Hello Readers and Writers!
Today we want to introduce you to a fun-loving, free-spirited author who loves to murder! This slasher writer specializes in horror and mysteries and was inspired by a great love of classic horror films in his childhood. A horror author who loves to be scared is dangerous to a reader! Looking for creative kills and slasher thrills? Look no further!
Introducing P.J. Stanley!
When did you start writing as a career?
I actually started writing at around sixteen or seventeen. I actually wrote many, MANY horror scripts. Over time, when life got more complicated as I grew older, that hobby slowly burned out. Around two years ago, I dove back into it. I published roughly seven books…and they were horrendous. I’m talking no editor, filled with grammatical errors. Eventually, I realized that I wanted to do better. I wanted to be taken seriously as an independent author.
What's your current work in progress?
My current work in progress is actually a rewrite or “remake” if you will of one of my old books. I don’t want to say too much, but it is a mystery slasher, much like Most Likely to Die. No spoilers!
You write Mysteries with a dash of thriller and slasher mixed in. What led you to that genre?
I grew up loving horror movies as a kid. I still remember watching every single Friday the 13th with my dad on the living room floor. I loved the thrill and that feeling of being scared. So many people are afraid of ghosts or demons. I’m not. What scares me is what other humans are capable of doing to other humans. It’s terrifying to me. I love the slasher genre. I love playing with those clichés and breaking them. There are so many different avenues you can take and finding a slasher book is nearly impossible. No one writers them. Which is a shame, but that will change! Here I am!
Your book covers are beautiful and well themed! What was the process to get them created?
Well, I actually come up with the designs myself. Then, my cover designer puts it all together. I am a TOTAL NOOB when it comes to photoshop or anything like that. I can’t do it. Overall, I just want to totally capture the mood of the book. I want to give the possible reader just enough to want to crack open that cover. With Most Likely to Die, it was easy. The yearbook is such a pivotal part of that book and it was a no brainer for me. Tell Me Every Lie took a bit more effort. I was totally lost with that one for a while. But then I did some digging, looked at other books in the genre, and stumbled upon that, which was a total accident, but a beautiful accident.
How do your books rebel against the status quo in your genre?
I think that the slasher genre in literature is literally almost nonexistent. No one touches it. Why? Don’t ask me! I think Most Likely to Die stands out in horror literature. I wanted it to be a quick two-hour read, like a movie! I also come out with some clever ass ways to off my characters. No poison or gunshots here. Just some good old fashion carnage. Haha.
Do you have any plans to write outside of your current genre?
Honestly, no. I was completely shocked when Most Likely to Die received so much love. I fought myself for so long on even releasing it. I was TERRIFIED that it would be trashed and not taken seriously. So, I threw it out there on a whim and it has been downright amazing. I love writing what I know, and I don’t know anything better than the slasher/horror genre. It’s engraved in my DNA. It’s always been a HUGE part of who I am.
Your new release, "Most Likely to Die" brings back 90's slasher memories. Tell us about the book.
Most Likely to Die tells the story of Brynn Baldwin. She’s a total bitch to put it lightly. She’s the cliché popular cheerleader. Needless to say, her yearbook elected superlative gets defaced and she gets branded “Most Likely to Die”. A psychotic killer then begins to pick off the ones closest to her while masked behind the school mascot head of Billy the Bull. I really wanted to capture that 90s style feel. Just some good old fashion slasher fun with good, solid characters and just a fun read.
How do you beat writer's block?
I get away from my computer. Go for a walk. Watch a movie! Veg out on the couch. Eventually, something will come. It may take days or weeks. But it will happen. Writing is a game that requires patience. Don’t ever force it. It should come organically.
Talk to me about the path you choose in publishing.
I chose self-publishing. I’m too much of a control freak haha. I want to pick my fonts, my cover, and everything. Of course, it would be nice to have that extra support that comes with traditional publishing, but I’d rather have my full vision intact and not tainted in any way shape, or form.
What advice would you give to an author who is discouraged by the strenuous process of writing and releasing books?
I’d say if you’re going to do it, do it right. Get an editor. Get the best cover that you can. I know it’s hard. I know money is a big issue for some. But think of it like this. This may be the only book you ever publish. We never know what will happen in life. This could be your one shot. So take it. Don’t worry about getting bad reviews or the negative people in your life telling you that you can’t do it. DO IT!
Where do you see your writing career going in the future?
I see many more dead characters on my plate. Haha. But hopefully, I find a following. I mean, like I said before the slasher genre is so dead in literature. So, maybe…maybe it will help me stand out?
What are you reading now?
I’m actually beta reading for my friend Jayme Bean (@ZookeeperBean). Her WIP is absolutely outstanding. It’s so different and refreshing and filled with amazing characters. I won’t spoil much but it’s called Untouched and hopefully will be out early next year. I am so beyond excited for her because the story is just phenomenal. Her writing is gorgeous. It takes a lot for me to keep reading…and she gets me every single time.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
Lots of blood on my hands. Haha. I’m actually going to be really focusing on horror. It’s what makes me happy. With Tell Me Every Lie, as proud as I am of that book, it wasn’t fun to write. Writing Most Likely to Die was an absolute blast! I love the genre and I love everything about slashers. So, expect blood. Lots and lots and lots of blood. And who knows…maybe a series. Maybe a sequel. The wheels in my head are still turning. And when they do, I’ll let you know.