Meet the Author: Joshua Skye
Happy Friday Eve world!
I don’t know about you, but this week is sure dragging by for me. To keep things interesting, I’m happy to share my digital sit down with Joshua Skye, fantasy and supernatural author.
Fun fact, Joshy is the first author I’ve ever known. No, seriously! Way back in 2005 when I was working at Chik-Fil-A (please, no judgment lol), I met Joshy on Myspace I think and we hit it off as two fun-loving crazy guys should.
Needless to say, we’ve remained friends for 15 years, and I couldn’t be prouder of my great friend. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get into this interview!
Joshua Skye is the award-winning, bestselling author of The Angels of Autumn, Cradle, and The Grigori. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and has been featured several times in The Sirens Call, a free e-zine from Sirens Call Publications. He lives in Texas with his husband and their son.
Hi Joshy, thanks so much for stopping by.
Joshy: Thank you for having me.
Very welcome! To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees random questions to get the blood flowing. Here are yours!
Through an unknown magic you are teleported to the world of a book you’ve recently read. Where have you ended up?
Joshy: I’ve been making my way through John Carpenters Tales for a HalloweeNight, a comic book anthology series, each edition consisting of several short stories of various themes. I imagine that the world presented therein would be quite like a fever dream, or dreams as the case may be, fast paced, bizarre, and hokey in equal measure.
Jonny: Ooo, sounds terrifying and exhilarating. Sign me up!
As you walk home from the mall with your friends, an alien ship crash lands near you. The dying alien from inside approaches and offers to give you the power to morph into animals so long as you fight an evil alien race til your dying breath. What do you do?
Joshy: Keep walking and continue discussing the global merits of a Thunderdome type ending to pretentious, overrated celebrities. Imagine Piers Morgan vs. Kanye West. Who wouldn’t want to see those two ladies go at it under Auntie’s law?
Jonny: I’ve actually never seen Thunderdome, so the reference is lost on me (please, no throwing of tomatoes!), but I’ll trust your word that it would be entertaining!
Flesh-eating zombies are rampaging across the country. What do you defend yourself with?
Joshy: Chocolate. I love it and they’re allergic.
Jonny: LOL, who knew? I’ll definitely have to stock up for the zombie apocalypse!
Joshua and the Writing Process
For starters, tell us a little bit about your writing.
Joshy: I am a writer of speculative fiction, fantasy horror explicitly, with a focus on LGBT characters thrown into extraordinary situations.
Jonny: Most definitely. Everything I’ve read of yours fits your description to a tee, and it’s all riveting. Can’t wait to read more of your works!
What is your favorite part of writing/blogging?
Joshy: My favorite part is when I get so lost in the process hours have passed before I even realize it. There’s something magical in that, or alien abduction-esque. Whichever. Time flies when you’re having fun. If it’s not fun, what’s the point, right?
Jonny: Ah, nothing beats that inspiration when it’s hitting you full force. Couldn’t agree more about the fun part. If you’re not having fun, why are you even doing it?
Not including family, who supported your efforts to become a published author?
Joshy: My husband Ray. He’s been my staunchest supporter. No one else comes close.
Jonny: Aw, I always love how great you and Ray are to each other despite the hilarious hijinx from time to time. For me it’s always been my mom, then my best writing friends. You know, people like you. *wink wink*
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Joshy: Fifteen, some not published, several out-of-print. The Angels of Autumn is my favorite. It has a complex, profoundly flawed (human) protagonist and some horrific and spectacular invocations of imagery. I’m just very proud of it in general.
Jonny: Dang, that’s quite the feat! Angels of Autumn is actually the first book of yours that I read, and I truly enjoyed it. The characters, the plot, everything was great!
How did you come up with the title for this book?
Joshy: It’s reflective of references and characters both literal and figurative, in the story. And it has a beautiful ring to it, I think.
Jonny: It is very beautiful for a title, I must admit. Sometimes it can be such a struggle for me to come up with my titles. I decided on the title of Reaper when I finally settled on a name for my evil creature.
What inspired you to write this book in particular? Is it part of a series?
Joshy: I was living in a small northern Pennsylvania town at the time I wrote Angels of Autumn, in a folk Victorian home built in the late 1800s. I loved the house and the ghosts that came with it, but was finding myself very frustrated by the whole repressive vibe of the town, the bigotry in particular. As they say, ‘small town, small minds.’ From that was born the basic story and from my imagination came the more fantastic aspects.
Jonny: Thanks for sharing that information with us. So in a way, you really lived parts of this book. That’s really amazing.
Do you have a favorite character in your new book? Why are they your favorite?
Joshy: Kincaid the main character as an expression of myself is, of course, my favorite. He’s bolder and more confrontational than I am. My friends would not be surprised by the similarities, but there are significant differences too, enough to make him more interesting to have written and read about. It’s not entirely autobiographical, I mean there are otherworldly creatures, angels and demons, in it, but it’s fun to revisit and recognize the similarities between myself and Kincaid, and my experiences in that town and just how I wove them into the plot of an erotic supernatural thriller.
