John Wooley is a veteran novelist, journalist, documentarian and scriptwriter. He specializes in horror fiction and popular culture non-fiction. Wooley's 1982 novel Old Fears, written with Ron Wolfe used his experience growing up in a small town for its setting. It was followed by a second Wooley-Wolfe book, Death's Door. Wooley's first solo novel, The Dark Within, was a finalist in the 2000 Oklahoma Book Awards, and his current book, Awash in the Blood, was released in late 2001 to critical praise and a sellout of the hardcover version. Also still in print is Hot Schlock Horror, a nonfiction illustrated book about horror movies. Other current books by Wooley include Forever Lounge (with Thomas Conner and Mark Brown), a laid-back guide to lounge music, and Jim Halsey's How to Make It in the Music Business (with famed impresario Jim Halsey). His most recent two books have explored such diverse topics as biker movies and the Oklahoma Military Academy. Wooley's movie credits include the made-for-TV feature The Raven Red Kiss-Off with Marc Singer and Tracy Scoggins, Hauntings Across America (narrated by Michael Dorn) and Still Swingin', a full-length musical documentary which he also associate-produced. For years, he worked in the independent comics' field, creating or co-creating such titles as The Twilight Avenger, The Miracle Squad, The Uncanny Man-Frog, Plan Nine from Outer Space: 30 Years Later, and Tor Johnson, Hollywood Star. Perhaps his most famous work in comics was the script for the graphic-novel adaptation of Edward D. Wood¹s Plan Nine from Outer Space. He provides a regular "Forgotten Horrors" column in FANGORIA magazine, which has printed scores of Wooley¹s articles and interviews over the past 20 years. Wooley has written hundreds of articles and the occasional short story for dozens of magazines most connected with some aspect of popular culture. He has also written for the website http://www.cmt.com and created promotional material for country-music recording acts Steve Ripley, Tracy Lawrence, Billy Parker and Stonehorse. Since 1983 he has been an entertainment writer for the Tulsa World newspaper.
Chelsea Public Schools; Oklahoma State University; Central Oklahoma State University (MA)
Resident of Oklahoma since age four, entertainment writer for the Tulsa World.
BOOKS (as writer): The Big Book of Biker Flicks, with Michael H. Price (film commentary and interviews; HAWK Publishing Group, 2005); Voices from the Hill: The Story of Oklahoma Military Academy (historical non-fiction, HAWK Publishing Group, 2005); Forgotten Horrors 3! Dr. Turner's House of Horrors, with Michael H. Price and George E. Turner (film commentary and interviews; Luminary Press, 2003); Awash in the Blood (novel, HAWK Publishing Group, 2001); Dark Within (novel, HAWK Publishing Group, 2000); Jim Halsey's How to Make It in the Music Business, with Jim Halsey (biographical/motivational/how-to book; HAWK Publishing Group, 2000. Also released in edited form as 3 CD set by Halsey Records, 2002); Forever Lounge, with Thomas Conner and Mark Brown (subtitled "A Laid-Back Price Guide to the Languid Sounds of Lounge Music" and featuring essays and commentary; Antique Trader Books, 1999); Hot Schlock Horror (film commentary and interviews; Dreamtrip Press, 1992); Death's Door, with Ron Wolfe (horror novel, Dell/Abyss, 1992; HAWK Publishing Group, 2000); Full Moon, with Ron Wolfe, writing together as "Mick Winters" (horror novel, Berkley, 1989); Old Fears, with Ron Wolfe (horror novel; Franklin Watts, 1982; Berkley, 1984; HAWK Publishing Group, 1999; German edition, Wer hat Angst vorm Schwarzen Mann? Published by Goldmann in 1991). BOOKS (as editor): Roscoes in the Night (collection of R. L. Bellem's pulp detective stories, Adventure House, 2003); At the Stroke of Midnight (collection of John K. Butler's pulp detective stories; Adventure House, 1998); Robert Leslie Bellem's Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (collection of R. L. Bellem's pulp detective stories; Popular Press, 1983). BOOKS (as contributor): Red Dirt Anthology (memoir; Red Dirt Book Festival/Oklahoma Humanities Council/Pioneer Library System, 2004); FANGORIA Masters of the Dark, ed. Anthony Timpone (interview; HarperPrism, 1997); The Listener's Guide to Audio Books, by John Wynne (reviews/commentary; Fireside/Simon & Schuster, 1995); Midnight Journeys, ed. Davi Dee & Bill Allen (short story; Ozark Triangle Press, 1995); Blood Feast: The Screenplay, by Herschell Gordon Lewis (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1991); Plan 9 From Outer Space, original screenplay, ed. Tom Mason (introduction; Malibu Graphics 1990); Spicy Western Stories, ed. Tom Mason (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1990); Spicy Mystery Stories, ed. Tom Mason (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1990); Spicy Horror Stories, ed. Tom Mason (introduction; Malibu Graphics, 1990); Spicy Detective Stories, ed. Tom Mason (introduction, Eternity Publishing, 1989); Intro 8: The