Being Jeff Menapace
Perhaps you know Jeff Menapace as the author of Wildlife and Wildlife: Reckoning, two of the most chilling stories the Soundbooth team has ever brought to life. Or perhaps you’re a fan of his bestselling Bad Games series. But do you know what makes him tick? Read on to find out.
What draws you to the Horror genre, as opposed to other types of fiction?
I love all types of fiction. I’m just drawn more to darker stuff, especially the very real evil in mankind. There’s also something very primal that I love about being scared. When we are scared, we are truly in the moment. So much of life is spent worrying about the past or the future. Being scared forces us to truly embrace the moment and live in the now.
What are your top five favorite books (by other authors)?
Ugh – so, so many. Off the top of my head, I would say I love Stephen King’s Misery. I think it’s easily his best work, and Annie Wilkes is one of the greatest monsters ever created.
Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs are two others that come to mind. Love, love Red Dragon.
I’m a big Clive Barker fan too. His short work from early on his career is just brilliant.
There are way too many others to mention, but those are just a few off the top of my head.
What are the themes you write about in your fiction and why?
They vary from book to book, but one I keep coming back to is nature vs. nurture. Is evil made or born? I personally don’t believe there is one answer, nor do I believe there ever will be; but it definitely a subject that fascinates me. Although I’ve written books about ghosts, and demons, and monsters etc., I don’t believe in them. I DO however, as I mentioned above, believe in the evil mankind is capable of. In my opinion, that evil is the true horror.
If you could have any ability or superpower what would it be and why?
Geez – I have no idea. I guess being able to turn invisible would be pretty cool. You could travel the world, with nothing being off limits.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Again, it varies from project to project. I don’t always wait for inspiration to strike, because it just doesn’t work that way (at least not for me), but I always try to write about things that I, myself, would want to read. For example, The Cliché episodes that Soundbooth just produced, are based on an idea I thought could be both funny AND dark. Basically, taking a guy and placing him in an array of classic movie clichés, and then seeing how long he can survive while the super-rich bet on that survival – all while getting to exploit those classic movie clichés – seemed like such a fun idea; I had to write it.
How do you find the experience of listening to an audiobook differs from the experience of reading a book?
It all depends on the quality of the narration. If you have a top-notch team like the Soundbooth guys, it can be just as enjoyable as reading. If the narration stinks, well…
What genres do you enjoy outside of Horror?
I would say anything but romance. Not a fan.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Read and write and never, ever give up.
Give us a fun fact about yourself!
I’m a huge MMA fan. I’m also a big animal lover, especially cats – big and small. I think they are the coolest animals on the planet.