Today please join me in welcoming author Jason McIntyre to the blog! Jason is the author of numerous novels including Thalo Blue and On the Gathering Storm. Learn more about Jason’s publishing journey in the interview below!
1. Can you sum up your novels in three words?
Intense, real, entertaining
2. Both Thalo Blue and On the Gathering Storm feature young characters at the beginning of adulthood, what drew you to writing characters “on the brink of true adulthood?”
The process for writing both of those books began percolating when I was in that space so it was a natural way to approach it. I was a young adult and very aware of how the world, my upbringing, my socio-economic status all played a role in how I was maturing and making my way in the world.
And since true adulthood doesn’t necessarily happen at a specified age, I was interested in looking at how very adult situations would affect characters who were less experienced and, really, only had their gut reactions to teach them how to handle some very dire consequences.
Readers will notice my catalogue of stories branching out now. I have parents and seniors, men and women, young children, all as central characters in my books. It’s important to me not be pigeonholed as the teller of only one kind of story so it’s been a fulfilling process as I’ve matured.
3. In your publishing journey you have published audiobooks, what do you like about this format?
It’s another vehicle for getting stories to an audience. The arsenal of marketing vehicles is growing, with the proliferation of online reading services (Scribd, for example), author blogs and social media. The fact that voice talent and sound editing facilities are becoming more accessible to individual authors is a boon to the work we’re doing. Each piece healps in creating an entire marketplace for an author’s brand.
Plus, let’s face it, having a work you wrote come to life in this way is exceptionally cool. What storyteller wouldn’t want to make his or her story available in this way?
4. Along with your novels you also publish novellas. What drew you to publishing shorter work?
The great thing about e-material is that boundaries of format are breaking down. In the past, publishers dictated a normalcy of word count and genre. Science fiction books should be about this thick. Romance should be this long and have this many complications, this many characters, and so on.
Not only is the e-world of publishing allowing the bypass of traditional genre ideology, it’s also letting creators create in a more natural way. In the world of writing, it’s essentially freeing an author to write the story to the exact length it needs to be and not pad it to meet the arbitrary demands of an artificial gatekeeper.
Plus, it seems that readers like to consume a lot of material, perhaps moreso than at any other time in publishing’s history. They’re buying more works and getting through them, since the limits of their availability are falling. Shorter works get to market even faster than a five or six-hundred page book and that means it’s being read faster and that reader is looking around for their next fix. In the e-world, a shorter novel, novella or even short story can mean that a reader will consume more of your work and get a broader sampling of what you have to offer.
5. What is your favorite “In the Dark” episode to date?
Great question. I like the Cookie episode because it mixes my goofy sense of humour with a rather dark idea. It’s also quite visual and I think that’s the best use of the video podcast idea — something that is more than just a talking head. I probably got more hits on that episode than the others, so it likely connected better.
6. On “In the Dark” episode four you answered the question of suspense v. horror. Can you sum up your take on this question for me readers?
My take is pretty straightforward. I present it somewhat amusingly in the episode but here it is in nutshell-form. Horror is creating a scenario that is ugly and only gets worse. Your character either does or has done to him the unthinkable and, as an audience, we see as-real-as-possible effects of that action.
Suspense is asking the question about what those real-as-possible effects might be. It’s asking the what-if question about what would happen once the scenario’s true ugliness comes to fruition. If you can make the audience question what ugliness *may* come from a scenario, and then keep tweaking it, you have effective suspense. By the end, though, you may have a story that relies on pieces of both horror and suspense. If done effectively, the audience doesn’t know and doesn’t care about which part is which.
7. What drew you to writing suspense?
Truthfully, I didn’t make a conscious decision to write what I write. Readers of my catalogue will know that nothing is the same as anything else and that I’m truly not sitting on only one shelf in the bookstore.
Suspense is really a tenet of all good storytelling. All genres–if told well–should have a large element of suspense. Romance: will they get together? Science Fiction: what really is out there? Western: Are people truly this ugly to one another? And what will happen when that gun goes off? Literary: If life is that hard, and this character is so damaged, how will he ever make it through this ordeal?
8. What is your favorite type of cookie?
Mmmm! I love all cookies and I do not discriminate. However, as of now, I have a love-on for a particular kind of cookie we call the Whoopie Pie. It’s a store-bought cake mix without the leavening agent. You mix it like a cake and then pour it in cookie-sized discs on a cookie sheet, ice the middle and sandwich two discs together. When it’s baked, it’s soft, halfway between a moist cake and a chewy cookie. My fave is a butter-pecan with cream cheese icing to finish it off.
9. If you had to pick one quote to describe your life what would it be?
“Not all who wander are lost.”
10. What is your favorite way to connect with readers (blog, email, Twitter, Facebook, etc)?
When it gets to the point of email connectivity with a reader, that’s pretty satisfying. The facade of the public world that social media creates is gone and readers can get pretty honest about what drives them to read your work. It’s also a place where appreciation for the craft and for winning a contest or spending time conversing with a reader can be its most rewarding.
Facebook and Twitter are great for spraying information about releases and such, and they offer good interaction on a more personal level. A site like Goodreads is wonderful for getting one-on-one interaction directly with readers who have no agenda in the industry, and, frankly, just want a good yarn. I like all of those places and I’ve been blessed to find great readers, great peers and great bloggers to share the journey with.
About Jason McIntyre:
JASON MCINTYRE is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of THE NIGHT WALK MEN, bestsellers ON THE GATHERING STORM and SHED, plus the multi-layered literary suspense THALO BLUE. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and won several awards.
His current release is the full-length follow-up novel to THE NIGHT WALK MEN called THE DEVIL’S RIGHT HAND, available now.