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JOE GOODGLASS

Q: Tell us about yourself. What got you into writing? 

J: I grew up in a small town off the coast of southern Maine. Surrounded by nature as a child, I used to love going camping, fishing and hiking. Having access to the woods and the ocean was also godsend, as it sparked creativity and I often found myself writing while being immersed in these natural surroundings. Several works from local authors on the topics of New England history and folklore also inspired me to read/write more about the subject matter.


Q: Tell us about the premise of The Barrens.  

J: It takes place in the Pinelands of New Jersey and is loosely based on the folklore surrounding the Jersey Devil and the Leeds Family. It follows Jacob, a Princeton University PhD student who has an insatiable hunger for fame and fortune. Jacob convinces his best friend, Caleb, to shoot a documentary on the Jersey Devil for their DeBunkers YouTube Channel and the boys persuade their girlfriends, Hannah and Blake, to join them on a weekend getaway. Little do they know what the Barrens has in store for them.visited a small village in the middle of the Barrens known as Whitesbog. There we learned about the tale of Mama Leeds and the disturbing folklore surrounding the Jersey Devil.

Q: What inspired you to write it?

J: I had visited the Pinelands several times while enrolled as a student at Princeton. I found myself returning to this vast area of land to explore the abundant trails and view wildlife. I never knew about the Jersey Devil until my fiancé and I visited a small village in the middle of the Barrens known as Whitesbog. There we learned about the tale of Mama Leeds and the disturbing folklore surrounding the Jersey Devil.

Q: Did you do any research for your book? If you did, what did it consist of? 

J: Once learning about the Jersey Devil, I spoke to a number of Whitesbog locals to confirm the long-standing rumors about the Leeds Family and the various versions of the tale surrounding JD. I found each and every native had their own take on the lore, adding bits of conflicting information here and there. This complicated the story in a good way and made it even more compelling to write.


Q: How do you plan your writing session? 

J: I start my sessions just before midnight and stop around 1 or 2 AM; however, sometimes the sessions go on a little longer into the morning as I often suffer from insomnia.


Q: Do you have any certain rituals while you write? 

J: I often listen to ambient electronic music when I write. I also like to listen to the sound of nature, i.e. crickets and frogs in the spring/summer. 


Q: Why do you write?

J: To escape reality.


Q: Do you think creative writing classes are beneficial? Why or why not? 

J: Not for me. I find writing to be very subjective and something that can’t be forced. Only you can find your voice through practice. I have, however, belonged to creative writing groups in the past where I have shared some of my work. Receiving feedback can be useful on the technical aspects, however good story-telling must come from within. 

Q: Do you enjoy editing? 

J: Sometimes – when I restructure a sentence or paragraph and it reads more clearly/concisely after edits are made; this can be very satisfying.


Q: Do you write in other genres? Have you ever written in different mediums? 

J: I have written in most genres and mediums, excluding romance and journalism.


Q: If you could invite a fictional character for lunch (from your own book(s) or another writer’s), who would you invite and why?

J: I would invite Howard Roark from the Fountainhead. I have never been a huge fan of Ayn Rand’s work, but I find Roark to be one of the most inspiring characters in fictionjust due to his sheer fortitude and unwavering position in life.


Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 

J: Don’t listen to the critics. Just write for yourself.


Q: What are your future plans as an author? Are you working on another project? 

J: I have 3 WiPs which I rotate through each week.

~*~

Thanks for stopping by Joe!

You can follow his writing journey by visiting his website or social media accounts on Instagram or Twitter. 

 
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A young couple's weekend foray into the woods turns into a night of unimaginable terror… 

When Jacob, a Princeton PhD student with an insatiable hunger for fame and fortune, convinces his best friend, Caleb, to shoot a documentary on the Jersey Devil for their DeBunkers YouTube Channel, the boys persuade their girlfriends, Hannah and Blake, to join them on a weekend getaway. The following morning, the group sets out for the Pine Barrens in search of the folk legend, bringing with them camping gear and recording equipment.

Upon their arrival, Jacob receives a text message from GenX-82, an anonymous member of a local film crew who had shot footage of the Jersey Devil six months prior. In exchange for an interview, GenX agrees to take them to the Blue Hole, the site where the entity was last seen. However, halfway through their hike, Caleb is seriously injured, and the group loses contact with the outside world.

With tension mounting as the night sets in, Jacob's trek through the Barrens soon becomes a descent into madness…