Wednesday, June 4, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Jason King, Author

Jason King, Author
Jason King has been creating the world of Valcoria since he was 14. He recently published VALCORIA: CHILDREN OF THE CRYSTAL STAR, a unique fantasy set in a 19th century world without dragons, knights, or wizards. King appreciates villains and his stories revolve round them. He likes writing “exciting stories with lots of action, magic, and drama.” He believes readers will  follow a story if they are invested in the characters.

When he’s not working or writing, King enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. He likes watching movies and playing table-top role-playing games. He has just completed a manuscript that is Part 2 of his first published novel THE LURE OF FOOLS. 

Q: What inspired you to write VALCORIA: CHILDREN OF THE CRYSTAL STAR? Where/how did you conceive of the concept? Would you type VALCORIA as fantasy?

Jason King: I’ve actually been working on the Valcoria world, and story since I was fourteen, so I’m sure there are a lot of movies, games, anime, comics, and authors that have influenced its development. I would class VALCORIA as a fantasy, but not the usual dragons, knights and wizards fantasy. I’d class it closer to flintlock fantasy.  

Q: How do you create believability in the fantasy world you build? Is believability important?

Jason King: I think it is, and I think the way to achieve that is through the characters. If readers can relate, even just a little to a hero or villain, they are much more likely to stay invested and engaged in the story.

Q: A reviewer mentions that you shift point of view from one character to another. Why? Did this shifting help to develop your characters? Or to tell the story?

Jason King: When I first wanted to write for a career, it was screenplays and I spent a lot of time learning that format. So I guess some of the “scene switching” device used in writing movies carried over to my novels. Also, Robert Jordan is one of my influences, and he employs a lot of character P.O.V. changes in his narratives, which I like. I like to get the story from different angles.   

Q: Reviewers claim your book is different from the typical “epic fantasy.” Do you agree? How is it different? How is it typical?

Jason King: I do agree. Like I said earlier, it’s not the usual elves, dwarves, knights, and fairies that people always associate with fantasy. The setting for VALCORIA is not medieval. Rather, the story takes place in more of an 1800’s kind of world, and part of the plot involves a return of ancient technologies that are futuristic. I hope it isn’t typical, but there are elements of supernatural powers and destiny that will resonate with fans of traditional fantasy.   

Q: How important is the concept of “heroes” vs “villains” to telling your story?

Jason King: Very. I actually build a lot of my stories around the villain. To me a story is only as good as its villain. I like my heroes to be a bit more reactive, forged in their struggles against my villains while battling their own inner demons at the same time. To me heroes and villains often start on the same road, and it’s how they cope or fail to cope with life that I think leads them to their roles.  

Q:  How do you create engaging characters that your readers will care about?

Jason King: I don’t think I have a formula for this other than I try to give my characters some dimension of realism. I’ve found that humor is one of the best ways to do this.

Q:  Did you write VALCORIA to entertain your readers and/or to deliver a message or to educate?

Jason King: I don’t usually write to deliver a message, or teach anyone anything. I just love exciting stories with lots of action, magic, and drama. That being said, I don’t think any author can write without their personal beliefs seeping into their narrative to one degree or another. One of Valcoria’s themes is the reality of life after death, which as a Mormon, I believe in. But no, my books don’t try to promote a message or an agenda. 

Q:  Reviewers tout your storytelling and “exciting action scenes, and plenty of twists.” How do you create these action scenes and twists?

Jason King: I do a lot of day-dreaming outside of my actual writing. Usually in the car while listening to music. That helps me visualize what I want in a fight scene. I also get inspiration from action movies, anime, and JRPG’s. And of course, other authors. Brandon Sanderson writes some really awesome action scenes.   

Q: What’s next?

Jason King:  Well I just submitted the manuscript for part two of my first published novel “The Lure of Fools.” So that will be my next release. And I’m hard at work on the final part of that trilogy so I can get back to VALCORIA.

Q: Tell us about Jason King. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Jason King: I like to spend time with family and friends. I have a very supportive wife, and four wonderful children. They are a constant source of entertainment. When I’m not writing I like to watch movies, play table-top role-playing games, and take naps.

About Jason King

Jason King wishes he was raised on a desert planet by his aunt and uncle and watched over by a mysterious old recluse, but his life is much duller than that. He supposes that’s why he started making up stories. Born in Salt Lake City Utah, Jason grew up on a steady diet of anime, science fiction, Dungeons and Dragons, JRPG’s, and chocolate cake donuts. He pretended not to be a nerd just long enough to get married and start a family. And although dismayed by the revelation that Jason was a geek, his wife stuck with him and they are now the proud parents of four beautiful children. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in I.T. Management and is currently the Internet Marketing Manager for a local bookstore chain, but he is determined to one day quit his “9 to 5” and write full-time. Jason is also the author of The Lure of Fools from Curiosity Quills Press.

History repeats itself like a song. The verses may vary, but the melody is always the same. The eastern empire of Aukasia has a new leader, a man who means to bring war to all the land. Yet, even in all his bloody ambition, he does not realize that he is but the puppet of a greater evil. Only the Kalyra - The Children of the Crystal Star - can stand against what's coming. Only they can protect the world of Valcoria from the mad hatred of the fallen god, Aedar. A new verse of the song has begun. The last verse…



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