Interview with Jesse Carson

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I believe in people doing things on their own, at least as much as possible. With the internet, and some of these user-friendly self-publishing sites, why WOULDN'T you want to be indie? You get much more creative control over your own work, which sounds obvious, but that's hard to find in this day and age.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing, is being able to make absolutely anything a reality with the stroke of a pen. It's so empowering!
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of non-fiction. History, science, audio recording stuff, etc. I read plenty of fiction too though, of all genres. Lots of crime and mystery stuff, survival, etc.
Do you keep daily journals for ideas?  Have a schedule?
I try to keep a small notebook with me as much as possible, because I have absolutely no schedule when it comes to these things ha. A good story doesn’t just flash in my head, I have to scribble a whole lot of little ideas that slowly add up to the entire concept. So I write these tiny things as they pop into my head, and compile them later when I have time to sit down and focus. I’m very sporadic when it comes to creativity, which is just the way I like it.
What is your writing process?
Really, it depends on the layout of that particular story, as well as the subject matter. The process for this story was definitely a strange one. The original idea came from an instrumental song that my music buddies and I had been working on. It was originally intended to be a song about something totally goofy, but it had a certain 'feel' that demanded lyrics be based on a serial killer, or something very dark. So as I was struggling to come up with lyrics, I thought to write a short first-person experience of a killer on the hunt, just to get into the mind of somebody like that. With that, sparked the idea to make a very personal account of a deranged killer who genuinely kills out of pure love for his victims. It just seemed so strange that I had to do something with that idea.
Can you explain your thinking when you came up with the structure of the story?
I wanted to use the first chapter to highlight the true essence of his personality. He has a very corny way of thinking, which makes him sound harmless. You can hear the sheer childishness in the way he speaks. I kept these things in mind throughout chapter one, just to show the basic nature of his being, before revealing that he is also a cannibal. After giving away that detail at the end of chapter one, I then wanted to combine that playfully childish personality with gruesome brutality, against someone that he genuinely loves. I used chapter two to make the reader terrified of Thomas, antagonizing him basically. Then in chapter 3, I took it as a challenge to myself, as well as a challenge to the readers, to completely forget about his "naughty side" once we step into his childhood. Suddenly, you are sympathizing with this monster, and over the course of the next few chapters, you begin to understand EXACTLY why he becomes such a deranged killer. By the time the end-game comes around, I want the reader to actually be cheering for Thomas, rooting him on as he does what he does.
Was Thomas Trout based on any real-life or personal story/experience?
Not personally, no. But to me, Thomas is the living, breathing result of many real-life traumas that children have to experience. And I’m speaking of things that they should never HAVE to experience: Verbal and physical abuse, captivity, sexual abuse, and more. When children have to endure these types of pains, how can we expect them to grow up and just “know” what good morals are? We failed to help them as children, and now we have the audacity to act appalled when they grow up and commit the same crime unto others. I’m not saying it’s ok to do these terrible things, nor am I trying to justify anything Thomas has done. I’m just trying to say that “everything starts from a seed,” and that we need to truly empathize with that person to actually find the root cause. If we can do that, we will have a different, more enlightened perspective on the matter. Just remember that these people weren’t born as monsters.
How do you identify with Thomas?
Personality-wise, I am a completely different person than Thomas. The darkest parts of him, fortunately, do not exist inside of me. But the huge exception to that, is feeling misunderstood. I don’t think I’ve been misunderstood anymore than the next person, but I’ve always felt that way, at least when it comes to something I create. I always feel like: “If only you knew the context, and the reason I am doing what I do, you would see it all much differently.” I feel this way with the book itself, and Thomas feels that way within the book, as nobody really knows anything about his captive childhood, and how it shaped him into who he is today. How can they fully understand the final result if they don't understand where it came from, and why it came to be?
Do you become closer to yourself when writing for your characters?
Oftenly. I think that’s the main reason I find writing/recording to be so therapeutic. After creating certain situations for these characters, and helping them solve the problem, I find myself using a piece of advice that I can also apply to my own life. It all happens by mistake, but it happens pleasingly often. Diving into a character can help me realize why I am the way that I am. It really paints a clear picture of the inner workings of my own brain, which does indeed bring me closer to myself.
Has writing this story helped you through your own personal issues and trauma? How?
Yes it has. At the end of the story, Thomas is still JUST as misunderstood, but the problem is resolved internally, as he comes to peace with who he is, and that he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. Why not just be happy? While writing, I was going through some pretty depressing times, but this story helped me realize that I need to make happiness for myself, and not rely on anyone else. Just shut up and enjoy the gift of life.
Do you care what people will say about this book?
Not particularly, no. Although I will admit, I would be pretty bummed if EVERYONE said “This is garbage!” If even a few people can understand where this is coming from, then I have done my job. I know plenty of people that will not be too thrilled about this book, but regardless, it was something I just had to do once it crossed my mind. At certain points, it’s difficult for me to even TELL the story. But in the end, I hope it will make people want to treat their loved ones extra nice, perhaps dedicate more time to their children to make sure they succeed in life, and thus find happiness (or at least buy your kids an ice cream or something). We all deserve to be happy.
Published 2014-12-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Appetite of Thomas Trout
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 32,990. Language: American English. Published: November 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Thomas Trout is a cheerful young loner with a burning passion for exotic cuisine. He appears to be a simple man, but there is something boiling below the surface. After feasting on another homemade masterpiece, Thomas sits down by the fireplace to read the newspaper, which will set in motion a thrilling chain of events that will permanently alter the course of his life.