Interview with Michael Jasper

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Short answer: I'm kind of a control freak.

Long answer: I had three novels and a story collection published by two different small presses, and while I was happy with the results from those four books, the grind of submitting and waiting waiting waiting (did I mention that I'm impatient?) and never hearing back from 75% of the people I'd sent my work, I got fed up.

I did some research and saw that the learning curve wasn't terrible for creating ebook versions of my other novels, so I created UnWrecked Press (number of employees: 1) and started ebooking. I love the control I have over my covers, descriptions, and layouts. And if I come across some new ebook tricks, it's a snap (well, more or less) to update all of my novels and story collections with new stuff, or if I need to make some edits.

Luckily I retained the ebook rights to three of those four books, so I could publish the electronic versions here at Smashwords.

Watch this space for MORE new ebooks from me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Short answer: My sanity.

Long answer: The greatest joy of writing is creating something out of nothing, and watching it grow each day as I add to it. I've been doing this since 1995, and I've tried to quit, really. But I can't.

And when I don't write, or when I'm not working on some sort of creative endeavor -- whether it's a novel, a screenplay, a comic script, or even tweaks to my website -- I go a little nuts. I get antsy. I feel like I'm not pursuing my dream, and that I'm just taking up space and wasting time.

Trust me, it's not pretty.

