Interview with Jason Z. Christie

Hello Everyone!

We are delighted to have author Jason Z. Christie amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about his new book Pageburner!
Please read on …

Paige Burner is the hottest L.A. murder detective imaginable, but she’s so alone. Her only friends are her weed and her Hello Kitty vibrator. Along comes Jean Simons, who wants to create a virus to destroy the authoritarian element of society…and kill Charles Manson.

So Jason, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question

1.Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.

Hello, readers. I’m Jason Z. Christie. This is the year I’m determined to quit working construction and write full time. Look out, publishing world….

2.What brought you to writing?

I spent tens years or so on Usenet, flaming and trolling. Performance art, basically. It requires a quick wit and inventive writing, so I sort of matured as a writer there, being immature. But a few years ago I switched from short stories to an attempt at a novel, and never looked back. I’ve finally after three years or so written a few more shorts, too.

3.How long have you been writing?

I’ve always written, since the third grade or so, sporadically. But a lot of it was personal stuff. Flash fiction. I would usually write a story after some tryst with a girl. Things like that were usually only read by one person other than myself.

4.Which was your first literary project?Tell us something about it.

I wrote Pageburner in jail in Chipley, Florida. I was spun out of my head. I spent three weeks in solitary, and when I got in general population, I started two short stories. I read them to the inmates, and they seemed amused. eventually I merged the two storylines and went longform. It’s about a hot, petite redheaded murder detective in California who solves oddball crimes, and a yankee genetic researcher in Alabama who wants to create a virus to destroy the authoritarian element of society. It’s fairly epic, at five hundred and fifty pages. I wrote the first four hundred in thirty days.

5.Is this your new/latest project?

I’ve written five more since then. I wrote Hurricane Regina next, but I didn’t have the ending. Then I wrote Radar Love, the first specifically, entirely for my girlfriend. It’s really about she and I. Then I cranked out the sequel, Penultimate Hustle, which is being typed up now, along with Perfect Me, which is funny sci-fi. While I was writing those two, I wrote the end of Hurricane Regina. My latest is called Zombie Killa, a novella using real nerd rappers as the characters.

6. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published? Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?

I’m strictly an ebook author, for now. I do plan on going to print editions once I feel I’ve caught every last typo and word choice issue. We looked at print publishing, my girlfriend and I, but weren’t very enthusiastic about the prospects. We knew the books were great, and we didn’t want to bother with rejections and having each volume held up by a publisher for three to six months at a time.

7.Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it.
( Please look at the bottom of the interview for book excerpts )

8.What are your hobbies?Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.

My fiancee! ; ) I still work a lot, so mostly I read to her at night, and write for her during the day when I can get away with it. We do enjoy the occasional concert or baseball game, but we’re really just into each other a whole lot. We tend to shut out the outside world and just luxuriate in the comfort of each other.

9.Who is your favourite author?

I’d have to say Stephen King, but Tom Robbins runs a close second. Ooh, and Douglas Adams. Robert Heinlein. Don’t make me pick just one.

10.What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?

I like books that are hard to categorize. Intellectual, but not snooty. I do like sci-fi, but I don’t read much of it, anymore. I just like good stories and great writing. I don’t get to read as much as I probably should.
I like to write the same sort of things. Thus far, I haven’t been pigeonholed into any sort of genre category. There is a romantic element to the things I write, but they’re all far from traditional romance novels. I just try to entertain my girlfriend, honestly. I plan to write something in every genre, eventually.

11.Do you have a role model that you get inspiration from?

Again, I have to give it up for King and Robbins, who are polar opposites when it comes to writing. I love King’s grinding, methodical approach. He writes damn well, at the same time. And then Tom Robbins is a master wordsmith, writing pages like he was baking a pie. King taught me to write ten pages a day, every day. Robbins taught me to consider each word and sentence on it’s own. So far, King’s method is winning out, in my case.

12.Where do get your ideas from?Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?

I’m really not sure where I get my ideas. My girlfriend and I do stuff and then write about it in an encoded way, or we write about stuff and then it happens. It’s so magic, at times, it would probably be scary to other people. I do like to incorporate little bits of stories I hear from other people, and use people that I know as the basis for characters.

