Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Gal's 62 Days of Horror Day 24: AMONG THE STACKS: Dev Jarrett


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Dev... these are my people.  People... this is Dev Jarrett, an author I've heard only good things about.   No, seriously... only good things.  It's an honor having you here today.  Let's start with something easy: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dev Jarrett: 
I'm a father of five, my wife and I have been married almost 23 years, and I'm a soldier in the US Army.  I spent the first 22 years of my life in Columbia, Georgia, and the past 23 years everywhere else, including Afghanistan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and various other "garden spots."


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Dev Jarrett:
I'm a southpaw, my first story acceptance was 11 years before my first publication, I'm a dog person, I've got a life-sized werewolf in my office, and I've got a bottle tree in my backyard.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Dev Jarrett:
Probably a Dr. Seuss book.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Dev Jarrett:
The Wolves of London by Mark Morris, Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow, and Natchez Burning by Greg Iles.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn't expect you to have liked?

Dev Jarrett:
Not sure about that one.  I try to read as widely as possible.  I recently finished a book of philosophical essays about Monty Python, and I'm partial to Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins, both of which are way outside my wheelhouse.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Dev Jarrett:
I always enjoyed making up stories.  The first short story I can remember writing was in fifth grade, and was a total ripoff of A Wrinkle in Time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Dev Jarrett:
Actual writing takes place in the office, at the kitchen counter, sitting up in bed after Jennie goes to sleep, or wherever I can.  The other parts of the process - the note-taking, the what-if games, and the daydreaming - those happen everywhere, all the time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Dev Jarrett:
I like loud music when I'm actually working on a story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Dev Jarrett:
Editing is fun, but difficult sometimes.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?

Dev Jarrett:
The story I'm working on right now.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Dev Jarrett:
The most obvious answers to those questions are the horror staples:  KingBarkerMcCammon, Matheson.  I'm a huge fan of Skipp and Spector (ah, the good ol' days), and I enjoy some of Chuck Wendig's stuff.  On the other hand, I think I reread Mark Twain almost as much as I reread King, and Faulkner is a classic favorite as well.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Dev Jarrett:
It's getting the whole package.  Characters with agency, descriptions that paint the scenes, and honest, logical action that makes sense.  When you can get all those together, the story will sing.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Dev Jarrett:
When I care about the characters and wonder what they're doing when they're not on the page, I love them.  With my own characters, I try not to have favorites, so that I'm not cramming them into hero or villain roles.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Dev Jarrett:
All of my characters have a little of me - probably the closest is Chris Williams in Casualties.  At least, so far.  There's that one guy... but he's not written yet.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Dev Jarrett:
A good cover will always attract the eye and the hand, and pique the curiosity.  Bad covers happen, but I read stuff with bad covers if the back cover text sounds like a good story.  As far as my own covers, I've been extremely lucky.  I've given input most times, but the artists who've created the covers for my novels are absolute rockstars.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

Dev Jarrett:
That I've got a shitload of learning I still need to do.  I learn something every time, and it's different for every story.  My goal is always to do better.  No better than some other writer - better next time than I did this time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Dev Jarrett:
Actually, the romantic scenes in Loveless were hard.  Thankfully, I had a fantastic editor (hat-tip to David Hayes) who was able to keep me from messing it up too badly.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Dev Jarrett:
I do scary stories, but I won't sacrifice story for scary.  Horror is my genre, but even in horror, there are moments of love and beauty.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Dev Jarrett:
Titles are important, but I don't see choosing them as difficult.  When a work is in progress, the title may not be visible yet, but when it's done, the title is pretty much inevitable.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Dev Jarrett:
I like them both, for different reasons.  Short stories are fun, and they can hit hard and draw blood quickly.  On the other hand, a novel allows the writer to affect the reader more deeply, applying the dread and amping up the terror until it's unendurable.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Dev Jarrett:
My first four novels are adult horror.  My agent and I are pumped about the next few stories, which are a contemporary YA series.  Can't say much about it now except... damn.  You're gonna love it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Dev Jarrett:
Most of the stuff deleted is stuff I've deleted.  I'm not a prude, but I'm not really into writing play-by-play sex scenes, unless they're really integral to the story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your "trunk"?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

Dev Jarrett:
A lot of terrible stories and terrible starts are in the trunk.  And most of them will never get finished.  At the same time, they won't get tossed out, either.  I'll keep them, if only to remind myself that I've come a long way from the 18 year old who couldn't decide if he wanted to grow up to be Stephen King or William Faulkner.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Dev Jarrett:
As I said, I'm currently working on a YA series that is basically lightning in a bottle.  My agent and I are super excited about it!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links.)

