This week I’m very excited to welcome my buddy JP Jackson, to my Scribbles page and introduce you all to him and his amazing writing. I was lucky to have him for an extended interview so I hope you enjoy. Don't forget to like, share and leave a comment below. There was a lot to cover in a short time so let’s boogie on down the road.
JP has his first book premiering next month (July 2017). Congratulations JP and welcome.
My interview my silliness.
All right well thanks for the invite, I think.
To kick things off tell me about your writing, how did you get started?
I’ve always been creative in some way. Whether it was drawing, painting, and even acting, I generally find that I have to be doing something, or have a project somewhere that allows me to unleash that creative energy.
But, I’ve always had ‘write a book and get it published’ on my bucket list.
About three years ago, I finally said to myself – let’s do this. So I hauled out the laptop and started. It really was that simple. I just sat down and put words on the screen. Now, I didn’t say they were good words, but it was a start.
I’ve read some of your writing and I can tell everyone, they are in fact ‘good’ words.
Of course, so you started writing three years ago, was getting the book finished what drove you? What drives you what drives you to sit at the keyboard and put word to paper?
Once I start something I generally have to see it through. I say generally because my husband will tell you that I have so many projects all going on at once it’s impossible to believe that they all get completed.
But, if something catches me…you know that feeling? It’s where your mind continually drifts back to thoughts about (in this case) the storyline, a plot problem, the way a character is dressed, and what he says…If my brain starts doing that, then I become obsessed and I will absolutely finish the project. And right now, that obsession for me is writing. I also am finding the writing process to be a ridiculous amount of fun. All of it – from writing my way through a plot problem – to creating new creatures and characters – to receiving edits and making the story even better. And let me just say, thank all the gods for editors.
Yes, editors are our friends.
They really are, they see things we miss and would never see otherwise.
Very true, now changing gears a bit, which writers inspire you?
There’s quite a few. Stephen King, but his earlier works like Carrie, Christine, The Shining. Anne Rice – all of them, oh my goodness. Yes. I’ve also recently stumbled upon Patricia Briggs and I’ve read several of the Mercy Thompson books and quite enjoyed them. J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series, Charlaine Harris and the Sookie Stackhouse books, and many, many years ago Piers Anthony with the Xanth books and the Incarnations of Immortality. Who could forget the never ending Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan? Truly, the list is endless. I’m a voracious reader and have always been. I think my favorite horror story of all time was The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. I don’t think I slept the rest of that year.
(Chuckles) That is an impressive list.
I have read a little bit of everything, but if the book has horns, tails, wings, or magic, chances are I’m going to love it. If I’m a little scared while reading it, that’s a good thing too.
I’m currently looking though for that kind of an author who write LGBTQA+ stories. I’ve read so many excellent books lately by authors who identify in the queer spectrum, but I haven’t yet stumbled upon that one author that I know – regardless of what book or work I pick up of theirs, I’m just absolutely going to love it. So, I keep looking…
You have any suggestions?
Hey now, who’s interviewing who? Anyway a book my boss recommended that I recently read was ‘The Swarm’ by Frank Schatzing it’s freaky and well crafted. And if you like Zombies (I’m personally mixed about them) but ‘World War Z’ by Max Brooks is excellent. Otherwise, you and I have a similar list of books.
Okay, this isn’t a book club. So, give us some insight into your Main Character. Who are they? What is their life about?
Dati Amon is my leading man. He’s totally dreamy. Oh wait…yeah okay so, he’s also a demon from hell. What can I tell you about Dati? He’s pretty old – although he doesn’t look it, that’s because of his great genetic makeup. And when I say old, I mean like three hundred and forty-six years old.
So, about my dating age? Kidding.
Um… sure. Dati only looks like maybe late thirties, early forties.
Dati is a specific kind of demon. He belongs to the D’Alae species – meaning he has wings, and a tail, but he has ways of hiding these things when he’s out and about. I think that’s what makes my demons a tad more interesting – they look just like any other human – but then, when the guise comes off, or they reveal their true selves, it’s terrifying.
Creepy, but I like the idea. Please continue.
Dati is also enslaved – all of the D’Alae are, and his master is particularly violent and one hell of a masochist. Dati’s job is to find human children who are the result of a demon-human mating, and then ensure that they are ‘turned’. He hates his job.
Dati’s master keeps him on a short leash. Because of that, he’s sometimes naïve, but Dati has been around a long time, and so he’s developed a certain amount of elegance and maturity. He’s smart, careful, thoughtful, yet has the propensity for incredible brutality.
And he loves to watch humans. In fact, he really has grown quite soft and kind. He likes humans. He’s quite jealous of them, and their freedom.
When Dati meets Alyx, he is instantly attracted to him (and honestly, Alyx is a redhead, who wouldn’t be instantly turned on by that?) and for the first time ever, Dati has feelings for a human.
Now that sounds like a set up for a romance story, right? Yeah…I know, but Dati’s story is unfortunately filled with setbacks and turmoil, and as much as he’d like to get to know Alyx, he can’t, and despite a promise Dati has made to keep Alyx out of his hellish world, the exact opposite happens.
