HEIDI'S PICK SIX: JASON JACK MILLER (The Devil and Preston Black)

As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft and Armchair BEA 2011, this week kicks off my MGOC author interview series for the next month and a half! This week we'll hear from David Morrell, Jason Jack Miller, Tess Gerritsen, Susan Mallery, and Randall Silvis.

So, without further introduction, ladies and gentlemen, Jason Jack Miller:

Jason Jack Miller

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
Costa Rica was fer-de-lances, kinkajous and volcanoes. Mexico was pyramids and beaches. Zion was cool nights and red rock claustrophobia. Florida is cypress knees and egrets and a mouse. Czech Republic was Kafka and cabs and a rekindling. Outer Banks is family and hush puppies and sea grass. Germany was train stations and beer and holding hands. Canada was border guards. Vegas was Mesa Grill and bling. Austria was pizza and fog and church bells. Kentucky is barbecue and bourbon. West Virginia is wild and wonderful, snuggled in a tent with a handful of blueberries beneath a sky filled with stars and thousands of their seldom-seen cousins.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee for when the writing is going so well I can't stop to eat. Milk for the Captain Crunch and Nutter Butters. Tea for the rest of the time. Darjeeling or English Breakfast in the morning, green the rest of the day.

4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
I probably would've stopped writing a long time ago if it wasn't for my wife, Heidi. She believes in me when I'm down on myself and helps me to keep going when I think I'm ready to throw in the towel.

9. Food you could eat everyday.
New York Pizza and Pasta, round pie with pepperoni and peppers, Los Mariachis' chili verde, Jameson whiskey, Black Bear Burritos Pizzadilla, Martin's Red Hots, Woodford Reserve bourbon, Fabrizi's homemade spaghetti, Sirianni's pizza, Saffiticker's soft serve, Eat'n Park wedding soup. You didn't say I had to pick just one. Oh, and Colasessano's pepperoni buns. And pekoras from Mother India.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Johnny Cash, Wilco, The Clash, The Beatles, Zeppelin, The Roots, Jack Johnson, Radiohead. I like music that takes me somewhere or tells a story. I like it when an artist leaves a little blood on the stage.

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
John Lennon, Jack Kerouac, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Joe Strummer, Neil Gaiman, Ed Abbey, Sherman Alexie. And Sara Gruen. Water for Elephants is a darn-near perfect novel.

15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Jason Jack Miller is a writer, photographer and musician whose work has appeared online and in print in newspapers, magazines and literary journals, and as a smart phone travel app. He has co-authored a travel guide with his wife and served as a photographer-in-residence at a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Jason is an Authors Guild member who received a Master’s in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill where he is adjunct creative writing faculty. He is a contributor to the new writing guide Many Genres, One Craft. In between projects Jason can be found mountain biking in West Virginia or looking for his next favorite guitar. He is currently writing and recording the soundtracks to his Appalachian Gothic series, which includes the novels, The Devil and Preston Black, Under the Rainbow, and Hellbender. Find him at http://jasonjackmiller.blogspot.com.


  1. Thanks for stopping by, Jason, and sharing your love of writing AND music with us!

    :) Heidi

  2. Well, thanks for the opportunity. It was a lot of fun. I was always a little jealous of the writers you asked, and am happy to have finally joined the ranks.


  3. I'm excited for the upcoming author interviews. It's a great opportunity to get to know writers your admire or enjoy.

    Jason's description of his extensive traveling experience was great. I want to know more about them and wonder if any of it makes its way into his novels in some form or another.

  4. Hey Laura, thanks for commenting.

    Travel and place are major components of my writing. I think there is a type of magic that seeps out of particular spots on the map and believe I can tap into that magic by giving a place its due in my story.

    When I first tried my had at writing I suffered from a huge inferiority complex because I wasn't an English or lit major in college. I rationalized it by telling myself that guys like Hemingway and Kerouac and Steinbeck lived first and wrote second. That their stories were easy to write because of their rich lives. I made this my philosophy and lived it as much as I could.

    I'd been a whitewater raft guide in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and made those rivers and these mountains key elements in my thesis novel, HELLBENDER. Around the time I got married I thought I'd end up in Mexico as an archaeologist, and Yucatan became the setting of my first novel UNDER THE RAINBOW. Even Prague, which I was only in for a few days, infiltrated THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK in a big way.

    Place is character, as far as I'm concerned. Books that I love--SHADOW OF THE WIND, DHARMA BUMS, AMERICAN GODS--are all about place, or a place, and how it impacts character.

    Before I revamped my blog, travel and place had been the focus. If you are interested in how I utilize place and setting in my novel, I have a 100 page sample available at http://jasonjackmiller.blogspot.com/p/first-100-pages.html

    Thank you for stopping by.



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