Dark. Creepy. Intense. Riveting. Twisted. That is author Jason McIntyre. Well, not him but his writing. Though if you watch his In The Dark video series on his blog, you might use a couple of those words to describe him, as well.
Jason is my guest today. If you’ve yet to have the pleasure of meeting, allow me to introduce you:
Jason McIntyre has lived and worked in varied places across the globe. His writing also meanders from the pastoral to the garish, from the fantastical to the morbid. Vibrant characters and vivid surroundings stay with him and coalesce into novels and stories. Before his time as an editor, writer and communications professional, he spent several years as a graphic designer and commercial artist.
McIntyre’s writing has been called darkly noir and sophisticated, styled after the likes of Chuck Palahniuk but with the pacing and mass appeal of Stephen King. The books tackle the family life subject matter of Jonathan Franzen but also eerie discoveries one might find in a Ray Bradbury story or those of Rod Serling.
Jason McIntyre’s books include the #1 Kindle Suspense, The Night Walk Men, Bestsellers On The Gathering Storm and Shed, plus the multi-layered coming-of-age literary suspense Thalo Blue.
Jason has released a new novelette called Bled. Take a look:
She only wanted to leave. But he took that option from her. Now she wants it back. Set on the same island as the reader favorite Shed, the latest literary suspense novella from bestselling author Jason McIntyre picks up the Dovetail Cove saga with this story of one lonely woman…trapped.
Tina McLeod is on the cusp of a new life. Extraordinary change is rare in her world but this newsflash means she can finally leave her small island town for good. No more pouring coffee for townsfolk in Main Street’s greasy spoon, no more living under the weight of her born-again mother. That is, until Frank Moort comes in for his usual lunch and dessert on an ordinary Friday in May.
Bled sees things turn backwards and upside down for each of them. Their encounter is prolonged and grotesque, the sort of thing splashing the covers of big city newspapers. Both are changed. And neither will come out clean on the other side.
A story about taking what’s not yours, Bled explores pushing back when you’ve been pushed too far. It paints in red the horrors from our most commonplace of surroundings: right out in the open where nothing can hide behind closed doors and shut mouths.
Ready for a glimpse inside the darkness of Jason’s mind? Let’s have a chat with him:
Bled is a prequel to your novella Shed, using the same setting but different characters. What inspired the characters and storyline for Bled?
I started writing the untitled short story which became Bled for an upcoming anthology called Nights Gone By. When I passed 10,000 words on it, I realized I had something way bigger and more involved than a short. I also realized that some of the characters from Shed had crept into the cafe where the main character works in this book. Uh oh, I thought. This means we’ve started a series!
And, sure enough, as the word count grew, I saw how things needed to be…uh…handled on the island where these two stories take place. And, I saw more stories beginning to form. Bled will not be the last book, novella or short tale to take place in the same universe as Shed.
There are more to come.
As for Teeny McLeod, her mom and the patrons of the Highliner Cafe, I’ll be honest when I say it occurred to me when I was sitting at a cafe inside a big box store near where I grew up. Since memories of where I grew up mingle freely with the world of Dovetail Cove and Shed, the two worlds became mentally entwined.
I recognized the sixty-something waitress from when I was a kid and used to visit the same cafe with my grandparents. They would get their sixty-cent coffees and I would get a slice of pie and ice cream. Here was this waitress, all these years later, still pouring the coffee. I wondered what her life would have been like if, say, one thing had gone differently a long time ago.
I began on Bled, still without a title at that point, only an image of this waitress as a young woman. What might the world have looked like for her, I wondered. And away I went.
Some of the scenes in Bled are quite disturbing. I don’t want to give away the content, so I’ll just say that you hold nothing back. Many authors would have sidestepped the graphic details. Of course, what is included, as well as what is left out, changes the reader’s experience. Why did you opt to dive straight into controversial territory by giving us vivid scenes?
This may sound trite, but I don’t have an agenda when I write. I don’t know what genre I’m in, I don’t know where it’s going or how involved I will become (though, invariably, if it’s something that is good and I get finished with it, I become extremely involved).
With Bled, I didn’t know what was going to be asked of Teeny. I didn’t know what was going to be asked of me. It unfolded as though I was reading it only a sentence or two ahead of it coming onto the page, as most of my stories do — well, the ones that end up being shared, anyway.
I don’t sidestep details, as you put it, because I simply can’t. I must tell the story as it happens or I fear…it’s not truthful. If I’m not telling the story’s truth, then I know the reader won’t believe me. And, after the story’s finished, I can’t go back and censor — for the exact same reason.
If there’s controversy, I’ll have to deal with it. There was some involving my novel last year, On The Gathering Storm. Some readers, particularly women, didn’t feel I had the right gender to tackle such a story. Others disagreed. In that case too, I just wrote what I felt.
I hear that you might be bringing the boys from Shed back in a third book in this series. (Which I’m excited about!) Will we be seeing any of the characters from Bled in later books?
