My guest author today is Jason Deas, who has just released the third novel in his Benny James mystery series. Titled 'Brushed Away', Jason has brought his artistic background into play in a highly entertaining way. I thoroughly enjoyed editing/reading this very fine mystery! Congratulations, Jason!
You teach, you have a young and very active family. When do you find the time to write?
Author Jason Deas
I do most of my writing at campgrounds on the weekends. For many years, I wrote inside a tiny three-man tent or sitting at an uncomfortable concrete picnic table. A few years ago, I bought a 1979 Scotty camper, and now write in luxury. The wallpaper alone inside the camper is enough to take me to another dimension. Luckily, my wife is very supportive. I recently bought a desk and am learning to write at home as well. But, there’s just something about having the camper parked next to a lake that makes the writing flow much easier.
Are you character driven or plot driven? Why?
I would say I’m plot driven, but my readers would say the opposite. I think of the story like a hiking trail. It winds back and forth, goes up and down steep inclines, has scenic vistas, and ultimately reaches a pinnacle. Since I write mysteries, it’s my job to keep the story moving as I give the reader hints and glimpses of the suspect, as well as building the momentum of the story. Whenever I hear from readers though, they always tell me about the characters they love the most—and without fail it’s a character from my Benny James mystery series named Red. I never get tired of hearing about him as I love him too.
I love Red too - he's fabulous. So, tell me, who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
My older sister always had her nose in a book. When I was about thirteen I decided to see what all the fuss was about and I picked up one of her Sidney Sheldon books. I was hooked. The way he could keep me up all night unable to stop reading was amazing. It was almost as if he had magical powers and I wanted to be able to do the same. Later, I discovered Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and Herman Hesse. Vonnegut’s humor is unique and although I never heard him speak, I can hear his voice loud and clear in my mind at this very moment.
language and deep mind have the ability to leave me spellbound.
I’m a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. too. I loved how he explored the “what if” to the Nth degree … the butterfly’s wings producing a downstream effect years/eons later… he was amazing! Tell me, what advice do you have for your fellow writers/authors about self-promotion and its importance?
Unfortunately, this is an area that makes me uncomfortable. All authors will learn however that you not only have to be a writer, but you have to be a bookseller as well. There are a lot of books out there and you have to find a way to let people know they are there. I’m getting better at this, but I still have room to grow in this area.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
As a reader myself, I love a good series. My Benny James mystery series has three books, and I may have left the door open for one or two more down the road, but I’m not saying!
I have two middle grade novels that are finished and available. I also just started working on a new mystery series. With this one I’m going to try something new and I’m adding a small paranormal element. I’ll explain the background in the novel, but this particular detective has the ability to look into someone’s eyes and see their most evil act. Unable to adequately deal with this, he is a deeply flawed individual. So far, it’s been a blast starting a new series and exploring new characters.
Where did the inspiration come from? (e.g. fact/fiction, reading, personal interest/passion, a story someone told you, personal experience)
The new series sprang from a short story I started and never finished. Once I started it I knew there was no way the story would be able to be contained in a short form.
Three things most people don’t know about Jason…
- My dream growing up was to play baseball for the Atlanta Braves
- I love getting away for writer’s weekends at my 70’s camper
- I’ve written about 100 songs
I’ve always been into camping. In
there aren’t many days in a year when you can’t head out to the woods as the
weather is fairly mild year-round. I was able to combine two of my loves,
writing and camping into one, and lucky enough to marry a woman who believes in
me, supports my writing goals, and encourages me to go whenever my muse pulls
me away. I find joy in being around children. I have two awesome kids, and I’m
an art teacher at an elementary school as well. No matter how successful I
become as an author, some element in my life will always revolve around working
with children. Georgia
www.jasondeas.com/ (Personal website)
www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Deas-Author-Page/470728236299083 (Facebook Author Page)