Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Jason McIntyre Interview
5/2/2011 6:24:52 PM
Interview with Canadian novelist Jason McIntyre
LTS: For today’s guest blog, I’d like to introduce you to fellow Canadian author Jason McIntyre. We met via Twitter and I’ve noticed there have been some great things said about his novels. So let’s get started! I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Jason.
I know you were born on the prairies and now live on Vancouver Island, but what else would you like to share? Is there anything you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
JCM: Thanks for welcoming me into your world, Lorna. It's my pleasure to yakk a bit to your readers.
In my twenties I was a nomad, roaming here and there, sometimes taking a job as an excuse to move to a new locale, maybe one I wanted to experience with fresh new eyes, or perhaps a place where a friend lived. Maybe I wanted a reason to be with that person. Maybe I wanted a reason to get out of a current situation. I've never been one for bus trips or staying in hotels. I've always needed to live in a place, to breathe it in and know it. That's when I started writing the kind of work I really wanted to write -- because I was meeting so many interesting characters and hearing their personal myths spoken out loud. It was, in a way, very freeing to write about other people. It helped me learn more about writing as a whole, and start to invent unreal worlds that began to rival the ones I was living in.
LTS: Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
JCM: I've been writing since I was nine or ten when I inherited an old IBM Selectric typewriter and a couple reams of cream-colored photocopy paper. I started by writing a "Close Encounters of The Third Kind"-inspired tale about two young girls who have an encounter with a flying craft that arrives in the backyard. It was pretty simple in premise, but I remember thinking --even at nine or ten-- that this story was more about the two girls and their friendship than it ever could be about alien contact.
I had another story published in a national creative writing magazine at around age thirteen and had my ego sufficiently inflated by the process. I always told stories, right up until high school and beyond. I was obsessed with them, and often spent hours alone in my room drawing the characters and planning the stories. It wasn't until the last year of high school when our family bought our first computer and I felt like I could start writing them down.
And it was in university when I first started sharing them. My novelette, ROAD MARKERS, (available in an upcoming anthology to be titled BLACK LIGHT OF DAY, but currently available at Smashwords) was written when I was twenty. I read it now and find some faults with it, but overall, it's a pretty intriguing look at a strange, canted kind of parenthood -- long before I had kids of my own.
LTS: Your debut novel, ‘On The Gathering Storm’ has received wonderful reviews. What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Hannah Garretty?
JCM: I was trying to find work on Vancouver Island and living with a crazy cast of characters who became inspirations for those in the book. One roommate became a particular focus of the Hannah character, but only after another young woman caught my eye in front of the Inner Harbour one day. She was waiting for a bus to take her back to university and we got to talking. We eventually went for a cup of tea at a place nearby and she said she could wait for another bus. I could tell she was sizing me up for possible boyfriend material and, under her breath, said things like, "Geographically unstable, check!" and "Talks with his hands, check!" and "Good teeth, blue eyes, nice smile, check, check, check!"
It was amusing and I called her on it. "What's this, a nervous tick or something?" She said, "I don't know what you're talking about!" I thought how wonderful, endearing and, frankly, scary it was that someone so thoughtful and aware could make such a grievous mistake: she went with me, a strange man to a quiet coffee shop without telling anyone she knew where she was. I started writing the book that evening and wrote into the wee hours of the next morning.
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open ‘On The Gathering Storm’?
JCM: A thrilling, thoughtful, upsetting journey of redemption, self-discovery, hurt and beauty. Yes, all in the same book. Hannah Garretty comes across a situation she thinks she can help make better. She makes it worse -- much worse -- and for herself too. She gets embroiled in a world where a very mean presence hunts and lures women.
Hannah will discover more about herself than she probably thought she would in her life. And despite the horrors, she uncovers a strength and determination that I believe most women --most people-- have when they need it most.
LTS: You followed your debut novel with ‘Thalo Blue’, and just like ‘On The Gathering Storm’, your latest release has also been garnering great reviews. Can you tell our readers about the protagonist, Sebastion Redfield and the dire predicament he is faced with?
JCM: Sebastion Redfield is a unique character. He has a unique condition that allows his sensory input to mingle as it enters his brain. So, for example, he hears something and it registers as a colour. He feels a physical sensation and it comes to him in the form of a strange melody.
We watch him grow up and learn to deal with his gift and struggle to find his place in the world. When we catch up with him at the start of the novel, he's face to face with an intruder in his home one black winter night. This starts him down the path to discover that his childhood wasn't exactly what he thought it was.
And there will be another showdown before Sebastion is done with the stranger. A massive, life-changing one.
