Short, Sharp Interview: Jon Bassoff

PDB: Can you pitch CORROSION in 25 words or less? is a dark, twisted tale with plenty of violence and even more madness. It’s been adapted into a screenplay to be directed by Fredrik Bond.


PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

I’m reading a book called Singing From the Well by the Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. It’s an incredibly lyrical book—surrealistic and dreamlike. I also just finished reading Matthew McBride’s A Swollen Red Sun, which will be coming out with Mysterious Press. Brilliant.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

I don’t think it’s possible for anybody to be objective about anything. Especially not reading. We all have our tastes and our biases. I do think it’s important to keep an open mind when reading, to not let our expectations overwhelm us.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

I don’t. It’s such a different style. My interest has always been in developing an off-center narration, of being able to tell a story through the eyes of an imbalanced—or psychopathic—protagonist. I feel that you lose a lot of that narrative creativity when writing for film and television. How much research goes into each book?

Depends on the book. For me, it’s always important to develop a sense of place, so I like to visit the place I’ll be writing about. My novels usually focus on interior conflicts, and I think I’ve got those pretty well covered without much research. What every author should avoid is writing a book that sounds like it’s been heavily researched.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

Very useful. I love Facebook. I’ve been able to connect with so many people who love the same literary niches that I do. I wouldn’t have that without social media. Of course, Facebook and Twitter can be distracting, but for the most part I’m a fan.

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

I finished a book this summer called Factory Town, a post-industrial noir. It will probably see the light of day next year. I’m pretty excited about that one. And I’ve just started another one called The Incurables. Hopefully that one will survive the year.

Bio: Jon Bassoff was born in 1974 in New York City and currently lives in a ghost town somewhere in Colorado. His mountain gothic novel, Corrosion (available in October from DarkFuse), was called “startlingly original and unsettling” by Tom Piccirilli, a four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, and “beautifully bleak” by international bestselling author, Jason Starr. In addition to his work as a writer, Bassoff is the founder of the crime fiction publisher New Pulp Press, which was called “genius masked as genre” by New York Magazine.