Jonny: That’s great that you can relate so much to that character while making them their own person separate from yourself.
My main character from Reaper is a lot like a younger version of myself but with some stark differences. I guess you could say he’s the young man I would’ve dreamed of being when I was younger.
Was there a message in your book that you were trying to convey?
Joshy: I’ll leave that to the interpretation of the reader. I actually love hearing from readers and have heard from many in regards to this book especially. It’s rooted in reality, but definitely a construct of fantasy, and yet people relate and love it. I can’t ask for a lot more than that as an author, can I?
Jonny: Totally! I think a lot of it ties into the themes you had present, for example the small town, small minds. A lot of the bigotry and way people treated others that are different fueled some of the plot and propelled it forward, but there is definitely more than just that to take from it, especially the supernatural elements.
If your book would be made into a film, who would you like to play the leads?
Joshy: Zac Efron, Antonio Marziale, or DJ Qualls. They are three entirely different actors, but all are unique and talented who could bring their own style and type to the role.
Jonny: Zac Efron and DJ Qualls are wonderful actors! I have no doubt they’d do you proud. I don’t know who Antonio Marziale is, but I’ll take your word for it!
What do you think makes a good story?
Joshy: As Mama Ru says, “Uniqueness, nerve, and talent.”
Jonny: LMAO, yes, yes she does say that and it’s definitely true.
For me it’s just something that draws me in immediately and doesn’t let go until the book’s done. I want the book to hypnotize me with its awesomeness.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Joshy: I do. I learn from both, but ultimately ignore the bad ones especially if they don’t make a lot of sense. You can tell if a critic only skimmed through your story, wasn’t able to contextualize or understand it, or finds it personally objectionable in some way, their dislike of speculative fiction or homophobia, for example. You’d be surprised how often a reviewer is assigned material they have no interest in. You simply won’t get fair or objective reviews from them. I’m much more interested in what fans and appreciative repeat readers have to say. Taking their constructive criticism to heart, while remaining true to yourself, will make you a better writer.
Jonny: I agree with you completely. Sometimes there can be little nuggets of wisdom to take from bad reviews, but other times not.
Oh man, that’s really a shame that a homophobic person would read an LGBT book just to give it a bad review or not truly read it with an open mind. Hopefully you don’t get too many of those.
Fun Facts About Joshua
Could you tell us a couple fun facts about you?
Joshy: Guinea pigs are my favorite pet. Madonna is my favorite singer. Fairuza Balk is my favorite artist. I am fascinated by the New York Club Kids. When I was a little kid, my career goal was Times Square prostitute. You know, back in the ‘80s. I was a strange child from New York state fashioned and sculpted by the programming coming out of NYC. I remember thinking that Elvira Mistress of the Dark was a goddess back then.
Jonny: Oh wow, I didn’t peg you for the guinea pig type, though I did definitely know all about your Madonna fandom. She really is quite the artist, definitely one of my faves.
And Fairuza Balk? Don’t even get me started on her role in The Craft.
Oh no! Young Joshy, don’t be a prostitute please!
Hmm, isn’t Elvira a goddess? She’s definitely got a unique personality.
Pancakes or waffles?
Jonny: Add some chocolate chips and caramel sauce and I’m in.
What’s your favorite place that you’ve travelled to?
Joshy: Hawaii. It’s beautiful.
Jonny: Okay, you’re seriously gonna make me cry. I was supposed to go to Hawaii this year, then the whole C-virus thing happened. *sigh* Maybe next year or something.
So far my favorites have been Denver and Seattle, but I need to go somewhere exotic or foreign. Come on, Canada!
If you had to choose one type of food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Joshy: Cajun. I love spicy food.
Jonny: Good choice! See, I like spicy food but my body doesn’t lol. Darn my white genes. I’ll take sushi for the win.
If you could choose to be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Joshy: A Tuatha Dé Danann, I find them endlessly fascinating and dream about them all the time. I may have been one in a past life, or am one now hiding among humans. Who knows?
Jonny: I plead the fifth, I had to look them up. But they seem so beautiful and magical!
Taking your lead, I’d choose to be a druid. I think it would be amazing to be so in tune with mother nature that you can use her blessings in spells and such. Talk about down to earth! :p
What are your favorite tv shows and movies?
Joshy: The X-Files is my favorite television show of all-time. My favorite movies are Suspiria, Christine, Evita, and Brokeback Mountain.
Jonny: You know, I never really got into X-Files. I hear Suspiria got a remake, you’ll have to tell me what you thought about it! My faves are Charmed and Fringe, but anything fantasy, scifi, or LGBT will get my attention.
Who are your favorite writers?
Joshy: Stephen King, Shirley MacLaine, and James St. James.
Jonny: Good choices! Some of my recent faves have been Pam Smy, VE Schwab, and Teri Polen.
What are you reading now?
