Thursday, 19 April 2012

Author Interview: Jason Derr

Jason Derr has written The Boston 395.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Jason Derr. Where do I call home? Wow, you start with the hard questions don't you. I'm FROM Richmond, Va. I live in Portland, Or. In between was Florida, Spokane, Wa and Vancouver, BC.

2. Do you have a pen name?
No, but I sometimes write my own name with a pen. Sometimes a pencil. Really, it depends.

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
My most recent book is The Boston 395. I have one non-fiction book as well, from a small publisher.

James Scottesdale has watched his life fall apart in the economic crisis. But that was before a train showed up in his living room, one whose every stop leads to his own life. 

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I am 135 pages into the start of a YA series. I was not open to the idea of a series at first - I have too many stories to tell and find some authors get lazy when they depend on a series. But this new book - the story is big and needs three books to tell.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I write because it brings me so much joy to do so. Really, I bliss out when I'm writing a good story.
I started writing because I had great teachers who drew out that talent - and then in university I decided to commit fully to it as my art.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Sure. Want to review my book just ask and you can get one.

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
That was tough. I could not afford a cover and - lets face it – allot of self-published people have BAD covers. So I went for simple and balanced. I also went black and white so the cover would work on the most amount of devices.

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I like my non-fiction book cover, mostly cause someone else created it for me.

9. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
No. Not if I’m DIY all the time. Too much work. Unless I can get an intern. Anyone want to be my intern.

10. How did you come up with the title for your book?
In university - where my friends and I ran our own underground writers group and would smoke cigars on the dock and read poetry - I had a job at a circuit city. We got a delivery truck one day with a piece of plywood in the back with the words 'The Boston 395'

11. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
No. I like this book. Its my Kafka-esq exploration of awesomeness. Read it. You will see why.

12. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I tried to do a book trailer. It did not work. You need a budget to do one right. Or time. Beyond that - they are fun to have and great to share with fans and a community. Not sure they drive sales though.

13. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I prefer books! Lots of books. In all types. My wife and I have 400 books - the joy of a grad school education - so, um, yea ebooks sound great.

14. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
I am. I like the idea of being in charge. People complain about sub-par works flooding the market and that is a legit complaint. But if you think of the ebook thing as being more about a global workshop - I publish, I get a review, I improve the work/my writing - then it makes sense.

15. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Oh yea…
The Narnia books
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel
The Poet, The Warriot, The Prophet
And many others…
But I am pulling such a blank right now.

16. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
No. But I lived in Canada for awhile and it was fun comparing covers of Harry Potter books internationally. Even in Canada they had 'kid' covers and 'adult' covers.

17. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
No. But I will admit that a cover will help seal the deal if the story sounds interesting.

18. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes. Many an indie book has had a terrible cover. Sloppy covers will make the audience think the book is sloppy. That said - I had no skills in this department and had to rely on my own stumbling.  I went for simple and I pray it works.

19. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I'm reading…
The Hunger Games
The Stars Like Grains of Sands in my Pockets
Integral Ecology
Lyric Ecology
The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event
Immersion into Noise

20. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Write. Then rewrite it. Write it over and over and over. Learn all the 'rules' before you break them. Find your favorite authors and then read all their favorite authors.

21. Where can your readers follow you?

Facebook page:




Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

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