A big thank you to Jackson Paul Baer for agreeing to be our Saturday Coffee with Authors guest today. His debut novel will be released later this month!
Tell us about yourself. When did you start writing and what made you start?
I used to write poems as a kid and started writing books more times than I could remember. I never made it very far into a novel, but always had the desire to write. As a young adult, I began to write songs, and really began to find my passion. After studying at Oregon State, I found my calling as a writer. It was only about a year ago that I decided to write, and committed myself to doing so.
Tell us a little bit about your latest books. My first novel, “The Earth Bleeds Red,” will be out near the end of October (Pandamoon Publishing). It’s a literary suspense. It blends literary fiction, suspense, and a touch of mystery. Think Joyce Carol Oates meets Junot Diaz, while they were both reading Sherman Alexie. I’m very excited for its release as it feels like a part of me. I’m also writing a psychological thriller called, “The Lights Will Never Fade.” I plan on finishing that novel by the end of the year.
Where did you come up with this idea? The title came to me first and then the story just started to pour out. I wrote all night, every night. I stayed up till 3 or 4 in the morning nearly every night writing and editing, and then editing some more.
Who did the cover art for your book? The graphic designer at Pandamoon Publishing did the cover and they did an amazing job. I worked with the publisher for a while, passing ideas back and forth. They really captured the metaphorical image of this book.
Did you learn anything about yourself or your writing while working on this book? I believe I learned everything about myself. Every time I write, I learn something new. It allows me to create this world that otherwise wouldn’t exist. I can’t think of anything else in life that does that. I feel like I know the characters so well, and they feel like real people to me.
Who do you find to be a huge inspiration for your writing? And why is that? My wife, kids, and family inspire me the most. Many characters come from experiences in real life, though they aren’t based on any of them, if that makes sense. Also, the writers I mentioned before, plus: Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and Zora Neale Hurston have been huge influences on my writing.
Which one of your characters would be the best to meet in real life? Scott. He’s the main character and he’s struggling with his faith, and the loss of his only child. He’s real and says exactly what he thinks.
What are you reading right now? I’m reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, “Dracian Legacy” by Priya Kanaparti, and “Men of Kent” by Elizabeth Gibson.
Besides the genre you write, what genres do you like to read? I like historical fiction, literary fiction, and books set in a different, era (1600’s-1800’s).
What is the most embarrassing mistake you’ve made as a writer? It’s usually something small, but annoying. I’ll post something on social media like “thanks you” instead of “thank you,” or leave out a word. I can’t think of anything huge.
What is the one thing that seems to always get in the way of writing time? Don’t take this the wrong way, but family. They are more important to me and many times, I’m spending time with my wife and kids instead of writing. I am writing nearly full time now though, and have time during the day, which makes a huge difference.
When you are not writing, what are you doing? I’m spending time with my family, finishing my degree, and I buy/sell/trade as well. I stay busy!
What is one of your favorite places to write? In my recliner, in the living room. It’s simple, but effective.
What is one of your favorite places in the world? My wife and I went to Ireland last year for our 10-year anniversary. We absolutely fell in love with the country, and if I could, I’d move there. At the very least, I’d like to go for a month and write a novel there. Dublin and Killarney were our two favorite towns.
What is one thing about you most people find interesting (or unusual etc.)? That I have four kids and have been married for almost 11 years, yet I just turned 30.
Are there any more projects you are currently working on? Do you know when we might get to see those? I mentioned the novel I’m currently writing above and I’ve also had two short stories published in “The Rust Nail” magazine this summer. I blog regularly too. Plus, we’re thinking about turning “The Earth Bleeds Red” into a series.
What is your favorite quote? “Love your enemies.” Jesus
What secrets would you share with aspiring authors? Write and write every day. Every little bit adds up.
Name one author you’d love to meet and tell us why. Joyce Carol Oates. Her novel, “Them,” changed me as a person, reader, and writer. Plus, she’s written like 70 books. That is crazy.
Now for some THIS OR THAT:
Cat/Dog Dog (Pug)
Water skiing/snow skiing Snow
Beach/Mountains Beach (barely)
Romance/Action Romance (I know)
Flip Flops/Dress shoes Flip flops
Ice cream/Chips Chips
Hot dog/Hamburger Hamburger
Beer/Wine Beer (just a little)
I’m running a Goodreads giveaway for 3 autographed copies of The Earth Bleeds Red – enter today! (Through November 15, 2014)
Here is a promo video for the book