Niteblade Contributor Interview With J. A. Tyler

J. A. Tyler’s debut novel(la) Inconceivable Wilson (Scrambler Books) was released in late 2009 & was followed in 2010 by two chapbooks: The Zoo, A Going: The Tropic House (Sunnyoutside) & Our Us & We (Greying Ghost). He has several books slated for release in 2011, including A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed (Fugue State Press), In Love With a Ghost (Cow Heavy), &, with John Dermot Woods, the text / image novel No One Told Me I Would Disappear (Jaded Ibis Press).  You can learn more about J. A. at

When did you first recognize yourself as a writer?

I recognized myself as a writer during the first year I began submitting, when I had a half-dozen pieces accepted and starting to appear online and in print – though whenever I see a book of mine reviewed or discussed outside of my own circles, I still have a bit of enjoyable disbelief at being one.

What draws you to speculative fiction?

I believe people perhaps miss, or mistake, that speculative fiction can work great magic on surreal and realistic works alike. Brian Evenson is a prime example – he does not really write speculative fiction, but so many elements of this genre are evident in his writing, and it is often those elements that keep you pinned to his words.

Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?

Some say that you need to write each and every day, but honestly, some days I don’t have time, can’t find time, or am at a place in my writing where it needs to sit, to stew, where it needs a day of rest. I prefer to think of it as baking bread: you work hard, sweat with the dough, then leave it to rise and run, come back later for the oven, to finalize it.

In the September 2007 issue of Niteblade (and the Lost Innocence anthology), Rhonda chose to publish your story, “Shine On”.  Is there a story behind how it came about?

At that point in time I was extremely focused on placing a single outside factor in front of a character and then writing to see what happened. In the case of ‘Shine On’, I started by turning off all the lights. What happened from there was what came from the impetus of darkness.

What have you been working on lately?

I just recently finished a surreal novel called Water, about the loss of water and then the flood and then a drying out again, a boy and a girl lost among the chaos, the static hum of a land broken down and burning. It is my longest book to date, something that was a beast to write, and something that will hopefully be a beast to read for people sometime down the line.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?

Read as much as you can; in my opinion, that is what makes good writers great.

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