Joshy: Drag Out The Diva by Daniel W. Kelly
Jonny: Interesting, you’ll have to tell me how you like it! I’m reading The Seers by Katherine Bennet. Pretty good so far!
What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
Joshy: I read horror, political and spiritual journeys, and celebrity biographies. Horror is my favorite because it’s so much fun, especially if it’s particularly imaginative.
Jonny: That’s a very interesting mix, loving it. Horror, scifi, fantasy, and lately lots of YA/middle grade in any genre have been fave genres to try out.
If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go?
Joshy: I’d love to ride the Orient Express and visit Machu Picchu.
Jonny: I rode a train back on my big trip to Seattle and Portland, and I have to say it’s one of my favorite modes of transportation. Take me with you on the Orient Express!
Hmm, I’d either choose Hawaii or somewhere in Canada around May when the festivals are occurring.
Star Wars or Star Trek? OR Doctor Who?
Joshy: I watch all three, but prefer Star Trek. It may have been hokey at first, but it was pretty progressive for its time and remains so. It has evolved into thoughtful, intelligent sci-fi. Generations and First Contact are my favorite films in the franchise, Voyager and Discovery are my favorite of the television shows.
Jonny: Star Trek first and always for me. My mom loves James T. Kirk. I’m more of a TNG guy, but Voyager is a close second. I could rewatch those any day and be completely content.
How would you conquer the world?
Joshy: Caligula style!
Jonny: Oh damn, remind me not to get on your bad side lol. As long as I’m superpowered I wouldn’t mind joining you in world domination. We’d make the perfect team, muahaha!
What did you read as a kid? What stuck with you the most?
Joshy: I started to read Stephen King in the third grade. I was never interested in material written for my age with the exception of Bunnicula. Who doesn’t love vampire bunnies and their vegetable ghouls?
Jonny: Wow, ahead of your time, I applaud you. I’ve actually never heard of Bunnicula. Gotta check that out haha. I mainly read Goosebumps, Animorphs, then Anne Rice in high school.
What has been your most bizarre life experience?
Joshy: A friend of mine once chased the ghost of a little girl through a graveyard at night. We had to give up the chase because it was scaring the hell out of the people we were there with. She shows up every once in a while to let me know she’s still around.
Jonny: I am so jealous of you right now! *pouts* I wanna chase a ghost. You’ll definitely have to tell me more about this story soon!
Mine was this one time I meditated to release all the stress I’d been feeling. Later that night, I awoke to a dark shadow at the foot of my bed. It was trying to get inside my head and felt like someone was holding a power drill to my head. Zzzt. Zzzt. Zzzt. Weirdest thing ever.
What would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Joshy: A Beluga Whale or a sloth. Belugas are beautiful, intelligent, and impish. Sloths are just too adorable for words and they sleep a lot.
Jonny: I gotta say, sloths are freakin’ adorable. You know I’ll always pick a black cat. They’re my children.
What were you like in high school?
Joshy: I was a great big dork who would Vogue down the hallways, make out with straight guys in the photography department’s dark room, and wore my clothes inside out and backwards. I had a mullet once. It didn’t go over well.
Jonny: OMG you sound like you were amazing in high school! Holy crap!
I was a popular choir kid. I had hundreds of friends, no one could touch me, and I could leave class whenever I wanted due to ‘choir activities’, which I lied about all the time. *evil grin*
Joshua and His Works
Tell us about your latest project.
Joshy: My new project is called Dark Skye Relief. We’re living in troubling times with record unemployment and various financial hardships. My husband and I created a website that features some of my short stories. Each is dedicated to a friend who needs a little help in some way. At the end of the story is a donation button, all proceeds go directly to the person the story is dedicated to. It’s not much, but I hope it helps.
Jonny: I’ve seen your postings on Facebook, and I have to say it’s truly inspirational that you’re doing this for others. Amazing, just amazing my friend.
Alright, time’s up. One more question for the cheap seats in the back! Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events, and special offers?
Joshy: Right now I’d like to direct everyone to Dark Skye Relief (https://www.darkskyerelief.com/) and ask them to help if they can or share. Each helps. I’d also like to thank them in advance if they do. A new website about my work in general will be coming soon.
Jonny: Definitely, thanks for sharing that with us and being a part of this today. Joshua Skye, everybody!
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book worms, that wraps up my interview with Joshua Skye. I always have a great time chatting it up with him, and I hope you enjoyed the experience too!
If you’d like to learn more about Joshua and his work, he can be reached at the social media links provided below.
Thank you for stopping by, and have a great day!
Social Media Links
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Beluga whales are awesome. You think “whale” and “blubber,” but belugas are athletes, rather muscular. Wonderful interview, and Dark Skye Relief is such a great idea.
Haha I honestly didn’t know the difference, thanks for pointing that out. They seem a lot cooler to me now.
Thanks for stopping by!
….You lost me at “I’ve never seen Thunderdome” Ha ha!! Great interview!!
I know, I know guilty as charged!
Thanks for stopping by!