13. Do you have a pseudonym?

Not as a writer. I had over five hundred nyms on Usenet, using one for only a day, at times. Robiespierre Cardin, Mekong Delta Burke, Uptown Sinclair. Things like that. In the rap world, I’m High-C the nerd rapper. In the metal world, I’m Jason Gortician. Some people in Silicon Valley know me as Sandwich Boy, believe it or not.

14.Whats your experience been like in the publishing industry?Postive or negative?Please share your experience with our readers.

I’m happy to say I sidestepped the entire process and went straight to ebooks. It looks lucrative, and it’s also very liberating. I haven’t been rejected by Amazon yet. I think we did one submission to a publisher, and got a polite rejection. It was nice and well-written.

15.Where do you see yourself 10years from now?

Filthy rich and retired, writing full-time and traveling. Perhaps in California or Hawaii.

16. What motivates you to write?

Love, honestly. I’m really in love with my wife/fiancee/girlfriend/best friend. Everything I’ve ever written has been for her, ultimately. She’s in all of my books, and is a part of them in other ways, as well. I don’t think I’d have written beyond the first four-fifths of Pageburner without her support and encouragement.

17. How important is good cover art for your books?

I do. I think it is important. I know a bit about graphic design, so I do my own covers using “found” images from the web. I agonize over them, and then finally crank them out in fifteen minutes once I decide to use an image. I’m better at making thumbnails than things that look like book covers, though, so I may farm this out in the future.

18. Do you have a price strategy for your books?

Right now, I’m not making much, because I want to get my name and my works out there. All of them are $.99 on most sites. I’ll probably go back to $2.99 for the full-length ones in February. Perfect Me has always been $.99 and Zombie Killa is free on several sites. It’s also my most downloaded book, strangely enough.

19. How does it make you feel when you read a bestselling book that you don’t feel is as good as yours?

I don’t let it discourage me. If the only person who’s read my stuff is the woman I’m marrying, I could be happy with that. As it stands, however, I seem to be making people laugh and think and forget their lives for a time. I’m happy for the authors of best sellers. But I would like to see my works displayed next to theirs…

20.Why do you think readers should buy your book?What can you offer them through your book?

I think they should buy my books because they are quite enjoyable to read. I like to incorporate new ideas and fresh thinking into them when I can. You may gain a new perspective on life. That would be cool. If nothing else, I can offer hours and hours of reading pleasure. Happy endings guaranteed.

21.Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?

Barnes and Nobles, Smashwords, iTunes, Lulu and Amazon.
Pageburner is an Amazon exclusive, currently.

22.Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.

You can usually catch me on Facebook, lately.

23. What advice would you give to other writers?

Write. Write a lot, and often. Then edit and revise until you’re sick of reading your own stuff. Then edit and revise it again. Then put it out there. It can take years to develop a following. The sooner you start, the better off you’ll be. Join the e-publishing revolution!

24.Anything else you’d like to share with our readers

I’d just to thank them for reading this, and you and your wonderful site for interviewing me. I have three more novels that I’m working on currently, and two in the editing phase. Keep an eye out for me, I’ll have several to release this year. Ultimate Hustle is a six-book series, and it’s epic. The “Gunslinger” of romance novels…

  • Thank you Jason Z. Christie for gracing us with your presence.It was a sheer pleasure.Good luck with your book.We conclude the interview here

