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Nerding Out with Jason Parent

Today on Nerding Out, I chat with author Jason Parent on a variety of topics including bad-ass women in fiction, and time-travel. Check out his latest novel, Seeing Evil. Synopsis and purchase links are listed at the end of the interview.

Duane: I’m an easily distracted reader, but your story “Easy Pickings” managed to snare me in without a single pause in reading. The story is a great Halloween read. What really grabbed me was how you were able to build tension in one particular scene, to the point it was almost popping off the page, but our dimwitted and cruel protagonist couldn’t be more oblivious to his pending doom. I enjoyed that aspect of the story. How do you create that kind of heightened tension, especially when presented through the eyes of a less-than savory character?

Jason: Work. Creating tension, maintaining tension, amplifying tension, all at the right times — that’s key to being a horror and thriller writer and one of the toughest parts of the job. It’s great to know that at least for some readers, I got it right (in one story, anyway). How to create it with an unlikable character like Trevor in “Easy Pickings”? You just need to hint, then hint some more, then a little more that there’s something worse out there than Trevor, something that wants to do more vile things than Trevor could ever imagine and has the power to do it. And though you can’t see it, it’s right behind you, hot breath tickling the hairs on your neck. Was that a raindrop you just felt? Or drool? Trevor may not mean much to you, but what this thing can do to him… well, who’s to say you’re not next?

Duane: Time-travel. I cannot think of a more fascinating “what if” scenario than time-travel, other than parallel dimensions, that is more creatively ripe for exploration. In this hypothetical, you have time (ha!) to prepare before you leave; including making sure your wardrobe is consistent with the date and place of your time-journey. But you must not disrupt anything, in the past or future, if at all possible. You are to be a passive observer only. If you could go back in time to one specific place and date, where and when do you choose?

Jason: I’d go to my funeral to see if I die alone or ever matter. Just kidding! Damn, that was dark and depressing. Nah, I’d just hide out at 29 Hanbury Street in the Whitechapel district of London on September 8, 1888. Um… yeah… It’s not like I’d be taking notes or anything. I just… like to know things.

Duane: Your newest novel Seeing Evil has a strong lead female protagonist. I bring this up because I’ve been a proponent of kick-ass girl characters in fiction for a long time. Not just for fairness, but because ladies tend to have more layers. More depth. This naturally leads to more creative options when crafting the personality traits and emotions of your hero. Was making your lead character a woman a conscious decision, or did the story determine that aspect?

Jason: Actually, Seeing Evil is not the first time Detective Samantha Reilly shows up. Though her role in What Hides Within, my first novel, is slight in comparison, she has been, is, and perhaps will be again my moral center. Not that she isn’t without her flaws.

Without getting into the whys for fear I can’t do so without alienating both genders, I did feel I could make a more complete character in choosing a female having some stereotypically male traits. Plus, I just like her, I want to root for her, and I hope my readers do to. Until I turn her into a psychopath. :)

Duane: You are stranded on a desert island. For some strange reason, you have a CD Walkman and enough batteries for a week. You also have three CDs of your choice. What are your top 3 desert island albums?

Jason: Okay, so nothing that’s going to make me suicidal, like Gary Jules’ version of “Mad World” in an endless loop. Something I can play while I’m working—you know, making ham radios out of coconuts and hammocks from bendable palm tree—White Zombie (yes, pre-Rob Zombie), La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One. For crying my lonely nights to sleep while mosquitos transmute into me every disease known to humankind—Peter Gabriel, Shaking the Tree. And for after the realization that I don’t know how to hunt, can’t build shelter from what nature provides, and that I ate a dung beetle during a fevre dream brought about by yellow fever—that album by Hanson. That should send me over the cliff’s edge.

Duane: Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick? 

Jason: Elektra – beautiful, kicks ass, and does so with ninja stealth. Michonne – beautiful, kicks ass, proficient in zombie slaying (though Carol is a strong contender for this position). And Black Widow — beautiful, kicks ass, has a sexy accent and is played by Scarlet Johansson. Hey, that’s the honest answer. Yeah, I could have picked Batman or Punisher, but where would that leave me? Think about it. Momma didn’t raise no fool.

