31 Nights of Fright: An Interview with Jonathan G Rosa

Today, we have Jonathan G Rosa, who has been writing for us this month, and writing on Medium lately as well. This was supposed to be an audio interview, and after an hour of an amazing conversation, I realized later that the audio didn’t record. Thankfully, Jonathan was willing to provide a written interview as well. He is an extremely talented writer and I look forward to seeing more from him in the future, as well as any projects he is involved in.

FoF: First and foremost, tell us about yourself.

JR: I’m Jonathan Rosa from Puerto Rico. I love movies, tv, videogames, music, podcasts and literature. I’m extremely creative at least on my imagination and writing.

FoF: What do you do? And why do you like it?

JR: I’m a college student who’s graduating this semester with a B.S. in Computer Science and Minor in Game Design & Dev. However, last year I’ve discovered my hobby in writing and I’ve been studying creative writing and scriptwriting. Writing became as a therapy at first, then as a hobby, and now I’m considering with an important goal to make a career of it. It is risky due to my educational background and now transition from it, but I really love it. To be clear, after a long reflection process after severe existential crisis, writing became my hope to be myself and create the art that I wanted to see not just for me but also for everyone who needs it.

FoF: Explain a little bit of your process? Where do you find your inspiration?

JR: My writing inspiration to create a story happens every day, everywhere. It majorly occurs when I’m watching a movie or tv show, play a videogame, and while reading history or literature. Of course, I focus on queer themes and characters which are complex and sometimes radical given how the entertainment industry (mainstream and indie) has navigated this culture. Regarding my writing, I start in freewriting the plot with an already scene that comes in my mind; majorly inspired by an established scene. Afterwards, I examine its potential and with brainstorming and outline inspiration resources, I manage to develop further the story. Then I make a list detailing the story structure, scene structure and characters. Finally, I make the scriptwriting and then, revise and rewrite. It’s a long process but it helps me to focus and keep track of my progress. On the other hand, my reviews started to highlight queer content that I wanted to present. In that case, I do a lot of research and I even got to meet some of those artists in the process.

FoF: What drew you to horror in the first place?

JR: The first horror films that terrified me during childhood and cause an early nyctophobia were Jeepers Creepers, Darkness Falls and Thirteen Ghosts. These movies impacted me in how the monsters were portrayed as night stalkers without making any sound. Still, I never confessed my terrors to my parents because I didn’t want to be prohibited from watching horror movies. My attachment from horror revolves around the effects that it provokes which were similar like the Action and Sci-Fi movies I watched as a child. I loved the chaos and its aesthetics that these movies were which indeed what I wanted to feel was the adrenaline of the story and its characters.

FoF: What is your favorite horror work? (Movie, Show, Art, Book, whatever you want)

JR: There are lots of horror works that I loved and keep replaying it even in my head. In movies, Alien is definitely the best sci-fi horror film which really manages to mashup genres and story content; even though, the franchise is convoluted. Nowadays, my favorite horror film is Us which I keep replaying it on my iPad and wouldn’t stop. Us is an amazing homage to various horror films while maintaining its own identity in tackling social themes as stated by Jordan Peele in several interviews. On videogames, Resident Evil is the best horror franchise that loves to experiment the zombie lore as well as the horror genre and somehow maintains its DNA. Resident Evil 5 was my first game and then I started buying and playing the other games as well as reading RE lore. In anime: Perfect Blue and Paranoia Agent by Satoshi Kon, Monster by Naoki Urasawa, Death Parade by Yuzuru Tachikawa, and Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. These animes’ are the best horrors I’ve seen and way ahead of their time in addressing complex social themes while twisting it. In literature: the manga Domu by Katsuhiro Otomo and the comic Ice Cream Man by W. Maxwell Price. In Tv, American Horror Story and The Twilight Zone are the best and way ahead of their time also. The common thing that I love from these mentioned horror works is the mashup style it was to blend genres while telling an intriguing storyline with great characters. Thus, these influence me in my horror stories as well.

