5 Questions: Jay Bonansinga

Jay_B Jay Bonansinga

Jay Bonansinga is the New York Times bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD novels (four volumes in collaboration with the creator of the franchise, Robert Kirkman, and four volumes as solo author).

He is also the author of over fifty acclaimed short stories and fourteen original novels, including the Bram Stoker finalist THE BLACK MARIAH (1994), the International Thriller Writers Award finalist SHATTERED (2007), the acclaimed YA horror novel, LUCID (2015), and Jay’s latest horror opus, SELF STORAGE (2016).

Jay’s work has been translated into sixteen languages, and he has been called “one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers” by the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Jay’s non-fiction debut THE SINKING OF THE EASTLAND (2004), received national acclaim as well as the certificate of merit from the Illinois State Historical Society, ultimately becoming the source for the hit musical, EASTLAND, staged in Chicago by the Tony-award winning theater company, Lookingglass.

Jay has also authored acclaimed non-fiction books on Alan Pinkerton and the Las Vegas mob. Jay’s work as a screenwriter and film director has garnered him Best-Of-Festival awards at the Houston, Queens, and Iowa City International Film Festivals. His work has been shown on all the major cable systems in over fifty million homes. He lives in Evanston with his wife, the photographer Jill Norton, and his two teenage boys, and is currently hard at work on his next novel. You can find Jay on-line at www.jaybonansinga.com and www.magnetikink.com.

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
Me. I’m the one keeping myself up at night. Mostly because I’m a night owl. I don’t know where or why it started. I spent my youth staying up long past my bedtime reading Lovecraft and Portnoy’s Complaint with a flashlight under my covers. To this day, the world doesn’t feel or sound quite right until the wee hours. Michael Chabon calls it the Midnight Disease.

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
I know it’s corny but the coolest thing I’ve seen and heard lately is my son Joey playing bass on “There Will Never Be Another You” with his quartet at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago.

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
The most exciting thing I’m working on right now is an indie film based on one of my own books — maybe the most personal of them all — that will star a huge and yet unlikely celebrity in the lead whom I can’t reveal yet. But when I do reveal it, people are going to plotz.

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
I would add Alan Pinkerton as the badass sergeant at arms, Truman Capote for conversation, and Frank Zappa for dinner music.

5. When the movie of your life is made what will it be called?
“Flailing at Demons.” (I’ll leave it at that).