Things would be so much easier if Jonthan Janz was a jerk.
Because, even though I don’t want to be, in the most base and reptilian sector of my lizard brain I am completely jealous of him.
Why? Well, first of all he’s a talented writer, one who is able to write with an earnestness, a sobriety, that’s very reminiscent of the glory days of mass market horror fiction. He’s also incredibly prolific. Volume-wise he’s able to write circles around me, if his release schedule is to be believed. Last of all, since he’s like six five and jacked: when you’re standing next to him at a convention it suddenly becomes way harder to sell books.
But the problem is that Jonathan Janz is not a jerk, he’s incredibly gracious and affable.
So how could I turn down a chance to have him guest post here? So buy his new book, The Nightmare Girl, and then sit back and enjoy his playlist. When you’re done here, my own musical choices for Exponential are over on his site.
Hey, all. You might know me, you might not. But if you’re hanging out at Adam Cesare’s blog, you’re probably half-unhinged anyway and won’t hold my eccentricities against me.
My brand-new novel is called THE NIGHTMARE GIRL. Before I tell you some songs I either heard or played in my head while reading and researching the story, let me share the synopsis with you:
Playing with fire has never been more dangerous.
When family man Joe Crawford confronts a young mother abusing her toddler, he has no idea of the chain reaction he’s setting in motion. How could he suspect the young mother is part of an ancient fire cult, a sinister group of killers that will destroy anyone who threatens one of its members? When the little boy is placed in a foster home, the fanatics begin their mission of terror.
Soon the cult leaders will summon their deadliest hunters—and a ferocious supernatural evil—to make Joe pay for what he’s done. They want Joe’s blood and the blood of his family. And they want their child back.
In other words, it’s a nice, wholesome, family kind of story.
My tastes in music are eclectic, which’ll be expressed in the below playlist. So without further preamble…
- “Not to Touch the Earth,” The Doors: There’s a fire at the end of THE NIGHTMARE GIRL. A big, terrible fire. There’s chaos and carnage, bloodshed and madness. Jim Morrison’s hypnotic vocals and the rest of the group’s frenetic discordance perfectly capture the insanity of my finale.
- “Concerto in G minor for 2 Cellos, Strings and Basso continuo, RV 531; I. Allegro,” by Vivaldi (Performed by Yo-Yo Ma): Yikes! With a title like that, you might ask, how on earth can a song be enjoyable? Well, as mentioned already this is a song by Vivaldi played by Yo-Yo Ma. And when you combine two masters, the results are going to be fantastic. This song is intense. It’s also classy, elegant, and at times, foreboding. This song doesn’t really remind of the story so much as it reminds of the writing of the story. I would often play this one first to get my mental engine primed. Then the words would catapult onto the page.
- George Strait’s “Carried Away”: The love between husband and wife is crucial to this story, and this has long been one of my favorite George Strait ballads. And before you judge me, yep, I enjoy country music sometimes. Especially George Strait’s music, which I connect to in a number of ways.
- “Disposable Heroes,” Metallica: The lyrics of this song have nothing to do with my story (It’s a war song, after all), but the frantic, punishing aura of the music has everything to do with THE NIGHTMARE GIRL. It’s a book that flies by (in my opinion), and when bad things start to happen, that already brisk pace doubles and triples in speed. When re-reading my novel during the editing process, I would often try to capture the speed of this song. It’s up to you to decide whether or not I did.
- “I Saw God Today,” by George Strait: Sorry to include two songs from the same artist on here, but yeah, this guy tends to sing songs with heart, and this one is no exception. One of the primary elements of many of my novels is a dad’s love for his kids. In THE NIGHTMARE GIRL, Joe Crawford cares deeply about his own daughter and the boy he tries to save from an abusive home. The aforementioned song is all about the transcendent love a dad has for his kids, and it would echo in my mind from time to time as I thought about my characters.
That’s all for now. Thank you, Adam, for having me here. And if any of you happen upon this post and have not yet read Adam Cesare’s work, you need to amend that as quickly as possible. EXPONENTIAL or THE SUMMER JOB would be great places to start.
I was going to trim that last part where he talked me up, but I didn’t want anyone crying censorship.