Joel M. Andre is represented by the interviewer's Pump Up Your Book Promotion, a public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.
Kill 4 Me, a technological thriller set in rural America, follows Casey Dwyer, a small town girl who becomes caught in a spirit’s unrelenting quest for vengeance after she receives a cryptic and seemingly harmless text message. A supernatural thriller that explores how technology can be used to torture others through the lens of a horror novel is horror writer Joel M. Andre at his best.
We interviewed Joel to find out more about his exciting new book and his life as a published author.
Thank you for this interview, Joel. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I appreciate you taking the time to interview me. I began writing in 1999, and found my initial niche in poetry. My idol at the time being Poe, my passion for his style shows strongly in my earlier works. Over the course of time, I have found my own voice, and continue to write from my heart.
Do you write full-time?
I do write full time. I find it eases my mind of the world around me.
At what point in your life did you make up your mind you were going to become a published author?
There has always been a desire to become a published author. While in grade school and especially in Junior High I would write short stories and poetry and give them to friends. I kind of wish I had some of that stuff to fall back when writer’s block comes in.
Was there anyone in your life that you can give credit to helping pave the way?
The one person who nagged me telling me I had a gift was Terrance Pratt; he continued to let my mother know I had a gift as well.
What was your favorite book to read as a child?
My favorite childhood story was Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak. I recall forcing my mother to read that to me numerous times. This question actually brought back some great memories.
What is your favorite book at the present?
Currently, I am reading Stephen King’s The Stand. The uncut version of course. King is a great writer, and I don’t think he released a better book than The Stand.
If you could trade places with one author who you have admired over the years, who would it be and why?
Honestly, I know how cliché this sounds, but I would trade places with Edgar Allen Poe. His life was so self-destructive and dark, but he created some of the greatest works. I would be interested in seeing life through his eyes.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
My new book is called Kill 4 Me. It is a horror story about a young woman who is haunted by a vengeful spirit through text messaging and the computer.
The spirit blames the main character, Casey Dwyer, for its death. The spirit then makes small demands of Casey, and builds the level of torture she must endure. If Casey declines a task, a loved one falls prey to the spirit.
Why did you feel a need to write it?
Sometimes I watch the night sky and get inspiration from it. Your mind drifts off among the stars, and you end up with some great ideas. This story began with a title and a text message.
From there it’s a passion in your soul to continue to write the story. Days begin to blend together, and then out of nowhere you end up with the finished project. It’s an emotional experience to write a story, a part of you is blended in the text.
What kind of research did you have to conduct to write your book?
I do a lot of research on the human body, and find flaws in items that enhance them to be used as weapons.
I also try and research my setting locations so I am not just pulling items from the air, hoping no one knows if they are real or not.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I am a horror junkie. I admit it. I write because I want to resurrect the genre. It has become so cliché. Now don’t get me wrong, I do nod towards tradition in my books, but I want to leave a mark in the genre.
Where do you get ideas to write your books?
The ideas simply pop into my head. My mind is very dark, but I am the kindest person out there.
How do you deal with rejection?
Everyone has an opinion. If I was writing for acceptance, I would be writing for the wrong reasons.
Do you ever get writer’s block and what do you do when that happens?
I do get writer’s block, and when I do, I write jumbled messes on the word processor. This question almost gave me writer’s block.
Do you have an agent? What were your experiences finding her/him?
I do not have an agent, so if someone is looking for a client, give me a jingle.
Do you blog? If so, what can you tell my readers about the advantages of blogging as a useful tool in book promotion?
I love to blog! It reaches an audience you never knew existed! Some people who avoid all news and television still read the blogs. There is a chance of making contact with them.
Do you have a website? Do you manage it yourself or do you have someone run it for you?
My website www.joelmandre.com is run by myself. It gives it a more personal touch that way.
How do you deal with a bad review?
If you wrote to please everyone your books would be terribly bland. A bad review shows your book normally did not meet someone’s taste. If I am proud of the work I did, that alone is fulfilling enough for me.
What’s next for you?
The Price of Blood, the sequel to A Death at the North Pole, due Halloween 2008.
Thank you for this interview, Joel! Do you have any final words you’d like to share with my readers?
Thank you again for the time you spent interviewing me, and thank you to your readers for showing interest. I encourage everyone to support our youth in the arts. Teach them to use their imagination, and encourage their passion. A world without art is a terrible place. Much love to all of you!