    Thanks again from Team MusikDIV

    Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter

    Pageburner By Jason Z. Christie

    Chapter 20 – Revelation Part Two

    The following morning, the phone rang early, waking Jean.
    “Hey, superstar,” a voice said. Maxine.
    “Hey, love,” he said in return.
    “For someone in Time Magazine, you sure don’t sound too excited.”
    “Sorry, I’m still asleep.”
    “I woke you?” she checked her watch, “Damn time zones. I get excited and think everyone’s on my time.”
    Maxine was brimming with excitement. “Damn, wow! Time Magazine. My fiancé,” she said. “I’m so proud.”
    “Well, it’s not like I did it all myself, but yeah, it is pretty cool, I think. They gave me a raise at work.”
    “I can’t wait to come visit you,” Maxine said. “I look a little different.”
    She glanced down at her stomach, which was beginning to protrude, ever so slightly. “I hope you still want me.”
    “Don’t be silly, Maxxy. I love you. Did you cut your hair or something?”
    “Somethin’ like that,” she said, laughingly.
    “Well, don’t worry about a thing on my end. I only have eyes for you. Among other things.”
    “Oh, stop, Smooth Talker, Texas Ranger. You’re making me randy baby, yeah.”
    “We can’t both be Randy,” he said, “I’ll be Frank.” They both laughed uproariously at this.
    They spoke at length, and finally Maxine released him. “Well, you go on and do your mad scientist thing,” she said. “I need second breakfast.”
    “I guess I can let you go, for now” Jean said. “I love you, Maxine Jackson. Even though I don’t know your middle name.”
    “Action’s my middle name, baby.” They laughed together. “But you can use ‘Elizabeth’, if you prefer, Mr. Jean Paul Simons.”
    “Maxine Elizabeth Simons. I like it,” Jean said.
    “You’d better,” Maxine said with a smile in her voice.
    “Love it,” he continued.
    “Gotta go, I’m-,” eating for two, she almost said. “Damn hungry.”
    “Ok, Maxxy, go head on with your bad self. Love you.”
    “Love you too, love. I’m so proud. Byeee…”
    Jean hung up and showered. He’d had plenty of sleep, and decided he was taking the day off. He made a perfunctory call to human resources, and he was free at last.
    After a light meal of coffee, a banana and cottage cheese, he read and re-read Pookie’s instructions.
    He Googled for them, and found out that this set didn’t appear online. But the preparation instructions were essentially the same as on most sites pertaining to ayahuasca, so he followed them exactly.
    He’d also read a number of experiences with the drug, so he more or less knew what to expect, even though each person experienced differing reactions, in part.
    At any rate he felt he was ready. An unguided trip could be risky, he knew, but this was personal and private. Besides, he was a veteran psychonaut.
    He drove to a park outside of USC that he’d explored and staked out in advance. It wouldn’t do to be disturbed, he knew.
    Jean walked several hundred feet into a copse of trees to a small clearing he’d decided upon for the start of his journey. In his hands was a small woven blanket that he’d gotten from s Navajo reservation, and a Mason jar containing a thin brown liquid.
    He spread the fabric out and faced the sun, sitting indian style, and took a few deep breaths. Then Jean decisively downed the foul-tasting mixture in a single gulp.
    For a long while he waited, fighting the impulse to expectorate and vomit, but eventually the feeling passed, and he retained what he had ingested.
    The sun swelled and pulsated slowly above him, mimicking the rhythm of his relaxing heart. The birdsong songs began to echo and distort. For a long while, he closed his eyes and enjoyed the calming sensations.

    When next Jean opened his eyes, he was in a different world. He occupied a void, but there was not a hint of shadow extant. He sat floating in a formless sea of white light.
    He felt no physical sensations, nor did hear any natural sounds, or discern an up or down. He simply bathed in a somewhat warm glow, as though he was in a space inverse of that of the firmaments.
    Eventually, new sounds reached his ears. Whisperings, slitherings like the sound of two pieces of paper rubbing together grew louder. He began to see movement out of the corner of his eyes.
    The universe of his birth was gone. Jean had crossed over into the invisible world of the unknown. Lumbering shapes passed here and there in the distance, uninterested in his presence.
    Smaller, ribbon-shaped creatures began to circle him, weaving up and down, entertaining each other like braids as they went, in the manner of the physician’s staff of Asclepius or the structure of DNA.
    Larger, similarly shaped creatures, which took the appearance of neon-patterned moray eels, chased the swarming serpentine entities this way and that, as if to dissuade them from drawing nearer to Jean’s representation on this plain of existence.
    The smaller creatures darted exuberantly above and below the forms of the larger, describing loops and whirls, coming back to nip at their tails in a playful manner.
    During this time Jean felt nothing, but watched with detached interest. Whatever would happen here couldn’t hurt him physically. His mental state, however, needed to be steeled against what might come to pass in this ether which surrounded us all, ordinarily undetectable.

