Horror Writers Association
Email us.
Slasher TV
HWA on Instagram
Visit Us
Follow Me

A Point of Pride: Interview with Joshua Viola


Joshua Viola is a 2021 Splatterpunk Award nominee, Colorado Book Award winner, and editor of the StokerCon™ 2021 Souvenir Anthology. He is the co-author of the Denver Moon series with Warren Hammond. Their graphic novel, Denver Moon: Metamorphosis, was included on the 2018 Bram Stoker Award® Preliminary Ballot. Viola edited the Denver Post #1 bestselling horror anthology Nightmares Unhinged, and co-edited Cyber World—named one of the best science fiction anthologies of 2016 by Barnes & Noble. His first novel, The Bane of Yoto, won the USA Best Book Awards, National Indie Excellence Awards, International Book Awards, and Independent Publishers Book Awards. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, including DOA III: Extreme Horror Anthology, Doorbells at Dusk, and Classic Monsters Unleashed. In 2022, he became the creative director of comics and novelizations for Random Games’ videogame franchise, Unioverse, a new series from the veterans behind Grand Theft Auto and Donkey Kong Country and the writers of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Halo 4. When he isn’t writing and editing, Viola dabbles in art. In 2020, he collaborated with his husband, Aaron Lovett, on AfterShock Comics’ Miskatonic #1 Cover Alpha Comics variant. As a video game artist, he worked on Pirates of the Caribbean: Call of the Kraken, Smurfs’ Grabber and TARGET: Terror. Viola is the owner and chief editor of Hex Publishers in Denver, Colorado, where he lives with his husband and their son.

What inspired you to start writing? 

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I was writing fan fiction before I even knew what that was. In middle school, I wrote a sequel to one of my favorite movies, and my English teacher asked if I’d plagiarized, which was a huge compliment and encouraged me to keep at it.

What was it about the horror genre that drew you to it? 

Growing up in an ultra-conservative home where even Disney wasn’t always allowed, I had an automatic attraction to darker things. Horror movies were forbidden fruit that I couldn’t get enough of. Eventually, I started hiding VHS copies of those movies under my mattress (along with various other things…), and my love for horror movies started to show in my writing by the time I was in high school.

Do you make a conscious effort to include LGBTQ material in your writing, and if so, what do you want to portray? 

For me, the narrative is most important, and I don’t approach a story wondering how to incorporate LGBTQ characters or situations. I’m in love with high-concept ideas, and that’s where I start. If it makes sense for a character to fit that mold, then so be it, but that’s not always the case.

What has writing horror taught you about the world and yourself?

The world is a scary place that offers unlimited inspiration. Writing horror has taught me that fear is a universal emotion that can unite people from all walks of life. It’s a powerful tool for exploring deeper issues and themes. On a personal level, writing has allowed me to confront my own fears. It’s taught me to push past my own limitations.

Overall, writing horror is a transformative experience that has allowed me to grow as a person. It’s given me a greater appreciation for the power of storytelling and the ways in which we can use fiction to explore the world around us.

How have you seen the horror genre change over the years? And how do you think it will continue to evolve?

The horror genre has changed in the prose world over the last few years, and we’re currently experiencing a correction of sorts. While inclusivity is essential, I feel that it sometimes becomes more important in the eyes of others than the storytelling itself. In my opinion, we need to find a balance that better embraces the art, with less emphasis on the artist.

How do you feel the LGBTQ community has been represented thus far in the genre, and what hopes do you have for representation in the genre going forward?

There’s been a noticeable increase in representation of the LGBTQ community in the horror genre, which is a positive development. However, historically, the portrayal of gay characters in horror has often been problematic, with many depictions relying on stereotypes or using LGBTQ identities as a plot device. Moving forward, my hope is that representation in horror will continue to grow and evolve, with more nuanced and authentic depictions that go beyond stereotypes for shock value. That said, I don’t want to be labeled as an LGBTQ writer; I want to be known as a storyteller who also happens to be gay.

Who are some of your favorite LGBTQ characters in horror?

Jesse Walsh from Freddy’s Revenge always resonated with me, and while Chucky isn’t gay, I love that the franchise has embraced LGBTQ representation in a way that I feel respects the community and the lore.

Who are some LGBTQ horror authors you recommend our audience check out? 

Sean Eads is a fantastic author, and his latest novel, Confessions, is a heartbreaking story with some of the most beautiful prose I’ve read in a very, very long time. About Confessions:

Nathan Ashcraft knew this morning wasn’t going to be easy. After all, he’s the town funeral director, and he’s coming to work early to meet two grieving parents whose baby was stillborn. The meeting fills him with dread and anticipation because the baby’s father, Steve, was his high school crush, and they haven’t seen each other in almost thirty years.

What Nathan doesn’t know is how the child’s death connects him to other people in town, especially Tim Sawyer, the local dentist and Nathan’s recent infatuation, and Sarah Lawrence, a retired high school biology teacher whose good intentions almost destroyed his life decades ago.

These three people will face their own moment of crisis today, sparking self-reflection and self-doubt, despair and regret, that drive them toward their own drastic resolutions and confessions. But in the end, is confession really good for the soul?

What is one piece of advice you would give horror authors today?

Don’t stop writing. Don’t give up. Keep telling your stories.

And to the LGBTQ writers out there who are just getting started, what advice would you give them?

Reading is important for any writer, but it’s especially important for LGBTQ writers who may not have seen themselves reflected in traditional literature. Read books by LGBTQ authors and about LGBTQ characters to get a sense of what’s been done before and where you can make a unique contribution. Gay literature has always been on the cutting edge, pushing boundaries and breaking down barriers. Don’t be afraid to take risks with your writing and explore new ideas and themes, but focus on story. Story first, always. And don’t write for others. Hone your craft, and be yourself.

Find more about Joshua Viola at these links:



Twitter Joshua Viola


Facebook Hex Publishers

Twitter Hex Publishers

Comments are closed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial