Jaret was raised in the unremarkable town of Hepburn, Saskatchewan where he spent most of his time doing things of little to no consequence. Because of the boredom that encompassed his life, he sought excitement elsewhere. While most of his adventures ended in as timid a matter as they’d begun, writing proved to be the only thing worth doing twice.
Eventually, he managed to escape the confines of his minuscule town and arrived in the small city of Saskatoon. It is here that Jaret managed to finish his first novel and has since been hard at work on various other projects. Jaret is drawn to big concepts and bigger characters with a penchant for inflicting pain on all of them. Most days, you can find Jaret stressing over his lack of solid life direction, all the while drinking coffee and watching reruns of TV shows that almost nobody remembers. If you ever see him, feel free to talk to him about the ending of Lost which, he assures you, did not mean that they were dead the whole time.
What inspires you to write?
In a word, ‘discontent’ drives me to write. There’s a sense of fulfillment that only writing provides me with, and, when I’m not writing, the lack of it can be overwhelming. I am extremely introverted, and writing allows me to explore the parts of myself that I wouldn’t get to otherwise.
I am also inspired by everyday things. The act of walking by some stranger on the street, wondering what sort of life they lead; the crippling sadness I see in so many people around me; a favorite song: all of this inspires me.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’d say I’m a structured pantser. I have a vague idea of what I write and mull it over for a week or two before I put anything down on paper. Next, I’ll sit down and, in the span of about an hour, I’ll map out the entire course of the story. If this isn’t a smooth process and involves a lot of road-blocks, I’ll put that idea on hold. Once I can get through the whole outline, I’ll write down some subplots I’d like to include. After that, it’s a matter of writing the first draft.
During this draft, I won’t revise what I’ve already written. While I will make sure grammar and spelling are correct as I go along, I won’t go back to tweak anything until I’ve reached the end. I then go on to read through the novel again, and, finally, jump into editing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I have my characters talk to each other. I put them in a situation they are likely to encounter within the confines of my story and basically narrate the entire thing, allowing the scene to progress naturally. While this does tend to result in a lot of unusual looks, I find this is the most helpful for creating believable characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
It may be cliche’ at this point, but persistence really is the best way to get a book published. Even if your book isn’t turning out the way you wanted it to, don’t give up. No great book started as anything more than a mediocre first draft. If you don’t get past the beginning, how can you possibly know the end. Similarly, don’t quit once you’ve reached ‘The End’. Keep at it until it’s as good as you can possibly make it. Be ruthless.
But don’t beat yourself up when things go badly. Not every story is going to pan out. Sometimes, the best ideas can fall flat, and that’s okay. As long as you are consistently writing and working toward an amazing novel, you’ll be fine.
Finally, find an idea that you have no doubts about. Search endlessly for that one story that you are unable not to write. When you are first starting, your biggest obstacle will be yourself. You’ll constantly second-guess yourself and your writing. The best way to combat this is to write something that you are 100% sold on. That way, even if the book you’re writing doesn’t end up being ‘the one’, you’ll still have a book you can be proud of.
And that’s really what this whole thing is about.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I kind of fluked out with Eating Sarah. I had submitted it formally to only about five agents before deciding that I hated it. I didn’t like that it took weeks to months to receive a standard rejection letter. I didn’t like all of the hoops you had to jump through, and I didn’t like the lack of control it provided.
I was at a point where I was planning to self-publish or abandon my book altogether when a friend on Twitter re-tweeted a link to a submission contest. With nothing to lose, I decided to enter. One thing led to another and I got two requests for my full manuscript. It was a bit unorthodox, a bit terrifying, but ultimately the right choice.
I would advise anyone who is unsure of how to go about publishing to explore avenues that they hadn’t thought of. It’s no longer traditional-publishing vs. self-publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of book publishing is going to result in a lot of change. If I’m permitted to take a wild guess, I’d say books are going to get shorter and be published in multiple, small chunks. It’s going to be less like creating movies and more like tv shows. I think we’re already starting so see quite a bit of this in the form of novellas. I also think most book-publishing is going to be online, stores are going to shut down, and physical books will be very rare going forward.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Horror, suspense-thriller, young adult, new adult, romance, science-fiction, fantasy
What formats are your books in?