I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jas T. Ward, author extraordinaire and entrepreneur. I say that because she started her own publishing company, Dead Bound Publishing. When asked why, she told me because she wanted authors to have a chance to be creative without the usual editors and publishers who limit your creativity when things don't go the "norm". Dead Bound Publishing....where creativity lives.
Here is our interview:
Using five sentences, tell us who YOU are, the writer.
It's write or be crazy.
It's write to be sane.
It's write to make an impact.
It's write to make a change.
It's write...because its the only time I feel true to myself.
Do you currently have any books out for purchase? If so, what are the names, what’s it about and where can we find them?
Jas: Bits and Pieces: Tales and Sonnets (Volume I)- A fan collection of short stories, poems and a novella of the backstory of the upcoming Madness novel.
Barnes and Noble
Are you currently working on something? Tell us about it!
Jas: Yes. The 'much anticipated' debut novel of the Shadow-Keepers Series. Book One is titled: Madness. Its the story of Reno Sundown who used to be the split-personality of a hero. Until the both of them fell for the same woman. When the hero broke the woman's heart, the dark side stopped doing his part and was going to let them both die. So the dark side was given his own body, life and a new start. And warned to stay away from the woman, Emma Devenmore. He tried. But destiny had its own calling. And he had his own path.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what THREE things could you not live without?
Jas: My laptop to write. My dog and a really, really long extension cord.
When is your most creative time of the day?
Jas: Nighttime. I don't sleep very well. I have severe insomnia and nightmares. From that? I create.
What motivates you to write? Music, movies, pictures?
Jas: All the above. Sometimes its a woman crossing the street. A song on the radio. Sometimes just the silence or the stillness of a moment. Inspiration can be found anywhere and in anything. We just need to listen and look for it.
If you could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Jas: Ken Follett. He's my idol in the literary world. The other? Lucifier. Do I believe in heaven and hell? I don't know. Maybe Lucifer could help with that. If God would like to join in the discussion, that'd be great. I just want to know more.
What authors inspire you? Why?
Jas: Guess I jumped the gun on that one. Ken Follett. The man is a genius. He can take dull, dry historical facts and weave the most colorful characters and stories from it. I only dream of having his precise talent and skills.
What started you on the journey to write?
Jas: Salvation. A need to survive. I started writing in order to escape a very bad childhood and violence. My imagination and creativity was the only escape I had to handle it all.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve come across being an author or a writer?
Jas: Dealing with all the things that keep me from writing. If I was left alone? I wouldn't go to work. I wouldn't sleep nor eat. I would write until I fell down or went into a coma. I have to make myself stop and do what needs to be done. Remind myself- hello? You're human. You have needs.
How has becoming a published author (independent or traditional) changed your perspective on life and is it everything you expected it to be? (If you are not published yet – what changes do you foresee?)
Jas: Being traditionally published has been a very real eye opener. One: It's not cheap. Two: It's not easy. Three: You have people who invested real money in your talent. It's up to you to prove their investment by creating something that was worth the cost.
How do you stay motivated and get through writer’s block?
Jas: I don't really have that problem. See above- I need motivation to do all things that do not involve writing. :) I did have one hell of a huge one years ago due to losing my soulmate to suicide. A creative writing group helped me with that. And boy, once it was gone...it all flowed to the point that it was now in control. And I don't mind a bit.
What keeps you focused and ‘in the zone’ while writing your novels?
Jas: I'm a odd writer. I close my eyes, turn on music and then it plays in my head. It's like a movie with action, dialogue, scenery. I think just let it flow. Either by speaking or by typing. Sometimes its free-hand. I have no idea what I'm writing. When the movie ends...the scene has come to a close....only then do I open my eyes and see what I just wrote. It goes back to needing to be lost inside my own world to not deal with the very real one I was living in. A escape- my own private rabbit hole to fantasy.
Do you have a technique or style of writing you prefer? Do you write in order or skip around and piece together later?
Jas: Since I see it all played out in visuals, I write it in order. But I do dream random scenes and jot those down when I wake. And incorporate them into what is already written or will be written.
When your dreams come true, what do you do?
Jas: My dreams have already come true. The key now? Make bigger, better ones. My real dream is to give something back. DBP is looking to do a scholarship fund to help under-privileged and needy kids go to college with a writing grant to do so. I also want to start a program to help the homeless. I've been homeless. I've lived and seen death on the streets during that time. I want to help. I need to help to show it can happen to others in which haven't been so lucky.
To all of us aspiring authors, struggling, or newbies, what is the best advice you can give us?
Jas: Write. One word. One sentence. One paragraph. Doesn't matter. Make yourself sick with guilt any day you don't. It does not matter if its good or not. It does not matter if its the best you could do or the worse you never thought you would do. Just write. Trust me. Make yourself accountable to your talent. It's a horrible waste and unforgivable not to show it to the world. You were given it for a reason. Let it shine. Or let it not. But let it do...something.
"It is impossible to discourage the real writers-- they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write." - Sinclair Lewis
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