Jonathan Edward Ondrashek - Drop and Give me 20! 20 Hard Questions for Hard Authors
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Jonathan Edward Ondrashek. Heads up, this interview is a little "saucier" than usual, which includes harsh(er) language, references to naked celebrities, a Fleshlight, and an odd make out session w/a Punky Brewster doll....enjoy!!
Jonathan Edward Ondrashek loves to spew word vomit onto the masses. He’s had an array of poetry, reviews, articles, and interviews published in the past decade. His short stories have appeared in the anthologies Fifty Shades of Slay and Rejected for Content 4: Highway to Hell. His first two books in The Human-Undead War series, Dark Intentions and Patriarch, debuted in 2016. He’s also co-edited two anthologies: What Goes Around and Man Behind the Mask. If he isn’t working at his day job, reading, or writing, he’s probably drinking beer and making his wife regret marrying a lunatic. Feel free to stalk him on social media. He likes that shit.
1. Are you “An Author” -or- “A Writer”? What’s the difference?
I think both words describe the same creative type: A person who has created any form or multiple forms of literature, such as poetry, short stories, novels, memoirs, songs, blog posts, articles, brochures, greeting cards, and the like. I think the major difference is that a ‘writer’ constantly pursues the craft, while ‘author’ generally implies the individual has published work but isn’t necessarily still writing.
I refer to myself as a ‘writer’ but I maintain a public image of being an ‘author’. People outside the industry seem to scoff at ‘writer’. They obsess over an author because that term is (often mistakenly) associated with success and fame. This skewed perception is why I practice duality in my creative titles. (Could also be a case of split personalities or something. I’ll have to consult with the other voices in my head and get back to you on that. Could be a while though. Some of them are fucking assholes.)
2. What is your biggest failure?
I don’t fail. I learn.
3. What is the worst lie you ever told?
I once told a band I would reach out to producers to help them get their CD out there. I then told them I’d gotten hold of someone connected to Jack Osbourne, and he’d thought it wasn’t good enough for the masses. I regret that lie; I was much younger and wanted to be cool, be part of the scene, and I lied to cover my fraudulence. Not cool.
I live by integrity nowadays. My downfall for the past 15 years has been that I’m brutally honest. Lying gets you nothing but regret, so I’d rather hurt feelings with truth.
4. Do you Google yourself?
More than I did “The Fappening”, yes.
5. How would your friends describe you? And what about your worst enemy?
I’m not the same “let’s go out and fuck anything that walks and pump our bodies full of any drug placed in front of us” guy I used to be. I’m okay with that. I’m married, with a demanding full-time job, a kid, pets, and all the typical adult responsibilities. But many of my friends have been holding that against me. So I think some of them would say I’m lame, and I’m a hypocrite because I’ve changed. Other friends who also live this type of lifestyle would say I’m a funny, honest, admirable dude who’s pursuing his dreams and doing right by his family.
I think my worst enemy would say they wish they still had a good friend like me in their life.
6. What is your creative Kryptonite?
My inner editor. That nagging fucker never shuts up.
7. What popular movie/book/music which others adore, do you secretly despise?
I haven’t been so secret about it lately, but I despise anything by Stephen King. Yeah, yeah—a horror writer dislikes the horror king. That’s fucked up, I know. In my defense, I’ve tried reading his work and can’t trudge through the first chapter—any first chapter. I don’t feel he’s the solid writer everyone makes him out to be. I’m also not disillusioned: I’m not anywhere near the greatest. My royalty payments thus far have proven that. But I’m not being hyped up by the masses. He is, and I don’t understand why. Many on the indie scene are better and more innovative than he is.
8. What is the worst criticism you ever received? How did it make you feel?
One of my best friends told me, in different terms, that I’m a shit editor and writer simply because he disagreed with a social media post discussing an objective editing tip (which professional editors all agreed with). That hit me square in my man nuggets. I couldn’t write or edit for months afterward. It wasn’t even legit criticism, but his lack of support and refusal to acknowledge my hard work ushered the black dog in. It took a few more publication credits to realize I didn’t need his validation.