So the world is much better off if I write.
Published 2013-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Finders, Inc.
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Pre-release—available December 9, 2014. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,960. Language: English. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Henry “Hanky J” Johnson and Bim Mayer have spent the past two decades successfully solving mysteries and—almost miraculously, in many instances—finding missing people in the remote mountain town of Boone, North Carolina. Until now. The first book in an all new mystery series (with hints of the paranormal)!
Unassisted Living
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 20,180. Language: English. Published: December 29, 2013. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Retirement: it’s not just for the elderly. Thirty-six-year-old JB lives to inspire the old folks at Whispering Pines Rest Home. He listens to their stories, encourages them to get some fresh air, and makes sure they aren’t just sitting around waiting for the end to come. But he’s not a doctor, not a therapist. He’s a resident of Whispering Pines, too.
Contagious Magic
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Series: Contagious Magic. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 241,440. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Magic: more contagious than the common cold... Kelley and Jeroan get infected by magic one cold and snowy morning, and soon find themselves fighting for their lives, using their new-found magic skills. Contagious Magic collects A Sudden Outbreak of Magic, A Wild Epidemic of Magic, and A Lasting Cure for Magic.
A Lasting Cure for Magic
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Series: Contagious Magic, Book 3. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 83,720. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Picking up two minutes after the shocking and unnerving ending to A Wild Epidemic of Magic, this book finds Kelley and Jeroan stranded in Dubuque, Iowa, just after their parents—and all the Sorcerers they met in the past two months—were whisked away by the vengeful Druid. Kelley and Jeroan now must work together, for the first time in their lives. The conclusion to the Contagious Magic trilogy.
A Wild Epidemic of Magic
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Series: Contagious Magic, Book 2. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 83,620. Language: English. Published: July 11, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Picking up two months after the explosive ending to A Sudden Outbreak of Magic, Jeroan is now at Dr. Azure’s magical training center while Kelley is stuck in Dubuque. When people they care about start disappearing, and people they didn’t think they should care about—like Dr. Azure—get attacked by rogue Blood Sorcerers, Jeroan and Kelley must act before this growing epidemic of magic turns deadly.
Finder
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Price: Free! Words: 6,390. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Bim and Hanky J find people. Hanky J is the procedure guy, with some mad computer skills to go along with his burning desire to make sure nobody remains missing long. Bim gets to find people for Hanky J, with his strange skill that neither of them like to discuss -- if he eats enough of the missing person's favorite food, Bim can make a connection. But the cost might be too great for this case...
The Disillusionist
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,200. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
"I was a day behind him, riding west as fast as my horse would allow. He held my future in his rotting, trembling hands, though neither of us knew it then." In the summer of 1834, a newly deputized journeyman finds himself hot on the heels of the monstrous man known only as the Disillusionist. Can an honest man defeat such a being? A dark fantasy tale from the distant past.
Family, New and Old
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Series: Family Pack. Price: Free! Words: 9,080. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
"Some family curses are worth passing on..." Tommy Roling has an awful secret he can't share with anyone but his mother, and now that he's a father, he's worried his daughter may have inherited his particular condition. A condition that leads him to run wild in the fields outside his small-town Iowa home, with every full moon. He both hopes and fears his infant daughter will share his genes.
The Champ Escapes
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Series: The All Nations Team. Price: Free! Words: 12,000. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
As if newly promoted coach George Grunion's job wasn't hard enough... He has a team of men (and one woman) from around the world, from all nationalities, and they're barely scraping by in the early years of the first world war. And then, the team faces off against Jack Johnson, the heavyweight champ of the world, in a winner-takes-all baseball game. Part of The All Nations Team (also an ebook).
The Rise & Fall of Basskick
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Series: The Prodigal Sons. Price: Free! Words: 4,630. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2011. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
"The year I turned forty was the year it hit me at last that I wasn't going to make it as a rock star." Getting old is a nasty realization to have to make. But when our hero small-town buddies got together to form a hard-rock band a decade and a half ago, they had something. A kind of magic. Can they grab that magic again, years later? A follow-on to the novel The Prodigal Sons (also an ebook).
Remainders
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,630. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
As a man with a past he'd rather forget, Jaret Lazarus cares little for history. But at the present, he's must lead his ten-creature crew of alien conscripts onto a dying planet to clear the place of any "remainders" still living there. But Jaret finds that he can't run from his past in this hard-edged, prize-winning science fiction story.
The Last Sorcerer
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Series: Contagious Magic. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 17,670. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
An old man sleeping in a cardboard box in snowy Chicago holds the secret of sorcery in his head. But thanks to the damage done to him by using magic decades ago, he doesn't realize it. But when two teens try to jump him in an alley, the magic Words come back to him. And soon Chicago has a sudden outbreak of magic on its hands... An earlier version of A Sudden Outbreak of Magic (also an ebook)
An Outrider's Tale
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,420. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
A mysterious hulk of a man, a tragic romance, and a violent life among a band of criminals and outcasts. This is the tale of a distant land and a curse that shattered two lives, and one man's hope for their reunion and redemption.
The City of All-Worlds
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,270. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2011. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Bartolamus the Sorcerer is dying, and his apprentice approaches his bedside with a silver whistle in his right hand and a tarnished bell in his left. The wizard shares his history and his plans for one last quest, and the worldview of his young apprentice shifts violently as a result. Learn more about the weird City of All-Worlds and the portal at its center in this fantasy novelette.
Gunning for the Buddha (story)
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,500. Language: English. Published: June 23, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
You know what they say - if you meet Buddha on the road, kill him. A group of misfits pile into their souped-up '75 Firebird and travel the world in search of false Buddhas. This band of anti-establishment punks have also stumbled across the secrets of time travel (hint: it involves bridges). Strap on your seat belt for a violent ride through time and space, in search of Buddhas on the road...
Goddamn Redneck Surfer Zombies
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,380. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
"People stopped coming to the North Carolina coast when the dead returned to the beach after four decades away." A story about a small beach town that's slowly dying, only to have a wave of zombies drop in on them. On surfboards. A tale of life, death, and life after death, but most of all, a story about living.
Mud and Salt
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Series: The Wannoshay Cycle. Price: Free! Words: 6,020. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
