Hey guys! Jason Brannon is here with me today to discusses his writing and latest novel, The Maze, which I am absolutely anxious to read! We are actually from the same small town, and I have lunch with his mom – who is also a writer and will be on my blog in a few weeks – at times! I’m super thrilled to have him on my blog as a fellow Mississippian and author!
Hi, Jason! Welcome to my blog! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a 35-year-old writer from Amory, MS. I’ve written several novels, over a hundred short stories, and several collections. My work has been translated into German and optioned for film, been nominated for some awards and even won a few. When I’m not writing, I like any kind of drink with caffeine, loud music, and spending time with my seven-year-old son who keeps me up to speed on all things concerning Xbox and Marvel Comics.
As an author, what do you find the most difficult in the whole process? Personally, mine is self-promotion.
I hate to steal your answer, but I’d say self-promotion too. I have no problem writing 3-4,000 words in a day, but ask me to tell somebody about what I’ve written and I bury my head in the sand like an ostrich. I have no problem promoting other authors and telling people about their work, but I tend to avoid the spotlight at all costs. Talking about myself is something that I’ve never been comfortable with, but it’s a necessary evil in this business. Maybe I will learn that one of these days.
The Maze is actually my fourth novel. In the past, my writing has mainly been confined to horror and dark fantasy. In that respect, The Maze is something both familiar and different. I describe the book and The Maze in general as a realm every bit as peculiar as Lewis Caroll’s Wonderland, yet engineered with the moral intent of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. This book has a moral undercurrent that runs throughout and is the first in The Lost Labyrinth Series. My earlier writing might have best been compared to Stephen King with more focus on visceral horror. The Maze and subsequent books might draw more comparison to Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti in that morals and beliefs play a big role in the story.
Ultimately, The Maze is a strange place that showcases the darkest corners of the heart. It is built from the blueprint of man’s sins and serves as a mirror that reflects and magnifies all of the evil found there. In the case of the book’s main character, Jamie Burroughs, the doorway to The Maze is opened when he makes the decision to cheat on his wife with an old girlfriend. While he stumbles around in darkness, trying to discern the nature of the labyrinth and how to escape, his family is targeted by a fallen angel named The Piper who wants nothing more than to see the Burroughs’ family torn apart. The Piper pulls the strings of a neighbor named Darrell Gene Rankin to torment the Burroughs family and threaten everything they hold dear. Each action inside The Maze has consequences in the outside world, and Jamie is faced with the task of finding his way out in order to save his family from The Piper’s treacherous hold and certain destruction.
It sounds like a truly gripping thriller! Is this your preferred genre to write in? Or do you prefer to branch out to different genres?
Somehow, no matter what genre I start in I usually end up writing something that’s a little different and strange. I’ve always preferred dark fantasy novels with a good dose of suspense, and that tends to infuse most of my work. I even tried writing a romance novel once and ended up with a story about two lovers who kidnap Father Time and force him to give them a second chance to fix all of the mistakes they made in their relationship. Something as simple as a love story turns into a different animal completely when I’m done with it. I’m still trying to decide if that’s a good thing or not.
You’ve co-written some children books with your mom. How was that different than writing a full length suspense/thriller?
Although it doesn’t always come out in the books I write on my own, I think I have a pretty decent sense of humor, and writing with my mother allows me the chance to show that side. My mother is largely responsible for my love of books since she taught me to read by the time I was two so she and I have always had a bond when it comes to writing. As I mentioned earlier I have a seven-year-old son, and the children’s books give me a chance to pass that gift on to him. The last book my mother and I wrote together was Snowman War, and the entire time I was writing it my goal was to create something that my son would think was cool. The result was a book about two armies of snowmen battling it out for supremacy only to both come under attack from a clan of Yeti that live in the hills. My son loved it! That was the measure of success for me.
What can we expect next from you?
Right now, I’m working on the sequel to The Maze which is tentatively titled The Piper’s Song. I’ve also written a trilogy about a clandestine government organization called The Halo Group. The group’s sole purpose is to infiltrate and investigate cults, sects, and other religious orders that may be involved in illegal activity. The first book in that series is called The Tears of Nero and might best be described as a cross between the television show, “Lost,” and Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians.”
Where can we connect with you and follow up on your writing?
Now, as a get to know you type question and for a little fun, what is your favorite part of living in Mississippi?
Without a doubt, the food! The world is filled with various types of cuisine, but nothing beats Southern cooking!
That is without a doubt, my favorite thing about the south as well! The yummy food! Thanks for stopping by!
Now, lovely followers, let’s give Jason a standing ovation and thank him for coming by buying his novel on Kindle here.