Friday, May 29, 2015

Interview with #author Jason Thibeault

Why did you pursue writing?

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer (I wrote my first novel in high school). Although I can’t put a finger on any one, specific experience that sealed it for me, being a writer has always been core to who I am. Highly creative and imaginative, writing seemed like a perfect outlet. And although I probably had a chance to choose that as my career, I went down a different path for 20 years of my life. It is only in the past few years that I have turned back to writing by publishing “An Ordinary Magic.”

What inspired your book?

The book was written over 20 years ago during my undergraduate tenure at the University of California, Irvine where I was studying creative writing. I needed to develop a senior project for the Campuswide Honors Program and knew that it would be a novel. But the project needed to be ground in academic research and so I chose Haitian culture and the Voodoo religion as the backdrop for my story. The story itself, a work of literary fiction and therefore focusing more on the characters than the plot, was really inspired by the relationships with my biological father and my step-father as well as my own battles about who I wanted to be in life.

How long have you been publishing your work?

When I was actively writing 20 years ago, I was publishing my work quite frequently in various literary journals. When I decided I wanted to get back into writing (about 5 years ago), I started a small publishing company, Dime Novel Books, with the goal of bringing back the dimenovel format. I wrote about a dozen short, serial stories before recognizing that the format wasn’t going to work (or when Amazon stole the idea) and turned my creative energy to a middle-reader chapter series called Marmalade. I wrote two books (both well received) before resurrecting “An Ordinary Magic” about 18 months ago.

What’s your writing environment like?

My writing environment is, well, everywhere! There’s nowhere that I can’t carve out time to write. I’ve even written passages of stories on my phone. 

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a host of projects. First, I am almost 400 pages into my first YA series, Demon. This is a three-book series that explores the moral quandaries teenagers face everyday. I have also fleshed out another YA series and have a little written on that. I am also putting together the outline for my second work of literary fiction, 713 Absalom, a magic realism story incorporating many elements of Aesop’s Fables. Finally, I am working through a screenplay for an animated movie.

Author bio:

Jason received his B.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing, from the University of California, Irvine where he wrote An Ordinary Magic for his senior thesis as part of the Campuswide Honors Program. After a year in Europe during which he spent some time working with HarperCollins, London, Jason returned to get his M.A. in English, with distinction, at California State University, Northridge. Jason is currently the author of the middle-reader chapter series Marmalade and a co-author on the marketing thought-leadership book, Recommend This!. He lives in Gilbert, AZ with his family.


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