9. What is a secret you’ve never told anyone?
I made out with a plush Punky Brewster doll when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Like, stripped it naked, fondled it, and frenched it. I had problems back then. Might explain some things now…
10. How long/how many rejections did you get before someone gave you your shot?
I received 13 rejections from various agents and publishers over the course of a year before landing a contract with The Publisher Who Shall Not Be Named. A year passed. After having my release dates pushed back and witnessing some appalling deeds done to fellow writers within the house, I was let go, as were many others. Within months, and with no further rejections, I landed a contract with Burning Willow Press.
11. What was the last movie/book which made you cry?
I Love You Phillip Morris. My cousin had given me a bootleg copy, told me Jim Carrey starred in it, and said I had to watch it. I’d thought, “Cool. Jim Carrey. Must be a fucking hoot.” It’s not something I’d typically watch, but I was riveted. Fucker made me leak like a severed artery.
12. Can you describe a single, personal moment in your life which made you, you?
Nope. I think it’s a culmination of life experiences, and will continue to mold me until my wife decides to suffocate me in my sleep.
13. On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your writer’s ego?
A 2 on some days, an 8 on others, but mostly a 6. Depends on my mood and whatever circumstances are occurring at any given moment.
14. What is your first dream you can remember?
My brother was off to Boy Scout camp, and we went to visit on Family Night. Shortly thereafter, men wearing ski masks arrived, made a hundred people cram into a cabin, and held us at gunpoint. The camp was hiding treasures in some of its Indian artifacts (totem poles and whatnot) and they wanted to know where it was. They started killing people when they didn’t get answers. My father, mother, and two sisters were all shot in the head point-blank. My brother and I somehow escaped. We got to the giant pike wall surrounding the campgrounds and had to climb it. As I scrambled to the top and tossed one leg over to the side of freedom, my brother got shot in the back. I screamed and tumbled off the wall. I woke up screaming.
My brother actually was at Boy Scout camp at the time, and Family Night was that night. Imagine the terror I felt going to that place!
15. Have you ever been in a fight/punched in the face? How did/would you react?
I’ve been in several fights. The first one ended with me slamming my opponent’s head into a car door several times, then laying on him until he begged for someone to pull me off. He might have gotten a punch in, but I don’t recall feeling it.
I have been socked in the face, but each time I’ve been too pissed and pumped full of adrenaline to feel it. I’m sure I will some day. So long as it’s for a justified reason and not some bitch-move shit, I’ll take one to the chin and be proud.
I let instincts control my reactions, and they haven’t let me down yet.
16. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters with sexual identity different from your own?
I’ve written mostly straight characters because that’s my only life experience with sexual identity, but I have written a few minor LGBTQ[insert whatever letters I’m missing here because it seems to grow daily and I’m behind everyone by about 6 years] characters. I treat them as I would any character: A human with complex thoughts and emotions; someone molded by their personal experiences; someone true to themselves, or as true as they know how to be.
17. What do you feel the most pride in? And what makes you feel the most shame?
I’m both proud and ashamed that I didn’t go to college. Proud because I’ve accomplished things some with fancy degrees only dream about, yet ashamed because I was a high honors student who could’ve gotten a free ride to virtually any college or university I chose.
18. I see you are drawn to horror-fiction. What about it makes you need to write it?
The adrenaline rush I get from making others squirm is the fuel I need in life.
19. While at a writing convention, you are talking to some other horror writers. You all are having a good time swapping stories and BAM! The doors to the con fly open and in float freaking witches and faeries. They transport you to a realm where you are surrounded by elves and pixies and pretty colors everywhere. But, they all seek your blood and want to know what human tastes like. You can have one weapon of your choice, three books and one luxury item...what do you do?
I’ll take a Fleshlight, the three largest Stephen King novels in existence, and a machete.
Step 1: Chuck the Stephen King novels at the nearest figures to catch them off guard.
Step 2: With my machete, slice at anything that moves until everything stops moving.
Step 3: If I survive, whip out the Fleshlight and rub one out. If I’m already fucked, I’d rather it be enjoyable!
20. What would you like fans and potential fans to know about you as a person?
Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing people carry books or ereaders around. Turns me on. If you happen to see me in person and you’re guilty of carrying such things with you, expect a leg-humping. You’ve been warned.
Thanks Jonathan! For more information check out the following!