We were both sworn to secrecy, but J.H. Moncrieff and I first met while we both had books at the same publisher. We belonged to a top secret support group. Yes. We all suffered from PTSD (Publishing Traumatic Stress Disorder) and needed the support of one another. Deep friendships were made, and we all looked out for each other. Except for one person. She vanished, although one of her woolen gloves was found just outside a Books A Million in Detroit with a half-chewed bit of hamburger and a few pennies.
From there, we hooked up this past year’s StokerCon on the Queen Mary, partnering up for a well-attended joint reading. Of course, reading her work was most impressive. This is someone who won Harlequin’s Gillian Flynn award this past year, and her expertise in suspense is terrific. She’s launching a new batch of books The Ghostwriter Series, with the first two having just been released. Please do check them out.
It’s always fun to break out of the usual interview format, and I always love doing these ’13 things…’ posts. Here, J.H. does not disappoint, and there are some truly fun and interesting facts. So here’s . . .
13 Things You Didn’t Know About J.H. Moncrieff
- I think The Sound of Silence is the most beautiful song ever written. It’s the song I want played at my funeral.
- Even though I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was five years old, I also desperately wanted to be a forensic psychologist. Sadly, I let a high school teacher talk me out of it. It’s still the road not taken.
- If you see me shaking, it’s not because I’m nervous. I have an inherited condition called essential tremors. It usually doesn’t bother me, but in times of heightened emotion or fatigue, it can be really noticeable. It’s a pain whenever I have to do a reading, because people assume it’s nerves when I’m actually just pumped and excited.
- The accomplishments I’m proudest of happened not through fiction but through journalism. Articles I wrote connected a blind man to a surgeon who restored his vision, and resulted in a grandmother keeping custody of her ailing granddaughter.
- During childhood, I had a lot of accurate premonitions, to the point kids teased me about it. But I wasn’t above bullshitting—I once claimed X-ray eyes were how I knew what was in a teacher’s locked cabinet. (I didn’t have a clue what was in it, but since the cupboard was locked, my “knowledge” was never put to the test.)
- After I started blogging about unsolved mysteries, the families of missing people began contacting me for help. This has made me feel both honored and sad, because I wish I could do more.
- I have several bizarre phobias, including worms and going down escalators. I’ve mostly overcome the worm one in order to garden. I can go down an escalator, but it feels like I’m having a heart attack every time. It’s a great incentive to take the stairs.
- My best friend came to visit me after she died.
- Even though I’ve been to Shanghai twice, my general rule is I can’t visit a place more than once until I’ve seen every country on my bucket list. Five more trips to go!
- In spite of my love of dark fiction, I’ve read way more literary novels than horror, and I’ve read much more non-fiction than fiction. I read about 80 full-length books a year.
- I once inadvertently pissed off Kiefer Sutherland. I hated interviewing celebrities because it was difficult to get them off script. I always challenged myself to ask a question that would make them pause and think. With Sutherland, I asked him why he was often cast as the villain (this was before 24). For some reason, this got under his skin. He was quite snarky with me.
- My first published fiction story ran in my hometown newspaper when I was in grade four. It featured a bunch of vampires devouring everyone.
- I used to work in a haunted museum. I was showing some reporters around late at night when we heard (and felt) someone coming up behind us. No one was there. That’s about as frightened as I’ve ever been in my life.
J.H. Moncrieff’s work has been described by reviewers as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure.
She won Harlequin’s search for the next Gillian Flynn in 2016. Her first published novella, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, was featured in Samhain’s Childhood Fears collection and stayed on its horror bestsellers list for over a year. Monsters in Our Wake, a sea monster tale with a twist, was an Amazon horror bestseller.
When not writing, J.H. loves visiting the world’s most haunted places, advocating for animal rights, and summoning her inner ninja in muay thai class.
To get free ebooks and a new spooky story each week, check out her Hidden Library.