LTS: Are there striking differences in these two stories, not just in theme, but in pacing, character development, the writing process itself, etc.?
JCM: Some common themes emerge: self-discovery, the need to fit in and belong. Of not being finished growing up, even after adulthood begins. Both Sebastion and Hannah are artists (she's a photographer, he's a painter) and I didn't consciously realize this until I started doing press for THALO BLUE. The idea that "Hannah Garretty sees things" might strike a chord with readers and simultaneously make them think of how Sebastion sees things differently as well.
Both characters go on a painful and sometimes gorgeous life journey throughout the pages of their stories. They become stronger even if we as the reader wonder if they are capable of it.
LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. What made you decide on self-publishing these books?
JCM: I have had writers, publishers and agents tell me the book is gut-wrenching and subtle and perverse and that they loved it. Then they turned around and told me it would never sell because it's too many things at once. To me, that's what makes a story real. Our lives are filled with all these things, why shouldn't our artworks?
LTS: Very good point! Even the NY Times bestselling author, Diana Gabaldon faced the same problems trying to get ‘The Highlander’ published. Now, do you have any words of advice to the aspiring authors considering this route to publication?
JCM: Get involved in some kind of community, whether its online or locally. You can garner a lot of valuable insight into publishing and marketing processes by sharing and listening to fellow writers. A lot of them have been at this a lot longer than you have and possess a wealth of knowledge. Out here in the wild wild web, I've discovered such a willingness to lend a hand and some truly brilliant and generous people. Not just writers, but readers and bloggers, too.
LTS: I’m curious about your writing style. Are you one of those disciplined writers who must dedicate a certain time each day to producing so many words, or are you more relaxed and tend to write when it strikes your fancy?
JCM: I used to be the disciplined kind. It has quickly fallen apart in the last couple of years since becoming a father. Children are beautiful and I wouldn't trade them for anything...but they suck up spare moments like a 120 horsepower vacuum.
I write a lot late at night now. My goal is to do 2000 words each day but most days, right now (with a new born and a demanding toddler plus a day job) that falls away to oblivion and I'm lucky to see that quantity in a week instead. Most of my writing is done, bleary-eyed in the dark. See my series of "In The Dark" video diaries and www.theFarthestReaches.com to have a giggle at my expense.
LTS: Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
JCM: Halfway between the gutter and the stars on this one. I need to have a pretty clear idea of what transformation or main situation my characters will have or encounter. So I have a point A plus an idea of point Z. Then it stumble around in the dark (literally and figuratively) until I fill in the rest. It is always a joyous process discovering more about the characters, their predicaments, their hopes and wishes.
When they begin to breathe on their own, the 2000 words begin to flood the pages pretty quickly.
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
JCM: I quite often put on some inspirational music. It's usually rock or pop with some lyrics that I find coincide with the feeling I'm trying to capture. If things are going well, the music has usually finished long before I have and I realize I've been clacking away in the dark silence for a while. Those are the good writing days. I don't have any real rituals or routines. I have discovered the new ability to write in different locations -- mostly out of necessity. I will write in bed, on the couch, in my studio, the deck out in the sunshine. I've even mustered up the patience to do some writing in a coffee shop, something I couldn't imagine doing five years ago. Like I said, family life makes you creative in how you get things done.
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
JCM: You know, I must admit, I've had little problems with the dreaded writer's block. I do have stoppages but they are usually story-driven. I've either made a mistake or said something that wasn't true, if you get my meaning. When I can't go further down the road, it's almost always my subconscious screaming at me to regroup and get things down the correct path. If I can be smart enough, patient enough, I can usually get the motor running again and coax the story back onto the right path.
Lately, though, all bets are off. I'm working on a novella that is particularly troublesome. It's been so painful that I'm convinced the end product will be well worth the turmoil I've gone through. That's the hope anyway.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
JCM: I like Paulo Coelho and Jeffrey Eugenides among a great many wonderful talents. What I gather from Coehlo is to be fearless in what I'm tackling and say no to aploogies. From Eugenides I've learned that quality trumps quantity every time. The guy is the opposite of prolific but when he delivers, boy does he. I like them both because they don't worry about genre or audience too much. They write what they need to, I believe, and while I do listen to my readership, in the end I know I have to satisfy myself or it's probably not worth doing.
LTS: What is the most profound discovery you’ve made in terms of your writing and how it has touched the lives of others?
