Interview with Jason McAnelly

How do you approach cover design?
The cover for my book comes from an incredibly talented team of friends. Hollyfay Compton did the watercolor and eroticbuddha(.com) did the designwork for it. After reading some of the first drafts of my story, Holly painted the picture you see on the cover. When I saw her rendition of Jasmine, I knew that I wanted it. It captures the melancholy yet fantastical world I've tried to create while avoiding the cliche fantasy art that seems to dominate the market these days.
For future covers, I will be returning to Holly and another friend of mine. I believe that crafting a book is the result of the efforts of many people, and I would prefer that the people who have the strongest hand in shaping my book are those that are closest to me.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is an impossible question!
If I had to pull five right off the top of my head though...
1) Neuromancer - William Gibson
2) Sandman (comic series) - Neil Gaiman
3) The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevsky
4) War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
5) V for Vendetta (graphic novel) - Alan Moore
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly fiction. I tend to listen to whatever suggestions my friends have and then steer my reading in that direction. After self-publishing my first book, however, I'm looking more and more into smaller, indie books. There's so much great stuff out there yet to be discovered and I want to find these hidden treasures.
When I'm doing research I read lots of historical book. And yes, I do consider research to be reading for pleasure.
When did you first start writing?
I've been making up stories in my head since my father bought me my first Star Wars action figures. I didn't start writing them down until I was probably 9 or 10-years-old.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've been building my fantasy world (Dlorwyn) for nearly 30 years. It was originally little more than a place to bring my players when we all sat down to play D&D. Eventually, it evolved into something more. I began to populate it with characters, Jasmine and Sinta among them. After putting the two (along with many of the other characters) into a set of serialized online writings, I finally decided that these were the people I wanted to explore. From there, the hard work began...
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Reaching a point in the story where my emotions begin to mimic those of my characters. When a particular character is filled with fear or sadness or overcome by betrayal, to be able to come along with them on their journey, for better or for worse, even as I am creating it.
What do your fans mean to you?
I write because I want people to hear a message. If there were no fans, I would not write. Therefore, I am writing for the fans primarily, hoping that they see the same magical world that I do. And if someone becomes as enraptured with my creation as I am, then I am justified in all the time and sacrifice put into each word.
What are you working on next?
I will be moving on to the next in the Grey Spaces series. Between now and then, I will be producing some short stories that I will publish for free. There are so many little adventures that an author generally never gets to share with their readers, but now that you can throw it all online, it's the perfect way to tell each and every tale that pops into your head as well as bringing readers along on a short field trip with their favorite characters while they wait for the next book.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee. And my cat, who seems to meow loudly every morning at precisely the same time. I think she may have been possessed by an alarm clock at some point.
Published 2014-01-26.
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Books by This Author

Walls of Stone (Grey Spaces, Book I)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 160,610. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.75)
A young rogue with strange heritage seeks to make her way within the ghetto streets of her home. During her journey, she discovers that not everything is as it seems. Within both the world of the shadows and in her own mind, Jasmine must avoid dangers, make unwanted compromises and determine what, in the end, is truly most important to her.