Author of: "FORK IN THE ROAD TO APOCALYPSE
Genre: Science Fiction/dystopian/sociological
Geri: What inspires you to write?
Jeff: When I was younger, I used to read science fiction and fantasy, which helped
develop my imagination. I was so enthralled by the fantastical worlds
created by my favorite authors, I wanted to create a world of my own, when
my writing matured. On the other hand, seeing powerful dramas on TV and
in the movie theater awakened emotions that made me realize that a viewer-
reader must feel. This is an integral part of the reading experience. If someone
doesn't care about the characters or story, the plot will stagnate. Working with
adults and children in the hospital and in a psychiatric center for fifteen years
has helped me assimilate the complex feelings I faced everyday, and put them
on paper. I strongly believe that an author must experience real-life emotions
in order to transfer them to a book.
Geri: Who is your favorite author?
Jeff: Probably James Lee Burke, a famous mystery writer. He creates memorable
characters, and has a strong sense of setting. He also knows how to pace a
a scene for ultimate impact, using foreshadowing, and carefully-sustained
tension. Reading several of Mr. Burke's books has helped me develop my
style, but it has also helped me cast a critical eye on books from different
authors. Take Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD, for example. Its spare prose
and bare-bones dialogue is fodder for much reader disdain on Amazon.com
forums. Some readers believe that he trashes standard rules of punctuation,
and creates his own grammar. Others argue that he is a revolutionary, using
simplistic dialogue and run-on sentences to mimic reality. Reading the work
of these authors has opened a world of possibilities to me, and I have learned
from both their brilliance, as well as their perceived shortcomings.
Geri: Did you have favorite books as a child?
Jeff: 'LORD OF THE FLIES.' It's symbolism and slow-burning anarchy left a huge
impression on me. 'WYVERN' is incredible imagery, and complex plotting
from an amazing Hawaiian author. 'THE BODY.' Some of the richest
characters, and one of the most emotional endings I have ever read.
Geri: If you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?
Jeff: Possibly nonfiction. I enjoy reading books about subjects from the 'Lost
Boys Of Sudan' to 'Doctors Without Borders' and tales from the foster care
system. My experiences working with disturbed children and adults in a
psychiatric center have been channeled into a recent project, 'Journal Of A
Disturbed Psych Aide.' I use an e-blogger site to purge myself of
memories that have been haunting me for years. In the psychiatric center,
I encountered abused kids whose hair had been pulled out by angry parents,
psychotic adults who would assault you over a dropped cigarette, and
patients with Alzheimer's disease whose slow deterioration broke my heart.
Geri: What are your goals in your journey of writing?
Jeff: Foremost, to entertain people. I want them to enjoy an epic story, and
experience a multitude of emotions by the last page. I also want to learn
from my mistakes, reader feedback, and become a better writer. But most
importantly, I want to put one-hundred percent of myself into everything
that I write. I want every novel to be as good as I can make it, and never want
to churn out books, simply because of a deadline, or paycheck.
Geri: Thank you kindly for today's interview. I wish you very much success.
Jeff: You're welcome.