JCM: I've discovered that I have a voice that many people want to hear. Close to 32,000 downloads of my stories and books means that a handful of writers and publishers and agents were wrong about me finding success. Some of their criticisms had value. Many of those critiques pushed me to better my writing and I'm still striving to get better and clearer. But, on the whole, I feel like this self-publishing route has confirmed that my stories have a value for readers of a certain ilk. The fact that they've gotten something from my work means so much to me and keeps me writing and moving forward.
LTS: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?
JCM: If you want people to read your book, don't be pushy. I've seen others do this and it turns off a great many readers. I always worry about crossing over to being pushy when I'm asking readers to give my work a chance, but I think tact and grace help a lot more than harbouring an expectation of any kind.
LTS: What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
JCM: Just finished a book called "Sherry and Narcotics" by a wonderful New York writer named Nina-Marie Gardner. Highly recommended reading and I've spoken with the author after having connected with her on goodreads.com. We have similar styles, though my writing has a bit more of the paranormal, suspense slant than hers.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out into other genres? Can your fans expect a sequel to either one of your novels in the near future?
JCM: Hopefully the next five years will bring continued happiness at home, plus two or three (or maybe more!) new novels and stories. I don't foresee ever stopping with these crazy, heartfelt stories...hopefully readers will continue to read them.
Aside from the novella I mentioned before I'm also part way through a sequel of sorts. My rather popular novelette, THE NIGHT WALK MEN acts as a prologue of sorts to what may become a novel series. The novelette has been downloaded close to eight thousand times and I'm getting great feedback on it so I've begun book one of the series. So far, it is coming out really well. I think readers who liked THE NIGHT WALK MEN will be blown away. And, if they liked other stories of mine better, they might be surprised at how the two kinds of writing have melded together in this story. Watch for an announcement on the official title of this new work at www.theFarthestReaches.com soon!
LTS: Thank you so much for taking the time from your hectic schedule to discuss your novels and to share in your writerly wisdom, Jason! Hope to see you at a local literary event in the not too distant future, but in the meantime, I’ll catch you on Twitter. For more information about Jason and his novels, check out:
Follow Jason on Twitter: .JasonCMcIntyre
Where to buy Jason’s books: http://www.amazon.com/Jason-McIntyre/e/B0049YW78G
Post a Comment new!
More Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Erica Lucke Dean Interview - Saturday, May 18, 2013
Amber Lea Easton Interview - Sunday, May 12, 2013
Ruth Nestvold Interview - Saturday, May 04, 2013
Rose Garcia Interview - Saturday, April 20, 2013
Robert Pruneda Interview - Saturday, April 13, 2013
Lance Burson Interview - Saturday, April 06, 2013
Rachel Thompson Interview: - Saturday, March 23, 2013
Samantha Martin Interview - Saturday, March 16, 2013
Lisette Brodey Interview - Saturday, March 09, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part Two - Saturday, March 02, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part One - Saturday, February 23, 2013
Molly Greene Interview - Saturday, February 16, 2013
Dionne Lister Interview - Saturday, February 09, 2013
Anita Reynolds MacArthur Interview: - Saturday, February 02, 2013
Alicia Kat Dillman Interview - Saturday, January 26, 2013
John Gregory Hancock Interview - Saturday, January 19, 2013
Adriana Ryan Interview - Saturday, January 12, 2013
Jennifer McConnel Interview - Friday, January 04, 2013
S.M. Boyce Interview - Saturday, December 15, 2012
James Tallett Interview - Saturday, December 08, 2012
Melissa McPhail Interview - Saturday, December 01, 2012
Roz Morris Interview - Sunday, November 18, 2012
Tania Johansson Interview - Saturday, November 10, 2012
Dale Ivan Smith Interview - Sunday, November 04, 2012
Respect Your Readers - Sunday, October 28, 2012
Greta van der Rol Interview - Sunday, October 21, 2012
Justin Bog Interview - Saturday, October 13, 2012
Thanksgiving Day: Gratitude - Saturday, October 06, 2012
Steena Holmes Interview - Saturday, September 29, 2012
Kenneth Hoss Interview - Saturday, September 22, 2012
Patty Jansen Interview - Saturday, September 15, 2012
Joshua E. Bigger Interview - Saturday, September 08, 2012
Joyce Damask Interview - Saturday, September 01, 2012
Marketing & Twitter - Saturday, August 25, 2012
Henry Herz Interview - Saturday, August 18, 2012
Kristin Bair O'Keeffe Interview - Sunday, August 12, 2012
William Linde Interview - Saturday, August 04, 2012
Micheal Rivers Interview - Saturday, July 21, 2012
Robert James Russell Interview - Saturday, July 14, 2012