In the near future, three armed men enter a snowy woods in search of a runaway alien. Only two men will walk away from the trees in this story of violence and first contact. "Mud and Salt" was first published in Writers of the Future 16 in September 2000, and it was reprinted in The Wannoshay Cycle (also an ebook).
Crossing the Camp
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Series: The Wannoshay Cycle. Price: Free! Words: 6,390. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Two priests, one young and one old, stand at the gates to the detainment camp where the alien Wannoshay have been rounded up and contained. On this day, they will learn valuable lessons not only from each other, but from the aliens themselves. "Crossing the Camp" was first published at Strange Horizons and was reprinted in the SF novel "The Wannoshay Cycle" (also an ebook).
Wantaviewer
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Series: The Wannoshay Cycle. Price: Free! Words: 9,840. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
A young girl with a nasty drug habit finds inspiration with the newly arrived aliens in her small Canadian town. She starts recording them, and witnesses their integration into human society firsthand. And then a tragedy strikes that reverses all of her hopes and dreams about the future. Part of The Wannoshay Cycle (also an ebook).
Explosions
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Series: The Wannoshay Cycle. Price: Free! Words: 6,850. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
"Of course everyone blames the aliens. But they were working right up until ten minutes before the blast, that’s what really bothers me, and that’s what makes me think it was all just bad timing." A near-future SF story about a mother, her daughter, and how they react to the integration of aliens into their neighborhood, school, and job. Part of The Wannoshay Cycle (also an ebook).
Redemption, Drawing Near
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Series: The Wannoshay Cycle. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 13,790. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
"There were armed soldiers in Father Joshua’s church again." An aging priest in the near future becomes one of the first humans allowed to interact with the alien Wannoshay -- creatures whose ships have crash-landed on the Great Plains of America and Canada. Father Joshua finds his faith tested as well as his own beliefs about humanity. Part of The Wannoshay Cycle (also an ebook).
Drinker
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Series: The Wannoshay Cycle. Price: Free! Words: 7,980. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2011. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
There are Elders, and then there are Drinkers. Our narrator, alas, is a Drinker, and his life on the planet called Wannoshay is one of hardship and unimaginable labors: he must travels many miles to gather water and carry it back to his people, in his belly. A prequel story to the novel The Wannoshay Cycle (also an ebook).
A Miracle in Shreveport
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Series: The All Nations Team. Price: Free! Words: 8,310. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
"We were lucky to make it out of Shreveport alive on that early spring day in 1917." A story of the first truly integrated baseball team, decades before Jackie Robinson, set during the early years of World War I. Magic, miracles, and more... Part of the historical baseball novel, The All Nations Team (also an ebook).
Coal Ash and Sparrows
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Series: Contagious Magic. Price: Free! Words: 10,170. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
A story of a book, trains, boats, barns, heroes, and loss, along with impossible things like talking sparrows... and magic! The story takes place in the same setting as the Contagious Magic series, which starts with A Sudden Outbreak of Magic (all three books are also available as ebooks). "Coal Ash and Sparrows" also gives you a taste of the weird, tragic history of magic in those books.
Formatting Comics for the Kindle and Nook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Images and Ebooks
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 6,940. Language: English. Published: March 23, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Digital publishing
Formatting comics and image-heavy eBooks can be a confusing and sometimes frustrating task. Every e-reader on the market has a different screen size, meaning that as a creator/publisher, you have to format your comic multiple times. This how-to guide covers how to assemble your comic pages or other images for Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook. Now updated for the new Nook Touch Reader!
Fences
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,700. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2011. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
One cold morning in the middle of nowhere, a young man struggles to finish the fence he's building for his disapproving father. Nobody asked his neighbor, but wheezy old Ray joins him anyway. "Jasper’s writing is full of vivid descriptions of the struggle of digging fenceposts, the chain-smoking neighbor with emphysema, and Canton’s own internal struggles." — Greensboro News & Record
Natural Order
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,450. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
An unlikely crew of humans and their dog traverse the countryside, maintaining the balance of the world for the mysterious bosses. But sometimes, the results of what men do to one another outweigh any damage nature could possibly do. A story of the elements and difficult choices, from the author of Family, Pack and Gunning for the Buddha. First published in Asimov's SF Magazine.
The Chicken Project
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Series: The Prodigal Sons. Price: Free! Words: 3,900. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
William Koopman could never get off the family farm, while John Koopman had no other place to go. As adults, the two brothers find themselves living together again, to their dismay. John must not only straighten up his life, but provide for the one hundred and eighty baby chickens his father just bought home for John to raise on their farm. Related to the novel The Prodigal Sons (also an ebook).
The Inverted Bearded Boy of Chicago
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Series: Contagious Magic. Price: Free! Words: 6,880. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2010. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
A story about magic, the true cause of the Chicago fire, and a bunch of adventurers gathered together to tell their tales, while a shadowy stranger lurks outside. The story is part of a Chain Story called The Wanderers’ Club. Each story in this anthology is connected, though you can read the stories in any order. This story is also part of the Contagious Magic novel series (available as ebooks).
The Prodigal Sons
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Series: The Prodigal Sons. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 75,490. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
At 30, William Koopman knows he needs to move out of the family farm house, where he still lives with his parents and grandmother. But his wife escapes first. A week after she leaves him, William's shiftless younger brother returns home. As rain pelts the family farm all season, William must go after Marcy, keep from killing his brother, and save the farm - and maybe himself - in the process.
The Wannoshay Cycle
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Series: The Wannoshay Cycle. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 108,970. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2010. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
In a near future filled with violence from terrorists and suicide cultists, the Wannoshay aliens crash-land on the Great Plains of America and Canada. A handful of humans who made early contact with the Wannoshay converge on the aliens' mother ship to stand up for the oppressed aliens' rights. Once there, however, they soon learn that the aliens, just like humans, are not without guilt, either.
Gunning for the Buddha
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Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 85,830. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2010. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Gunning for the Buddha collects fifteen stories that range from near-future science fiction to historical dark fantasy and contemporary horror, touching on a range of genres in the process. All but two of the stories were previously published in magazines such as Asimov's, Strange Horizons, and Writers of the Future. Take a look at the stories that Publishers Weekly called "evocative and vivid."