If you’ve spent any time around the horror genre, you’ve heard of Mark Justice. Author, reviewer, and mastermind of the wonderful Pod of Horror podcast, Mark is an integral member of the horror community and a man whose opinion I value highly.
So it was with great joy that I read today his list of the three best horror novels of 2013. His top choice was Stephen King’s JOYLAND, a book that’s been included on too many top ten lists to name. Coming in at number two was none other than Bentley Little, whose Cemetery Dance novel THE INFLUENCE has also garnered a great deal of praise. And Mark’s number three?
My own SAVAGE SPECIES.
Of my fourth Samhain novel, which was originally serialized back in June, Mark writes, “With Savage Species, we have Janz’s best novel to date. This time out, Janz seems to be channeling horror master Richard Laymon, both in Laymon’s penchant for creating monsters that exist just beyond the borders of our safe suburban lives and in the confident way Laymon frequently layered in a good dose of humor. Janz’s characters are fully realized in a way that the population of most horror novels are not, and by establishing their personalities, complete with flaws, Janz allows us to know them and to care for them. Thus, when bad things happen, we are fully invested in the fate of his characters.” He goes on to say, “Of all the up-and-coming horror writers out there, Jonathan Janz is the one to keep an eye on.”
Which, considering how many awesome new writers are emerging in our about-to-explode genre, is high praise indeed. You can read the entire wonderful, humbling article right here. Incidentally, Mark states that if his list went to five, his fourth-best novel of 2013 would be Stephen King’s DOCTOR SLEEP, and his number five pick would be Joe Hill’s NOS4A2.
My kids and I are about to have a dance party now. Apologies if my post sounded self-congratulatory. I’m just excited, that’s all. And if you want to see something really scary…you should see what an awful dancer I am. Currently, my kids are too young to realize how dorkily their daddy dances. Someday, however, they’ll know. And they’ll shudder at the horror of my dance moves.
*Cue Kenny Loggins’s “Footloose”*