    He felt distant rumblings, and the sounds grew louder, until the din began to crowd his thoughts, making further analysis unfeasible.
    All at once there was a thunderous crash, and the sea of light surrounding Jean flashed black in synchrony with the noise, as if negative lightning was arcing nearby.
    A rushing roar filled his entire being, and Jean braced for the impact of what felt and sounded like a hurtling freight train.
    Another, larger crack of this inverse electrical current occurred, and the largest of the creatures Jean had seen so far came rushing toward him like psychedelic bullet. He braced himself for whatever was to come as best he could, but the entire experience was so unreal, it was like attempting to resist a dream.
    Jean made no actions that could be construed as dodging, and faced whatever inevitable fate was in store for him with resolve, neither anticipating nor dreading the coming impact.
    The speeding N-dimensional sea snake bared its needle-like fangs and its eyes flashed red, inches from his person. Jean tried to close his already closed eyes, and of course could not.
    It aimed for his pineal gland, in the recesses of his brain.For a moment, the collision seemed anti-climatic. He felt the form of the creature pass through his cranium as a divine wind, and heard the cavernous roar of a millennia of hurricanes.
    During this brief period, Jean was formless.

    When his avatar returned, it was to hear and feel an awful cracking as his skull and mind was cleaved in two.
    The larger snakes were gone, leaving only the vague, whale-sized figures in the indistinct distance, which never closed the gap between them.
    The smallest swirled around him, coalescing into a schooling mass that writhed individually while navigating in concert. At once, they darted in unison away from Jean, in front of him, until they occupied the blind spot that resulted from the left and right hemisphere of his skull separating.
    He considered this, and noticed that if he strained, he could see his own back and shoulders.
    What he couldn’t see were the wrasse-like creatures reversing directions and rocketing back toward him until it was too late.
    They slammed into the gap betwixt his eyes with a pain existential in nature. Humanity and supernaturality collided in a fusion that changed his very being forever.
    His mind squirmed in a most unsettling manner, but he fervently fought the impulse to dislodge these otherworldly parasites with every ounce of his resolve, lest he despoil the gift of the god Ayahuasca.
    As Jean gained control of his natural revulsion at this occupation, the two halves of his mind slowly and deliberately began to move back toward each other. As they did, the discomfiture he experienced as host began to subside.
    When he was again of one mind, sight restored, the unnatural feelings were replaced with a deep inner calm.
    He found himself now entirely alone. The void around him began to slowly cycle through sixteen point seven million colors, moving through the color wheel from white to black.
    When he found himself in an inky sea, darker than the deepest black, Jean felt his travel was nearing its end.
    Ponderously, ever so slowly, the darkness began to recede. Jean began to discern trees, birds, and flitting insects, but bathed in ultraviolet and infrared.
    At long last, Jean was able to close his physical, as opposed to his mind’s eyes, and attempt to regain his composure.
    Eyelids shut, he felt the all-seeing eye of the grand old architect of the universe upon him, and Jean knew his calling in life.
    Eventually, normalcy, insofar as it now existed for Jean, had returned, however infinitely improbable it was. He opened his eyes and blinked in the sunlight.
    He craned his neck upward to stare at the noonday sun for several moments. Yes, he thought, in response to the messages he was receiving, I understand. I’ll do it. Soon.
    Second-layer encoding was for the most part was resolved in an instant. It would take Jean a month to detail what he had learned in the time it took for a photon of light to enter his retinas. And he would have no explanation as to how he came upon these complex explanations of life’s deepest mysteries.
    The set of proteins that concerned Jean’s purpose, buried deep within the third layer, would remain a mystery to all but himself for years to come. He would never detail them in writing.
    Jean glanced down at his lap to see a yellow and dark green-striped garter snake sleeping coiled in his lap. Feeling his gaze, the tiny serpent lifted his head, looked Jean in the eyes, flicked his tongue, and went upon its way.

    Buy Pageburner by Jason Z. Christie On Amazon Kindle >>

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One Response to “Interview with Jason Z. Christie”
  1. Thanks for a great interview. The formatting on the chapter came out bad, for some reason.

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