Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Jason Kristopher

Today’s episode of The Same Six Questions features author Jason Kristopher. Take it away, Jason!

Thanks, Andy! I was born in Waco, Texas, and spent the first years of my life moving with my family around northern Texas and the Panhandle, including Lubbock. After settling in northern Colorado, I spent nearly two decades there soaking up the creative energy and enjoying the beautiful weather, before moving back to Texas ten years ago for "real" work.

Throughout this long journey, I continued to write all kinds of fiction, including fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and children's tales, and even tried penning a poem or two. My family members were constantly invited to read incomplete works; finally, on pain of death, I finished my first novel, and hope that their ire will be at least somewhat sated.

I currently live in Houston and enjoy reading, writing, movies, music (live and not), the Houston Astros (winning and not) and the Texas hill country, especially the vineyards.

Thanks for that, Jason. Now it’s time for The Same Six Questions!

1. Have you published a book yet?

Indeed, I have! It’s a zombie apocalypse novel that one reviewer called “the best zombie book since World War Z!” It’s got 4.6/5 stars at Amazon, with 26 reviews, nothing less than 4 stars. For 410 pages and only $3.99 (on Kindle), it’s a heck of a bargain. It’s a good solid story, with a focus more on the characters and how they deal with the end of the world—and each other—rather than concentrating on just the zombie-bashing… although there’s plenty of action, too. Lots of readers have said that it reminded them of The Walking Dead on AMC, which is great, because that’s exactly the feel I was going for.

Here’s the blurb:
"I didn't see Rebecca die the second time."

The United States military hides a secret: the completely real existence of eat-your-brains, one-bite-and-you're-dead zombies. The Army has known they exist for over a hundred years, and has been quietly and expertly keeping the secret.

Until now.

His hometown destroyed, with everyone he has ever known dead and gone, the sole survivor of the massacre at Fall Creek joins a secret military group to combat the single greatest threat our world has ever faced. Unfortunately, his help may come too late. Even as victories over the walkers mount, the seeds of our ultimate doom are sown from within, and at the last, only a brave few may survive to carry on.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I would say always, but it’s only been in the last couple years that I decided to actually make a go of it and put the pedal to the metal, so to speak. I started putting pen to paper in 7th grade (don’t ask me how long ago that was, thanks), and I knew then that I was going to have this be a part of my life for a long, long time. As it stands, I figured out the other day that with just the ideas I have right now, I could write for forty years—if I put out four books a year. That’s novels, not short stories or novellas. 100,000+ words or more. And that’s just the ideas I have now; I get more every day.

I’ll be eighty *mumble* and have more than 100 books by the time I’m done with all those. I’d call that a pretty good career. But the kicker is, it doesn’t feel like work, to me. And that is the best feeling in the world, to do something you love as your job. It just doesn’t get better than that.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

My first lengthy piece was that one I wrote in 7th grade, about a crashed alien wolf and the boy who finds him. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the way I wrote it – shifting viewpoints back and forth between the two of them – was pretty advanced, according to my English teacher. It was very, very rough and needed a lot of work, but he was surprised I’d come up with something like that. It’s been lost to the depths of my “keepsakes,” sadly – or scattered to the four winds – but I still have most of my other unfinished works.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

When I hit the final period on that last page. I remember thinking “Holy crap!” The genie doesn’t go back in the bottle, and I realized that nothing in my life would be the same ever again. Because I’d done it. It didn’t matter if I never sold that book or made a dime off it; I was a writer, and I’d written a whole novel. An original idea, set on paper by me, and it was good. I knew then that there was no way I could keep doing the 8-5 grind that everyone else does. This was the life for me, pure and simple.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I would meet Kimberly Barnes, and hope she was single, or write her that way. Seriously, though, I’d meet any of them. They’re almost all good people, and even the nasty ones started out good. Except Gardner. At the very least, they’re interesting, and I would love to hear more about their stories that I don’t know. It would be surreal at best, but I could really get into their heads and find out what makes them tick, and that could only make the sequels to my book better. And Kimberly is pretty good-looking, too.

6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

Freddy Krueger. Jason Voorhees. Michael Myers. And they’re arguing about how best to carve me up. Those movies always scared me and are a primary motivation for me not watching horror movies now. And yes, I realize it’s more than a little ironic that a horror writer doesn’t like horror movies. But any of those three would scare me that much. Or Charlie, from Ania Ahlborn’s Seed. Uber-creepy.

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Great answers Jason! Thanks for stopping by.

For more information on Jason and his writing, check out his about.me profile, publishing site, follow him on Twitter, or like him on Facebook!

Be sure to stop by on Thursday, when my guest will be indie author Brent Nichols. Until then, keep writing and reading!