- Jason, it’s wonderful to have you with us for this Q&A. Please tell us about your humble beginnings as an author.
Thank you for inviting me to participate. I’m happy to be here. My beginnings as a writer? Humble, and perhaps humbling, is a good way to describe it. I finished my first novel in the mid-2000s and, after a long search, I landed an agent. After she couldn’t sell the book, I was almost ready to throw in the towel. Instead, I sent the book out to another editor, and my real education in both the craft and the business of creative writing began. After a ton of rewrites and endless editing and polishing, I am happy to say that first novel is now published. It only took thirteen years to get there.
- Which was the first of your works to become popular?
My very first novel, What Hides Within, gained an almost instantaneous cult following. It’s a quirky tale that mixes mystery, horror, and dark humor, so it’s definitely tailored to a unique audience—you know, people who like their books somewhat offbeat, like me.
- You’ve written novels, novellas and short stories. Which length do you prefer to write in the most?
The story that needs to be told dictates its length. That said, I am finding novellas to be a fast, fun medium for traditional horror.
- From your Facebook page I was able to gather you love watching movies. What are your all-time favorite flicks?
Yes, I love watching movies and have probably seen way too many. There are so many that I love crossing so many genres—from the Carpenter flicks Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, and They Live to 80s comedies like Get a Life to Princess Bride to Shawshank Redemption to Predator and Alien and Aliens. From that list, I’d say sci-fi horror ranks high, and I would include Pandorum and Event Horizon in that respect. I still need to see Life and will definitely be running to see Dark Tower this weekend.
- What are your hobbies besides reading/writing books and watching movies?
I like to travel, but don’t get to do so often. I also like to play poker and spend time at the beach. If the company’s right, I’m happy doing just about anything.
- Who was your first beta reader?
Showing my work to that first person was very difficult, so it’s not something I’m apt to forget. I’d say an ex-girlfriend was my first beta reader, and she was very supportive—perhaps not as critical as I needed and could have hoped for, but encouraging. I don’t think I would be writing today without her initial support.
- Have you or will you be writing a story in a genre other than horror/science-fiction?
Two of my novels are crime thrillers, though they both have a touch of horror/science fiction. For charity anthologies, I’ve written a few dramatic or literary pieces. As for the future
… let’s just say I will be adding a bizarre genre to my repertoire.
- Who are your favorite authors?
King and Poe go without saying. Laird Barron, Kealan Patrick Burke, Michael McBride, Robert McCammon, Tess Gerritsen, and Cormac McCarthy are others. I also branch out into fantasy often and enjoy Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, and Michael J. Sullivan. In science fiction, Vonnegut, Dick, and Heinlein are favorites. But I read so many horror authors with chilling books that I have many favorites from many authors.
- Which story did you last read and would you recommend it?
The last novel I read was Northwoods by Bill Schweigart, which was quite good and I would recommend it, but… it’s a sequel, which I didn’t realize going into it. That said, I think it worked as a stand-alone. Currently, I am reading Odd Man Out by James Newman and Sour Candy, both of which I would recommend so far, and Final Girls by Riley Sager, on which the verdict is still out.
- Tell us about your upcoming projects.
In the nearest future, I will be releasing a traditional horror novel, a creature feature from Sinister Grin, and re-releasing my first novel. Beyond that, I have sequels to Seeing Evil and What Hides Within (more of a spinoff, really) in the works, as well as a couple of short stories on the way.
Jason Parent’s website.