Jas T. Ward: Hello. Thanks for having me here. That is such a loaded question to answer but let me try to give the short-version. I started writing due to a very rough and painful childhood. It was my escape and to be perfectly honest, I believe it saved my life. Without that escape, I truly feel I would not be here now. To be able to lose myself in a fantasy while reality was trying to rip me apart at the young age of seven, I don't think I would have survived. It was my reality check when I was homeless. My touchstone as I survived domestic violence.
It's still my saving grace today. It even helped me move on from the tragic suicide of my soul-mate. Without writing? I don't think I could function or even live.
BOE: What types of stories do you write? Do you tend to stick to one genre?
Jas T. Ward: Not really. I do seem to bend to the paranormal and fantasy. But I have several projects in crime/drama/thriller as well as romance. I also have some based of true-life books in the works. I like being diverse. As long as I can toss in some of my signature twists in there, I'm happy.
BOE: Where do you find your inspiration?
Jas. T. Ward: Everywhere. I find it in songs, images, everywhere. I've had a creative spark come to me in the shower, while I'm driving. I dream in whole movies with complete stereo sound and Technicolor visual. I once got inspired to write a short-story by the sight of a plain, simple woman crossing the street at the courthouse from my office window. I think it is we that set limits on inspiration, inspiration has none.
BOE: What do you find is the hardest part of writing?
Jas T. Ward: Stopping. If I had my way I would write constantly. No sleeping. No eating. No doing the things that keep me from looking like a homeless person (smile). But alas reality requires we do all those things, so I have to force myself to attend to the needs we have as humans-- work, showering, eating and sleeping.
BOE: I am a book junkie, I have eBooks and conventional paperback. Some of which I have in both forms. Do you have a preference?
Jas T. Ward: Printed. Don't get me wrong, I have an e-reader and it’s packed. But there is just something about holding a book in your hand. About ear-marking a page when you're forced to and not waiting until you can curl up and find where your dive into that literary world was interrupted. To find a book on your shelf that was there when you needed it and flipping through it to get lost once again. Add to the fact when you touch those pages? You've left something of yourself behind-- a bit of your soul. And when you pass it on? You just shared a part of yourself not only with the story within the pages, but the next reader. It's why I love library books. You wonder what place in life was the last person that read it. Did it pull them out of some place rough? Did it shine a light in their personal darkness? E-books can't do that. They seem.... impersonal.
BOE: Do you have a favorite book and/or author?
Jas T. Ward: I'm hoping I say this enough, the literary gods will grant me an audience. :) But my favorite author is Ken Follett and his Pillars of the Earth is by far my favorite book. The man has amazing talent to take dull, dry true history and make truly alive on the pages.
BOE: How do you feel about author’s who choose to self publish?
Jas T. Ward: I applaud them. I send accolades and cheers to any and all that take the chance of putting their work out there. In whatever form. It's by far the scariest and bravest thing anyone can do. I do however, feel they should never settle. If self-publishing is what they feel they should do...great.
But if they think it's not good enough for traditional...they need to work harder. They need to make sure however and whatever they put out there...is the best it can be. Don't use self-publishing to put your 'not-that-good' work out there. Be proud of everything you do...work hard...write hard...and never sell yourself short. Or your book. There is no reason why self-published works should be of any less quality, less value or as epically strong as any traditionally published work.
We as authors need to ensure that our best is always shown to the reader, regardless of the venue. So as long as it’s the best it can be...the avenue in which it reaches the reader is not the most important thing.
BOE: Would you like to tell us about your upcoming book?
Jas T. Ward: I'd love to. Madness, which is the first book in the Shadow-Keepers Series, is a paranormal/romance/horror/thriller. Yeah, all of those. Some are surprised it’s a romance and others are surprised that romance could happen in such twisted horror. I like surprising people. Twists are my thing.
It's the story of Reno Sundown, who started out as a creative role-playing character and nothing more than a voice in a hero's head. The fans took to Reno instantly and its through their encouragement and support, Reno got his own life.
The book is the love-child of that fan support. He is granted his own life and purpose with the simple warning of staying away from the woman both he and the hero fell in love with- Emma Devenmore. A woman that caused him to stop helping the hero (he was the split personality- the dark side of the hero) and almost caused both of them to be ended.
He fails in following that simple directive and finally has the woman he loves. But destiny had other plans for Reno and you are shown that inspite of love, not all happy ending happen as they should. Nor is love and compassion enough to keep one's path with destiny at bay. Especially when there are so many dark secrets that have a sway in it all.
It's release date is December 4th of 2013 to both print and eBook from Dead Bound Publishing. I'm really excited about it. The pre-release reviews have been incredible and very humbling.
BOE: Wow I can’t wait to read this, it sounds exciting. Where can readers find you and your books?
Jas T. Ward: My first book Bits and Pieces: Tales and Sonnetts (Volume I) can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as the publisher's website: www. DeadBoundPublishing.com.
The same goes for Madness, which is also slated to be on the shelves of fine book retailers. As well as in eBook form.
My links are:
We want to thank you again Jas, for stopping by and chatting with us. Sgt Tibbs and I would love to have you back again. And friends don’t forget to check out all of Jas T. Wards works, and mark your calenders for December 4th.