We had the good fortune of connecting with Joshua Viola and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joshua, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
As a publisher and writer of horror fiction, 2020 really put the importance of fictional realities in perspective. Does horror fiction maintain its vitality during dark times? Do despair and disease blunt the appetite for ghosts and vampires? Or is there something about the genre’s roots that thrive even when the soil is over-fertilized by the nightly news? Vexed by scientific terror, isn’t there an escape hatch to be found in stories about the supernatural? Strange times call for stranger stories, stranger situations, stranger gods. This certainly is my hope and belief. Horror writers try to imagine dreadful possibilities and weave them into gripping tales. A terrible year may make horror fiction unpalatable for a while, but I believe even dark realities afford unique opportunities to study the human condition, to examine the nature of terror, grace, doubt, and faith. As a result, stories strengthen, psychological insight deepens, and the writer provides escape for their readers. The writer must take all the horrors of reality, meditate upon them, and use them to fuel their art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a four-time Colorado Book Award finalist and I’ve been included on the 2018 Bram Stoker Award® Preliminary Ballot. I edited the Denver Post #1 bestselling anthology, Nightmares Unhinged (Hex Publishers), and co-edited Cyber World (with Jason Heller, Hex Publishers)—named one of the best science fiction anthologies of 2016 by Barnes & Noble. My first novel won the USA Best Book Awards, National Indie Excellence Awards, International Book Awards, and Independent Publishers Book Awards. My short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, including One of Us: A Tribute to Frank Michaels Errington (Bloodshot Books), along side my literary hero, Stephen King . When I’m not writing and editing, I dabble in art. In 2020, I collaborated with Aaron Lovett on AfterShock Comics’ Miskatonic #1 Cover Alpha Comics variant. Together, we also developed the Never Summer Industries/Breckenridge Brewery 2014 collector’s edition snowboard design, and the official logo for Breckenridge Brewery’s 2014 Denver Comic Con beer, “Brews Wayne.” We were also winners in Skydance Media’s Terminator Genisys art contest. As a video game artist, I worked on Pirates of the Caribbean: Call of the Kraken (Disney Interactive), Smurfs’ Grabber (Capcom) and TARGET: Terror (Konami).
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
At this point in the pandemic, I’d just like to get vaccinated and enjoy simple things again, like browsing Target aisles without worrying about whether or not I just walked through a cloud of coronavirus. But when the world resembles some form of normality again, I’d like to hit up Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall and find a nice restaurant for an expensive dinner and drinks with friends.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?