What little birdie told you that? It’s very possible that we’ll be seeing Simon and Rupert in the Dovetail Cove series again. They brought a lot of triumph, melancholy and heartache to readers, winning them over with their tenacity and spirit. I can truly say that I love those boys. The pull of writing them again is very strong.
I won’t elaborate (because I loathe anything even remotely close to spoiler territory) but there will be lots of interesting revelations for readers who enjoy Shed and Bled.
Regarding characters from Bled coming back for an encore…
When you first wrote Shed, had you planned on using the island of Dovetail Cove as a setting for a continuing series?
Nope! Originally, it was a stand-alone story. I didn’t know that it would be novella-length either, thought it would be a ten page story about little boys seeing ghastly things in their bedroom at night. But it became something so much bigger and more interesting. And, dare I say, readers have taken to it very strongly over the last few months since its release in October of 2010.
Behind The Night Walk Men (a much shorter story), Shed gets the most reader comments and questions out of anything I’ve released. I started thinking about the world of Dovetail Cove after some folks demanded a sequel. I wouldn’t have gone back if I didn’t think this was a worthy story because I didn’t wish to mess with Simon and Rupert’s legacy.
Shed is all sorts of creepy in a horror sort of way, while Bled is more psychologically disturbing. Are you conscious of the genre you’re writing in at the time or do you worry about fitting things with a label after you’ve finished?
I’m never conscious of those things. In fact, it’s hard for me now to put a label on anything I write. Suspense? Horror? Psychological? Paranormal? Dramatic? Absolutely all of the above. There’s even some humorous and romantic moments in most of my stories.
I did know that there would be a paranormal (or horror) feel to Shed as I began it but I didn’t know whether or not Bled would see the same treatment. In my mind’s eye they are cousins who play together well. I don’t see them as all that different. Readers can tell me otherwise, if they see it that way.
The interesting thing about the upcoming pieces in the Dovetail Cove series is that they’ll each exist as standalone books. If you come across one, you won’t need to read the others. You’ll have a whole story.
I may collect them all at some point, but they could sit in different parts of the bookstore, if necessary — one in the horror section, the other in women’s fiction, or psychological suspense.
Do you like silence or noise when writing?
I like really good, really melodic music to get me started. Something about the rhythm gets my keyboard tapping. It’s like jumpstarting a cranky old car, I think. But soon, if things are flowing and going well, I forget to put on a new record. Or I just tune it out completely. If it’s smooth sailing, I could tune out an elephant stampede. I get embroiled. I disappear inside.
Then my belly grumbles and I have to forage. I realize I’m not a bird of flight inside the pages and that I do need some calories. It’s part of life’s trade off with the creative process, I suppose.
What is your writing environment like? Cluttered or sparse? Messy or neat?
Sparse and neat. I have to clean it up before I can sit down to work. I’ve found a way around that in the last year though. Family gets bigger, house stays the same size. And my writing time shrinks, too!
As my family has expanded and the number of children’s toys and things have increased, I often use a portable writing device…I can move from room to room with the kids and I have figured out a way to mentally tune out the mess and just focus eyeballs on the screen to get the right words nailed down there.
Sometimes I fail, too. There are a lot of variables to fiddle with, each given day of writing.
You always have a ton of projects in the works. Give us a little hint of things to come.
After Bled and all the associated launch activities, I turn my attention to a collection of short stories called Black Light of Day. It runs quite the gamut as well — from serious literary tales to horrific ones and suspenseful ones. There’s a flavor of many genres in this collection and I’ve been tweaking it for a few months. In fact, it became so large that I had to split it into two volumes. It’s companion piece, Nights Gone By, will follow in about three months.
There’s also another novella in the vein of Bled. It’s called Walkout but is a standalone story about another young woman. She is having trouble letting go of a bad relationship…but things are about to get much more serious than even that for her. It’s another harsh winter setting, similar to my novel, Thalo Blue. But it’s a much different tale.
Then it’s back to the world of The Night Walk Men. Readers who liked that story are going to love where things are headed for Sperro and Fallow and the rest.
Thanks, Darcia! As always, its so much fun to step into your online world and share with your readers. For anyone reading, I do love interacting with readers of my stories. Any comments your questions would most definitely be welcome.
Want another glimpse into Bled? Here’s the trailer Jason made. You can also find it on YouTube: http://youtu.be/CaSd5IpoNU4
You can learn all about Jason and his writing on his website: www.thefarthestreaches.com
Here’s a look at all of his books on Amazon
You can also find his books on Smashwords, in formats for all ereaders and computers.
I hope you’ll venture over to the dark side with Jason. We’d both love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and questions here.
Thanks for reading.
Tags: author interviews, Bled, book trailers, Dark Fiction, Dovetail Cove, Guest Authors, indie authors, Indie Authors on Kindle, Jason McIntyre, Kindle Books Under $3, Kindle books under $5, Series Fiction, Short Fiction