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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who is Jonathan Maberry?

As I have been mentioning everywhere, I will be interviewing Jonathan Maberry on both RA for All blogs on Sunday, but I also realized that some of you may be unfamiliar with him and his work.  Thankfully, letting people know about new authors is what I am paid to do.

Maberry features prominently in the new book, but specifically he has an entire section in Chapter 3 which chronicles the current state of horror I have an entire section on Maberry.  I have posted most of it here.  Please note, it also includes possible readalike options:
Maberry is a busy, award-winning author. He writes traditional horror novels, a best-selling, speculative thrillers series, a zombie young adult series, comics, movie novelizations, and nonfiction about horror, specifically the science and history behind the supernatural. 
However, it is with Ghost Road Blues, the Bram Stoker award-winning first novel in his classic, small town horror Pine Deep Trilogy that Maberry began his march toward horror master status.  Ghost Road Blues tells the story of the residents of Pine Deep, PA, who thirty years ago killed a serial killer known as “The Reaper.”  Since then, the town has seen peace and fame as the Halloween capital of America.  But as the novel opens on the Halloween season, a new supernatural evil lurks on the outskirts of town, waiting to finish what The Reaper began.  
Since Ghost Road Blues, Maberry has established a go-to style that readers can count on and seem to crave.  His books all have chilling situations, menacing atmospheres, relentlessly fast-paced action, humor, and lots of gore. These are not books for the squeamish. Maberry liberally uses visual, aural, and scent inducing adjectives that describe how the monsters, zombies, and humans (both heroes and villains) in his books fight for their lives. 
Maberry also frewurntly makes use of flawed male protagonists. In Maberry’s case most of the heroes come from troubled pasts, pasts in which they have erred and must make things right. These heroes are in the thriller mode, meaning that their hearts are always in the right place despite their troubled pasts. They grapple with supremely evil villains, from supernatural monsters to terrorists.  Maberry leaves no doubt as to who is on the side of justice in his books. 
Maberry’s books are also slightly faster paced than others in the horror genre. The action starts off fast and only increases.  Besides using many fight scenes, Maberry employs multiple points of view, showing us the villain’s plans, allowing readers to stay a step ahead of the hero, which therefore, increases both the pace and the reader’s already heightened sense of dread.   These high stakes, intense cat and mouse games do lead to violent conclusions in which the hero triumphs, but the level of violence is not above and beyond what is typical to either the horror or thriller genre.  
Readers new to Jonathan Maberry should start with his Pine Deep Trilogy which begins with Ghost Road Blues. 
Fans of Maberry may also enjoy Joe Hill, Brian Keene, and Gary Braunbeck since they all write character-centered horror with flawed but good-hearted protagonists.  Also, like Maberry, Keene and Braunbeck create a mythology linking their novels.  The influence of established horror writers like F. Paul Wilson, Richard Matheson, and Graham Masterton is reflected in Maberry’s use of a menacing atmosphere and a speculative threat that is both evil and smart.  The creepy thrillers of David Morrell will also attract Maberry readers who love menacing atmospheres, fast-paced action, and plot twists galore, while the dark, supernatural adventure novels of James Rollins will also draw Maberry readers who like the action based plots, military details, and inclusion of scientific details.
So now you know a little more about the author.   Look for more posts and a review of Dead of Night coming later this week.

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