Good morning readers,
If you’ve ever wondered what a ‘diabolic shrimp’ is, you’ve come to the right place! Imagine a James Bondy villain type living in his underwater lair, directing sea creatures with his super-duper-gonna-take-over-the-world-tech; Joshua Grant is the self-proclaimed leader of shrimp – I’m kidding, really (or am I?)
Seriously though, American author Josh has created his website under the name Diabolic Shrimp and with pretty altruistic reasons. He not only wanted to create a platform for writers to support one another, but he is giving 10% of his takings from his latest book to charity; one of which is oceanic research. Not such a diabolic chap at all. I invited Josh to share something of his life and his website with you.
Josh’s iconic shrimp brigade
I am a caring, compassionate guy with a moderate imagination and a mild case of misadventure. I have a huge passion for science (particularly space exploration) and for making a difference in the lives of kids. My favorite color [sic] is blue, I absolutely hate peanut butter (not allergic, just hate it), and I hope I live to see the day we colonize Mars.
2. Do you ever find yourself ‘flailing through life’?
My walk through life has been a pretty turbulent one (hence the ‘mild case of misadventure’). I’ve suffered some major traumas in life, truly the worst things that anyone should have to go through, but God brought me through it and has allowed me to land on my feet a wiser and better person. I’ve also experienced some crazy things in life like surviving a major flash flood, encountering several bears, facing off with a mountain lion while ghost hunting, and weathering a vicious storm while sailing the ocean. So…maybe flailing?
3. What is Diabolic Shrimp and what are its origins?
Diabolic Shrimp is my author website that’s also designed to support other authors. I personally buy a book each week from the list of authors signed on to Shrimp. I then go on to review that book. I also buy a book each month to give away to readers for free.
I didn’t originally intend Shrimp to be an author support site. Shortly after I published, I realized how difficult it could be for authors to connect with readers, and just how many sites and venues out there took advantage of authors without providing much benefit. It was here that I saw a chance to make a difference for a group of people that needed it. I decided to step forward and create a free space that authors could come to for concrete support. It wasn’t very successful at first (I had 6 members for about half a year) but a belief in helping others and a bit of persistence has allowed us to grow to nearly a thousand members in the past four months. It has honestly been a wonderful experience that has allowed me to meet tons of interesting people and create a truly caring community.
4. Shrimp – why shrimp?!
Haha! It’s kind of an awkward story actually. My site wasn’t originally called Diabolic Shrimp. It had another name for about six hours. I chose that other zany name on a whim. It was only later when I was out with my friends that they told me it sounded kind of dirty. I was moderately mortified, ‘cause I could totally see what they were talking about! I then quickly changed it to Diabolic Shrimp.
It’s actually my little joke. The Diabolic stands for my diabolic plan to eventually get every single author on there and take over the world. The Shrimp is because individually we authors are the little guys, but when we band together we make a pretty impressive swarm. That, and shrimp are fun little creatures.
5. Would you describe yourself as an environmentalist? And do you believe that people like yourself can make a change for the positive in the world?
I’d say I’m an environmentalist to a degree. I believe all people have a responsibility to leave the world better than when they came into it. That applies to everything, environmentally, relationally, or otherwise. I know for certain I can make a positive difference in the world and will continually encourage others to do so.
6. Your latest publication, Pandora, is about a space leisure cruise ship that picks up the apparent survivor of an accident. Would it be right to describe it as sci-fi horror?
I sort of had a hard time classifying Pandora. I wanted to have a new take on the classic ‘ghost ship’ trope, but also capture all the actiony thrill of the 90s horror films I used to watch as a kid, and then couple all that with a deep moral heart. So it’s really more of a Sci-Fi Thriller packed with strange creatures similar to films like Aliens or The Thing, with an emotional twist.
7. Are there any authors that influence your writing, who are they and why?
Several authors have made a big impact on me over the years. I always have to give a shout out to JRR Tolkien. The Fellowship of the Ring film came out when I was a freshman in high school and I became a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I read all the books (yes, even some of the Middle Earth histories), and that’s what really sparked my writing career. Then Lois Lowry’s works like The Giver and Number the Stars really taught me the power that books have to inspire emotions.
I came upon the Horror genre only a few years ago. S.D. Perry really blew me away with her fast paced, heart pounding novels. I then got onto the Dean Koontz train. Ultimately, I strive to make my writing a blend of these two masters.
8. What genre do you enjoy reading? And do you have a favourite book?
Oddly enough, Young Adult Fantasy is pretty much my favorite thing in the world to read. Basically anything Rick Riordan writes works for me (shout out to The Lightning Thief).
9. You’re a teacher I believe, what subject do you teach and do you ever bring your experience into the classroom or vice-versa?
I used to be an elementary teacher, so I taught all subjects. These days I just guest teach in both elementary and middle school. I also work with middle and high schoolers at church (more on the emotional side of things). I truly love getting to share my experience with the kiddos. It was always a goal of mine to use my writing to inspire the younger generation. I actually struggled with writing growing up so it’s empowering to show kids who also struggle that they can make it. The only downfall is that parents keep showing up and saying ‘hey, I bought your book for my kid!’ I’m always a little mortified when I have to explain that it’s more for adults and watch them give me weird looks! I guess it’s more motivation to finish Silly Tales from Albanon! (AP: You have said it, and now it is public Josh, it’s got to be done!)
10. When working on a book, do you have a special place you like to write, i:e: a garden shed, a room with a view, an underwater lair?!!
Ooo, an underwater lair would be awesome! Oddly enough, my brain only likes to write at the kitchen table. I can’t seem to write anywhere else. Maybe I’m just hungry for more stories? (I know, cringe) (AP: well there goes my image of a watery lair with the high-tech-gadgety-thing going on!!)
11. Who or what has been your biggest influence to date?
I’ve had a few major influences in my life. My parents are the hardest working, kindest people I know. I dedicated my book to them for their endless care and selflessness. The kids I work with always inspire me to be a better, more creative person. God is a huge influence in making me the functional, altruistic person I am today. And on the business front, Elon Musk is a major role model. He likes to help others and is constantly pushing the envelope.
12. If you could tell your 11 year old self anything, what would you say?
I would probably tell myself some lottery numbers. J But aside from that, I’d tell my 11 year old self that he’s a worthwhile, good person with a heart that has more love and endurance in it than even he knows.
13. And finally – if you could be any sea creature, what would you be and why?!
I would be a…drumroll…actually, not a shrimp. They get eaten by literally everything! I’d either be an otter or a squid. Otters are super cute and squid are some of the coolest animals ever. Hmmm, maybe I should have called it Diabolic Otter…
Thanks for the interview Josh, and good luck with your
secret-domination-world-takeover, ahem, with your writers site.
You can find Josh at: