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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Author Interview: Jason Farris

Author Interview
of
Jason Farris


I'd like to take a moment to that Mr. Jason Farris, Author for being a part of the Fate Books blog. Please enjoy the following interview of Mr. Farris, along with Blurb and Excerpt of his story, "Bring Forth the Night"

1. Please introduce yourself.

Hey, my name is Jason Farris and I’m from Appomattox, Virginia—the town famous for where the Civil War drew to a close. I love hiking, shooting pool and I’m a big fan of horror stories. As a child, when I wasn’t playing outside I loved to read and create my own stories inspired by the great books I had finished. My first writings always had some kind of wonder and awe in them—most likely because I was seeing the world through the eyes of innocence. I kept writing but put it aside in high school and didn’t pick it up again until the years I was studying at Radford University where I majored and earned my diploma in Journalism. My first set of writings, ‘The Apparition And Other Tales Of The Supernatural’ was published in 2008. I had always wanted to create a novel and some time after I finished promoting ‘The Apparition…” began work on what would become ‘Bring Forth The Night’, a vampire thriller and my debut novel. I work full-time at a TV station in Lynchburg, Virginia.

2. When & why did you start writing?

A lot of people might feel the necessity to say this but I did feel as if it were some kind of calling. I’ve always liked to create things—whether it be a sketch, a guitar riff, or a story—and see it take on a life of its own. I started around age 9 and picked it up intermittently throughout the years. Then after graduation from Radford, I started getting back into it once again. I always feel like I have a lot to say and expressing my thoughts through writing was one of the ways I could it; not to mention deal with certain problems in life when they arise.

3. In which genre do you write and why? Also, please tell us a little about your book.

I love to read just about everything—history books, historical fiction, biographies, classics—but nothing seems to bring out the best in me like horror and mystery do. I’ve always been interested in the things that scare us and that we can’t explain. Mystery always intrigued me because I’ve always felt challenged by it—the fun is trying to figure out the ‘why’ and the ‘who’.

In ‘Bring Forth The Night’, I introduce a character named Moz Harlow. She’s a twenty-two year old lead singer and guitarist in a band. The year is 1995. Grunge music, ripped jeans and drugs are rampant. The atmosphere is kind of hallucinogenic. During Moz Harlow’s shows onstage, she gets the sense that not only humans but vampires have been attending her shows. But no one believes that vampires exist. At night, when it’s only her in her dilapidated apartment, she feels compelled to strike out and hunt the creatures that no one seems to want to accept as real. But she is wayward—not wanting to go but somehow feeling that urge or pull to do something about the growing problem. So in that aspect she’s a loner. Until she meets a stranger who seems to know about the things that she does. He begins to enlighten her about her method of killing vampires and about their world in general. He tells her she is doing ok but that there are many more to fear and the threat is progressively getting worse. And by example, three unconventional vampires surface and seem to be stalking her and for some reason they are drawn to her in a way she never expected. Moz Harlow comes to a crossroad in her life and has to decide whether she should trust the stranger, kill the sinister vampires who now threaten her more every day or try to keep her band from falling apart.

What makes the novel unique is that it’s written from three perspectives—in the form of journal entries that Moz Harlow’s granddaughter has discovered from Moz’s days in the band, the inner thoughts of the granddaughter on Moz’s coming-of-age background, and the third-person perspective itself, which is the bulk of the manuscript.

4. Do you feel connected to your characters in any way, did they 'come to life' to you?

Yes, very much. In fact, every character in ‘Bring Forth The Night’ is a little piece of me. Others represent people who I’ve known and have been close to at one point or another; some are the ones still in my life. So I always feel connected. And I’ve been told many times over that they very much do ‘come to life’ and that readers can relate to the many themes in the book. I believe in realism and it reflects in my writing. I don’t want the readers to have to be able to suspend but so much disbelief. Though it’s a vampire story, it’s very much a realistic one. These vampires don’t sparkle or play nice. They are out for blood, produce a ‘blood cry’ when they’re ravenous for it, and will hiss so intensely that you will feel it from the pages.

5. Do you plan on writing any more books?

Yes, most definitely. It’s in my blood. I want to someday write the ‘great American novel’, something that is timeless and will be read over and again by high school English teachers and college professors.

6. Did you find you had all the moral support you needed when you chose to pursue your writing venture?

Writing, like anything in art, is always a struggle. You’re also taking a big chance when you decide to invest your time and strength to creating it and seeing it through until it can be unleashed upon the consumer. I had a lot of people support me and some who have not. The ones who didn’t only made me want to do it even more.

7. Who (if any) were your greatest supporters? Please feel free to send them a 'shout out'.

My family—Dad, Mom, sister. Some high school and college teachers. And most definitely my fiancĂ© Laura. Every one of these folks helped me get to where I am today.

8. Do you have any favorite Authors? Who are they & why?

James Fenimore Cooper because of his ability to weave a beautiful narrative and keep me wanting more. Edgar Allan Poe for leaving me with a chill that’s still crawling up my spine. Phillip K. Dick for his innovation and forward thinking. Mary Shelley for her constant inspiration.

9. Where did you get your inspiration?

It usually comes from everyone I meet. Someone always has something good to offer in the way of advice and suggestions. I’m inspired by stories I’m told and bit and pieces will make their way into my writing, though they will be strategically-placed inside a narrative that makes sense. Music also has an influence. Sometimes songs I listen to when I write will allow me to find the atmosphere that I’m looking for and it allows me to completely envelop myself in the story.

10. Please tell us something most people do not know about you.

Hmmm…that’s tough because I’m sure I’ve told most of that information. Maybe that I can be somewhat superstitious. I try to stay away from the number 13, though I do like black cats a lot.

11. Would you like to add any last words? If so, please do.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me. You have allowed me to keep working on making my dreams a reality. I hope everyone will take away something good from my writing and that it will continue to make the reader think long after they finished the story.

Blurb:

In a world where few believe vampires exist, how far will one woman go to prove them wrong?

When a young woman discovers among her departed grandmother’s possessions a series of journal entries left over from her days in a band, she learns of the elder’s former life as a reluctant, wayward vampire killer. Uncovering further, she finds that what Moz Harlow, the grandmother she affectionately knew as Madeline, was most frightened of was the dark. Then a chance encounter with a man occurs—a stranger who seems knowledgeable of her nighttime exploits.

With her band’s future uncertain, and her own disquietude toward the night growing, the stranger exposes Moz to a new idea—that every creature is susceptible to different limitations. By example, there materializes a threat in three unconventional newly-arrived vampires whose purpose for being drawn there is not quite clear.

Moz must find a way to defeat the arrivals—all while striving to keep her band from falling apart, overcoming her own fixations and trusting the unrelenting stranger. But ultimately, will the effort amend her for her checkered past? Or will the secret she carries find no retribution?

Excerpt:

*In this chapter, the protagonist Moz Harlow, has arrived to join the band in practicing their new material—the songs she is reluctant to play because it reminds her of time spent with her ex-boyfriend, Thrash—also the drummer. Unknown to her, vampires are watching her every move and she soon encounters a sinister presence when she ventures outside.*


Moz plugged in, positioning the effects pedal, already set on distortion, in front of her and with reluctance, she turned to Ethan and acknowledged him. A black music stand was intentionally placed near the neck of her guitar. The silver strings provided an exceptional luster underneath the well-illuminated arrangement of lights but Moz was once again left alone to witness the detail. It was the one thing that kept her from comfortably closing her eyes at night. It was an adeptness that she had already finely tuned. However conscious she may have been to the scene placed before her, Moz had arrived unprepared for the one thing she should have considered the most. Her guard had been broken by a tightly-clothed whore, whose eyes slinked across the singer’s figure as she ran through the first verse of the unfamiliar song with clutched teeth. Suddenly the words that had since become misplaced between the four members of The Lithium Vinyl and the lyrics etched across the paper of the music stand that Moz was reluctant to repeat were of little relevance to the circumstance pulsating in front of them.

Nevertheless, she sent the distortion atop Ethan’s guitar as his fingers quickly changed chords and began soloing. Johnny, positioned the farthest from the singer, watched the blonde for a moment, who, in his direction, was continuously casting a desirable gaze. He was taken with her, and believed her to hold a certain appeal to which he was not accustomed. Progressing significantly well into an improvised bass line, he next caught sight of the drummer, whose rhythm began to falter somewhat noticeably. Thrash, by the present moment, was unsettled and so he abruptly clutched the wooden drumsticks and broke the rhythm thereafter. The others turned in search of the reason. “Damn it, I’m just not seeing how we’re together on this,” he shouted. “Ethan, you went for that solo too early. Johnny, the bass riff needs to pause during the first measure of the verse. And you, Moz…” He rose from his seat, holding carelessly onto the drumsticks with one hand. The blonde turned her focus to the singer. “Try putting some actual strength into it. We’re not doing this just to pass the time.”