FoF: What has been your favorite thing you have gotten to work on doing this?

JR:My journey as a writer making reviews on queer and general pop culture introduced me to different artists, predominately horror podcasters and journalists. As I talked with them about horror and art, I get to experience the friendly and supportive community that I never though I would have. It is surprising that the Horror community has embrace me and valued my work; even though, I’m considered a beginner but its amazing. In the past, I’ve tried to join other communities but couldn’t connect with them unlike the Horror Community. It was lonely at first but as I searched, I entered the world of horror podcasts (especially queer horror) and from there, the horror community in general. All the people I’ve met in the Horror community became my friends and also invited me to aid them in their works which is great because they understood my talents and its meaning. They inspire me to reflect and value my work and how it was impacted them. These past months, I’ve learned so much of the horror genre from different perspectives and I’m glad to be part of this new era of horror where new ideas as well as original ones with new takes are introduced.

FoF: What role do you think your specific style of art plays in the community overall?

JR: My writings reflect on my experiences and the things I want to explore. The feedback has been positive as it also highlights the impact I made to other writers in terms of bridging my unique perspective on my content. So, my perspective on horror as well as any other genre has been different and valued.

FoF: Anything you are working on that you want to highlight? (Commissions, flash sales, new project?)

JR: Yes. I’m working on several screenplays which I’m currently revising and rewriting. All of my screenplays are queer horror but delves into cyberpunk, supernatural and mythology themes. I’m also working on a special project with a podcast which I’ll leave it as a surprise. Finally, after October, I’ll obviously continue my 2010’s Sci-Fi reviews as well as queer content in general. This year has been very special for me and thus I wanted to end it with a high note.

FoF: If you could do anything with any horror franchise, what would it be?

JR: I rather focus on original content since there are lots of stories that I want to talk and whose themes definitely needs to be addressed which it hasn’t been seen anywhere. What I would say is that many horror movies in the past inspired me to make my own kind of vision. However, I could make an exception if I write a new story or queer take on the universal classic monsters since their association with queer identity is tangled. If given the opportunity, I would love to unite those two worlds with new twists. That would be interesting.

FoF: Anything else you’d like to say?

JR: Yes. First of all, my goal as a writer has been to talk about queer content which it sparked my 2019 Pride Month project. As I discovered queer art, I wanted to share my own experience and present how it has affected me. At the same time, I’ll also wanted to create queer stories inspired by the most amazing movies, tv shows, videogames, and literature artworks I’ve seen and motivated me. One of my goals is to use my works to help the queer community in addressing issues that affect us worldwide as well as bring resilience amid the problems we face. Also, I wanted to tell that these latest two years has been a challenge for me as I struggled with anxiety, depression and sometimes suicidal thoughts which thankfully I hadn’t acted on it. It has been difficult to break out of my comfort zone in search of my identity and what I wanted in life. As such, I struggled with various fears that often questioned my
works and its validity. I wanted to thank all the people from the Horror Community who inspired me and welcomed me as part of their family. For everyone who has self-doubts on their talents, I want to say that is normal that you experience these fears but it is important to ask for help to the most reliable and supportive people you know. Never forget your talents and where you come from, but use it positively to make the world a better place. The path is challenging but its details are what matters as it highlights all the outstanding work that you built and that helps the people who really deserve it. I must confess that I still ask myself amid all the work I’m doing if someone might accept it, like asking for permission. However, I do know that someone (especially queer people) who are out there needs this so it doesn’t make them feel alone. Thus, I’ll continue my work due to my strong beliefs in helping the queer community and the people who have supporting me along this journey.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @JonathanGRosaR2 and check out his collected works on Medium

I want to sincerely thank Jonathan for putting up with technical difficulties and for all the content he has generated this month for us, and for the community as well. His unique perspective is appreciated and I highly recommend you all seek him out! Check out his recent reviews of Ice Cream Man and Death Parade on our site!

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