Liar's Craft, ed. George Garrett (poem; Doubleday Anchor, 1977). MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES (as writer): Café Purgatory (also co-producer) (feature, world-premiered at the Fort Worth Film Festival, October 1999, receiving Crowd Pleaser award); Hauntings Across America (documentary narrated by Michael Dorn, The Entertainment Group/Video Vacation, 1996 - aired as Halloween special on the Learning Channel, 1997); Sourdough, Beefsteak & Beans (TV special starring Red Steagall, The Entertainment Group/Americana Television Network, 1995); Still Swingin' (also associate producer) (musical documentary narrated by Red Steagall, The Entertainment Group/VCI Home Video, 1994); Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (aka The Raven Red Kiss-Off) (made-for-TV feature starring Marc Singer and Tracy Scoggins, The Entertainment Group/Fries Entertainment, 1990); Quiet Night in the Country (with Vern Stefanic, screenplay sold but never produced, VCI, 1986). PLAYS: Café Purgatory (one-act, debuted at Heller Theater, Tulsa, OK, four scheduled performances plus an extra performance added by popular demand, 1996). RADIO PLAYS: Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (performed on "The Electric Theater" from NPR affiliate KWGS-FM in Tulsa, OK, 1988). SONGS: "Gone Away", written with Steve Ripley and Tim DuBois and featured on the CD Ripley (Audium Records, 2003). COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS (as creator and writer): The Twilight Avenger (nine issues, Miracle Comics , eternity Comics [1988-90] and Elite Comics ); Tor Johnson, Hollywood Star (one-shot, Monster Comics, 1991); Plan 9 from Outer Space: Thirty Years Later (three issues, Eternity Comics, 1991); The Miracle Squad (eight issues, Apple Comics  and Upshot Graphics [1986-87]); The Uncanny Man-Frog (two issues, Mad Dog Graphics, 1987). COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS (as writer): Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (four issues, Eternity Comics, 1991); Plan Nine from Outer Space (one-shot movie adaptation, Malibu Graphics, 1991). COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS (as contributor): Death Rattle (scripts, Kitchen Sink Press, No.4 , No.'s 15 & 17 ); my story for No. 17, "Slide, Sinner, Slide" co-written by Jim Millaway, was reprinted in Baseball Comics No. 2 (Kitchen Sink Press, 1992); Grateful Dead Comix (scripts, Kitchen Sink Press, No. 5  and No.2 ); my story for issue No. 2, "The Lille Story" was reprinted in the 1992 Hyperion Press collection of the same name. Images of Omaha No. 1 (script, Kitchen Sink Press, 1992); my story, "No Longer Welcome" was reprinted in Southern Fried Homicide, ed. Michael H. Price (Cremo Studios/Shel-Tone Publications, 1998), and Carnival of Souls (Cremo Studios/Midnight Marquee Press, 2005); The Comics That Ate My Brain (text, Malibu Graphics, 1991); The Hollywood Detectives (pulp-comics reprints ) (text and contributing editor, Malibu Graphics, 1991); Dirty Pictures - The Naughty Art of the '30s Pulps, No.'s 1-3 (pulp-illustration reprints) (text, Aircel Comics, 1991); Spicy Adult Stories, No.'s 1-4 (illustrated pulp-story reprints) (text, Aircel Comics, 1991); The Best of Spicy Tales (pulp-comics reprints) (text and contributing editor, Malibu Graphics, 1990); Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective - Lights! Camera! Murder! (comic-strip reprints, movie tie-in) (text, Malibu Graphics, 1990); Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu (comic-strip reprints) (text, Malibu Graphics, 1989); Spicy Tales Collection (pulp-comics reprints) (text, Malibu Graphics, 1989); Spicy Tales, No.'s 1-10 (pulp-comics reprints) (text, Eternity Comics, 1988-89); The Best of Horror and Science Fiction Comics, No. 1 (comic-book reprints) (text, ghosted for Bruce Webster, Webster Publications, 1987); The Doomsday Squad, No.4 (script, Fantagraphics Books, 1986); The Foozle, No. 3 (script, Eclipse Comics, 1985); Eerie No.'s 32 and 41 (scripts, Warren Publications, 1971 and '72). TRADING CARDS: Mamie Van Doren (boxed set of 37) (compiled and written, Kitchen Sink Press, 1994); Confidential (boxed set of 36, tracing the history of America's first scandal magazine) (compiled and written, Kitchen Sink Press, 1993); Hot Schlock: Schlock Bikers (40-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1992); Hot Schlock Platinum: Schlock Horror (44-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1992); Hot Schlock: Women in Crime (40-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1991); Hot Schlock: Science Fiction (40-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1991); Hot Schlock: Schlock Horror (40-card set, illustrated with movie ads) (compiled and written, Dreamtrip Enterprises, 1991). Frequent contributor to many magazines and entertainment writer for The Tulsa World, specializing in articles on country music, horror movies, jazz and pop culture, as well as reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces.
