Guest Interview: Janine Pipe Talks Horror with Donnie Goodman
I sat down with fellow Scream Magazine and Night Worms reviewer, Donnie Goodman, to talk about his love of horror, those frankly amazing vintage paperback collections and his transition to published author.
Make sure you are following this guy, I sense Big Things on the horizon …
JP - Hey there, Donnie. First off, please tell us a little about yourself and where your love of all things dark and macabre originated from?
DG - Hello. I’m Donnie. I am a writer, reader, and collector of horror fiction based in Central Virginia. My spiral into horror was set off by watching Ghostbusters 2 at age three. Vigo the Carpathian was my first brush with the supernatural and sparked a lifelong love affair with the macabre that honestly feels innate. I’ve always gravitated to scary stuff. My gateway to horror fiction was supremely millennial: the Scholastic book fair. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark → Goosebumps → Fear Street → Stephen King and beyond. While I spend most of my time consuming all things horror, I’ve always loved genre fiction. Fantasy, Science Fiction, Crime, Westerns, Horror. All of the above.
JP - So far as I know, you’re a reviewer, booktuber, avid collector and now a writer. Has writing always been the ultimate goal?
DG - For sure. I have identified as a writer for as long as I can remember. I wrote a Goosebumps styled novel in 3rd grade (it was called DEAD SCOUTS and the tagline was “And you thought Eagle Scouts was as high as you could go”) and spent the majority of my creative output in my teens and twenties writing poetry, lyrics, and music. I’ve dabbled with a few screenplays and have a few manuscripts in various stages of completion, but I didn’t actually kick myself in the ass and say “I’m doing this,” until November 2020.
JP - Having read a couple of your shorts, I can’t wait for your collection. What can you tell us about that and your particular style of writing?
JP - THE RAZORBLADES IN MY HEAD is my debut collection and currently features 12 horror short stories. I hope to be completely finished with it by the end of April and have ARC’s in the hands of some reviewers by the middle of May. As of today, I will self publish it in early to mid June. Justin T. Coons is working up a really fantastic cover that captures the spirit of the collection, which includes everything from a 500 word flash fiction piece about a malevolent toaster, to a 4500 word crabs creature feature. I released the latter story, THE OLD BAY KING, on Amazon in February because I think it provides readers with a chance to see my style and voice. I want to show off versatility in the collection, but I feel most at home when I am writing pulpy, fun stories with a first person narrator.
JP - You have truly covetable shelves; how did you get into collecting vintage horror?
DG - Like many folks, I jumped in after being gifted a copy of PAPERBACKS FROM HELL in 2017. At that time it was pretty easy to find reasonably priced lots on Ebay. I am also fortunate to have 4-5 really great used bookstores near me. Collecting vintage horror is definitely my mid-life crisis. In all seriousness, PfH has led me to so many amazing writers and people in the horror community. It’s not just about collecting all the ridiculous covers, it’s a form of historic preservation. Writers like Grady Hendrix, Will Errickson, Robert Essig, etc - all of these folks are helping keep the legacies of these amazing writers and artists alive in 2021. I am happy to be a part of this movement too.
JP - On that note, are there any dream books that you are always on the look-out for?
DG - My main collection goal is to knock out a complete set of the books featured in PAPERBACKS FROM HELL. There are 374 books that appear in it. Between my girlfriend (who also collects) and myself, we have about 325, so we’re really close. The really hard ones to find are UK / European variants. Honestly, the European cover art is almost always better than the US editions.
JP - It is a highly prestigious mark on your writing CV to appear in Scream Magazine – can you tell us a little more about that?
DG - It was just a matter of me being in the right place at the right time. I spent a year writing reviews for the Night Worms blog and the editor had an opening. I greatly enjoy supporting the indie horror community, so it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass on. Shout out to Sadie, aka Mother Horror, for the endless support.
JP - Who are your own favourite authors and how do they influence/inspire your work?
DG - There are honestly too many folks to name, but here are a few writers that inform my work: I admire Brian Keene for creating a multiverse that connects all of their work. I admire Richard Laymon for writing simple, effective prose. I admire Chandler Morrison for never holding back. I admire Victor LaValle, Hailey Piper, and Gabino Iglesias for subverting tropes. I admire Adam Cesare for writing teens that actually sound like teens. At this point, when I read authors I admire I’m taking mental notes. I’m thinking about how they’re writing violence, pacing plots, and building worlds. There are so many amazing writers doing their thing in 2021. It’s an amazing time to be both a reader and a writer with aspirations. Most folks are willing to help out and support and that’s been very encouraging for someone like myself who is just starting to dip their toes in the water.
JP - You’ve had a short selected for a Big publisher anthology – who would join you in your dream TOC?
DG - Clive Barker, Brian Keene, David Schow, Joe Lansdale, John Skipp, Kathe Koja, Laird Barron, Wrath James White, Shaun Hutson, John Langan, Hailey Piper, Nick Cutter, Bentley Little, Victor LaValle, Paul Tremblay and Christine Morgan. Edited by Ellen Datlow. Cover art by Lisa Falkensten. Full disclosure: I’ve given this a lot of thought.
JP - What’s next for you?
DG - Although I’m a bit nervous, I’m greatly looking forward to seeing THE RAZORBLADES IN MY HEAD in the hands of the horror community this June. I also have a short story called “Influencers” coming to the K. Trap Jones Splatterpunk anthology, GOREFEST, in late 2021 and plan on working on my first longer piece of fiction this summer. I’d love to have that released in the Fall / Winter, if possible. Either way, more is coming soon!
JP - Thanks so much, Donnie! Where can people find you?
Amazon and Goodreads: Donnie Goodman
Janine Pipe is the author of Twisted: Tainted Tales. Can be found on Twitter @JaninePipe28