In this edition of Behind the Mic, we turn the spotlight on Jon Grilz creator of ‘Small Town Horror’.
If you’ve not visited Crazytown yet, then you’d best dust off your old skates and head on over. This stark, and realistic chiller will make you question if this isn’t a fictional podcast. You can check out my full review of this five star thriller here, because now it’s time to find out about the mind behind the mic.
If you have heard the show, then his list of influences will come as no shock.
As far as writing I’ve always admired Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, Kurt Vonnegut and Elmore Leonard. All have such specific and facinating ways of telling a story. King has such brilliant psychology for his characters, McCarthy has the stark realism, Vonnegut is such a concise story-teller and Leonard has such amazing character interactions.
The podcast is an extension of Jon’s four Crazytown mystery novels, following Darren Lockhart, an FBI agent investigating a murder in Crayton, that he wrote between 2012 and 2015.
I wrote five novels that very few people read (even for $0.99). I got to a point where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep writing, it takes a great deal of time and effort and with little reward I knew that I needed to focus on my family.
After finding audio drama podcasts (starting with NoSleep before falling down that rabbit hole) I started to wonder if I could do something like that. Then I found the Audio Drama Production Podcast and realized, “I really could do this.”
I had no idea if anyone would care, but I figured I would try. I was fortunate enough to become a part of the ADPP community, meet up with my sound mixer/editor Dan Burnett and my composer Tom Parsons and things just started to roll from there.
Another of Jon’s passions is martial arts, and as a fan myself, I could hardly pass up the chance to chat about it.
Back in college I started training boxing and muay thai kickboxing. It was mostly as an outlet but it transitioned into work following and writing about mixed martial arts. I stopped training for a while but never really lost the desire to compete.
I had been doing so much writing for mixed martial arts, that I naturally gravitated toward those daydreams when it came to training again. The only problem was that I had never trained any sort of grappling arts. I checked out Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because of the connection to MMA, and after a while fell in love with the idea that I could train, compete, and learn sport, and self-defense aspects, and none of it involved my getting kicked in the head. That was nine years ago. I’ve been training ever since and, in a weird way, it’s because of BJJ that I ever got into podcasting in the first place.
I tried writing BJJ into one of my Crazytown novels, but it’s a really brief bit that the main character tries out. I have never really been able to find a way to capture writing something like BJJ since it is so much about to feels to do it rather than having someone explain it to you.
So what does Jon listen to in his down time? Yes, he has time to unwind believe it or not. So much so that he has “about a thirty way tie” for his third place choice. After much grappling in my dojo, he finally surrendered, and chose the awesome Magic Tavern for third place.
1st place goes to NoSleep podcast. I listen almost every day and have listened through their catalogue three times since starting it last September (2015).
2nd place goes to Smodcast (actually one of the main reasons I got into podcasting along with Nerdist).
If you’re interested in the Crazytown novel series, (source material for the podcast), you can find them all on Amazon. If you’re “really interested” in the Crazytown novels then head on over to smalltownhorrorpodcast.com and pick up signed and personalized copies! Just bear in that the Crazytown series is written more as a mystery series than horror.
The astute amongst you will have noticed that there are only four books in the Crazytown series, and that Jon mentioned five books. You can pick up ‘Rigged’ a stand alone revenge novel from the Amazon link above.
A big thanks to Jon for taking the time to chat to me, and all of you out there, for your continued support. It means a lot, thank you.
Check out my review of Small Town Horror, and the last Behind the Mic by clicking on the picture links below.
Would you like to get to know the people who make these wonderful audio dramas? Then why not check out my interview posts by clicking the ‘Behind the Mic’ picture link below.