Friday, 6 April 2012

Author Interview - John Hansen

 Author John Hansen stopped by our blog today for an interview and to share his short story,

Entertainment is changing forever. Comedies, dramas, and reality TV shows are out. Murder is in.

In a world where murder is being exploited on TV, viewers watch live assassinations for their own entertainment. A hit game show where the challenge is to kill arises, stirring up remarkable popularity. Millions of viewers all across the globe watch it, vicariously experiencing the thrill of murder without ever committing the crime. And they all love it. Murder is the world’s latest and most remarkable excitement turned entertainment. But what happens when it goes too far?

Download The Perfect Game FREE for a limited time -April 7th and 8th- here:
Amazon UK

Thank you John for stopping by!  When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you?
I guess, like most writers, I always wanted to be an author. I wrote my first story—something about a mouse who could talk invading an alien ship and fighting robot-alien people (don’t ask)—when I was only five years old. I still remember my passion for writing early on. I bothered my elementary school teachers about stories and poems I wrote, asking for their feedback. I was notorious for being a writer in the blithe, carefree days of 1st grade and was always told by my teachers “When you write a book, I’ll be the first to read it”. Of course, at that age, I didn’t know about agents and people actually needing to accept and publish it. I thought you just write a book and it magically appears on bookshelves. Oh, the good old days…

Anyway, I’m asked the question about my inspiration for writing a lot, and honestly, I can’t remember. I don’t think it was just one factor that inspired me to write—it was my love of reading combined with my creativeness, spontaneity and need to express myself that got me started. Over time, my writing developed from constant practice, repetition and most importantly, reading books by the best and learning about their styles. 

What was your first introduction to horror literature?
I was never really introduced to the horror genre. In fact, until I wrote ‘The Perfect Game’, I never especially liked horror. When I wrote it, ‘The Perfect Game’ was supposed to be just another crime fiction story. I had no intention of writing horror. But, I must’ve been feeling just a tad sadistic while writing it, because I made it much darker than I ever thought I would. 
When it was completed, I realized what I had written was horror. It was surprising at first, but ever since, I really delved into the horror genre and have surprised myself by enjoying it. 

So I guess one could say ‘The Perfect Game’ was my introduction to the genre. 

 How did you come up with the idea behind The Perfect Game?
It all stemmed from a book title I saw for some random self-published book. Oddly enough, that book was a romance, but the title made me think of parodying TV. It was then that I knew my next short story would be a TV parody, and with a dark twist, I decided. That’s when it hit me: what if I wrote about a game show where people kill each other on live TV? 

And thus, the idea was born.

What reality TV shows do you watch? If The Perfect Game was real, would you watch it?
 Probably not, given what ‘The Perfect Game’ does to people. [Insert evil laugh here]. Believe it or not, I don’t watch reality TV show, either; I just thought it would be fun to write about one. And oh, it was. 

What do you think draws people to horror stories? Why do we, as readers, like to be scared?
People are drawn to horror stories because they want to be taken to a place they have never been, and vicariously experience what humanity would never have thought possible. Horror is a dark twist on reality. People like to be taken to that dark place; and like a mysterious shadow in the moonlight it provokes a certain curiosity within the reader. Horror answers the question “what if?” and naturally, people want to know the answer to the “what if?”. With horror, you experience so many emotions in one story. It’s like a rollercoaster ride. You’re afraid, yet at the same time excited, nervous, intrigued and extremely curious. You can’t help but wonder: where’s this ride going to take me? And the best part is that there are no rules in horror, so that ride can lead anywhere. 

 What scares you?
Publishing a book that only gets 1-star reviews.

On a more serious note, I guess I’m scared by books and movies where the main character is walking down a dark hallway with scary music in the background. The floorboards are creaking, there’s rustling to the side and you know something terrible is about to happen to the poor character. You just don’t know what. For me, those types of scenes are both the scariest and most exhilarating.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I wish. Often, I also pretend to have hidden talents. But really, I have none. Well, except for my ability to eat an entire chocolate cake myself (not really). Shh. Don’t tell. 

 What book are you reading now?
‘The Book Thief’. Although I feel the character of death (who narrates the story) is a little overdone and clichéd, the novel is beautifully written with likable, three-dimensional characters, rich prose and a nice, suspenseful plot. I’m really enjoying it—no wonder it was a New York Times Bestseller!

Find out more about John and his writing at:


  1. This was a great interview. I do not read horror. I have tried and it is just not for me. That being said John Hansen's witty mode of expression makes me wish I did!
    Thanks for sharing,
    M.C.V. Egan

  2. Nice one John. Good luck and stuff.