There’s not much to tell, really. I work, I read, I write, I go to the gym, and I dream of eating IHOP pancakes. I wish I could tell you I also work for the CIA cracking encoded messages while racing Lamborghinis down narrow mountain roads to lavish villas where I host the world’s biggest shuffleboard tournaments where losing could mean your life. Well, I could tell you that, but it wouldn’t be true. My real life just isn’t that interesting. I have a dog. And I suck at shuffleboard.
Sierra: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
Jason: I first started writing in middle school, but none of that could be taking seriously. I tried again in college, and that couldn’t be taken seriously either. Then came law school, where I wrote an as yet unpublished novel on summer vacations (and during boring classes). Hopefully, someday, that will be taken somewhat seriously. Ah, life’s too short to take me too seriously. I tried that once. Didn’t work out.
Sierra: Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.
Jason: To date, I’ve written five novels, I’m deep into my sixth, and I have several novellas and novelettes in my possession. I have only published two of those novels at this time and am in no rush to publish the rest (though two are out for consideration). I start with that because although I have not written any series, my first novel (written, unpublished), my second novel (What Hides Within), and my fourth novel (Seeing Evil) feature a recurring character. They are all completely stand-alone books and are genre mashers in different way. Whereas What Hides Within is a horror/mystery/dark comedy mix, Seeing Evil is more horror/psychological/supernatural thriller mix. I think my readers have come to expect one thing from me at least: what I write will be dark and, I hope, always enjoyable.
Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Jason: I don’t. I kind of let the story and characters decide for me. For example, Seeing Evil definitely as some horror elements to it, but primarily we have a detective, a killer, and two kids stuck in the middle. To me, that screams for action, for dangerous situations, for kids in trouble, and (if I’ve done my job right) for readers needing to turn the page to see if they get out of it. Fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Then again, most of my horror works also thrillers, so maybe I am defining my genre after all. Horror-thriller, with a reasonable helping of mystery and dark comedy.
Oh yeah… and then there’s the science fiction…
Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?
Jason: For Seeing Evil, the ending. It contains a sentiment not often found in my work, but somehow seemed fitting here. Other than that, I thought the third chapter worked, a particularly horrendous bullying scene told from the victim’s perspective. It was horrible, but I think holds a mirror to society. I hope I manage to shock readers with the action depicted, but more so with its susceptibility to reenactment.
Sierra: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Jason: Yes, what happens to Jimmy in the above-mentioned scene happen to someone I went to school with. Seeing Evil also addresses the issue of gun violence in schools, a topic that unfortunately appears in the news all-too-often these days. Little scenes here and there, bits of dialogue, etc. sometimes are pulled from personal experiences.
Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Jason: On one novelette, I straight out tried to emulate Poe. I want people to say it sounds like Poe, to have sort of a fond recollection of their times spent reading Poe when they read my story. I am no Poe and don’t claim to rival his greatness or even his last bowel movement’s greatness, but he has influenced me in my desire to write, and I hope to honor his memory by paying homage to him.
Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?
Jason: On a story, yes. Usually at the halfway mark. But there is always another work to work on or a later scene to address. I never have the sort of writer’s block where I have nothing to write.
Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
Jason: Well, Poe would have been nice. Meeting him now would be creepy, like something out of his stories. King would also be amazing to meet. I grew up reading his books, so he pretty much defined modern horror for me. The body of work he has produced is just unbelievable – hit after hit after hit. He’s definitely the King.
Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?
Jason: I should have a new novelette coming out very soon. It is a horror/dark fantasy tale that deals with Scottish folklore, but turns it into something completely Jason Parent. I can’t wait for my readers to get their hands on this one!
Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?
Jason: Yes. I think I would like to re-cover What Hides Within and fix some minor pesky issues that have bothered me since publication. Reviews of the book are many and have mostly been great, and I thank all reviewers (good and bad) for them. I lucked out in that the book has achieved success despite those minor issues, but for my own perfectionist peace of mind, I want them fixed and plan to fix them.
Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Jason: Find a support group of editors, proofreaders, beta readers, critical reviewers, etc, that you trust. Rely on them. Be there for them too, so they may rely on you. There are good and bad people in all walks of life. Find the good ones. Be a good one.
Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Jason: Yes. I may not have the most readers, but I certainly have the best. Those who have followed me since the beginning and those who have joined since, I value your feedback and criticism and will do my best never to publish anything that does not meet (and hopefully exceed) your expectations. I thank you for your support and hope that you will always feel free to contact me for any reason you wish at any of my social media sites.
And thank you, Sierra, for including me on A Simple Taste for Reading! I hope your fans have found this entertaining.
Click on the book to read my review!