Growing up on R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike, I starting writing horror stories all the way back in my junior high days. As I got older, an author by the name of Stephen King consumed my nights, and I fell hard in love with reading, enough to major in English as a college student.
I taught high school English for a decade and now enjoy a great career as a professor of communication at Illinois Central College, where I also teach fitness and martial arts classes. At the end of the 2014-15 school year, the college honored me with their teacher-of-the-year award.
Rabbit in Red is my first published novel and the first book in a horror trilogy contracted with Distinguished Press. In many ways, it’s a love letter to the horror genre and all of the great stories that kept me up late at night, but in other ways, it’s about fear, coming-of-age, and understanding death. I couldn’t have been more honored than when Book of the Day selected it as their Halloween 2015 feature.
I also enjoy writing poetry, short stories, and novels in other genres, too, such as traditional coming-of-age YA stories. As a fourth degree black belt in karate, I’ve also perfected a move that destroys writer’s block. You can learn more about me at www.joechianakas.com. Swing by and say hi anytime. I love connecting with readers and other writers, too.