Author Spotlight: Joseph Gage

This Week’s Author: Joesph Gage

Book Spotlight:

The Mouse by [Joseph Gage]

Fourteen-year-old Joven can’t deal with his brothers constantly teasing him for being shy, so he runs away from his family farm to the darkenwood, a forest claimed by some to be magical. He hates his nickname, Mouse, and vows to prove to his family that he isn’t afraid of everything. When he meets a talking mouse named Eek, the forest proves to be magical indeed. Aided by his new companions, he tries to overcome many obstacles to climb out of the shadow of his brothers and be his own person. He meets a few really special people and creatures on his adventure, who show Joven that even a mouse can have the heart of a lion!

Twas the eve before Christmas
And all through the night,
The creatures were stirring to give you a fright.
The monsters came out from their warm nestled nooks, in search of some mayhem so dear reader come look.

Explore the twisted side of the holidays with this dark collection. Serial killers enjoying their Christmas vacation. Zombies terrorizing the holiday. Santa revealing his true colors. Learn about Frau Perchta and more winter legends who are here to delight and terrorize the holiday.

About Joesph Gage:

Joseph was born and raised in the Piney Woods of East Texas. He is a painter, musician, and even writes a bit. You can visit him online at for all of my links in one place.

You can see his art at

Interview With Joseph Gage:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I wrote my first book, The Mouse, while I was unemployed, recovering from a nervous breakdown after my parents died. It was a labor of love. I had always wanted to write but never thought it was something I could do. Then I lost both of my parents, my girlfriend was killed in a hit and run while crossing the street, and I had a nervous breakdown. I ended up in jail and then on the street homeless. It was a traumatic time in my life. I turned to writing to find a way to cope with things. I think I had most of the book done before I considered publishing it. My friend and fellow author, DC Gomez, was a huge encouragement to me. I will remain forever grateful for her advice as I went through the process of publishing my first book. I also designed the cover, edited the book, formatted it, etc. No other hand touched that book from conception to publication. It was a huge learning experience to me, but more than that, it gave me the courage to pursue writing full time.

Fast forward, now I have a story in an anthology coming out December first, called Once Upon a Twisted Christmas. My next full novel is book one in my new series, The McAlister Chronicles. It is a thriller, Eye for an Eye, and will be out in December or January. The book follows the life of retired Navy Seal Nathan McAlister, called Mac by most people. The first book will most likely be out in January. Book two is already in the planning stage. I am really excited for both books. Not to mention this Christmas anthology. I am trying to finish out the year with a bang, and it has been a quite the journey! I am pretty open about sharing my story. I went through a lot, but I always try to encourage people. I have come so far, and I really just want to write interesting stories that people enjoy reading.

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time writing but never considered it something I could do professionally. After I lost my parents in 2016, I felt adrift in the world. Grief was overwhelming, but  writing short stories helped me cope. The Mouse started out a short story  just for fun, but I fell in love with the characters, and as the story unfolded on the pages I was writing, I started to take it more seriously. Slowly the idea that I could do more than write as a hobby began to take hold.

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

Great question. I have struggled with so much doubt. I was bullied and abused as a child. My self esteem used to be zero. I have fought tooth and nail against my own negative self image. It takes constant vigilance. One thing I did is I started paying attention to what I was saying about myself. If I am saying negative things, even jokingly, I am crushing my self esteem. So I shut that down. I say positive things about myself. Even when I don’t feel like it. It might sound cheesy, but I have to tell myself that I do deserve good things, that I am good enough, and other affirmations. Doubt and low self esteem are truly dangerous enemies of happiness and success. And I never forget where I came from. I had a nervous breakdown after my parents passed away. I was homeless, living on the street, on drugs, hopeless. I really learned about who I am through it all. Now, when the doubt creeps in, I stop and mindfully remember where I was and how far I have come. Also, every time a reader tells me how much they enjoy one of my books, it makes my day. That’s what it is really about.

 Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing?

Oh yes, for sure. I battled addiction for a large portion of life. I have lived in a world that most people don’t know exists. I have known true fear, terror, and seen things I will never forget. Phillip K. Dick said it best in the book A Scanner Darkly when the main character talks about what the world of addiction is like, saying “Now in the dark world where I dwell, ugly things, and surprising things, and sometimes little wondrous things, spill out in me constantly, and I can count on nothing.” (Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly)

The stories I write are completely fiction, but the emotional response of the characters comes from my experience. I write damaged characters, anti-heroes, flawed people who are dealing with life on their own terms. My first love with books was as a reader. I love books with characters who I can believe in, so I try to write books with characters who are relatable. I know pain. I know grief. I know happiness, joy, and love. These are the things I write.   

 Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

My easiest character I think was Joven, the main character of The Mouse. I was shy as a child. Seriously so. That is a whole other story about that, and how I overcame it. I may blog about it one day if enough people want to hear about it. My hardest character has been Mac, the anti-hero in my next novel, Eye for an Eye. I don’t want to give too much away, but he isn’t your typical good guy. It took some thought to write his character the way I really wanted.

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