John Teel is a union ironworker from Philadelphia. His fiction has appeared in Playwithdeath.com’s anthology, The Nightmare Collective, Dark Moon Digest and Pulp Modern. When he’s not working he’s spending time with his wife Rae, their son Charlie and their insane dog Gizmo, who they never feed after midnight.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I’ve been writing stories ever since I was a kid. I was always big into horror movies and most of my early stories are just poorly written rip-offs of movies I liked. This past year I started taking my writing seriously, sending out stories left and right. My wife is the one who really pushed me, reading everything, giving constructive criticism and helping me find the confidence to take a chance and submit my work to different magazines. So far, it’s worked out pretty well.
What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
Read a lot. Try to get on some sort of a schedule; an hour at night after my kid goes to bed is usually when I write. And before you send your work to any magazines, make sure you’re familiar with the kinds of fiction they publish. I’ve made that mistake plenty of times in the very beginning.
Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
Everyone says it, but Stephen King’s On Writing is the best. Buy that book right now and read it. You can thank me later. Also, check out HorrorTree.com and DarkMarkets.com. Both sites are great for finding magazines, anthologies, etc. to send your work to.
What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
I’m into everything as long as it’s well written, but I love horror and crime fiction. Richard Matheson and Joe R. Lansdale are my all time favorite authors. I love Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, David Mitchell and Mark Z. Danielewski. As for newer writers,(they’re new to me anyway) check out Andy Goldman’s The Only City Left, Grady Hendrix’s Horrorstor and Mack Moyer’s Sketches of the Wigwam.
What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Just pick a scheduled time to do your writing and stick to it. Everyone is busy and we all have our own shit going on, but if you really want to be a writer you’ll find the time no matter what.
Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
I like writing on the fly. I usually know where the story is going to end up, but I find it fun to just start typing and see what weird things will fill the page to get me there.
How do you deal with rejections?
By crying into my pillow. But really, it always sucks getting rejected. Sometimes it’s not the quality of the story, but more a matter of taste. I’ve had stories rejected from multiple places, to then be picked up by someone else and published. Don’t get all pouty and hurt when someone takes the time to give you notes on what they think is wrong with your work. Nine times out of ten they’re probably right.
What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I just want to keep writing stories that I’m proud of and that, hopefully, other people enjoy.
For the next five years?
I’d like to write a novel. Wish me luck.
Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
You can find me on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14155683.John_Teel. It’s pretty bare at this point, but I’m working on it. Drop me a line.