Fun one today friends! Jason Parent is a horror vet, having seen the highs and lows that come with writing dark fiction. Throughout it all, he’s continued to churn out some really great reads, while also being super supportive to so many of his colleagues.
Please, do welcome Jason!
Steve: What does your writing time look like? Do you try and write at the same time each day? Do you have a word count you attempt to hit?
Jason: I suppose I suffer from writer’s bulimia… I binge and purge. I’m sure some of my tougher critics would say I vomit out work, lol. But I have no set schedule. I generally work long hours at another job… and also work another job on top of that… and have a not-so-healthy video game addiction… so when I get breaks, I tend to lock myself away until I can finish a first draft. This works well with shorter works: I tell the whole story at once, so continuity is never an issue. Lately, I am having difficulty finding time for novels, so it may be a bit before I release another. I also have to “feel” it – I know some writers suggest writing day in and day out even if uninspired, but if my heart’s not in it, what comes out is vomitus, or at least vomitous.
Steve: You decide to host a writer’s retreat. One weekend in a luxury house on an island. What three other authors do you invite to come along?
Jason: I’ve actually thought about doing this, either open invitation or invite only, though I doubt anyone would take me up on it that isn’t already a friend. I am moving into a house that I would love to share with others – perfect amenities for a relaxing getaway (and necessary for a wound tight person like me). The problem is that I am so introverted and socially awkward, I’d probably just come off as creepy if I tried, so I don’t bother.
Assuming this question is asking for the writer’s dream team you, first up would be Robert McCammon. I was hoping to meet him at a Borderlands Bootcamp during Covid, but… Covid. While others praise Swan Song and Boy’s Life (the latter being my preference of the two), my favorite series of all time is his Matthew Corbett series, in which he raises a middle finger to genre boundaries, much in the way I try to (with much less success).
Next would be Jack Ketchum. I started attending writerly things just a bit too late to meet the man, as he regularly attended events I now go to. So much raw talent and honed skill – Ketchum could make you bleed with the stroke of his pen. Red still leaves me wounded.
Finally, and I will cheat a bit here, but the old Bad Apples anthology crew. These folks saw something in my writing at a time I might have otherwise given it up. So whatever my writing career is in all its successes and failures, I owe its existence in part to them. And I gained a few real friends along the way.
But hell, I genuinely want to support other writers and writing in general. All non-Ds are welcome, including you, Steve! And Bruce Campbell! He’s welcome too (he’s got at least one book…).
(FINALLY SOMEONE CHOOSES ME!!!! 🙂 )
Steve: Tell me about your newest release (novel/story/poem/novella) and why someone should read it!
Jason: On October 7th, Crystal Lake released its third volume in its Dark Tide anthology series. For those not familiar with Dark Tide, Crystal Lake has collected novellas from three authors for each volume that are linked both in subject matter and also – to varying degrees – in actual content. The theme of our volume (written with the fabulous Kevin Lucia and Jeremy Bates) is Halloween, and all stories take place in Kevin’s already existing Clifton Heights universe. I had a lot of fun cameoing characters, cross-referencing events, and planting Easter eggs for the most attentive readers. But my story itself, about two college students who pledge a fraternity, is one of the most brutal and personally difficult stories I’ve ever written. It contains material (with warning) that some readers may find triggering, but at the same time, it is also one of the most powerful stories I’ve written to date.
Steve: Bonus Question! You receive an invitation in the mail from one of these two people. The invitation invites you to have dinner and spend the night in their home. Do you accept the invitation from Victor Frankenstein or Dracula and why?
Jason: I’d take my chances with Dracula. I’d give up daylight (and survive off animal blood) for the superpowers of a vampire. Most likely, he’s just turn me into Renfield, but hey… no risk, no reward. And the reward is great – I’d have an excuse to wear puffy shirts and tight leather pants across centuries. Yeah, I’d be that kind of vampire.
Thanks again Jason for doing this!
To find all of his work, please do check the links!