Author Interview with Jason Hershey…

Here is my Author Interview with Jason Hershey, hope you all enjoy .x.

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Question 1: Thanks for taking part in my author interview and for taking time from your precious writing time. First of all why not introduce yourself a little, where are you from? Hello.  My name is Jason Hershey.  I currently live in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, but am originally from Phoenix, Arizona.  I also lived in North Newton, Kansas for a few years during college.

Question 2: Has writing always been a dream you wanted to pursue or did you plan on doing something else career wise? I have always written.  I remember writing poems and stories in elementary school and entering the school poetry contests.  I got away from it during my college years and after I graduated.  I became a teacher and it wasn’t till just recently that I rediscovered my passion for writing and behold, I wrote this book.

Question 3: I see you will be publishing a book on November the 2nd called ‘To Die To Live’, Can you tell us about it, is it a stand-alone novel or will it be part of a series? What gave you the inspiration to write this story? This story is very personal to me. It is a product of many different sources and inspirations. Some happened to me, some to friends and acquaintances and some I created during the story making process. The story revolves around a teenager named Thelonious “Theo” Mitchell.  He has lived a rough life and has been dealt a bum hand.  He is taken in by his aunt and uncle and transfers to a new school completely different than he is used to. While there he befriends the school “troublemaker” and through the evolution of their relationship, comes to a crossroads of life: Does he accept the hand that’s dealt or does he begin to live the life he wants. It’s very personal to me and I hope the readers can connect with Theo’s journey.  I am currently working on a “sequel” per say to this story as well as a few other projects.

Question 4: Have you written any other stories? I am in the process of finishing up a children’s book series, “Larry the Hippo.” We are working to find an illustrator and hope to have this released later this year or early next year at the earliest.  They are a product of the stories I have told my pre-k classrooms for years and decided to start putting them to paper.

Question 5: What genre do you prefer to write in and why? And do you like to read that same genre or others? I prefer to write young adult/teen/new adult fiction. There are so many opportunities to explore choices and decisions that you don’t get when you write adult fiction. Teens are still in that “fun” part of life where everything is new, but you can approach and discuss some “adult” decisions. To me, that’s what story telling is all about and the fun part of it.  As far as what I read personally, I love mystery and thriller books.  James Patterson’s Alex Cross series being my favourite.  I also love Stephen King and Michael Connelly books.

Question 6: What is your favourite book? Has it made a big impact on how you write? My favorite books of all time are “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “The Giver.” I would say they do influence my writing in that both books are for teens and deal with choices and consequences while not preaching to the reader.  That’s important to me. You have to tell a story, try to get the reader to infuse themselves into the story and hopefully connect with the lessons and consequences of the main character. That’s what I hope to accomplish in “To Die To Live.”

Question 7: Do you stick to a strict writing schedule or do you just write if and when possible? Do you have a designated writing place? Do you have any weird or wonderful writing rituals that you have to do? I do not have a strict writing schedule. Between work and family commitments, I tend to write when I have time. I also write the old school way, pen and paper first. It’s as I type it in that I do my first round of editing.  Usually I have a notebook and pen with me at all times and I’ll start writing whenever and wherever the mood strikes. I also usually have music playing, or at least in my head, that kind of dictates the style of writing I do.  For this book I did a lot of 2-Chainz and Jay-Z music, since the book has a sort of urban feel.

Question 8:  How long does it normally take for you to write a book from start to finish including editing? This is my first book and it took me about 6 months from start to finish. The longest time was the editing process, both self-editing and waiting for it to come back from the editor. This one tended to flow from me, in part I think, because the story and characters are so personal, it wasn’t like I was creating a new story, I was just “re-telling” my life.

Question 9: Do you listen to music whilst you write? I am a music lover.  The car always has to have music on. I usually listen to rap music, but I have been known to play everything from classic rock to country.  It really depends on the song and the mood I’m in.  For this book, rap was the soundtrack.  Joey Bada$$’ song “Devastated” was big during this book.  It set the tone that I was trying to achieve in the book.

Question 10: Do you have any advice for someone who is planning to write and publish but doesn’t know how? The best advice I could give anyone is to write. You never know what you can do till you put it down on paper. I don’t call myself an author, I’m a story teller. Our “job” if you will, is to tell a story to the readers, a story that they can believe, participate in and feel. Everyone has a story to tell, it’s our obligation to tell it. Worry about punctuation and stuff later.

Question 11: Do you prefer to self-publish or go Traditional and why? I have only self-published, but I love the freedom that it presents. I decide what marketing to do, what my cover looks like, what the final product is. My success, or failure, is wholly predicated on what I do. It’s a lot of pressure, but I like that.

Question 12: And Finally is there anything you would like to add? I truly appreciate this opportunity to get my story out in front of people that might not be inclined to see it. There is truly something for everyone no matter where you’re from or where you live. Everyone deals with the same issues and decisions. I would hope that the readers would find a bit of themselves in my characters and identify with the dilemmas they are presented with. Thank you again, I truly appreciate the opportunity.

Thank you to Jason for taking part and I wish you all the best with your book.

If you wish to check out Jason and his writings then here are his links .x.

Facebook: facebook.com/jasonhersheyauthor

Twitter: @therealjhershey

Instagram: @authorjasonhershey

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