Tuesday 22 September 2015

Blog Tour Interview - The Maze by Jason Brannon

The Maze
Author: Jason Brannon
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Pages: 186
Genre: Christian Suspense/Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Audiobook

Book Description:
A near death experience transports Jamie Burroughs into The Maze, a realm built by angels and demons and filled with traps and riddles for those haunted by their mistakes.

For Jamie, The Maze becomes a terrifying journey through a world of darkness where his soul and the lives of those he loves hangs in the balance. With his family in danger and his soul in peril, Jamie is forced to reevaluate the kind of man he truly is as he struggles to escape The Maze before it’s too late.

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Praise for Jason Brannon
“Jason Brannon shows us a place of reckoning and judgments, of creatures that wait to ensnare us. The Maze is a novel of damnation and deliverance, of corridors fortified with death and spirituality. I found a bit of myself in The Maze." ~ Steven Lloyd, author of The Wooden Box

“From his style, you’d think Jason Brannon was the dark double of Ray Bradbury. He cares more about character and realism than most writers I’ve read and his plots flow like well-orchestrated music. Indeed, Brannon’s writing has a classical feel, reminiscent of the best traditional work in the genre, even when he’s going for gut-wrenching terror and torture in-extremis." ~ Michael Arnzen, International Horror Guild Award winning author of Grave Markings (Dell Abyss)

“Brannon’s work reminds me of the glory days of The Twilight Zone, when it was in black and white and carried bylines like Beaumont and Matheson. Often surreal, sometimes disturbing and sometimes enlightening, there’s real substance in his tales that few of his contemporaries can match.” ~ Mike Oliveri, Bram Stoker Award winning author of “Deadliest of the Species”

Author Interview

1. What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Two things actually.  The first was a creative writing assignment in high school.  It was the first time I had ever tried to write a short story.  Back then I was reading Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Robert McCammon and the like.  I tried my hand at horror and penned a short story called “Hotline” about a telephone that could call lost souls in Hell.  My classmates all thought it was cool.  My English teacher praised the work and became a mentor to me as a result.  The writing bug bit me hard, and I started writing every day with dreams of getting that kind of reaction over and over again.  The second thing occurred during a course I took in college called “Introduction to Fantasy and Science Fiction.”  During that time I was introduced to a lot of classics that I had never read before like Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books, Walter Miller's “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” Frank Herbert's “Dune,” and other must-read novels.  However, I also discovered Ray Bradbury through “The Martian Chronicles” and “Fahrenheit 451.”  I became amazed at the way prose could read like poetry and how speculative fiction could be used as social commentary.  “The Martian Chronicles” showed me how powerful a short story could truly be, and I became motivated to write more, write better, and create something as powerful as any of the tales in Bradbury's collection (a feat I will likely never achieve).          

2. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
One of the most rewarding experiences has been to see several of my novels translated into German.  It's a little surreal to see your stories published in a different language and know that there are people on the other side of the world who have discovered you and your work.  In a way I think I have a slight insight into how David Hasselhoff feels about his music career!  :) 

3. If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
One set of books that I consistently return to over and over are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.  I would love to have a signed copy of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” as it is one of my favorite Holmes tales.  It has all of the elements that I look for in a great book-mystery, a hint of the supernatural, a sense of menace that permeates the pages, and a great protagonist and villain.  I read “The Hound of the Baskervilles” for the first time in the 6th grade.  My teacher drilled us incessantly on the details of the story, and we spent a considerable amount of time reading it and re-reading it.  At first, it felt like a chore.  But as I delved deeper and deeper into it I began to appreciate the story and even develop an affinity for it that has lasted to this day.    

4. If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Invisibility.  It may not be the most glamorous of the superpowers, but I feel it would certainly be one of the most useful.  I could learn any secret I wanted and use it to my advantage (although I would only use my power for good).  I could go anywhere undetected.  And of course, I could slip in and out of the most influential and powerful publishing houses in the world and move my manuscripts to the top of the slush pile.  :)

5. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Everyone should read The Maze because it has a little something for every palette-mystery, suspense, horror, intrigue, inspiration, morals, and hope. 

6. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I have finished the sequel to The Maze which is entitled The Piper's Song.  I also have a new series called The Halo Group Series that I will be focusing on as well.  The first book, The Tears of Nero, is out now, and I am hard at work on the second book, Beware the Death Angel.   

7. Do you write as you go or do you have the book planned before you start the first draft?
I have a general idea about the main plot points before I begin writing, but I don't outline.  I have tried outlining before, and I always strayed too far from the skeleton of the story as new ideas interjected themselves throughout the process. 

8. What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
The new Star Wars movie is of particular interest to me.  I grew up on all of the Star Wars films, and my 9-year-old son has picked up on it as well.  He is just as enthusiastic about them now as I was at his age.  It is something that I can share with him while reliving my own childhood in the process.   

9. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I am very content where I live in a small town in Mississippi.  It isn't glamorous.  It isn't a metropolis by any means.  However, it is quiet, relatively free of violence and crime, and a good place to raise a family.  There are no shortage of modern conveniences, and is a place where you can know your neighbors and become friends.  To some, a small town seems constricting and boring.  To me, it seems like home.  If I want to visit a big city, that's what they make planes for! 

10. Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
The character I most identify with is Jamie Burroughs from The Maze.  He is an ordinary guy who does his best to live right but is still fallible.  The reason I identify with him so much (and many other people do as well) is because despite my best efforts, I falter on a daily basis.  I say things I shouldn't say, think things I shouldn't think, and even do things I shouldn't do.  I'm basically a good guy with good intentions, but that doesn't always translate into doing the right thing.  It's just part of being human.  His struggle is my struggle because it is rooted in reality.  I only hope I don't find myself trapped inside a maze like he does!  I am not sure what I would do if forced to face down a minotaur!

About the Author
Jason Brannon is the author of The Maze and The Tears of Nero. His fiction features flawed characters trapped in impossible situations that test and try their faith. He currently lives in Amory, MS.

For More Information
•    Visit Jason Brannon’s website.
•    Connect with Jason on Facebook and Twitter.
•    Find out more about Jason at Goodreads.

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