming short story collection A Better Kind of Hate. That I was more than happy to do and that review will be live on Friday. I also wanted to give Beau a voice so that he could talk about his writing and work. It was only appropriate that he do a Six Simple Questions interview. He was gracious enough to agree to the interview.

Yall go find Beau's work and preorder his book! You can get it on Amazon and from Down & Out Books.

Oh, before we get to the interview. Beau doesn't know about my man crush so don't tell him.

This first question may be a lot like asking you to pick your favorite kid, but what’s your favorite story from A Better Kind of Hate or - better yet - which story from the collection is the best introduction for readers to your work?

Nah, not too hard.  Each of my kids knows who the favorite is.  I’m just hoping against hope it doesn’t put the other two in bell towers by the time they turn eighteen.  I’m kidding of course.  Maybe.  Anyway: my favorite piece.  I would have to say I Remember.  It’s a short little yarn dealing with guilt, remorse, and what a parent’s love will allow us to do.  As for which story in the collection is the best as an introduction to my work?  Hmm.  Seeing as Bishop Rider and John Batista are in many of them, perhaps Fire in The Hole or The Only Thing That Fits

What writers, or pieces of fiction, do you turn to for inspiration?

Can’t say that I do.  I mean, I have read and re-read everything by King.  I mean, who hasn’t?  And I have read many others.  But what inspires me most is whatever comes my way.  By “way” I mean the ideas floating through my head at any given moment.  Weird, I know.  Means I’m somewhat of a pantser by trade.

Was crime fiction always your genre of choice, did you start writing in other genres, or do you plan on experimenting with other genres?

No.  Crime fiction wasn’t always my genre of choice.  I think my voice put me on a collision course with it, sure, but in the beginning, I was more of a sci-fi/monster of the week type of writer.  Cujo, Carrie, and the Dark Tower, oh my. 

What’s your worst habit as a writer?

It has been said you are to write everyday if you want to be a writer.  This is all well and good if you can birth ideas at will.  I have never been this type of person.  I have ideas, yes, and sometimes they come in bunches.  When they do I get them down as fast as I can.  But when it’s over, it’s over.  I wait.  Sometimes for a short period.  Sometimes longer.  I can’t force the issue is what I’m saying.  Can’t just sit down and give birth like so many others.  Might not be habit, now that I think about it.  Perhaps failing would be a better word.

What would you do tomorrow if you could no longer write?

Eat cheese, brother.  All.  Day.  Long.

What can we be looking forward to from you?

I have some new stories in the pipe, coming from the usual spots that have been so gracious to have me.  And in case you’re worried you’ll miss one of them, don’t be.  I’ll post about it.  Trust me: I’ll post about it!