There are currently three interviews with John Putignano below.
JULY 2021 INTERVIEW #2
Why did you choose the name “The Schizoaffective Writer” for your site?
Well, I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. It’s a combination of manic bipolar and schizophrenia. For a while I let my diagnosis be an excuse not to write. I found it increasingly hard to focus, think or put my ideas on paper. I’ve since been treated and although I still suffer from the symptoms of this disorder, I’ve learned to work with it. My style, I discovered, is in part due to my disorder. Instead of being embarrassed by the label I decided to embrace it and to use it for motivation. So I became the Schizoaffective Writer.
Much of your writing is in a simple style. Easy to read. Is this on purpose of just how you write?
This is how I write but it is also deliberate. In today’s fast culture people often don’t have the time or energy to sit down and read Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft. They read to unplug from the world and want something that’s not to heavy to digest. I want the reader, or any level, to read my work without breaking out the thesaurus. That is except for poetry. I cash in a lot on big words in my poems. But poetry is something else entirely. The stories are well written with all the dept of a heavier story, but a load has been taken off the reader.
In your stories the narrator is often a horrible person. Does the narrator reflect you’re personal beliefs?
The narrator of some of my stories is a character themselves. They are full of the same flaws as the characters that they are telling about. It’s a story telling, through an unnamed narrator’s eyes. So the language that is often used may be misogynistic, racist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic or just plain despicable. You’re supposed to hate the narrator, one who’s views contradict my own. I am a feminist, a far left liberal, anti-racist queer member of the LGBT community. Many of the people I write about are built on those I have met, and they were terrible people. Many of them are the reason I took so long to come out as pansexual. I admit, some of my writing is hard to get through but it’s a reflection of what I’ve seen in life, and its not pretty.
With this new novel in the works will you have time for other releases?
I plan on taking my time with this novel and throughout its writing I will be putting out new short stories, poems and Kindle book releases. I just posted a story the other day, Winter Visitors, which will appear in a future kindle release.
JULY 2021 INTERVIEW
Tell us about the new book
Beautifully Nefarious and Macabre is a paperback exclusive and contains all the stories from When God’s Drunk, The Trailer Witch as well as some new stories never published. I also have included a poem after each story.
Is this your most comprehensive work to date?
Yes, it is and I put a lot of work into it. It’s two hundred and four pages of rural noir and horror. If you are to pick up one of my books, I suggest this one.
Why is it exclusively available on paperback?
The other books are available on Kindle so I wanted to put out a complete volume of work that you can physically hold. There’s something about turning the pages of an actual book that cannot be achieved on Kindle
The poetry was a surprise
Yes. Most people know me from my short stories or my previous career as an occult writer but not many know about my poetry. Some of it is very personal and I’m excited to share it with the readers.
Tell us about this new novel
It’s going to be called The Appalachian Moloch and its set during prohibition in the south, in a North Carolina town called Lenoir. This book has it all. Bootleggers, thugs, a serial killer, demons, a gang war and much more. This will be my first novel.
Will it be published through Entheogenic Lab Publishing?
Originally, I envisioned a different home for it but I’ve since decided that it belongs with Entheogenic Lab Publishing. This will be my biggest work and I don’t want to lose the rights to my work just to get less money from a major publisher.
Will this book be marketed?
Yes, something I haven’t done yet. I am planning on doing book signings in the MA, RI and NH areas. I also plan on utilizing ads on Facebook and putting advertisement for it on YouTube. Up until this point my work has relied on word of mouth and impulsive buyers who happen to stumble on my writing through Amazon. Since I am pouring everything, I got into this project I want to get it out there. I want it to be known. I want to attract a new fan base.
When do you expect the novel to be released?
I have no idea. I have two chapters written and a lot of it planned out on voice recorders and notes but I’m taking my time with this one. Like I said, this will be my best work upon completion, and I don’t want to rush it. Also, this is my first novel and writing one takes a whole different approach than writing short stories.
Will you still be writing short stories?
Yes, I will but I don’t expect a new short story release until after the novel. Of course, I will post some of them to my website from time to time. I also want to focus a little more on poetry. I’m real proud of my poems and expect more of those to be posted to the site soon.
What else do you have planned?
I plan on expanding my social media presence. I’m not on a couple platforms but I plan on changing that soon, especially with the upcoming novel. Also I am always looking for new ways to make the website easier to navigate. I plan on purchasing a domain name as soon as next month. It will be johnputignano.com. Finally I am planning to record an EP under my name which will consist of electronic music playing behind my poetry. I’m really excited about that.
Going back to Beautifully Nefarious and Macabre, do you have a favorite story?
I love all my stories. You have no idea how many stories I have written that will never see the light of day. I only put out the work that I am satisfied with. I do have a story that I find hard to stomach and that is Hell Birth. I almost didn’t release it because the whole subject matter just never sat right with me.
Any parting words?
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MAY 2021 INTERVIEW
When did you start writing?
I started writing fan fiction in the fifth grade. I’d write sequels to movies like Children of the Corn and Pet Sematery. I started writing original work in high school after being inspired by my creative writing teacher. I had a poem published in a chapbook my senior year.
Tell us about your writing style
I write dark and depraved stories. I began writing splatterpunk (extreme horror) and books on the occult up until my thirties when I discovered the book “The Devil All the Time” by Donald Ray Pollack. This is when I discovered rural noir, also known as redneck noir. I fell in love with the seedy storytelling and adopted the style into my writing. Now I write a blend of horror and rural noir. I also write poetry.
Are any of the stories based on your life?
I lived in the south for thirteen years during which time I worked as a correctional officer. I met a lot of revolting people and many of them appear in some form in my stories. I write a lot about drug use as well because I am a former addict to pills, methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Once I cleaned up my act my writing improved greatly. I still smoke cannabis for medicinal purposes. I also write from years of trauma which I had endured.
Tell us about your occult writings
I have written under the name Asha’Shedim and founded and helped run a worldwide Satanic cult called the Lilin Society. I stopped when much of my work began to be used by right wing fascists, thus ending the Lilin Society. I also have schitzo-affective disorder, which is a combination of schizophrenia and manic bipolar disorder and during my time in the Lilin Society I became unbearably delusional and self destructive. It had to end.
Are you a Satanist?
No. I once was but today I’m a spiritual atheist. I believe our consciousness lives on after we die in some form but none of the earthly religions have gotten it right.
What are your politics?
I am a big liberal, feminist and ally to the LGBT community. I ran a couple of socialist groups in the past and I consider myself ideally socialist but realistically I fall somewhere in social democracy. I’m a member of the Communist Party USA.
Which writers do you draw from?
My style has been inspired by Donald Ray Pollack, Chuck Pallahniuk, Cormac McCarthy, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King.
Where have you been published?
I have had occult work published through Sirius Limited Esoterica and Martinet Press but mostly I self-publish through my own Entheogenic Lab Publishing. I write mostly short stories and its hard to get a volume published.
Does your writing reflect who you are?
I’m a positive person. Of course, I have mental illness but I’m certainly not the dark person I appear to be in my writing. I have a solid moral stance which does not line up with my work.
What plans do you have for the future?
I plan to keep writing. Maybe one day I will write a novel and shop it around but who knows. I am submitting some short stories to publications in the meantime. I always post my work for free but if you would like to support an independent author, I suggest buying one of my books. I’d also like to do some book touring in the future to promote my work. In the meantime, I will focus on my website and social medias.