To say that I am overly excited about this post, is an understatement. I am fairly new to Josh and his books. I first became aware through a co-worker of mine. We are always asking each other what book we are currently reading, if we had read anything good lately or if we had seen the most recently released movie. That’s how I heard about Josh Malerman and BIRD BOX. I didn’t have Netflix at the time, so no, I hadn’t seen it yet. Found out it was based on a book, so I went shopping on Amazon and bought the E-book. Promised myself that I would watch the movie after I had finished the book. Both, to me are simply awesome….more on both a little later. I started following Josh on Twitter and Facebook (I couldn’t send a friend request, he was at the 5k max) and learned as much as I could about his books. I’m not sure when I said it, but I had joked that he needed to vote someone off the island so I could send a friend request. LOL Next time I checked his Facebook page, there was only 4999 friends. Sorry, NOT sorry to the one voted off. Then came SCARES THAT CARE ( scaresthatcare.org ) 2019. I was super excited that Josh was going to be there for the first time. My fangirling was out in full force….. sorry. My sister and I had arrived in Williamsburg, VA mid Thursday. SCARES runs from Friday to Sunday. If you ever get the chance to go …. GO!! It’s a beautiful charity weekend and its for an amazing cause. Anyways, I wasn’t feeling all that great, so sis and I were sitting down in the lobby just people watching (which by the way is just so much fun). I had my tablet with me, but wasn’t really reading. I happen to look up, and standing at the front desk was Josh and his lovely partner Allison. The above picture of Josh was taken by the lovely Allison. I certainly didn’t want to get caught watching, so I would look up, look back at my tablet, look at my sister and giggle and whisper “Josh is here. Josh is here”…. and start the cycle all over again. Josh and Allison finish up and start to walk away and past where sis and I were sitting. I just happen to look up and catch Josh’s eye. He stops! I smile. He walks over to where we are sitting and says something along the lines of “I know you from Facebook right?” Yes. I’m Tina Marie. “That’s right” … and the hugging starts! Wheeeee! I had to apologize quick, I had been fighting dizzy spells for 2 days by that time (they lasted the whole weekend), and almost knocked Josh and myself to the floor. Josh and Allison are two of the nicest people ever!!! OMG. She is beautiful as he is handsome. Stood around and chatted for a bit and it completely made my day. I believe I bought every book that Josh had available that weekend, and every time my sister and I saw them, we always got a Hello / How are you? from them. Another fond memory from that weekend, on Sunday just as the weekend was winding down, we saw Josh and Allison walking around in the other first floor ballrooms from where Josh was set up, talking with other authors and passing out the books he had left. Was so cool to see.
So, That is my story of meeting Josh Malerman. It is a day that I will never forget.
Josh’s most popular book is BIRD BOX. As I said it was made into a Netflex movie staring Sandra Bullock. It centers around a city in Michigan (where Josh and Allison live – me too lol) where people are all of a sudden going mad at seeing these creatures that have taken over the city and would in turn commit suicide. What makes this book and movie so different, is that the “creatures” are never described. Your imagination takes over and sets you on edge!
Something is out there . . .
Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?
Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?
Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.
BIRD BOX is available is all formats – Hardcover, paperback, audio and kindle
My next book that I read of Josh’s was INSPECTION. I have never read a book like this before. A story about a group of boys living together and studying together to be the best of the best. As the truth comes out, things begin to unravel and there is no stopping it. I truly loved this book. The twists and turns you come across, you won’t see coming and that ending!
J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.
J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father. J’s peers are the only family he has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, and their life at the school is all they know—and all they are allowed to know.
But J suspects that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he’s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J’s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.
INSPECTION is available in all formats – Hardcover, Paperback, Audio and Kindle
A few other books by Josh are …. UNBURY CAROL, BLACK MAD WHEEL. A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE and GOBLIN (A NOVEL IN SIX NOVELLAS).
Check out his author page at AMAZON. Search JOSH MALERMAN
Josh’s newest book that was just recently released is MALORIE: book 2 to BIRD BOX. I have started reading this on my kindle. I think I am just hitting chapter 10. It is just as good, if not better then the first. The first couple chapters take place two years after then end of BIRD BOX, then it jumps to ten years. Malorie and the kids, teenagers really, are on another suspenseful adventure.
Twelve years after Malorie and her children rowed up the river to safety, a blindfold is still the only thing that stands between sanity and madness. One glimpse of the creatures that stalk the world will drive a person to unspeakable violence.
There remains no explanation. No solution.
All Malorie can do is survive—and impart her fierce will to do so on her children. Don’t get lazy, she tells them. Don’t take off your blindfold. AND DON’T LOOK.
But then comes what feels like impossible news. And with it, the first time Malorie has allowed herself to hope.
Someone very dear to her, someone she believed dead, may be alive.
Malorie has already lost so much: her sister, a house full of people who meant everything, and any chance at an ordinary life. But getting her life back means returning to a world full of unknowable horrors—and risking the lives of her children again.
Because the creatures are not the only thing Malorie fears: There are the people who claim to have caught and experimented on the creatures. Murmerings of monstrous inventions and dangerous new ideas. And rumors that the creatures themselves have changed into something even more frightening.
Malorie has a harrowing choice to make: to live by the rules of survival that have served her so well, or to venture into the darkness and reach for hope once more.
