Sunday, July 22, 2012

Interview with John Raab from Suspense Magazine

I want to ask you all, how many of you love a good Mystery and Suspense story? I’m not sure if it’s just curiosity or what exactly, but sometimes I love to read (or watch) a good story that scares me or that keeps me at the edge of my seat. If I get the opportunity to read it for free, well, even better. That is exactly what Green Lake it’s building up to be, a great and thrilling read. Green Lake it’s a special, ongoing project by the creators of Suspense Magazine; a website dedicated to, like the name suggests, suspense, mystery, horror and thriller fiction. And today we welcome the magazine’s own CEO and Publisher, Mr. John Raab.

Me: First of all welcome to Journey with Words and thank you for stopping by today.

John: Thank you for having me here, I’m delighted to stop by.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

John: I’m the CEO / Publisher of Suspense Magazine. Not only am I a fan of books, but also sports and music. I’m married with four children and live in Los Angeles, CA. Other than that, I’m a pretty boring person on the outside, but my brain won’t stop working and always think of new ways to scare people.

Q: For those who haven’t heard from Suspense Magazine yet, what can you tell us about it? How long have it been running?

John: Suspense Magazine is a monthly magazine that is dedicated at bringing the inside information on the suspense / mystery / thriller / horror genre. We started the magazine almost five years ago and have been fortunate to not only still be around, but grow to 17 countries. We are an all-electronic magazine, giving us the ability to spread out to the entire globe and cover the genre from many angles. The publishing world today is so crazy, keeping up with it is a difficult task in itself.

Q: There are so many great articles on the magazine, how do you narrow down and choose what goes and what stays for each issue?

John: Choosing what goes in the magazine is always difficult, because we only have so much room. We have to turn away many publicists from the major publishers and other authors, simply because we don’t have the space. We have however branched out to create a radio show, Suspense Radio, where we interview authors live so fans can get more inside information into the brain of their favorite authors.

Q: Have you worked with an author that you admire? How was the experience?

John: I’ve worked with so many authors, that I can’t pick out one. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, David Morrell, Lee Child, Tess Gerrittsen, are just a few of them. I know I’m leaving a lot out, so if you are reading this, yes you are in my list also!

Q: What is Green Lake?

John: Green Lake is an ongoing series that will read more like watching a TV show than a book. We wanted to give the readers something a little different than just reading another book. The readers will be put into the town of Green Lake, and watch as the town struggles to stay alive. Evil never truly dies, it simply waits until the time is right to come back, and that is what is happening to Green Lake.

Q: What is the inspiration behind it? How the project came to be?

John: As for inspiration, it was really just an idea I had one day. I contacted Donald Allen Kirch and we decided to work on this together. Donald is an excellent author, having written “Manchester House” and “Reich” which are wonderful thriller / horror books and knew that he would be perfect to work with. We have a lot of fun putting each scene and episode together. The fun part is that neither of us really know how the story is going to unfold, it writes itself surprising even us.

Q: Why choose this particular medium? Why not just publish it as a full novel? On that note, why only one scene at a time? As a reader, that is pure torture.

John: People love TV shows, so why should a book be any different. Also, if you read a little bit each time I feel it creates more talk about what is going to happen. It makes it so word of mouth can’t give away an ending. Think about it this way. Three weeks after the last Harry Potter came out and you didn’t read it, you didn’t need to, because you already knew the ending. However when you watch a TV show, you can only talk about what you “think” is going to happen and talk about what happened. I think it keeps more people interested because readers and fans need to have an ending, the only problem is that they don’t when it will happen. Also, we have the ability to write more than just a book word wise, so we are able to explore the characters in more depth, giving the reader the ability to really know the characters and town.

Q: After reading the first two scenes, I can’t get the concept of webisodes out of my head. Is this the feeling you are going with?
John: Sort of. We just wanted to do something different and see how it plays out. If you don’t step out of the box, you can get lost in the pile, but if you take a chance at least you are different.

Q: You mentioned on your blog that the series is being treated like a TV show. What is the major difference between treating the project as a TV script vs. treating it like a novel manuscript, if any?

John: If you read an actual script it is pretty boring and many people won’t keep reading it. If you write it like a novel then again it will simply be like everything else. We wanted to be in the middle. Give you a weekly TV show, in a book format, but feels more like a TV show.

Q: Aside from suspense, what can we, the readers, expect from the story? Will there be gore and horror?

John: No gore, but the horror concept is in there. It will be more suspense / thriller than anything else. I think true horror is not gory. The more gore in a horror novel, the funnier it is. True horror is something that keeps the lights on in the house.

Q: I’m going to be honest; every time a scene ends I want to keep reading more about the story. For those of us who want to know what will happen next, how frequently can we expect next scenes? Do you have a tentative schedule for it?

John: When they download each scene, there is a mention that says when the next one will be released. They will come every week or 10 days.

Q: Are there any teasers you can give us?

John: Yes, I will tease you. The main force behind the evil that is killing the town is………..

Q: What about the future? What can we be looking forward on the next issue of Suspense Magazine?

John: The magazine comes out every month, around the 5th of the month. Simply email and receive four FREE issues to check it out.

Q: Aside from Green Lake, what else you have coming up or are working on?

John: I have two books in the works. One is a straight mystery series and the other is more suspense / thriller that I’m going to write with Donald also.

Me: Thank you so much for tacking some time to speak with us today; you are welcome to come back any time.

You can check the magazine at:

Want to know more about Green Lake? You can read the first 4 scene of Episode 1 here:
Or read the Complete Episode 1, downloadable for Free from Smashwords.

Expect Episode 2 on July 29, 2012.

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