Duane: I’m looking forward to reading more of your work. Is there anything you have coming up in the near future that you would like talk about?

Jason: I do have several works out for consideration that mix and match elements from horror, science fiction, thriller, and dark comedy. Publication dates are still up in the air, however, except for a novelette that blends horror and dark fantasy that should be released before the end of the year. I will have another novelette following soon after, that being my one (and only?) werewolf tale. I am excited for the release of both and think my readers will really enjoy them.

Thanks for having me on your blog! These have been some fun questions to answer.

Duane: Thanks for the awesome interview!


Seeing Evil, Synopsis

Fate in plain sight.

Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly prefers to work alone—she’s seen as a maverick, and she still struggles privately with the death of her partner. The only person who ever sees her softer side is Michael Turcotte, a teenager she’s known since she rescued him eleven years ago from the aftermath of his parents’ murder-suicide.

In foster care since his parents’ death, Michael is a loner who tries to fly under the bullies’ radar, but a violent assault triggers a disturbing ability to view people’s dark futures. No one believes his first vision means anything, though—not even Sam Reilly. When reality mimics his prediction, however, Sam isn’t the only one to take notice. A strange girl named Tessa Masterson asks Michael about her future, and what he sees sends him back to Sam—is Tessa victim or perpetrator?

Tessa’s tangled secrets draw Michael and Sam inexorably into a deadly conflict. Sam relies on Michael, but his only advantage is the visions he never asked for. As they track a cold and calculating killer, one misstep could turn the hunters into prey.

Biography, Jason Parent

In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it's harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he's back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that's another story.

When he's not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody's head off - he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

Please visit Jason on Facebook, on Twitter, or at his website for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.    

Praise for Seeing Evil

“… Parent writes in such a fluid, mesmerizing and realistic way that I found I couldn’t stop!” – My So-Called Book Reviews

Seeing Evil is one of those books that takes off at a fast pace and doesn't slow down.” – Carries Book Reviews

“Jason Parent tortures us right alongside his characters. The world building is excellent and very real.” – I’m a Voracious Reader

“…one of the best suspense thrillers I have read in a very long time. In lesser hands it would have been a decent read but the author's skill in setting the scene, character development, and story telling makes this a far superior novel.” – Book Nutter’s Book Reviews

Seeing Evil has some very special moments and is a very fast read. There's no denying Parent has talent.” Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, Boom Town, and Abram’s Bridge

“Wow! That was just brilliant! Every single chapter straight from the very beginning had me gripped.” – Andrew Lennon, author of Keith and A Life to Waste, a Novel of Violence and Horror

“Superbly fast paced from beginning to end meaning you will not want to put it down. A plot that will keep you guessing to the very end but not in a confusing way. Brilliant characters that gel together perfectly. A bloody good book.” – Confessions of a Reviewer

“This is one seriously entertaining, thought provoking read.” – Adam Light, author of Taken, Toes Up, and The Corpus Corruptum

“This book was a police procedural/thriller/psychological horror story-it doesn't neatly fit into any category except for: ‘damn fine read’.” – Char’s Horror Corner

“The entire story was strong, driven, and merciless in all regard from beginning to end. Even when you think you know where it's going, there's yet another--logical--twist.” Horror After Dark

Seeing Evil is a perfectly-paced book, with intriguing characters and white-knuckle, edge of your seat tension. The villain is particularly haunting in an all-too-plausible way, and even a few days after having finished reading the events of the book are still vividly etched in my mind. Parent's writing here is top notch - sleek, efficient and with surprising emotional depth.” – Evans Light, author of Arboreatum, Screamscapes, and Harmlessly Insane.

Purchase Links


Barnes & Noble

Red Adept Publishing!/Seeing-Evil-by-Jason-Parent/p/49303160/category=12051051


Sign up to enter to win one of five books from Jason Parent! There is one print copy of Seeing Evil, one print copy of Bad Apples 2 collection, 1 e-book of What Hides Within, and one e-book of Dead Roses. All winners get Seeing Evil bookmarks! Random draw chooses winner. First name drawn receives first prize, and so on. Any giveaway questions may be forwarded to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist,

Enter to win at the link:

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