MALORIE is available in all formats – Hardcover, Paperback, Audio and Kindle
Josh took time out of his very busy schedule to answer a few (LOL) questions for me. THANKS JOSH!! You are a rock star! He is! He’s in a band…. The High Strung, you can listen to them via Pandora and / or Spotify ( I listen to both )
Did you do a lot of reading growing up?
Yes. There was a contest called the Pine Tree Book something or other and how it worked was you had to prove, by way of book reports, how many books you read. And I was always beat by these three girls. But I remember feeling enormous pride when they called my name for fourth place. I also remembering my parents’ reaction when I read, for the first time, a book on my own, from beginning to end. Sometimes I think that moment, and their reaction, started this whole wild life.
Did you have a favorite book growing up?
I loved the Bunnicula series. The Howliday Inn. The Celery Stalks at Midnight. James Howe blew my mind in those days. Thinking of revisiting him now.
Did you grow up always wanting to be a writer / musician?
A writer, yes. I had no musical leaning or notion whatsoever. But all my best friends did. They were already playing when we were ten years old. When we turned 19 they more or less asked me to play along, to write music, since I wrote stories and poems. That’s 19 year old logic for you, but it worked. And soon as I realized you could play two chords on an organ and sing a poem, I was smitten.
How old were you when you wrote your first book?
I was 29. From ages 19-29 I “failed” at four of them. And by failed I only mean I didn’t finish. One made it 300 pages, but I just didn’t know how to end it. Then, at 29, a breakthrough. Now I’m working on book 33.
What does a day of writing look like for you?
Depends on the book. Some are written in the morning, some at night. But it does seem like the sessions are uniform for the duration of each book. The time of day changes between books, and the word count, too. But in and of itself each book becomes a pattern, a series of uniform sessions.
Do you play a soundtrack while writing or do you like the silence?
Almost always play a soundtrack. I have a holy-shit collection of horror movie soundtracks on vinyl and I just roll them all day.
Ever get writers block? How do you deal with it?
I don’t get it. Never will. To me, writer’s block is invisible. So is the bullet that comes out of your finger when you make a gun with your hand. So I say kill it. Kill writer’s block.
If you could change anything in any of your books would you? What would you change?
Hmm. Well, after wrapping Bird Box I wondered if it would’ve been more powerful for them to have ended up in a house no different really than where they started. Not the same house, but a house full of people trying to figure shit out all over again. That, to me, could’ve been devastating. At the same time, it might’ve felt too clever.
You write, you sing. You have the movies, and Creepshow. Is there anything you haven’t done that you want to do?
I wanna direct a movie. I’m planning on it. I’ll turn one of the books that I haven’t released yet into a movie. Working on that as we speak!
What inspired BIRD BOX?
Two things really: 1) a still image of a woman and two kids, blindfolded, navigating a river, and 2) the idea that a person could go made if they attempted to fathom infinity. It scares me, the idea of “infinity personified.” As if a concept above our heads could ring our doorbell, sit on our porch swing, enter our home and heads.
Who would you like to see playing you in a movie about your life? What would the title be?
Ha! Well… I’d like a really funny Jewish dude (or girl!) to play me. So let’s say Janeane Gorafalo. I don’t even know if she’s Jewish but I feel her, you know? And I think it could be called: Inspiration is a Monster
Do you have a dream co-author?
I’d like to write a book with John Taff. Jonathan Janz. Sarah Pinborough. I mean, I’d also be totally freaked out to write a book with anyone. But those three would be fascinating for different reasons.
If you could live in any book for a day, which book would it be?
Moby Dick. I wanna be out to sea with Ahab. I don’t wanna talk to him necessarily. But I wanna see that obsession up close.
What’s up next for you?
Working on a new book now. a script, too. Also Creepshow season 3. And A House at the Bottom of a Lake comes out wider in December. And with the band: we were recording two albums when the lockdown hit. So… as soon as we can, we gotta wrap those!
For new readers, How many books do you have available? Which one should they start with and do you have any new releases soon??
So I have 9 books out. I’m not sure which to start with. I think Bird Box is an excellent how-do-you-do. But I think Goblin and Unbury Carol are for the more colorful set.
Who are some of your influences? Who inspires you?
Too many to name! Lately it’s been Joe Dante, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth.
How do you think the Classics inspire today’s young authors?
Well, for me, the real fun began when I realize that the classics aren’t as dense as they are billed to be. There’s a reason these books are beloved through the ages. They’re not only brilliant, but readable.
We met for the first time last year at SCARES THAT CARE ( https://scaresthatcare.org/ ) in Williamsburg Virginia. Any plans of going to future Charity Weekends??
Absolutely! And how fun was that? I loved it. Yes, all the plans. And this lockdown is making me wanna spend a year on the road.
Do you ……… Facebook / Twitter / Instagram ?
Yeah. It’s all Josh Malerman. No fancy handles. I guess i am the only Josh Malerman in the world.
Any advice for future writers?
Yes: remove the words “good” and “bad” from your head. They mean nothing when it comes to writing that first draft of a novel. Think spirit over vocabulary. Feel over form. And you don’t have to express yourself in full in every book. It’s okay for a book to show only a part of you.
Well, there you have it dear readers. My dream interview!! Thank You again Josh for letting me spotlight YOU and your amazing books!!
Readers….. GO NOW! BUY THESE AWESOME BOOKS!! BUY THEM. READ THEM. REVIEW THEM!! Go now ……….. !!!!