Interview with Jack Petersen

The Birthday Club is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a thriller, suspense, and mystery as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
In my view, fiction is rarely of one genre or another but contain elements of many. I think it is the balance that counts. If a bit of suspense is needed at one point to drive home the plot of the mystery then why not? In fact, I'm not convinced that genres such as mystery and suspense can be separated. Does one not contain some of the other? As for how it happens, in my case it is my intent to write fiction from multiple points of view, to present as rounded a picture of the "operating" environment as possible, and to-most of all-keep it interesting. I'm not sure that I ever, while writing, classify what I am doing as being mysterious or suspenseful, or even thrilling. Even though it is my desire that my writing provides all three experiences to the reader.
The characters in "The Birthday Club", I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?
That is a difficult question to answer. Getting at it in reverse fashion the characters who offered a more concise, non-emotional point of view were the most difficult simply because a lot of thought had to go into keeping the story line rational yet "humanly" interesting. I had a lot of fun with Sylvester Martin because rationality wasn't among the most important of his characteristics, but I think the "favorite" title must be split between Chris and Angelina. They represent opposite poles in a sense: One closed and taciturn the other open and vulnerable.
There are a lot of great twists in "The Birthday Club" that I rarely saw coming. Did you plan your novel or did the twists come as you were writing?
I've tried writing to an outline on several occasions. The only successful attempt was writing my Master's thesis in Geology; where not following an outline would have been a disaster. While writing fiction I once made it through a chapter and a half on my outline before I trashed the thing. Other attempts have not been nearly so successful. Yes writing without formal pre-planning (we all think of ideas at night that are incorporated in the next day's effort) can lead to a quagmire--been there and sunk up to my nose--but it generally works for me. Even if it means I have to go back and totally revise three-quarters of a manuscript to incorporate a new idea.
Published 2018-01-07.
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Books by This Author

Philippe
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,020. Language: English. Published: March 6, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Philippe is the second volume of the Guy Sinclair Detective Series. Guy has his hands full with a new player on the Silver Springs crime scene, but this time the cases he tries to resolve will come a lot closer to hitting home. It soon becomes clear that Guy is playing catch-up in his department’s efforts to solve the lengthening string of murders.
The Birthday Club
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 92,290. Language: English. Published: February 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
When you’re in high school nothing ever seems important about the far distant future. Like five years down the road. Who cares? Like that fender bender you witnessed with your friends. Come to think on it, that little incident on Fuller Street might be just the thing to make your grade in the Criminal Investigation Seminar this semester. Too bad those negative consequences aren't as obvious.
Tales from the Cattle Ranch Bar
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 152,930. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Tales from the Cattle Ranch Bar is an anthology of three novellas from the not so old West. If you’ve ever wondered about what a prospector does out there with his burro—What? No, not that! Get your mind up out of the gutter! Or how money can be made from a non-existent mine. Or, even contemplated how a shepherd boy from the Turkish outback could strike it rich.
Dreams
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,710. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Tzetzlan's been around for centuries, but only recently has found a reason to wake and feed. Not so much on blood, though a little fluid is necessary for life after all, but the real sustenance comes packaged in that highly energetic psychic release that the locals call fear.
From an Alien Perspective
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 34,290. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
One Novella and two short stories. Iadog is the agent of change on Dejan, where society is stuck in a loop, Hetzie finds herself fending off an alien invasion, and Fil has second thoughts about his farmhand.