Becka Sutton Interview - Saturday, July 07, 2012
Canadian Authors Feature - Saturday, June 30, 2012
Gini Koch Interview - Sunday, June 17, 2012
M. Pax Interview - Saturday, June 09, 2012
Karina Halle Interview - Saturday, June 02, 2012
Novice Writing Mistakes - Sunday, May 27, 2012
Pippa Jay Interview - Sunday, May 20, 2012
Glenn Starkey Interview - Saturday, May 12, 2012
Maurice G. Nicholson Interview - Saturday, May 05, 2012
How I Select Followers on Twitter - Saturday, April 28, 2012
Shaun Allan Interview - Sunday, April 22, 2012
Darlene Foster Interview - Saturday, April 14, 2012
Kim Aleksander Interview - Saturday, April 07, 2012
Hope Collier Interview - Saturday, March 31, 2012
John Kolson’s Writeado: A New Online Writing Tool - Saturday, March 24, 2012
Jeff Shanley Interview - Saturday, March 17, 2012
Stephen England Interview - Saturday, March 10, 2012
Everett Powers Interview - Saturday, March 03, 2012
The Kindle Prime Experiment - Saturday, February 25, 2012
Edward Lazellari Interview - Saturday, February 18, 2012
Connie J. Jasperson Interview - Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sally Dubats - Saturday, February 04, 2012
Selecting Writers For My Author Feature - Sunday, January 29, 2012
Tarek Refaat Interview - Sunday, January 22, 2012
Toby Neal Interview: - Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thomas A. Knight Interview - Sunday, January 08, 2012
Linda Poitevin Interview - Sunday, January 01, 2012
2011: A Year in Review - Monday, December 26, 2011
Angeline Kace Interview - Sunday, December 18, 2011
Eden Baylee Interview - Saturday, December 10, 2011
Cyndi Tefft Interview - Saturday, December 03, 2011
The Conference Experience - Sunday, November 27, 2011
A.R. Silverberry Interview - Sunday, November 20, 2011
Suzy Turner Interview - Sunday, November 13, 2011
Patti Roberts Interview - Sunday, November 06, 2011
Raine Thomas Interview - Sunday, October 23, 2011
LK Gardner-Griffie Interview - Saturday, October 15, 2011
Jonathan Gould Interview - Saturday, October 08, 2011
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, October 01, 2011
Matthew Merrick Interview - Sunday, September 25, 2011
Dean Lappi Interview - Saturday, September 17, 2011
J.T. Ellison Interview - Sunday, September 11, 2011
Carolyn Arnold Interview - Sunday, September 04, 2011
John Kolson Interview - Sunday, August 21, 2011
Megan Curd Interview - Saturday, August 06, 2011
Elena Aitken - Sunday, July 31, 2011
When Book Reviews are Misleading… - Sunday, July 24, 2011
Deborah Riley-Magnus - Saturday, July 16, 2011
Jessica Subject Interview - Sunday, July 10, 2011
J. Alexander Greenwood Interview: - Sunday, July 03, 2011
When Social Networking is no so social... - Monday, June 27, 2011
Dannie C. Hill - Monday, June 20, 2011
Shay Fabbro Interview - Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Genevieve P. Ching Interview - Monday, June 06, 2011
Al Boudreau Interview - Monday, May 30, 2011
Jennifer Hudock Interview - Monday, May 23, 2011
Paul Mansfield Keefe Interview - Monday, May 16, 2011
Rusty Fischer Interview - Monday, May 09, 2011
Jason McIntyre Interview - Monday, May 02, 2011
Emlyn Chand & Novel Publicity - Monday, April 25, 2011
Steve Umstead Interview - Monday, April 18, 2011
John Betcher Interview - Monday, April 11, 2011
Kimberly Kinrade Interview - Monday, April 04, 2011
Inspiration & Where You Find It - Monday, March 28, 2011
Christie Yant - Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Amy J. Rose David Interview - Monday, March 14, 2011
George H. Sirois Interview - Monday, March 07, 2011
Linda Nagata Interview - Monday, February 28, 2011
Adventures in Editing or... Is it Done Yet? - Monday, February 21, 2011
Greg Messel Interview - Monday, February 14, 2011
Jen Wylie Interview - Monday, February 07, 2011
Katie M. John Interview - Monday, January 31, 2011
How Do You Measure Success: - Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Avery Tingle Interview - Monday, January 17, 2011
Kristie Cook Interview - Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Ren Cummins - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
A Wish For the New Year - Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Trish Wolfe Interview - Monday, December 20, 2010
Jesi Lea Ryan Interview - Monday, December 13, 2010
Cat Connor Interview - Monday, December 06, 2010
How to Make a Story Ring True - Monday, November 29, 2010
Sharon Bially Interview - Monday, November 22, 2010
Donna Carrick Interview - Monday, November 15, 2010
Brenda Sedore Interview - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Robert Feagan Interview - Monday, November 01, 2010
Of Book Signings, Volunteering & Option Agreements… - Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Daryl Sedore Interview - Monday, October 18, 2010
Seven Day Blog Tour Begins October 17th - Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Todd A. Ritter Interview - Monday, October 04, 2010
Cheryl Kaye Tardif Interview - Monday, September 27, 2010
