Horror Bookworm Spotlights John Baltisberger

John Baltisberger sat down with the Horror Bookworm for a 5 question one on worm interview. Enjoy the results.
HB: Multimedia content manager, publishing editor, games writer, author, poet, even a behind the scenes “tech” for KillerCon…the list is endless. With so many projects and wearing a multitude of hats, how do you coordinate and organize your work days?

JB: A long time ago I realized that no one would give you the opportunity to do things you wanted to do, no one would pay me to write, no one would hire me to design games. If I wanted to do something, I just have to do it. I also beat myself up, sometimes I say “Do you want to play that video game, or do you want to be a fucking writer?” And most of the times, I want to be a writer. I get up at 5am every day and get my wife and daughter ready for work/school. I drive them to that and then when I get home I try to write for either 1000 words or 2 hours, on good days I do more for longer, on bad days, I just get the minimum done and call it there. Then I do my day job, interspersed with making covers, editing, and doing layout. In the evening I try to focus on family and relaxation. It’s important to unwind too. Especially when you’re doing a lot. On a lot of weekends i’m working events and shows.
HB: Your love for all things Kaiju shines through in your work and personality. What is a preferred form of media that you enjoy involving these giant monsters and do you have a favorite strange beast?

JB: Movies, Hands down movies. There have been a few games like Rampage that hit the giant monster feel, but movies is the best way to capture Kaiju. At heart, I’m a Godzilla boy, but while I love Godzilla, my favorite monster design of all time is Biollante, it’s a brutal and cool-looking monster with an incredible backstory. I got the chance to chat Kaiju with Matt Frank recently and throughout the conversation, we just kept thinking up new things we “love the most” about kaiju films.

Visit John’s Kaiju Poet link…
HB: You have broken new ground in so many areas. Doing something completely different and extremely innovative is impressive, especially when success follows. From Jewish Horror to SplatterPulp to creating Role Playing Games, what or who is an inspiration for you that keeps those creative juices flowing?

JB: My wife. Corny answer, but the fact is that my wife is my constant cheerleader, she has my back and encourages me whenever I have some strange new idea. When I beat myself up she tells me how incredible I am, when I need a boost she is there. She allows no room for self-doubt and has sacrificed just as much of her time and energy to see myself and Madness Heart Press thrive. She’s less visible than I am, but she’s just as much a driving force in the company and in my creative works as I am.

Visit John’s Amazon Page…
HB: We all felt the loss of Jay Wilburn. He definitely had an impact on the genre and beyond. I was fortunate enough to meet him the night he won the Gross Out Contest. Being as close to this icon as you were, could you please share a favorite memory with us?

JB: Every memory I have of Jay Wilburn is precious, he was one of my favorite people on this Earth, so narrowing it down is hard, but back in 2020 I released an anthology called “Devour the Earth” and I got it in my head that i would sit down and do a 24-hour stream of Kaiju content. I would play kaiju games, I would interview authors and artists, I would read kaiju stories. It was… exhausting. But Jay asked if he could join me and took a painfully early slot Because he knew it would be hard. So he came onto Skype and just… chatted with me for 4 hours in the wee hours of the morning, live for the whole internet to watch. We talked politics and religion, horror, writing, monsters, family… everything. It was amazing, and it was natural. I miss him terribly.

Visit Jay’s Amazon page…
HB: A favorite question of mine…John Baltisberger, man of many talents, what music/bands are you listening to nowadays? Give us three music artists that we need to check out.

JB: I listen to a LOT of music while I work, and I want to shout out three artists and a youtube channel if I may,

1. Earth, I often joke that as I’ve gotten slower and heavier I’ve wanted my music to do the same, and Earth is the slowest and heaviest. Wonderful for the dismal brutality of my pulp fantasy stuff. For my birthday my wife got me an Earth live album on Vinyl and it’s one of my prized pieces of music.

2. Monolord, more funeral doom, Monolord moves a bit faster than Earth, but just barely, I love their sound.

3. Monster Magnet – not doom, but definitely stoner with a heavy dose of psychedelia, Monster Magnet is powerful and driving, and I’ve written many violent encounters to their music.

4 – BONUS! There is a youtube channel called “Stoned Meadow of Doom” and they just post full-length indie psychedelia/stoner/doom metal. Extremely easy to hit play and just go to town on whatever project I’m working on as it cycles through new music to discover.

Visit Stoned Meadow of Doom…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s