Blog-Versary: Author Interview & Giveaway, J P Jackson
This year I had the pleasure of reading a book by debut author J P Jackson – Daimonion – and today I have the pleasure of his company in an interview. Welcome JP.
Thank you. It’s an honour to be here helping you celebrate your 5th year Anniversary. Congratulations!
Tell us a little more about the inspiration behind your debut novel Daimonion. What was the spark behind it?
That’s a hard question to answer. The story in various forms lived inside my head for a very long time. I think it originally started off with the concept of humans being trapped inside pods that morphed them into something evil.
Then I had this need to incorporate my dreams into the story as well. I can’t watch horror movies as they always remanifest themselves at night in very vivid dream sequences, and my brain does a far more horrifying job than Hollywood ever has. There’s a scene in Daimonion where Dati is being summoned to his Master’s meeting. That started off as a dream sequence that I had actually dreamt in real life. However, a good chunk of that dream ended up being edited out. Deleting that from the book was very disappointing and hard to do, but in the end, chopping it out made the story better.
I think the very first pieces of the novel started being written ten years ago, but then it got shelved, and life happened. It wasn’t until I was in my late forties when I realized I hadn’t written that book I had always said I was going to. It was one of those bucket list items. Write a book, and have it published. Getting that done was a dream come true.
So, out came the laptop and voila. A novel. I make it sound easy, right? It wasn’t. None of it. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Once I really started putting words onto the screen, it took me a year to write (understanding of course that I have a day job, a husband, chores, life, realities etc.) and then I hired a freelance editor to help me go through it and polish it up to the best version I could manage. That took another two years, because, well, money.
Well worth every penny I spent. I learned so much in the process.
I’ve noticed your #amwriting on Twitter with some monster or demon meme or GIF along with the tag, I’m sensing a theme ???? Is this a big part of your style and what you like, the darker side?
Oh, how I love the shadows, and magic, and things that are furry and want to cuddle with you, maybe even taste you. I love magic, and wings, and horns and tails. And it’s my very firm belief that I have garden gnomes and faeries living in my backyard, along with the monster in the basement. And yes, I still run up the stairs from the basement when the lights are turned off. That thing down there scares the hell out of me…but I love the fact he chose our house to live in!
I couldn’t live in total darkness though. Some people can, but that’s too scary for me. I like that line of grey, where you can watch what’s happening just on the periphery of the darkness, but you can jump into the light at any time to save your soul.
Let’s face it, flirting with demons is kind of fun. Just don’t ever leave your protective circle. Ever.
I love all my characters equally. (That’s what a father is supposed to say, right?) But if you promise NOT to tell the others…well, okay, in Daimonion, Dati would be my favourite. He’s just so damaged. And although he’s a demon from hell, and super strong, and terrifying, and venomous, he’s gorgeous, furry, kind and gentle too. And let’s face it – he’s a bit hapless.
I really want to touch his tail.
Just once, you know, for research for my next book.
Oh man. That makes me sound weird.
Is writing something you’ve enjoyed or have always done, or is it a newer bug that has bitten?
I did when I was younger. Like really young. Apparently as a kid I used to write stories all the time. Then that tapered off, and I explored other creative avenues like drawing, and painting. Then that morphed into some acting.
I did take one creative writing course in university. But that was…well, let’s see…(wait, I’m doing math in my head). Screw it. That was a very long time ago.
I think the creative drive has always been there, and I express that in a number of different ways. The writing bug though, I’d say that’s new. But I like it. And I like the process of creating, editing, revising, and polishing. It’s hard to create three dimensional textural images that captivate a reader’s five senses using black and white words. But I revel in the challenge.
Because writers are generally readers too, who are some of your favourite authors and/or books? What makes them stand out?
I’ve always read, a lot. When I was a teenager I turned to horror and found the scariest books ever; The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson and of course, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. Pretty sure I didn’t sleep for months after reading those. But those hooked me, and I relentlessly hunted down other horror writers who were popular at the time, like Stephen King, Anne Rice and Clive Barker.
Then I branched out into Fantasy and read volumes of books by Stephen R Donaldson, Melanie Rawn, Anne McCaffrey and of course Robert Jordon.
The last five years I’ve turned to more Urban Fantasy books by Patricia Briggs, Kami Garcia and Charlaine Harris.
But now, I generally go looking for more queer literature and the selection to choose from is overwhelming. When I was growing up, that just wasn’t available (remember, I’m old). My publishing house, NineStar Press features really talented authors who represent writers from a multitude of different genres, and all the stories have LGBTQA+ main characters.
