Interview with Jon Chaisson

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a self-published writer who's been releasing books at the rate of at least one a year since 2015. It's an insane way to go about making a buck, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I currently live in the west side of San Francisco with my wife Amanda, far too many books, a few guitars, and a ridiculously large digital music collection. Oh, and a lovely view of the Golden Gate Bridge from my office window. I've been writing since I was a teenager, but it's only recently that I've made the decision to go DIY and self-publish my works, and I still think it's the best career move I've ever made.
Why self-publish?
That's a good question. I've recently blogged about it here: https://welcometobridgetown.com/2017/06/12/why-i-self-publish/

I self-publish for many reasons...the quick turnaround, the freedom it provides in my career, and especially the DIY attitude, for starters. I've always been a bit of a nonconformist in my own way, and I was drawn to the idea that I could release my novels on my own terms. I wouldn't do it half-arsed, of course; I'm well aware of the amount of work that goes into releasing novels this way, as well as how much work comes *after* the release, with the post-production (such as the cover art and the formatting) and the promotion. I choose to look at it like a punk band would have back in the 80s: do it the way you want to the best of your ability, don't worry about being the square peg in a round hole, and remember to have fun doing it at every moment. And above all, be creative about it. I still think it's the best decision I've ever made in my writing career.
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm working on a pastoral novel set in an apartment complex that features humans and aliens all living together in a semi-self-sufficient community. It was inspired by the works of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki in particular. There's no name yet, but you might see me occasionally posting about it at my writing blog.

I'm also doing the prep work for a magical girl story. Yes, you read that right... this one's my take on the alternate universe/time travel trope. And it was partly inspired by the music of ELO. Heh.
What is your writing process?
I keep my eyes and ears open for new inspiration. Sometimes it's an idea inspired by something I've watched or read. Sometimes it expands from a dream I'd had. Quite often my openings take three or four attempts to get right, but eventually it'll click, and I'll work straight till the end. I'm part-pantser, part-outliner, with just enough planning to know the direction I need to go in, but enough flexibility to figure out different ways to get there. Recently I've been using index cards for outlining, but my writing will almost always be straight to PC. [I've been using MS Word for years and have no reason to use anything else at this point.]
Who are your favorite authors?
I've got quite a few favorites from different genres and formats: Kate Elliott, Douglas Coupland, Makoto Shinkai, Ray Bradbury, Yoon Ha Lee, Haruki Murakami, and Becky Chambers, for starters. I tend to be drawn to writers that create unique worlds and take me on journeys I wouldn't have thought of. My favorite books are the ones that make me want to drop everything and run back to my PC and work on my own!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work from home at a Day Job, so when I'm not doing *that*, I'm usually listening to music. As mentioned, my music collection is ridiculously large (I've been collecting since my mom gave me The Beatles '1967-1970' (aka the blue album) as a Christmas present in 1978). I also play music too, though not as proficiently as I'd like. I own an Ibanez Roadstar II electric and a Squier bass that I bash around on quite often.

And when I'm doing none of that, I'm either reading, or asleep!
Published 2018-03-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Meet the Lidwells! A Rock n' Roll Family Memoir
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,050. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Literature » Literary
The story of four siblings and two cousins who start a band as teenagers and achieve success beyond their wildest dreams. But while they consistently top the charts with their irresistibly catchy tunes, they're also fighting their own demons: perfectionism, disenchantment, addiction, exhaustion, sexism...and figuring out how to become an adult in front of millions of fans.
The Balance of Light - A Novel of the Mendaihu Universe
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 192,560. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
The greatest spiritual war Earth has ever witnessed has begun.
The Persistence of Memories - A Novel of the Mendaihu Universe
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 161,510. Language: English. Published: April 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
A new Season of Embodiment has come, and the One of All Sacred must decide whether to avoid a potential war between the Mendaihu and the Shenaihu…or provoke one.
A Division of Souls - A Novel of the Mendaihu Universe
Price: Free! Words: 154,000. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
(4.00 from 1 review)
Caren Johnson’s younger sister has been forcibly awakened as a powerful and supernatural deity, revered by multiple worlds...and a war has just been declared in her name.