Please Welcome Stephen Jared Author of Jack and The Jungle Lion, who stopped by to answer a few questions.
BLH: When did you begin Writing?
I started writing in my late teens.
BLH: Who is you mentor ? Who do you look up too?
I wish there had been a mentor for me. Instead, I learned by doing. The people I’ve looked up to most have tended to be film writers, probably because movies captured my imagination before books. Obviously, I’m a fan of the Indiana Jones series. Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio wrote some terrific modern adventure comedies. Probably my least obvious favorite writer is Woody Allen. Woody’s dialogue doesn’t depend on performance; it’s funny on the page. His stories go off on wildly imaginative trajectories. There’s a rhythm in his writing that probably stems from the music he likes. His films are like no others.
BLH: What is your reading pleasure ?
Mostly, I read adventure fiction, old Hollywood non-fiction, and I’ve read a lot of non-fiction about Modern Art. I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by Picasso.
BLH: If you have any favorite authors , who are they and why ?
My favorite authors are classic adventure authors -- Jules Verne, Rafael Sabatini, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle. Their best works are full of enchantment and humor. The heroes seem both larger than life and real, which is possibly why they’ve lasted so long.
BLH: What part of the writing process do you love ? What part do you hate?
It’s exciting to conceptualize something new, to imagine what it could be, to get an idea and extrapolate on it. I also love refining. The tone I strive for always comes to life as I edit and edit. But the middle part of writing– bringing all the big set pieces of the plot into a cohesive whole – can get laborious.
BLH: If you could write outside your genre what would that be?
Probably science fiction. I’d love to take a swing at it but probably never will. I think there are important elements to being a good sci-fi writer. I think you have to be technically minded, and I’m not. I also think you should be somewhat of a futuristic visionary, and I’m not. I’m too preoccupied with the past.
BLH: How did you come up with your premise for your books?
Jack and the Jungle Lion is rooted in a number of stories that were hugely influential when I was young. Romancing the Stone was probably the biggest influence. At its core, the story is about someone who always lives vicariously through a fictional hero then gets to live out a hero’s adventure for real, and on that journey discovers a more true self, and is then able to truly fall in love. My next book is a crime fiction, Ten-A-Week Steale, and it’s about a guy who has returned from World War I only to find corruption and lies among those in power. One of the most contemptible politicians happens to be his brother. I tried to intermingle high ideals with human frailty, and its set in Hollywood against a backdrop of 1920s glamour and decadence. It’ll be out before the end of the year.
BLH: What is scene is easier to write? Harder?
I have no trouble with dialogue. It comes easily for me. As an actor, I have to give dialogue a lot of thought, so that may be why it’s natural for me to write it and have fun playing around with it. Action, on the other hand, can get complicated.
BLH: If you could write with anyone who would that be and why?
I suppose the ultimate dream for me would be to write with George Lucas or Steven Spielberg. I have so much admiration for them, and would love to write something I think is great then have one of them explain to me what could make it better.
BLH: What would you like to say to your readers?
I’d just like to suggest that one copy might not be enough, that perhaps purchasing several copies for safekeeping might be worthwhile. And consider that family and friends might enjoy one of my books too. Family and friends should also have several copies for safekeeping. They make lovely gifts.
BLH: Where can your fans find you ?
I’m easily accessible through my website and/or Facebook.
Paperback: 126 pages
Publisher: lulu.com (June 19, 2010)
Battling giant snakes, poison pits and hostile headhunters after a plane crash in the Amazon, movie star Jack Hunter reveals himself to be something altogether different from the macho adventurer he plays in Hollywood. Luckily for him, he's marooned with movie-industry animal trainer Maxine Daniels and her two kids. The lovely "Max" has more than enough high-spirited courage and fiery determination to get them all home. But when terrifying natives capture the feisty heroine, fate calls on the handsome actor to become the hero he always pretended to be in pictures. With such daring demands on the two-fisted matinee hero, will Jack embark on a journey to win the heart of the woman he loves-or perish in the darkest jungles of the Amazon?