Fall Fantasy Interview Series: #9
Today, VS Holmes interviews author Jason Pere about his debut novel 'Calling the Reaper: First Book of Purgatory'.
1)Is fantasy your primary genre? If so, do you write in others?
Yes Fantasy is my “go-to” genre when it comes to fiction. I am always intimidated when I think of working on a project that is rooted in established facts or has to play by the rules of world history. I really prefer to spend my time writing and not researching when I get a “Writing Day”, so working predominantly in fantasy affords me that luxury. I know that as a story teller I have a very strong imagination and sense of creativity, so working in a genre that I can fully flex those attributes seems like a natural fit.
All that said, I do write poetry now and then. It is actually how I started writing seriously, so I don’t think I will ever fully abandon that style of writing. I have also dabbled in the children’s book genre. I am an avid fan of science fiction, and while I have not written any major works in that genre, I am far from opposed to doing so. I should also mention that I have recently discovered collaborative writing and I absolutely adore it. It feels like I am back in my improvisational theater days when I get to work in concert with other authors.
2)What speaks to you about the fantasy genre and have you always been a fan?
Yes I have always been a fan. In a word, imagination. Fantasy is the place where an artist can literally do anything. That is the major attraction to me. Fantasy feels like the genre that has the most potential because there are only the rules that the writer imposes on themselves. Everything else is fair game. I also very much enjoy that Fantasy tends to lend itself well to epic and large-scale storytelling. I prefer to experience a work that plays out on a grand stage with lots of scenes to experience characters to love and hate.
3)What was the biggest challenge you faced writing CALLING THE REAPER?
Well that whole editing, layout and formatting thing. Basically anything that had to deal with the non-creative element of writing was a pain in the neck, but this is a pretty boring answer so I’ll try and spice it up a bit.
Creatively, my biggest challenge was creating protagonists that were also my antagonists. This is a piece that speaks very much to the eternal conflict of good vs. evil, and I wanted to make my lead characters fall on both sides of the line. It was not easy to craft a person that had such a complex, layered degree of morality that they could do profoundly un-heroic things and still be considered the “Hero” of the story. Oh, and I had to do that for not one but eight gosh-darn characters. Get ready to “like” the bad guy and feel warm and gooey inside about doing it. I won’t tell.
4)Do you listen to music while you write? What is your go-to writing music?
Funny, that. I tend to avoid music when I write as it can often grab my imagination and run with it in a different direction. Every time I try and listen to music while I write, I struggle to maintain my focus. Its hard enough to hear the voices in my head without Eddie Vedder, Peter Steele, Chibi and the like putting in their two cents. That said, music plays a very heavy role in the inspiration of my material. I can easily point to several works in my portfolio that were born in music. Oh, want to see something cool? Captain Dante Ramos- Pink Floyd/Comfortably Numb Aristo-The God of War Soundtrack Lady Kathryn Petra- Poets of the Fall/Carnival of Rust Kenji Rei-Disturbed/Warrior Shiva-Iron Maiden/Run to the Hills Gemmell-Queen/Gimmie the Prize Marshal Jackson Bennet French- Bon Jovi/Wanted Dead or Alive Sir Lionel James- Rick Astley/Never Gonna Give you up…No Not Really…Sarah McLaughlin/Sweet Surrender Paradise Anthem- Audra Mae/The Unclouded Day Purgatory Anthem-Tool/Parabola
5)What is your favorite line or paragraph in the book? Why is that?
“And she possessed a tragic beauty, like the stripped branches of a cemetery tree cast against the steel grey sky of autumn.” I love this line because to me it sums up perfectly the concept of this magnificently broken woman. The line is sublimely beautiful, and I call for sabers at dawn against anyone who says otherwise.