J. Daniel Stone

J. Daniel Stone is a twenty-six-year-old writer who was born and raised in New York City. His stories appear in Grey Matter Press, Prime Books, Icarus: The Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction, and more. His debut novel, The Absence of Light, was published by Villipede Publications. Currently, he is hard at work on his second novel and is putting together stories for his first short story collection.

His work has been reviewed by respected horror websites such as HorrorNews.net, who said his stories are “lush and ultra-violent, thus which successfully invokes the great horror literature of the 1990s” and Hellnotes, who deemed his work “Psychologically Insightful.”

For him, an artist’s job is to tilt the mirror slightly. Skew the reflection, and look again. What did you see? How do the angles add up? Art is alchemy, art is war, art is catastrophe. Art is none of this. The artist is one who must put the soul back into the soulless. Art is his sacred duty.

You can contact Mr. Stone online by way of the icons below. 

Mr. Stone’s Projects with Villipede

J. Daniel Stone’s Full Bibliography

Q&A Session with J. Daniel Stone

Villipede Publications: So how do you feel about your debut novel a year and another novel later?

J. Daniel Stone: I’m wiped out . . . insofar as I can feel wiped out as a writer. There are elements in the book that I currently loathe, but others that I still love, which is pretty much what we do as writers: we evolve, our writing follows us, and we tend to demonize our early works. I still love The Absence of Light though; it’s my first born child and the characters within are still my best friends.


VP: What’s the best feedback anyone gave you about TAOL? Your favorite review? Blurb?

JDS: Oh, man! I’ve had a multitude of feedback from many perspicacious readers. The best words were not from writers, but from book lovers themselves, the ones who said how they once fit into the shoes of my characters, how they love my dark philosophy on life; that my prose flows like poetry. The ones who said I write about girls better than girls do, how I made the outsider finally find a place inside. And of course I love the reviews/blurbs from my colleagues, John FD Taff, Steve Berman, Geoffrey H. Goodwin (Hellnotes), Robin Goodfellow (Drunk in a Graveyard), Kristine Chester (Fanboy Comics), Gemma Farrow and many, many more.


VP: You’ve written about the characters in TAOL elsewhere. Why?

JDS: These characters were not meant to be trapped within one novel, one universe, one story. They are meant for more! DO yourself a favor and find the adjunct stories, read them. One was written before I even wrote the novel! Can you guess which one? If I enjoy certain characters, I want to write about them again, want to stay with them. They’re my best friends, my family. Sometimes saying goodbye is the hardest part of writing for me. I just want to hold on forever.


VP: Why should people read this book? What do you hope to accomplish in terms of impacting the reader? What makes it memorable?

JDS: This book needs to be read if you’ve ever felt ousted, if you’ve ever dreamed of making it in the “big city” and if you ever were called a slur that got right under your skin. I praise the weird, I am the weird. The weird is my sanctuary. If I want to accomplish anything for a reader, I want them to know that I am part of them as they are part of me. I want the arts to be fully appreciated for what they have given us; I’m not interested in anything else but that. I want the horrors of the world to make sense when you think otherwise. I want to create a brotherhood of the hated, jaded, and exasperated. We are legion. You just don’t see us standing there in the dark . . .


VP: How long did it take you to write? Was the writing and publishing process exciting? Stressful?

JDS: The Absence of Light took me a good two years to write. It was conceived in 2008 but written slowly between 2009 and 2010. I was full time student and had a full-time day job as well, so you can understand my time was limited. If I hadn’t had all those responsibilities, it probably would have taken me six months to write. The research was the most stressful and scariest part, but also so much fun! The whole ghost hunting thing kept me awake all hours of the night, wondering what this noise and that noise was. I had a lot of sage and sweet grass smudges going on at that time. I wanted to write the book before getting eaten by a ghost. As for the writing, it flowed naturally, and I’d have it no other way.

The publishing process was so much fun! Editing the book with a team made me see so many flaws, made me realize that I had to shorten some parts to make them better (and like I said before I loathe to let go of things). I’d do it again in a snap!