Claude Bouchard Interview - Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Dr. Peter Clement Interview - Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Elizabeth Isaacs Interview - Monday, September 06, 2010
Introducing a New YA Fantasy - Monday, August 30, 2010
Interview with Author Gene Doucette - Monday, August 23, 2010
It's All About the Books Part 2 - Monday, August 16, 2010
It's All About the Books - Monday, August 09, 2010
When to Abandon Your Manuscript - Monday, August 02, 2010
1st Anniversary Blog: A Celebration of Authors - Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Kathy Chung & the SiWC Part Twp - Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Kathy Chung & the Surrey International Writers Conference Part One - Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Deanna Jewel Interview - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The Happiest Indie Author (me) in the World! - Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Author Effect - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Jacqueline Pearce Interview - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Peggy Richardson Interview - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Wendy Nelson Tokunaga Interview - Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The Importance of a Critique Group - Saturday, May 29, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tonya R. Moore Interview - Monday, May 03, 2010
Write On Bowen! - Monday, April 26, 2010
Dayna Hester Interview - Monday, April 19, 2010
Luke Romyn Interview - Monday, April 12, 2010
Rhonda Carpenter Interview - Monday, March 29, 2010
Lacey Weatherford Interview - Monday, March 22, 2010
K.M. Weiland Interview - Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords Interview! - Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Jo Lynne Valerie Interview - Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Dan McNeil Interview - Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Catherine McKenzie Interview - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
8 Years of Writing! 8 eBook Winners! - Sunday, February 07, 2010
Birthday Blog (or an Ode to Aging Gracelessly) - Monday, January 18, 2010
Interview with Paranormal Author Kate Austin - Monday, January 11, 2010
Riley Carney Interview - Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Ask an Editor - Monday, December 28, 2009
Lee Edward Fodi Interview - Monday, December 21, 2009
Interview with YA Author James McCann - Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Researching Historical Fiction with Diana Gabaldon - Tuesday, December 08, 2009
kc dyer Interview & Enter to Win an Autographed Novel! - Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Bev Katz Rosenbaum Interview - Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Writing Tips I Learned from Terry Brooks - Tuesday, November 17, 2009
An Interview with Tamara Sheehan - Monday, November 09, 2009
YA Author Loreena M. Lee Interview - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Why Do I Blog About Other Authors? - Thursday, October 29, 2009
Critique by Author Jack Whyte - Tuesday, October 27, 2009
BookCamp 2009 - Monday, October 19, 2009
Participating at VCON 34 - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Therese Walsh Interview - Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Interview with Debra Purdy Kong - Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Twitter – The Power of the Tweet - Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Part Two: Publishing in a Foreign Market - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
An Interview with author Christopher Belton - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Part Two of the Caroline Leavitt Interview: - Thursday, September 03, 2009
An Interview with Author & Book Reviewer Caroline Leavitt - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
An Interview with Kathleen Bolton - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Part 2 of the Kim Falconer Interview - Thursday, August 13, 2009
An Interview with Kim Falconer - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Part 2 An Interview with Alan Baxter - Thursday, August 06, 2009
An Interview with Alan Baxter - Tuesday, August 04, 2009
If You Write It, They Will Come (buy it)… Not! - Sunday, July 26, 2009
Lori A. May: Author Extraordinaire - Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Merits of a Writers Conference - Sunday, July 19, 2009
Part 2 Publishing in the Digital Age - Thursday, July 16, 2009
Publishing in the Digital Age - Monday, July 13, 2009
Writing Tips for the Novice Novelist - Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Flog the Blog - Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Do's & Don't of a TV interview - Saturday, June 27, 2009
Mortality & Writing - Friday, June 26, 2009
The Art of Editing 101 - Tuesday, June 23, 2009
How To Write When Suffering from Bad Memory Retention - Saturday, June 20, 2009
Finding Inspiration from Others - Thursday, June 18, 2009
To Blog or Twitter... - Tuesday, June 16, 2009