Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I’m Jason Stokes author of the mystery/thriller ‘Watcher’ and the upcoming ‘Ghost Story’ series releasing this month. I’m also featured in the Dark Tides: Charity Horror Anthology released this month as well.
What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
Watcher is a novel I wrote for my wife who has spent two decades battling MS. It was an opportunity to provide people with disabilities and chronic illness an MC they could relate with and root for.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
What doesn’t? I think creativity can spring from anywhere. Learning what to focus on can be the real trick.
How do you deal with creative block?
I’ve never really been creatively blocked. When something isn’t working I just go to something else until the inspiration returns. Sometimes you have to recharge, find new things to feed the spring. Do something you enjoy and I think the muse will return. Alternately, I also think if you show up, it’s easier for the inspiration to find you.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Authenticity is everything. Writing for any purpose other than to tell a great story is a bad way to begin. Wanting to make money, wanting success I don’t think is wrong but if you start with the market in mind, you take a lot of creativity and spontaneity off the table.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
All of my titles were something descriptive I used while writing to remind myself what the key point of the story was. More often than not I find that this makes a great production title as well.
For covers I use 99designs.com and FaceOut Studios who have both been amazing to work with.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I don’t read my reviews. If they’re good they will often find me and I love hearing that people have enjoyed my book but a negative review can only make me doubt myself in unproductive ways. I listen to betas, I listen to my editor and several lines of people who are employed to improve the story. Once I know it’s as good as I can make it, the reviews don’t matter anymore.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I have become more meticulous. I’ve learned what to spend time and I’ve learned how to plot out my steps in more effective ways. You also gain a sort of muscle memory for what works, making the whole process run smoother.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The best thing I encountered was readers who have connected with and appreciated a story I wrote. My wife’s reaction to having a character she believed in shine as an MC and gaining the respect of my teenage daughter (seriously not an easy accomplishment).
The worst are the moments when you can’t accomplish as much as you want as fast as you want but it’s coming.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
To me writing a story that will resonate with readers is the entire reason to write. I create with the intention of bringing something that was only a thought, an idea to life and letting others share that experience. It’s truly magical.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Creativity is most likely an extension of emotion. I don’t know for sure but I’d be willing to be they’re linked closely.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Do what you love.
What are your plans for future books?
My only plans are to continue writing and creating as much as possible. I have more ideas than I know what to do with and some really exciting cooperative projects with people who are extremely talented. Check out Gestalt-Media.com for updates or follow @JSGestalt & @Media_Gestalt
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m left-handed but only when I write. Everything else I do right-handed.