His tone was once again spoken in condescension. The other two stood idly by as Moz was seen casting a disapproving look from the distance between them. “I always put everything I have into the song, Thrash,” she countered. “But I don’tbelieve in these lyrics.” “Ah man, not this again,” sighed Ethan, holding his guitar while strapped to his shoulder. His shirt was slightly ripped from the edge of his right arm. He ran his fingers slowly through his thick, brown hair and as his hand left the section that had moved, a small scar materialized from underneath his unshaven face and curiously-longer sideburns. Moz’s green eyes drifted across it when she turned to him. “What? What the hell, dude?” she returned callously. “You already know that. Did you actually think we were going to smile, write songs and all go home happy tonight? We tried that, E. It doesn’t work anymore.” Ethan, choosing to look toward the drummer instead of the singer who had addressed him, finally turned to her for a moment, reached inside the pocket of his tshirt and pulled from it a pack of nearly finished cigarettes. “You deal with your own shit. I’m going outside for a smoke.” He abruptly departed, having left the interior door somewhat ajar. The others could still see the edge of his shoulder from the screen door and allowed light. The night had settled into its darkest depth although an approaching storm was developing along the sky’s line.

Thrash, in an impatient and somewhat provoked manner, also quit the room. He ascended the stairs and a flicker of past nights scraped along the singer’s consciousness. The blonde, observing the rift that had since emerged between the three, rose and drew closer to Johnny. He invitingly placed his hands securely around her waist and kissed her. Her cheeks were cold. She cooed once again as his grasp fell further down and past her back. “Mmm, Johnny. You know just how to touch me.” “I love to touch you, baby.” Moz, conscious now of the other problem that had been temporarily placed on the shelf, took refuge upon the bottom two steps of the wooden staircase. She stared at a rusty column. “I want a cigarette. Come with me, my baby,” said the blonde. She turned to see Moz, so that the singer would see Johnny willingly leading her into the night. But Moz did not witness it. “Where’s Ethan?” Johnny asked as the door closed behind the two, realizing the question was more in a rhetorical nature.

“He must’ve went to the van to get something else,” he calmly said thereafter. The blonde, taking him softly by the hand when he had let go the previous moment, now wished to lead him further from the door’s light and onto the dead winter’s grass. No moon was upon the landscape and the other available light arrived only in flashes as it struck below the clouds from which it emerged. He turned to face her once again, looking upon her shadowed features in the surrounding dark. She placed both ashen arms on top of his shoulders. “Forget them, baby,” she spoke softly. “They can’t do things for you the way I can.” The sky flashed once again. She drew closer to him. He embraced her fully. Her body was pressed tightly against his own. She kissed his lips, then subtly moved across to his cheek. Then the neck. He squeezed her firmly. And beneath the flickering sky, she grew fangs. Nearly three inches in length and breaking ferociously from the corners of her mouth, the lustful obtrusions grazed the area in which the pulse was beating and then sank into it. A cry went out as two deeply-penetrated cavities formed upon the man’s neck. A moment later, however, they withdrew. Johnny fell violently to the ground.

The creature rotated its cold and blood-abandoned figure around and standing below her line of sight was the petite frame of the singer. Moz had broken the subtle edge of Thrash’s drumstick until it splintered. She held it close to the dead heart, her breath rising and falling rapidly, anticipating any moment thereafter that the thing before her would strike. “You’re lucky you lived this long. I should have exposed you the moment I knew. I felt your thirst.” “You cannot comprehend what begins to make me thirst,” she countered, “and what it’s like to drink.” Moz clutched the splintered weapon. The creature hissed at a deafening volume. With feral eyes of red film, she stepped closer to her. “The master will not allow you to live. You who take our lives are slaughtered on principle alone.” She paused, rotating the upper portion of her accursed frame. “And the master is close at hand.” She coiled back around, with blood dripping from the edges of her otherwise cold and ivory-laden fangs.

