CHHR: Hey, Jason! Thanks for doing this interview for Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews.
JP: I’m honored to have been invited.
CHHR: What was your first published story or book?
JP: My first published story was my novel, What Hides Within. It’s a quirky story about an average joe with a sinister spider living in his ear. It’s horror, mystery and dark humor, all wrapped into one.
CHHR: What does your writing days look like? Do you have any quirks or things that you do during your writing sessions?
JP: Right now, I’m taking a little break. I lost a lot of my writing after a recent hard drive crash, so I’m summoning the will to redraft what was lost. If my heart’s not in it, I won’t be at my best. But I will come around.
When I do write, I like complete silence. The Internet is a huge distraction, so handwriting the first draft is usually preferable (and had I kept that as my practice, my lost hard drive wouldn’t have been such a big loss – lesson learned).
CHHR: Do you like writing novels or short stories better?
JP: I like writing novels better than short stories only because I feel like I’ve accomplished more. Short stories take talent, craft, hard work, etc, but let’s face it – a lot less time. So when I marry myself to a story for as long as it takes to pump out a novel, it’s much more satisfying to see the final product – assuming it’s worth reading, of course.
CHHR: When writing, do you go where the book takes you or do you outline?
JP: I start every novel with an outline of the first 6-10 chapters and an intended ending. Then I start writing and the story takes me wherever it wants to go. After a few chapters, I draft a new outline for the next few chapters, always subject to change, and repeat the process every four chapters or so.
CHHR: How many edits and rough drafts do you write before you turn in the finished manuscript?
JP: I do a minimum of four drafts myself before sending to beta readers. Then I send to editors. I’ve done as many as 16 drafts on one novel, and if you count my updated version of What Hides Within, coming soon, over 20 – and I am sure I, my editors, and my publisher will still miss something.
CHHR: What do you like to do when you are not writing? Do you have any favorite activities or sports?
JP: I’ve been hitting the gym a lot and trying to get back in shape, so that’s taking up a lot of my free time (though I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying it). I love to travel. Anywhere. With anyone who wants to go somewhere. Feel like going anywhere?
CHHR: What is your favorite beer?
JP: I love craft beer, which is one of the main reasons I need to hit the gym lately. But my favorite is definitely Kentucky Bourbon Ale. If KBR ever needs a Z-list celebrity sponsor, the company can feel free to give me a call… if I can raise my status to Z-list.
CHHR: What horror authors have influenced your writing the most?
JP: King and Poe for sure, but other than that, I try to be my own voice. People have likened me to other horror writers, some of whom I wouldn’t call influences but have read and loved and others whom I’ve never read at all. I enjoy the comparisons and often find new reads based on them.
CHHR: Do you have any advice for authors who are just starting out?
JP: Get involved in the writing community. One of my biggest faults is that I can be so introverted and a loner. Like anything, the writing business is as much who you know and getting yourself out there as it is talent. Plus, there are a lot of good people in the community who would be willing to help out new authors, so long as they are considerate in their methods of approach. I’ve been lucky to have met some of these people in my journey, and I try to give the same considerations to those who come after me. But of course, you’ve got to have a solid piece to push, first. So above all, hone your craft.
Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette have put plenty of criminals behind bars. But a new terror is stalking their city. The killer’s violent crimes are ritualistic but seemingly indiscriminate. As the death toll rises, the detectives must track a murderer without motive. The next kill could be anyone… maybe even one of their own.
Officer Aaron Pimental sees no hope for himself or humanity. His girlfriend is pulling away, and his best friend has found religion. When Aaron is thrust into the heart of the investigation, he must choose who he will become, the hero or the villain.
If Aaron doesn’t decide soon, the choice will be made for him.
In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.
In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it’s harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.
When he’s not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody’s head off – he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.
Please visit the author on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJasonParent?ref=hl, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AuthorJasParent, or at his website, http://authorjasonparent.com/, for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.