Share this
Like us on facebook
For the latest news and reviews.




For the latest additions to the Usual Questions project, and other posts about writing see the Facebook page:


John Langan

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, John Langan, courtesy of author; 220x294

John Langan

John Langan is an American horror writer.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Not my work, no -- it's more a case of, every time I meet someone who's had something nice to say about my fiction, it gives me a feeling that's something like forty percent joy and sixty percent humility ("Holy Cow! This person really liked my stuff!"). The next time I sit down to write, there's something of that emotion still hovering around me, so I suppose you might say it helps to keep me writing.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

After he read a copy of my first novel, House of Windows, Peter Straub sent me an e-mail telling me that I was "very, very good." That was one of the more thrilling moments of my life. I still can't get over it.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

All of Peter Straub's work is important to me, but probably Ghost Story, Shadowland, and Houses without Doors most of all. I've also returned to Henry James's fiction, and Flannery O'Connor's, more and more as the years go by.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

For a trapped-in-an-elevator conversation, I'd like to have a chat with Oscar Wilde, because he's supposed to have been such a great and gifted conversationalist. If I'm trapped on a spaceship, then it's going to be James T. Kirk, so he can get us both back to safety.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

I would not want to be in elevator with Jack the Ripper, fascinated as I would be to learn his identity. Nor would I want to be on a spaceship with Khan Noonien Singh, because then I'm never getting home -- it's just going to be roaming the cosmos, quoting from Moby Dick.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

There's a plastic, pose-able Godzilla figure my wife and younger son got for me a few years ago who's pretty much become my writing mascot. I couldn't in good conscience leave him behind. Plus, I might run into Monster Zero, and without Godzilla, what am I going to do?

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I would like my readers to enjoy what I've written while they're reading it, and then for it to linger with them afterwards, enough so that they would press one of my books into the hands of a friend and say, "You have got to read this."

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

The satisfaction of doing something I loved as a child in a way that satisfies me as an adult.

submitted by John Langan

8 August 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Poughkeepsie, New York, 1969.
Resides: Hudson Valley Region, New York State, U.S.A.
Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters (Prime 2008)
House of Windows (Night Shade 2009) Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters (as co-editor)(Prime 2011)
The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies (Hippocampus 2013)

Web site:
My blog, Mr. Gaunt


For posts about Melbourne events, places, news, reviews, giveaways, see our Facebook Page: