I Am Honored To Introduce You To The Author Jackson Paul Baer.
Jackson Paul Baer, Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Woodstock, Ga; north of Atlanta. I’m a huge Braves and Georgia Tech fan. I’ve lived in Oregon for the past 5+ years now and love the Trailblazers as well as Oregon State, where I will graduate with a B.A. in English in June 2014. I’ve been married for 10 years and we have 4 beautiful children together, aged 3-9. We are moving back to Georgia to settle our family next to family.
I graduated from a Bible college in 2003 and that is where I met my wife. I spent 7 years as a youth & teaching pastor but have not been a pastor for the past 2 years now. I’m not very religious though you will find spiritual themes within my writing due to it being such a large part of the majority of my life. My characters, much like myself, struggle with faith, doubt, and love as a part of their everyday lives. The novel is by no means a Christian novel, however, with language you’d find in real life as well as situations not suited for a church service.
My favorite author is Joyce Carol Oates and I also love Junot Diaz and Sherman Alexie, among many others. Their novels have influenced me the most and I’d like to think my writing style resembles their amazing books. Them by Joyce Carol Oates is the best book I’ve ever read and if you’ve never read it, stop what you’re doing right now and read it. Seriously, do it now.
THE EARTH BLEEDS RED is my first novel and is due out September 2013 (Pandamoon Publishing). It’s part literary, part suspense and will cause you to fall in love with the Miller family.
Scott and Jessie are a couple in love. Ashley, their only daughter, is 17-years old and has vanished; leaving behind nothing but a pool of blood. Her strange disappearance is quickly thought to be a homicide. Her cozy, northwest town is stunned when police find the body of another girl at the bottom of the Willamette River. The eerie signature found on the girl links to a monster dubbed the Hail Mary Killer. While Scott searches for Ashley, the FBI feels convinced that she is the killer’s latest victim.
In spite of three other bodies with the same distinct marking, no one prepared themselves for the discovery in southern Oregon. Local hikers stumble upon a car in the mountain brush and a tattooing needle with an evil history surfaces inside. A cabin appears nearby with another gruesome discovery. Scott finds some solace in his friendship with Father Henry as he and Jessie try to salvage their marriage and move on beyond the loss of Ashley. The FBI finally catches a break when they unearth the dark past of the Hail Mary Killer’s family. What emerged in his basement is more terrifying than anyone could have possibly imagined.
What happens to the Miller family and Father Henry will shake your soul and keep you reading till the last page.
Where were you born and do you think your birthplace had any influence on your writing?
I was born in Georgia and raised there as well. I definitely think that southern culture comes out in my writing as well as other parts of the country. I’ve spent parts of my adult life in Oklahoma, California, Connecticut, and Oregon. I have many different cultures and experiences to insert into my writing.
Who do you think most influences your writing?
People I meet in everyday life probably influence my writing the most. If you’re thinking more along the lines of an author, it’s Joyce Carol Oates, without a doubt.
When did you first gain an interest in writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and used to write poems and songs as a kid. I play bass and guitar and used to love sitting down with my guitar and writing songs. I didn’t start writing books till just a few years ago and didn’t commit to being a serious author until this past year.
Who would you say has been the greatest supporter of your writing?
My wife and my oldest daughter. They are amazing.
Is there a particular author whose books you would say inspired you to start writing?
As mentioned earlier, Joyce Carol Oates, Junot Diaz, and Sherman Alexie have influenced me the most. Also, Zora Neale Hurston and William P. Young.
Are any of your characters based on real people, no matter how loosely?
The main character, Scott, thinks like I do and his wife, Jessie, thinks like my wife. While they are purely fictional, they remind me of us 🙂
How long did The Earth Bleeds Red take to write?
I worked non-stop on this book, often staying up till 3 and 4 in the morning, and wrote every single day. I had the first draft with a decent amount of revisions and editing finished in 40 days. That’s not typical and my second book is taking longer but this one simply flowed out. The stars seemed to be aligned.
If you had to describe The Earth Bleeds Red in only three words, what would they be?
Shocking, Heartache, Redemption.
Why did you choose to write in this particular genre?
I love reading literary fiction with elements of suspense, mystery, and novels that have elements of sadness throughout. I enjoy the true grit in the book and pain that comes before a story of redemption.
Where would you like to find yourself in five years time?
Writing and teaching. My goal is to produce two quality novels a year and I’m on pace for that, maybe a little more.
Is there any advice you feel you could give to aspiring authors?
Write and read, a lot. Set aside time each day to write, even if it’s only ten minutes. You’ll be surprised at how the time adds up and before you know it, you’ve written a novel. Don’t underestimate how important it is to keep reading and supporting other authors.
Are you working on another book? And, if so, what is it about?
It’s a psychological thriller called, “The Lights Will Never Fade.” I’m past the halfway point and am pleased with how it’s coming out. It’s about an 18-year old girl whose entire family was murdered in Oklahoma. She moves to Connecticut with her only aunt and trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes. The shadow refuses to leave her alone and the true killer emerges as a dark and disturbing presence.
Do you have a website where readers can find out more about you and your writing?
You can connect with me here:
Do you have any events or promotions planned for the near future?
The Earth Bleeds Red is scheduled to release in September (2013) and that pretty much encompasses my life right now 🙂