Dev Jarrett:
I'm on Twitter and Facebook, and I've got a website that I'll be updating within the next week.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks, again, for stopping by.  It was a pleasure having you!
            One more thing before you go: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Dev Jarrett:
Happy Halloween!


About the author:
Dev Jarrett is a writer, a father, a husband, and a career soldier.  He spent the first twenty-two years of his life in Georgia, and the most recent twenty-three everywhere else.  He's a Chief Warrant Officer 4 in the US Army currently stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
            During the day, he is a 352N and works tirelessly to defeat terrorists.  He's deployed numerous times to garden spots like Camp Buehring (in Kuwait), and Kandahar Air Base and Bagram Air Base (both in Afghanistan).
            During the night, the other kind of monsters come out.  Those unkillable kind of monsters that drink your fear and live in the darkest corners of your mind.  The kind that live on blood and human flesh.  The ones you can't protect your children from.
            He's had many short stories published, both online and in print, and his newest novels Dark CrescentCasualties, and Little Sister are available now from Permuted Press.  His first novel, Loveless, is available through your favorite online retailer or directly from Blood Bound Books.
            You can usually find Dev online on Facebook, Twitter, and (if you want to see the gory details) here.

About the books:
Till death do us part... sometimes.
            When a hapless explorer disturbs the watery grave of Muriel Wallace, a terrifying chain of events is put into motion.  Corey Rockland, sheriff of a sleepy Georgia town, must now unravel the mystery behind a corrupt family and a broken heart dating back to the Civil War.  Unless he can find a way to stop her, Muriel will unleash her vengeance on anyone she seems loveless.

If you could change the future, would you?
            Bud Primrose, assistant coach of a Little League team, gets smacked in the head with a line drive and wakes up in the hospital with a kind of second sight.
            If you saw a stranger's death coming, would you try to save her?
            He sees others' deaths hours before they occur.  When he uses this strange new ability to save a woman from a brutal murder, he becomes the thwarted next target.
            If you had the power, would you use it?
            Now he must do everything he can to save himself and the woman he loves from the razor-wielding maniac bent on payback.
            If you had to face a killer, could you do it?

Fresh from Afghanistan, crippled by both a crumbling marriage and growing paranoia, can a soldier save his family from the ancient evil in his own house?
            Sergeant First Class Chris Williams is back home, and he and his family are moving to Fort Huachuca, a small Army post deep in the southeastern corner of Arizona.
            From the time they move in, Chris and his wife Molly are struck by the preponderance of ghost stories surrounding their new home.  Chris wonders why nightmares still plague him - then, he realizes the reason.  He and his family are not alone in their house.  An evil older than Fort Huachuca, older than time itself, lives there.  Now, enough sacrifices have been made to its blood hunger that it can finally give birth to a powerful, deadly offspring intent on dominating our world.
            Chris, Molly, and their two children become pawns of the evil spirit inhabiting their new neighborhood.  Already casualties of life, crippled by both a crumbling marriage and growing paranoia, can Chris and Molly save their family from the evil already living under their own roof?

Seven year old Lucinda has a homemade doll that has a special kind of magic.  When someone tries to hurt Lucinda and her mother, perhaps he'll see the doll's magic, too.
            For her seventh birthday, Lucinda's grandfather sends her a homemade doll.  Her mother Sharon had a little sister once - and now Lucinda has a "little sister" of her own.
            Sharon's boyfriend Deke is not the man she thought he was - he's hateful and abusive, like something out of a nightmare.  Now he's on the run from the police and he's taken Sharon and Lucinda with him.
            Mother and daughter must find some way to escape his blood-soaked grasp before he kills them both.  They have no way out.
            All they have is Lucinda's homemade doll. 

No comments: