Author Interview with Jason Price
Hello everyone! I recently had the opportunity to interview Jason Price the author of Pleasant Grove. From fun facts to learning about his writing process, this was a fantastic interview that certainly makes me anticipate more of his works! 1. What is a fun fact about your book? (behind the scenes)
Pleasant Grove was written for my daughters, to give them a middle-grade novel that captured the same spirit of adventure and wonder that Steven Spielberg’s movies gave me as an adolescent.
2. If you could spend a day with any of your characters, which would you choose and why?
This is a tough one, because the answer is different than my favorite character. The character I’d spend a day with is Agnes’s father...with one caveat: He would have to answer all my questions.
3. Do you have a set writing schedule or do you write as inspiration strikes?
I have a set writing schedule. I’m a night owl, so my writing is done while the house (and most of the neighborhood) sleeps. I brainstorm for many months before I begin formally writing, though - jotting down notes when inspiration strikes, working (and re-working) the puzzle of the plot. I need structure…I need to know the destination. Otherwise, it’s like telling a 5-hour joke without a punchline.
4. Where did the idea for your book come from?
I wanted to write about ordinary people in a small town…and then drop them in the middle of a sci-fi story. Many of my favorite stories observe what happens when the ordinary meets the extraordinary: The Goonies, E.T.,The Twilight Zone…The specific origin of the book is difficult to discuss without spoiling the fun, but here’s an anecdote: I began with the third act and worked backward. This ensured I would stick the landing.
5. What input did you have for your cover design?
I shared every version of the cover with my wife, and her honest feedback was crucial. I wasn’t interested in a traditional middle-grade cover. I wanted a clean design that was impactful.
6. Is there an author or book that inspires you?
Stephen King is a big inspiration. Like Spielberg, King laser-focuses on character; the supernatural is a mere extension of those internal and domestic tensions. If you removed the supernatural from their best works, you’d still have timeless stories that resonate on a spiritual level.
7. If the year 2020 were a book, what would you title it?
8. Can you give readers any hints about your future projects?
Not to dodge, but I keep ideas close to the vest. Even my closest friends didn’t know about Pleasant Grove until it was published.