In fact, Dati’s actions of trying to keep Alyx out of his life end up setting off a chain of events that leads to the end of the world.
This is no romance novel. This is a story about the end of times.
That sounds really heavy. It must be one hell (sorry I had to) of a ride?
I hope so.
Wow, so what drew you to write in this genre?
I see magic in everything. There are fairies in my garden, there is a monster in my closet and the boogeyman lives in the basement – and the bastard takes great delight in scaring the shit out of me on a regular basis. I hate him.
But really, I’m drawn to the fantastical. I thrive best in worlds where magic is possible, but also potentially deadly. I need creatures with wings and horns, beasts that will help you, cuddle with you, or maybe even eat you.
Oddly enough, I want to be enchanted and then scared at the same time. It’s funny though, I can’t watch a horror movie. I keep trying, but then I don’t sleep for days.
Do you mind if we keep going? Normally I wrap up about now, but this is good stuff. So, I’d like to keep going.
Sure, I don’t mind.
Great. Where do your ideas come from?
My head. The shadows are long and very deep in there. It’s a creepy place, but beautiful too. There’s something fun about flirting with the darkness, straddling that line between light and dark. I’m quite comfortable there.
I find that music, certain TV shows, movies and pictures will spur my creative juices and make me want to write about mystical beings and terrible curses. I love mythology too. I think we’ve lost a lot of wonder and magic in our lives. Everything is cold and technical and can be explained by modern medicine and science.
To that I say – Bah Humbug. Let there be a Santa Claus, a tooth fairy, dragons and trolls. I love them all.
I agree. By the way I love dragons, so you know. There ya go. Anyway, now for a serious question, what was the hardest thing about writing your book?
A couple of things.
The voice of each character and ensuring I stayed true to them when they were speaking.
Stories are rich and detailed and they shift in their perception depending on which character’s eyes you’re watching the world unfold through. And so, in Daimonion, the majority of the story is seen through the eyes of Dati. As I said above, he’s sophisticated, in his own way, and yet, somewhat naive. But part of the story is also told from Jenae’s perspective – she’s a soulless witch, she’s young, broken and a little off. She’s also a teenager. And part of the story is told through Alyx. Alyx is a young man, confident and sexy, mischievous and yet, always optimistic and positive. While writing the book and ensuring as each chapter came to life, the person who was telling the story kept true to their character – that was hard.
I also struggled with keeping all the ties and strings laced together in such a way that the story came to life in a realistic way. I wanted to make sure that events that happened, occurred naturally. I wanted relationships to be developed and be realistic.
It’s one thing to see a person and be instantly attracted to someone. I don’t believe that people look at someone and fall instantly in love. I think love blossoms after you get to know a person. You have to be able to resonate to who someone is, what they believe in before you invest in such an expensive emotion as ‘love’. Same thing for friendship, or trust. Does that make sense?
I think it does and you’re right ‘love’ is a very expensive emotion and I don’t think people are always willing to pay that cost. Please, though, back to the story.
This story is fantastical, but even though there are demon, beasts, and magic, I wanted it to feel like it all could be real.
Excellent. I want to shift gears again and talk about something a little lighter. So tell me JP, which famous person (living or dead) would you like to sit down with and lunch? Why?
Hugh Jackman, because Wolverine. Straight up – he’s my total boy crush. But I’ve also always wanted to have lunch with Whoopi Goldberg. I think we’d laugh ourselves stupid, but she’d also have amazing words of wisdom to impart as well. But regardless of who I have lunch with, if anyone orders beets of any kind, served up in any way, I’m out.
I hate beets. Always have. Like from the time I was a baby. Beets went in, and were immediately spit back out.
Note to self, no beets, got it.
It’s silly, and I know this. I’ve tried many times as an adult to eat them. I just can’t.
My belief is that in a former past life I was a victim in a beet famine. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Okay, so no beets. Are there any other specific challenges you’ve come across when writing? What did you do differently the next time?
This was my first book. I learned so many things. The way we write differs greatly from communications at work, to a technical manual, a love letter or a literary work. You can’t write in the same way for all of these. They have differences, and they have rules. I’m still learning the rules.
You can’t describe your own eyes unless you’re looking in a mirror. Period. So stop doing it, and yet, I continue to do so.
I repeat words often. Editing saves me every time from that mistake.
I have a thing for Tautology – saying the same thing but in a different way. That’s hard to stop, I even speak like that. You know the expression…”Beat a dead horse?” Yeah. I’m like that.
Commas. I hate commas.
Editors are akin to gods and should be treated as such.
What would I do differently next time? Oh boy. Try and learn from my mistakes? I’m a slow learner though.
I think we all share some similar problems. I know I’m guilty of a lot what you mention. One last question and it should be easy. How would you sum up your book in five words?
The Beginning of The End
What a way to end the interview. JP, thank you so much for being here and indulging in all my questions and some of my silliness.
It was a lot of fun.