Mary interviewed Paul Jeter, author of Cautionary Tales, about his first book and the convention his book will be featuring at this weekend.
Mary Ann Mahoney: Hi Paul! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Paul Jeter: I’m basically a hermit wizard who lives in the woods. My work needs many outlets. The stories I tell are sometimes in paint, panels or prose.
MAM: Is this your first collection?
PJ: At this scale, yes.
MAM: Tell me about the stories in your collection.
PJ: Each story in this book is based on a dream or nightmare that I had. I was compelled to write them. Some are nearly transcribed from the Dream realm.
MAM: Is there any one story in your collection that stands out to you?
PJ: The Pact may be the most successful, but The Booking worries me most.
MAM: What inspired you to write this collection of short stories?
PJ: I guess you could say I was inspired by the merit of the ideas.
MAM: Did you have any difficulties when writing this collection?
PJ: Besides the glitched manuscript? Yeah, I had some personal and family problems during the writing of these pieces.
MAM: Do you prefer writing short stories compared to longer pieces of fiction?
PJ: I have written longer works, but I feel that shorts are better suited to the contemporary attention span. Though short, I make each one an encapsulated world that is also a launch pad to a greater work.
MAM: Do you plan on adapting your film treatment into a short movie or your comic book script into an actual comic book?
PJ: I could. I might. I would also like to give it to another artist to draw.
MAM: How often do you write?
PJ: Everyday, really, on any given project in any state of development. I fill up notebooks and will periodically sit down to type up draft revisions.
MAM: What got you into writing and how long have you been writing for?
PJ: I had journals when I was young which turned into sketchbooks and legal pads later.
MAM: Do you have any writing rituals?
PJ: I like listening to chillwave music at night.
MAM: Who’s your favourite author and why? What’s you’re favourite piece of work by them?
PJ: Two answers: The Martian Chronicles by Bradbury and Slapstick, or Lonely No More! By Vonnegut. Both of these writers have spoken to my soul and made me feel able to tell my stories, standing on their shoulders.
MAM: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
PJ: Painting or comics, researching or reading a good book. I also like yoga and Final Fantasy 6.
MAM: I heard that your book is being exhibited at a convention. Can you tell me about that and how you got into it?
PJ: I was lucky to get accepted when I applied for a table. It is a 3-day comic book convention near to where I live. I decided that if I’m going to take a leap, I’ll put my best foot forward and showcase my best work. I will be showing this book called Cautionary Tales, a collection of my comics work, and some fun postcards.
MAM: Are you excited or nervous?
MAM: When is TerrifiCon?
PJ: August 17 – 19, 2018!
MAM: What did you learn while writing this book?
PJ: I learned about my strengths, which gave me more confidence. When I saw the printed copies, I instantly felt more professional. It would have been crude without your help.
MAM: Where can people buy your book?
MAM: Any plans to work on another project?
PJ: Yes, I have large projects on my project calendar horizon and am excited to tackle them. I would like to work with you again in a year when I have another finished book.
MAM: Do you have any advice for other writers?
PJ: Tell them to listen up! Take whatever suffering life throws at you, but protect your creative time at all costs.
MAM: Thanks for talking with me, Paul. Good luck with the convention!
Disclaimer: Mary Ann Mahoney worked as the editor of Cautionary Tales for Split An Atom’s book proofreading and editing service.