Author Interview: John Wayne Comunale


I got the chance to pick the brain of the immensely talented writer, musician, podcaster, and all around great guy John Wayne Comunale.

Click here for my review of his novel Scummer.

ZÉ BURNS: When did you start writing?

JOHN WAYNE COMUNALE: When I was a kid I liked to write stories. As I got older I knew it was something I was good at, but I just resisted doing it because naturally I was going to be a rock star. When I was floundering through college because I hated it I decided I was just going to study what I was halfway decent at, so I changed my major to creative writing. After I graduated I started writing all the time and submitting as much as possible until I finally got one short story published. I’ve been steadily publishing and slowly, very slowly, have been making the transition to full time writer for the last eight years.

ZB: Who are your influences?

JWC: Kurt Vonnegut, Bret Easton Ellis, and Richard Matheson primarily, and Chuck Palahniuk as well.

ZB: What are you reading now?

JWC: Strange Ink by Gary Kemble, Hole in the World by Brian Keene, and Fantastic Tales of Terror: Histories Darkest Secrets (Anthology)

ZB: What keeps you writing?

JWC: It’s the most important thing to me. I love it, and it’s just what I do.

ZB: As an author, musician, and podcaster, how do you find enough time in the day for all these pursuits?

JWC: I’m very disciplined and am obsessed with time and not wasting it. I get up at 3am or 4am depending on the day so I can exercise and then write for an hour before I go to my day-gig. I write on all my breaks there, and write more when I get home. I don’t really watch too much t.v., not because I don’t like it but I feel like I’m wasting time. I’ll usually play guitar into the evening unless I have a show that night. My bandmate and I practice extremely hard when together, and work separately on our parts during the week. The podcast is just something I told myself that if I was going to do I wasn’t half-assing it. Recording the show is the first thing I do when I get up on Sunday morning, or if I’m traveling I record on Monday, which is when it comes out and has for the last eighty-nine weeks. Consistency is important as well as time management, and managing your priorities.

scummer cover

ZB: In your novel SCUMMER, you paint the titular character so vividly. Is he based on someone you’ve seen or know?

JWC: Scummer is a composite of a few different people, but he is primarily based on someone I do know. I may reveal it someday, but for now it’s my little secret.

ZB: I’m very curious and I have to ask: How did you get the name “John Wayne”?

JWC: My dad loves John Wayne, so that’s what he named me. He also made it my whole first name, which is something I explain to people on a daily basis. Two words, one name.

ZB: What can we expect to see from you in the future?

JWC: I always have a few irons in the fire, but the next thing I have coming out is a novella called ‘Sinkhole’ that will be published by Deaths Head Press.

Thank you to John Wayne Comunale for his time.

To find out more about him, visit his website:

You can listen to his fascinating podcast “John Wayne Lied to You” on iTunes and Stitcher

And don’t forget to check out his latest novel As Seen on T.V.


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