What makes any particular novel stand out? They are books that make me think, or suck me into their worlds. They are stories that make me want to go back and read another chronicle with the same denizens and creatures – intelligent, well-thought out fables with crazy plot twists and memorable people.
It doesn’t have to be dark and creepy, but those are my favourites!
For people who haven’t read Daimonion, who might be thinking about reading it but haven’t, why should they grab a copy?
Hmm, well, of course I’d want everyone to read it, but the truth is, it may not be for everyone. Apparently, it’s quite dark and gruesome. I didn’t think it was that bad, until a co-worker bought a copy and started reading it. I asked her the other day, “So, what’d you think?” She replied, “I had to put it down, it’s so scary!”
Keep in mind, what’s scary for one person, isn’t frightening at all to the next. But this novel is dark. There is gore, torture, and violence. There’s magic and destruction, parasites and demon dogs! A little bit of a taste of hell – it is, after all, the beginning of the apocalypse. And it’s going to get much worse, I promise.
I had one reader describe it to me like this: If you like the TV Show, Supernatural, but wanted gay main characters, and wanted the whole story told from the demon’s side – then you should pick this up.
October and Halloween; it’s the perfect month for this story.
I noticed you have a short story in an anthology, Into the Mystic. Tell us a bit more about that story. Is it a supernatural or paranormal themed short as well?
I do! Thanks. Into the Mystic is a compilation of stories for ladies who like other ladies. And NineStar Press is putting out a number of F/F anthologies. Into the Mystic, volume 1 has my short story called “A Tended Garden” about a coven of witches, and the dryads who inhabit their sacred grove. There’s an ancient pact, pagan holidays and wicked spells all leading up to answering the question: Immortality or Humanity, which will win? Most definitely a supernatural fun filled romp.
As you are a new author, tell us a little about J P Jackson – hobbies, interests, quirks – we won’t share the quirks… much J …
Hee hee. Well, let’s see. I’m a married guy. I’ve been with my husband for twenty years (he gets an award for putting up with my insanity), and we’ve been legally married for seven (Thank you Canada – we can do that here.). We have two Chihuahuas that we love, and who drive us crazy. We like to travel a lot, most frequently to Mexico, but we’ve been right around the globe.
I also hybridize and sometimes competitively show African Violets, and sometimes I pick up the knitting needles and stitch out a scarf, or a hat, or a baby blanket or socks! I really like socks.
That’s about it, really. I love meeting new people, and I don’t bite, but my horde of demons might. My favourite expression is, “I don’t have skeletons in my closet, but I do have a little black box of souls in my underwear drawer.”
What can readers look forward to from J P Jackson in the very near future? Any titles of books, details, we should remember?
On November 20, 2017, in an anthology from NineStar Press – Once Upon A Rainbow, I have another short story coming out called “Hood’s Red Ride”. It’s my retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but with an all-male cast, and werewolves, and murder.
I’m currently trying to finish a project which has the working title of Magic or Die. It’s about five twenty-something year olds who find themselves with magical abilities so powerful, they must be housed within a facility to keep them contained. A rather broken teacher is hired to get them trained up so that they’re not constantly lethal, but what the facility hasn’t told them is that they have an expiration date – if they can’t pass their final exams, they’ll be put to death.
And then I have book two sketched out for The Apocalypse series. It will be called Nephalem, Book Two of the Apocalypse. The story will continue with all the characters from Book One, with a couple new introductions, and we’ll get to see Dati become a little more human, and watch as the world descends into the chaos of the apocalypse.
I may have some other things up my sleeve. There’s usually a wraith or ghost hanging around somewhere.
It’s been fun having J P Jackson on today. Thank you for joining us during our 5th blog anniversary.
I’m so glad I could be here! Again, congratulations on five years. That’s a long time, and we authors are so happy that you read and review our stories and support us. We wouldn’t be as successful without you, so Thank You!
To win an e-book copy of J. P. Jackson’s LGBT paranormal/horror/supernatural debut novel Daemonion, simply leave a comment below. A winner will be drawn after midnight, October 15th – US EST. Thank you for joining in this blog-versary post and good luck!
So that all giveaways are expedited quickly the winner will be contacted within 24 hours of the closing date, if a reply is not received within 48 hours another winner will be drawn.
At night, however, the writing happens, where demons, witches, and shapeshifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. The insurance company refuses to accept any more claims of ‘acts of the un-god’, and his husband of almost 20 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summonings in the basement. And apparently, imps aren’t house-trainable. Occasionally the odd ghost or member of the Fae community stops in for a glass of wine and stories are exchanged. Although the husband doesn’t know it, the two Chihuahuas are in cahoots with the spell casting.
J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive traveling and believe it or not, knitting.
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