Jason Pere is a born-and-raised New Englander. He always had a passion for the arts and creative storytelling. At the age of thirteen, Jason took up the craft of acting for film and theater. He pursued that interest for over a decade until refocusing his medium of expression into writing.
Jason has several self-published titles under his belt as well as a plethora of author credits with a handful of small publishing companies. He has contributed to a number of collaborative novels before The Irregulars, and is noted for his additions of sudden twists and turns to his sections of the stories.
Thanks for joining us today to talk about your writing for the Irregulars, Jason.
Who was your character in The Irregulars. Tell us a bit about them.
I got the pleasure to write for Jeremy Colton. He is a feisty and angst ridden thirteen year old boy with chronic asthma and an over protective big sister. Jeremy has a bit of a chip on his shoulder due to the oppressive affection of his elder sibling. The kid doesn’t like the fact that he was often relegated to keeping out of the way and letting the older members of the Irregulars family handle any crisis that might occur. Jeremy wants to participate in the group and get involved in problem solving because he believes that his “gift” is a tool of great use to the family. Jeremy’s special ability is the power to slow time. Sadly when Jeremy manifests that power it seems to bring on violent asthma attacks.
Wouldn’t you know it, but I found Jeremy rather easy to write for. I just had to remember to make sure that he coughed enough. I think he was a good match for me because I used to be an angry thirteen year old boy myself. I think that the biggest challenge I faced was not creating Jeremy so much as it was writing him into the family. I had to walk a fine line between keeping his frustration at being marginalized relevant but stopping him from totally isolating himself from the rest of the group. In the end I think the other authors on the team really helped to keep Jeremy from breaking away from the rest of the cast.
How did you most relate to your character?
Well like I guess I kind of answered that already. Jeremy is an angry teenager and I used to be and angry teenager. I think that past the anger itself we both shared a similar origin for our rage. I think that like me at the time, the bulk of Jeremy’s anger is breed from his inability to effectively communicate the thoughts in his head. We both spent a lot of time having the words come out all wrong so to speak. It is one of the most aggression inducing things to have a well thought out concept in your brain but fail at the articulation of the concept to others.
What is your experience as a writer?
I have a love hate relationship with writing. In school I dreaded writing assignments but as I got into my later years of high school I started to manifest a lot of creativity. The most readily accessible outlet I had to get my ideas into the world was writing. Sadly, like many other things in my life, the moment it got hard I quit. I ended up with a lot of started projects and nothing but some scribbled in notebooks. I dabbled in writing over the years, mostly journaling and a little fan fiction or a character backstory for one of my creations in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign or some other roleplaying system. It was when I was coming up on my ten year reunion for my high school that I looked at myself and felt wholly under accomplished with my life. I knew I had the ability to do something exceptional and I felt the need to reach for the stars, so to speak. I took stock of my skills and personal assets and settled on writing a book. I set some small goals that I knew I could meet and, low and behold in the autumn of 2012 I published my first book. I took a break for a while and tried my hand at other things, none of them really worked out the way I hoped so I returned to writing. It was the first thing that really offered me any success and it does not feel like a horrid amount of work so it is a pursuit that I feel well fitted for.
What if any experience do you have as a writer working with other authors in a collaborations?
One of the things that I love most about writing is the fact that I do not have to depend upon anyone else to make a project happen. This is not the case with collaborative writing but I have to say that I greatly enjoy the genre. Despite my independence I am a pretty solid team player and it is nice to have other artists on a project to help lighten the creative load. I happened upon the Collaborative Writing Challenge ( http://www.collaborativewritingchallenge.com/ ) in late 2014 and got involved with several of their collaborative novels and anthologies. I enjoyed the experience of creating a novel with a team of other authors that I started to peruse collaborative stories on my own. The Irregulars was the product of some discussion that occurred between several members of the Collaborative Writing Challenge.
Tell us about your take of the world of The Irregulars. What is happening? What would interest readers about it most?
It’s like Young X-Men meet 101 Dalmatians. That is a story that I want to know more about. Special people being hunted because they are special is, admittedly not an original concept but I feel that readers will appreciate our teams twist on it. I think that having the principle cast be children is enough of an original incentive to draw readers in. In that respect it is kind of like Oliver Twist and Lord of the Flies but with fireballs, lightning bolts, time travel and a wide array of other fantastic supernatural feats.
How long do you take to write a book independantly of a collaborative? How long would this compare to writing with other authors?
On my own I write a book in about six to seven months, if I am writing at a comfortable pace and keeping to my schedule. If I turn it up I can put out a book in about three to four months but that is writing at a pace that my day job really doesn’t allow for. When I am due to write as part of a collaboration I tend to go faster than my solo novel rate. I think that is mostly due to the fact that I do not want to hold up the rest of the group. I do not need to be the star player on a team but I abhor being the weak link.
How do you incorporate the noise around you into the story you are writing at the moment?
I actually prefer it to be quiet when I write. I need to focus my attention of getting the story in my head onto the page. I can have some white noise or some instrumental music playing but I struggle anytime I write and there are words being spoken in my ear.
Do you prefer being intoxicated to write? Or would you rather write sober? Do you do anything to alter your mental state when you write?
I do not drink, at all. I really do not do anything to alter my mental state, when writing or otherwise. It’s hard enough for me to keep a clear head as it is. I want to avoid anything that might make me cloudy.
What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?
That is best echoed in part of a dedication that I include in several of my books. It is “A life without burden”.
Do you think translating books into languages other than their origin forces the intended essence away?
I think it can. There are some words that just do not translate into other languages. I could also say that a book in and of itself is an artistic product that is deviant from its intended essence. Even using all the words in an author’s native language, I do not think it is possible for words on the page to carry the full weight of their creator’s imagination. I think in the end this come back to the fact that people have yet to realize the act of perfect communication.
Do you blog? If so, what do you blog about and where can other people find it?
Why yes I do blog. Amung other things I am a huge dork. I love card games, board games and pretty much any fashion of game. I love one game so much, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, that I write a weekly pice of fanfiction for the product. The series is called flASH fiction and you can find it every Saturday on Team Covenant, https://teamcovenant.com/category/ashes-rise-of-the-phoenixborn, Strange Copy, http://www.strangecopy.com/index.php/category/flash-fiction/, and my author page, https://www.facebook.com/jbp.author/
How active are you on social media? And how do you think it affects the way you write? Please share the platforms you’re active on and how people can find you there.
I am on Facebook daily and very actively. On that note I think that social media is my largest distraction when it comes to writing. I am part of a number of wring groups and it is very easy to get sucked into threads about all things writerly. If people want to find me the best way to get in touch is via my Author Page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/jbp.author/
Do you enjoy theatre? Would you ever like one of your stories to be turned into a play? Would you prefer to see The Irregulars as a movie, a play, neither or both?
I do love theater. I used to go to the local performing arts center to see many touring musical theater companies as a child. I also spent the vast majority of my adolescence training in film and theater as well as performing in several community shows. I certainly wouldn’t mind getting some Royalty checks form an “Irregulars feature film” but I would be warry of an adaptation of the story into a big Hollywood blockbuster. I can see this story as being something that would be incredibly easy to poorly execute on film.
If you had to pick one other author to write your biography, who would it be?And who is that one author you would love to write the biography of your life?
I think that the most genuine sort of biography is an autobiography. At least I would like to believe that. I hope that I am a genuine enough person that if I were to write my own story that it would paint an accurate picture of the truth.
Thanks for the interview, Jason, and for your work on The Irregulars, coming later this year from StarkLight Press!