In an interview with Amazon.com, John Wooley gives insight into his life and works.
Amazon.com: Where are you from? How--if at all--has your sense of place colored your writing?
J.W.: I grew up in small-town Oklahoma, which is the setting of my first novel with Ron Wolfe, OLD FEARS, as well as my solo novel from 2000, DARK WITHIN. The people in a small town -- like Chelsea, Oklahoma, my own personal hometown -- are a lot like the people in an extended family, and that familial sense of community has not only colored my own writing, but my reading preferences. I especially love the books Steinbeck wrote about the characters around northern California, and Booth Tarkington's small-town Penrod books.
Amazon.com: When and why did you begin writing? When did you first consider yourself a writer?
J.W.: I began writing relatively early. I got my first rejection slip when I was 14 (from THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION) and sold my first story when I was 19 (a comic-book script to EERIE magazine). Although I've been making a living as a writer for about 20 years, I really considered myself a writer the first time I sat down and wrote when I didn't want to.
Amazon.com: Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? What books have most influenced your life?
J.W.: My grandmother, Mary M. Wooley, was a poet and writer and very big influence on me. She was the first to talk to me seriously about writing, and the writing life. The books that have had the biggest influence on my life, in no particular order, are Steinbeck's CANNERY ROW and SWEET THURSDAY, Booth Tarkington's PENROD, James M. Cain's POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, William Lindsay Gresham's NIGHMARE ALLEY, Frank Norris' MCTEAGUE, and the detective novels of Raymond Chandler. I'm also heavily influenced by many of the pulp writers of the '30s and '40s, particularly the hard-boiled ones.
Amazon.com: What is the most romantic book you've ever read? The scariest? The funniest?
J.W.: The most romantic, in every sense of the word, is SWEET THURSDAY. The funniest has probably S.J. Perelman's CRAZY LIKE A FOX, a book of essays. And I have to admit that Ron Wolfe and I scared each other a lot when we were writing OLD FEARS.
Amazon.com: What music, if any, most inspires you to write? What do you like to listen to while writing?
J.W.: I like to listen to big-band, cool jazz, and old pop music when I'm writing. Surf music is also good in certain situations.
Amazon.com: What are you reading now? What CD is currently in your stereo?
J.W.: I just finished a BLACK MASK pulp magazine from 1945, and before that a fine little novel called THE MIDNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by the mystery novelist William Bernhardt. I would've liked it even if he wasn't my publisher.I've had an LP on my turntable since I've had a CD in the stereo, and the LP was one of my all-time favorites, DREAMSVILLE by Lola Albright, featuring Henry Mancini's Orchestra. It's from 1960, and I never get tired of it.
Amazon.com: What are you working on?
J.W.: In addition to my work as an entertainment writer for the TULSA (Oklahoma) WORLD newspaper, I'm currently working on my next book for HAWK Publishing Group, GHOST BAND. Michael H. Price, the great film critic and commentator, recently asked me to step in and help on his acclaimed series of FORGOTTEN HORRORS books, and I'm delighted to be jumping in on Vol. 3. Michael and I also do a monthly column for FANGORIA magazine under the same title, only dealing with films that are a little newer than the ones we cover in the books. Our BIG BOOK OF BIKER FLICKS, with lots of photos, ad mats, commentary, and interviews, is due out at the end of 2002. My vampire televangelist novel, AWASH IN THE BLOOD, has sold out of its original hardcover release and gone into trade paperback. I'm doing a new collection of Dan Turner pulp stories, titled ROSCOES IN THE NIGHT, for Adventure House Press. Finally, I co-wrote and and co-produced a movie called CAFE PURGATORY, which had its world premiere at the Fort Worth Film Festival, and I'm working on getting national distribution for that.
Amazon.com: Use this space to write about whatever you wish.
J.W.:. God bless everyone who buys and reads a book this year -- or any year -- and big thanks for your interest..
Author information and website. Contemporary Authors.
Rights and Permissions
Copyright of this digital resource, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, 2005. These images and texts are made available for non-profit, educational, scholarly purposes, such as research, teaching and private study.