Blood In The Woods: Author, Musician & Filmmaker J.P. Willie talks to Kendall Reviews.

J.P. Willie was born in Covington, Louisiana to parents Gayla and Joseph Willie on October 30th, 1981. He graduated from Tara High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and joined the United States Army on October 20, 2000.

While serving in the Army, his duty stations include: Fort Bragg (North Carolina), Caserma Ederle (Italy), Mannheim (Germany), Fort Benning (Georgia), Schofield Barracks (Hawaii) and Fort Polk (Louisiana). He served two combat tours in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He will retire from the Military in October of 2020.

J.P. Willie began his writing career in March of 2008 and his first novel, Blood In The Woods, was published by HellBound Books Publishing on December 18, 2017. The story is inspired by true events that occurred during his childhood and has terrified readers across the globe. His first short story, Welcome Home Rougarou, reached #5 for short reads on Amazon.com. His first short film titled, Crybaby Bridge: A Louisiana Urban Legend, is scheduled to hit film festivals late 2018 and marks his directorial debut. J.P. Willie assembled the talented cast and crew for his second film, Welcome Home Rougarou, and served as the writer and director.

J.P. enjoys writing Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Supernatural Fiction and Dark Fiction. He is working on his first novella, Hot Summer Savior.

Coffee?

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Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

I’m an active duty Sergeant First Class serving in the United States Army currently stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana. I’m also a musician (drummer), screenwriter, independent producer and director. I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, Corrie, for 7 years and we have 5 beautiful children. 

What do you like to do when not writing?

I’m normally spending time with family, beating the skins in the garage, or throwing around ideas for my next film, novella, or novel. My mind never stops.

What is your favourite childhood book?

My favorite book from my childhood is TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING. 

Eat it, or wear it.”

Best line in a book ever. 

What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

My favorite album? Wow! I haven’t had someone ask me that in years, but if I had to pick one it’d be THE CROW SOUNDTRACK, because all the artist on that soundtrack helped open new doors to heavier music for me to get into when I was a kid.

And yes, music does play a role when I’m writing or brainstorming, it helps my creative juices flow. If you’re having writers block, listen to some Deafheaven, trust me.

Do you have a favourite horror movie/director? 

I’d have to say my favorite horror movie director is Rob Zombie, and fans of my novel have been trying to get the book into his hands.

What are you reading now?

I’ve been reading Stephen King’s NIGHTMARE AND DREAMSCAPES, focusing on two particular stories, and hopefully in the next few months you’ll understand why.

Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

Authors that inspired me to write were Bram Stoker, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Chuck Palahniuk. 

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

I definitely work off a plot line. I have ADHD and if I don’t have something to keep me on track it’s gonna be a shit-show of a story. 

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Sometimes I’ll spend days researching, it just depends on what I’m writing about at the time, but I do ensure I have as much accurate information I possibly can before I start plotting the story. 

Describe your usual writing day?

When I’m able to write, I normally try to reach 1k words a day, if not more. Somedays I pump out more, but writing is not what puts food on my table, training our nations Soldiers to fight and win against the enemies of the United States of America is what pays the bills. 

Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

I self published my first short story, Welcome Home Rougarou, and it hit number 5 on Amazon for short reads and is also a short film in post-production. I wrote the screenplay, produced and assistant directed the film. 

Do you read your book reviews?

I do sometimes, because being an indie author, writer, whatever you wanna call yourself, it’s one of the only ways to see what readers truly think about your work. And let me be honest with you, I don’t consider myself an author, writer, or novelist. I’m a storyteller. My manuscripts aren’t free of grammatical errors or mistakes, and Blood in the Woods has a few that my publisher and I didn’t catch before going into publication. No one is perfect, but I do believe you gotta start somewhere in the industry and, maybe one day, the bigger publishing houses will see your track record, potential and welcome you into their literary family. A boy can dream, right? 

Any advice for a fledgling author?

Believe in yourself and your story. Know your worth and your works potential. Ain’t nothing to it but to do it. 

What scares you?

Snakes. I loath snakes.

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E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback for novel sales. Bareback for when you wanna live dangerously.

Can you tell me about your latest release please?

Blood in the Woods is a vivacious, nostalgic and disturbing coming-of-age novel described as a deadlier homage to Stephen King’s IT and STAND BY ME. It’s available through Hellbound Books Publishing.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on my first novella titled, Hot Summer Savior. It’ll be looking for a literary home sometime this year. 

You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

You can choose…

a) One fictional character from your writing.

The character Pepaw, who was based off my grandfather, Jerry Dan Jones.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

Dracula (though he wouldn’t be much fun during the day).

c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.

Stephen King (just so I can pick his brain and get some free writing classes).

Thank you very much Joe.

Official Website – www.officialjpwillie.com/

Twitter – @JPWillie81

IMDb – http://www.imdb.me/jpwillie

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16252359.J_P_Willie

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jpwillieofficial/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/j.p.willieofficial/

The first of upcoming new author, J.P. Willie’s horror novels, Blood in the Woods is based upon disturbing real-life events that took place in 1990’s Louisiana.              

For Jody, growing up in the late eighties and early nineties in the small Louisiana town of Hammond with his best friend Jack was filled with wonderful childhood memories.

Time spent playing in the woods, shooting pellet guns, blowing up mailboxes, fighting at school and upon the dawning of interest in the fairer sex, their carefree lives are typical of children with few responsibilities and no worries beyond the next pop-quiz or getting to second base.

As they grow older together and experience the joys and pains of life, love, family and friendship, they uncover a grim secret that their home town has kept, and through little more than an innocent, idle curiosity, Jody and Jack stumble upon something horrific in the woods. Their lives quickly take a most sinister and dangerous turn as they find themselves hunted by an unspeakable evil…

You can buy Blood In The Woods from Amazon US & Amazon UK

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