Moz had already set into motion her hand against the creature’s ashen shoulder. She then drew in close and with her parted lips whispered slowly into her ear. “Fuck the master.” Then she drew back, and with a brutal and quick thrust invaded the dead heart of the lustful creature with a multitude of sharp and splintered wooden thorns. She had not the time to call forth into the night for sorrow, for the moment Moz witnessed the object piercing into the blood thirsting body, it collapsed into a pile of black ash. A moment had hardly fallen away when her focus shifted toward another figure, standing beside an aged elm below the white and flickering sky.

The darkness took many of his features but more than enough was still present for an opposing thought to flash across the woman’s mind. “Unless,” she muttered beneath an exhalation, “that…is the master.” A troubling sound drifted from the cold and dead layer of ground as Moz began to observe the scene unfolding past her eyes. “Johnny, get up!” she said quickly, lowering her body into a crouching position while maintaining a lock on the new, approaching figure. Moz lifted his arm and shoulder until he was able to find his balance. “Listen to me!” she said, his hand now pressing the collar of his shirt against the deep holes filling with red. “That wound needs to be treated right now. You’ve already lost a good deal of blood. Clean it thoroughly. Find Thrash so he can help you. I don’t know where Ethan has gone.” Johnny acknowledged her, and gathered enough energy to make it inside, leaving her against the facing backdrop. A distant wind began to find her and escalate. The sky flashed more frequently with an accompanying roar from the heavens.

The small, makeshift stake Moz had fashioned and injected inside the previous creature now seemed insignificant in the thundering blackness she found coming more upon them. The ashes of the dead vampire had already been taken by the wind. And barely had she time to blink before the current figure was close by her. His head was completely free of hair. He was clothed in a dark set of lengthened garments and his face was so white that Moz almost felt like it was chafing her skin to look upon it for an extended time. Then, she laid witness to the one detail that, above all others, could have been the one thing to bring terror the most. The face had been burned and viciously scarred on both cheeks by two angled impressions of a crucifix. The scars traveled to the edges of his face from directly under the thin skin of the eyes. There was no part of what she witnessed that did not horrify her.

The accursed shape began to circle her, inducing inside her the most sickening of motions. In his revolution, he only stared down and upon her, never speaking, as though she possessed inside her body the warmest red blood he would ever come to drink. The sound and light from the black sky continued. She felt a fever attempting to emerge although had it fully surfaced, it might have led the thing circling her to grow its teeth to its complete length. But upon her face as she closed her eyes momentarily, motionless and surrounded by the slow revolution, a drop of rain touched and descended past the edge of her mouth. Then, the most forceful and articulate movement enraptured itself around her neck. Her scarf was wrapped tightly and opening her eyes to see the white and ancient figure, Moz found herself struggling immensely for air. She was risen above the ground nearly two feet and the suffocating blood rushed rapidly to her face, applying an added scarlet feature to her already desirable tone.

The hand attached to the arm was, as well, too white to not be haunting. He remained silent as she continued to choke but the appearance that emerged onto his visage in those moments when he held her at an extension, the cross-scarred markings apparent in the rationed light, was sufficient in letting her know what he imagined. Her face, presently, was enveloped entirely in red but it was also growing wet, and directly after, she fell fiercely to the cold and dead grass, battered by a heavy rain. Moz threw her blinding and soaking hair from her eyes, quickly set herself back onto her feet and made a complete revolution underneath the canopy of water to find evidence of the white creature’s presence. But nothing could be seen except for the thick drops of rain and upset heaven. She rushed inside, her clothes now drenched from the storm, and set upon finding Johnny. The basement was empty of sound although the instruments, amplifiers and microphones were still plugged and ready to be handled.

She closed the door but had it not been for the rain, leaving it open would have mattered little. Next, Moz ascended the staircase as fast as her wet shoes would allow her, calling for Johnny. “We’re in here,” a voice replied after a wasteful minute had come to pass. It was lingering from the bathroom. Moz tore through the adjacent room and found Johnny sitting at the edge of the porcelain tub. It was stained with thick droplets of blood. He held his head at an angle so that the remaining blood would not course down and past his noticeable breathing. He kept a gauze pressed against his neck but his strength was deteriorating. Directly beside him, standing and disposing of the blood-soaked cloths that had already been filled was Thrash. “Moz,” he said, gathering his strength, “what the hell happened out there? I was kissing her and then suddenly I felt a horrible stinging all over my body.” She looked at him. And then at Thrash. And then she lied. “I don’t know, Johnny. I found you already on the ground.”