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Better Than The Best BY JAMES OH

Better Than The Best BY JAMES OH
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Saturday, 4 June 2011


Hi ! Readers, 

It is a great pleasure to have Jason Jack Miller and his book, THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK review today. A very warm welcome, Jason and thanks Jason for giving us the chance to get to know you more and also for allowing us a glimpse of the world that you have created inside your writing. Thank you very much. Let his walk through his profile and book, as appended below, before we kick off the Q + A session.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jason Jack Miller 

I'm a writer who loves to create fiction from my experiences because I thought that was how Hemingway did it. Back in the '90s I worked as a whitewater raft guide, working rivers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Ten years-worth of adventure and mishaps transitioned to paper easily enough. Most of my recent novel comes from my years playing in a band and making music. Breaking strings, trying to get club owners to pay up, playing shows hopped up on cough syrup with a fever of 101--you can't make stuff like that up.

Travel has been the biggest influence on my writing though. Nothing helps a writer like a change of scenery and perspective. I had to learn to become a better traveler, knowing when to interact and observe. My wife and I have had some amazing experiences that haven't made it onto the page yet, but will.

Jason Miller is the author of the book below.


Q & A portion:

James: When did you begin to write?

Jason : In 1998 I married my wife and moved to Florida. Being homesick and missing the mountains and rivers inspired me to start putting stuff on paper for fear I'd forget everything. We had a word processing typewriter that my mom got me when I graduated high school. Reliving all those good times on paper made me want to turn them into something bigger, and that's when I realized the novel I'd write would have very little to do with all those memories because those memories didn't tell a story.

James : Where do you normally do your writing?

Jason : In the summer I write at our dining room table, window open to crickets and cicadas, small pot of green tea right next to me. But in the winter I can't write at home. I need to get out of the house after being at the day job, so we head up to Panera and put in long hours drinking their coffee. My wife can write anywhere, and I'm a little jealous of that. I need stability and familiarity.

James : What made you choose this genre and the title of your book?

Jason: Music is one of my biggest passions, and though it was a theme in my last novel, I decided I needed to put it front and center. Rock and punk, in my humble opinion, haven't been fictionalized nearly enough. I've always believed there was enough material for a million great stories in that mini-verse, but for some reason they don't get written.

The title actually came at the suggestion of an agent, who thought my original title--THE SAD BALLAD OF PRESTON BLACK--was too sad and too revealing. After I changed it and resubmitted she promptly rejected me. Best thing an agent's ever done for me, by the way. So THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK comes as the result of that brief interaction.

James: Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?

Jason : My stories come from my travels and experiences. Something new, either a person or idea, gets embedded in me like a virus and I know I'm going to work them into a novel somehow. THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK, and the novel I wrote just before, HELLBENDER, are the result of a few weekends with one man at a workshop on Spruce Knob way down in West Virginia. Gerald Milnes is the Coordinator of Folklife Programs at the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins University. He talked about Appalachian music and culture, blowing my mind with new concepts about music and superstition that sent me down a path that I have yet to deviate from.

James: Can you enlighten us a little more about your books?

Jason : Some of my favorite authors are guys who walk the thin line between reality and magic--Marquez, Carlos Zafon, Neil Gaiman and Sherman Alexie, to name a few. As a kid I always liked fantasy and science fiction--I had Star Wars bed sheets. But the idea that the fantastical events could never happen in this world to real people never sat well with me.

Maybe a part of me believes that magical or unreal things can happen to real people in this world who open themselves to the possibility. We've all seen things our rational brains can't explain. I don't know if that's magic or not, but I'm open to the possibility, and I like to write stories about people opening themselves to those possibilities.

James: Is there anything else you would like your readers to pay special attention in regards to your book, which you have not mentioned above?

Jason : Place plays an important role in my stories. Sometimes setting is overlooked in novels because it requires more attention to detail than plot. But when a writer gets a setting wrong readers notice. I always loved stories that made you feel like you've been someplace, and I hope I've done that with mine.

James: When do you plan to publish your book?

Jason: An eBook version of THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK is available on Amazon , Barnes and Noble, the Apple iBook store and Smashwords right now. A trade paperback will be available within the next few weeks, by early July at the latest. Check for updates.
James : How many volumes of books for the above series, if applicable?

Jason : Two more volumes of this series, UNDER THE RAINBOW and HELLBENDER should be available by the end of the year.

Thank again Jason Jack Miller for joining us today. Let us wish him Success.

Thanks for your precious time and revert to us your feedback after you read the above book. Of course, we love to hear from you.

James Oh

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