Today I have the pleasure of dishing it up with author Stuart Land.

 

Stuart’s story ideas come from his vivid imagination, but his inspiration draws from extensive world travel and fascinating careers: from US military medic to hairstylist, then Washington D.C. Police officer to NYC photographer.

 

 

Later, he converted a chicken coop in the woods into a live-in studio and taught himsself metal sculpture. That rudimentary craft expanded into the fine arts. Sculptures in bronze and fiberglass led to shows in the US, England and Thailand.

 

His passion for all arts segued into: costume design (top 100 designers in the book, Fashion: 2001); modeling agency art director; fashion show designer; water feature designer, computer illustrator and a top sculptor for special effects, sets and props in the entertainment industry with work in over thirty major films, hotels and theme parks worldwide.

 

During his film career, he learned screenwriting firsthand, writing over a dozen screenplays. To explore character and environment more, he took up narrative fiction. He’s completed many short stories and five novels. His writing places high in contests and his screenplays are optioned.

 

He continues on the journey.

 

JET: Stuart, can you tell us about your most recent book?

 

Stuart: My most recent supernatural novel is SHADOW HOUSE, a psychological supernatural thriller about two men, alive in different times, who share a terrible secret that, through a quirk of fate, saved one, but damned the other. These seemingly unconnected lives begin interleaving between five year old PJ McAvoy—critically injured when his family dies in a mysterious fire in 1920’s Massachusetts—and contemporary suburban family man, Aaron Molina, when he wins an antique tool box at a flea market auction.

 

Through Aarons “visions” into PJ’s tragic past, he witnesses the killer’s life firsthand, from the childhood injury that precipitates his paranormal ability to kill, through his orphaned youth and horrific WWII years. For every tragedy that befalls PJ, or act of mayhem he inflicts, he senses Aaron’s interfering presence and holds him responsible.

 

To save himself and his family from PJ’s vendetta, Aaron must learn the secret that binds them together. PJ’s plans, however, go far beyond mere revenge, where his own death is not an obstacle, and Aaron’s demise will only be a footnote.

 

JET: What drew you to supernatural thrillers?

 

Stuart: I like the quirkiness that the supernatural or paranormal can lend to a story. Myself, and another writer I recently met, call our work, Supernatural Realism, because we like to present the story as realistically as possible but add the supernatural elements. I live “real” life, but I like to create worlds that are different in some way to real life. I like showing how “real” people react to things that don’t conform to “normal” reality.

 

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

 

Stuart: You mean, still challenging, right. I’d say it’s getting people to read my work. Time is an investment far beyond the few dollars people pay for Kindle books. Even though every person who has read my books seems to love them, and a few share that love with great reviews, for some reason, they haven’t caught on.

 

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

 

Stuart: My favorite moments are the actual writing. I love watching my characters form from nothing and solve the situations they find themselves in, seemingly, with no help from me. As for marketing, I’ve met some really great people, both authors and readers.

 

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

 

Stuart: Herman Hesse, Ayn Rand, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Issac Asimov, Kurt Vonnegut, and many others.

 

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

 

Stuart: Well, I wrote short stories as a kid, but didn’t get seriously into writing until I worked in the film business in Hollywood and watched writers, directors, and actors create out of thin air. I figured I could do that…big surprise! It wasn’t so easy when I first tried it. But I’m a stubborn sort, so stuck with it year after year honing the craft of screenwriting and novel writing.

 

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

 

Stuart: I joined a vampire coven, drank baby’s blood, cavorted with female zombies…oh wait, that was my normal Saturday night. I guess I haven’t done anything specifically crazy in research, but most of my stories are based on things that I already did. Now, it’s just a question of interviewing people and tons of online research.

 

The most interest fact I’ve discovered, much to my horror, was that a hundred fairies can’t dance on the head of a pin. Actually, it’s my own fault, because for some reason, I thought they were talking about the pointy end. So since I found out they were talking about the flat end, well, jeez, of course there’s room for a hundred fairies there. But I was wrong. Only 89 fairies can fit nicely.

 

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written – which one is your favorite? Why?

 

Stuart: Each novel I write is my favorite while I’m writing it. My stories are all so different and unique, that they stand on their own, so to compare them is an apples/oranges dilemma.

 

JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

 

Stuart: Everyone’s already heard the “don’t give up” advice. My advice goes a step further, but narrower. If you start a project, finish it. It’s easy to get caught in a cycle where you don’t finish what you’ve started. Second advice is to take as much effort in your rewrite as in the first draft. Maybe even more. This is where you can make your writing shine. It’s mandatory to put your first draft away for at least a month. You need to approach a rewrite with fresh eyes. I work with a writers group. It’s important to have outside opinions. If you’re writing to get by, it’s not necessary to take any of my advice, but if you really want to better your craft, you should consider it.

 

JET: All right – now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with: Paper or Plastic?

 

Stuart: I think all blow-up dolls should definitely be plastic. Paper just doesn’t hold air all that well.

 

JET: Steak or Tofu?

 

Stuart: Tofu steak smothered in paper mushrooms. Yummy!

 

JET: Beach or Mountains?

 

Stuart: I’ve always be partial to mountain beaches. Since I live five minutes from a waterfall, you can guess my preference. Now, Hawaii is no fair because they have mountains and waters right on the beach!

 

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

 

Stuart: Country rock. And all other genres.

 

JET: Top 10 best seller or Unknown Back Shelf Find?

 

Stuart: The God of Small Things; Flashman series

 

JET: Zombies or Demons?

 

Stuart: Demon zombie vampires

 

JET: Paper or Digital?

 

Stuart: Both. But it’s getting harder and harder to carry around 5000 paper books.

 

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

 

Stuart: YES!

 

JET: Sword wielding ninja or Gun toting momma?

 

Stuart: Ninja, blades down.

 

JET: Coffee or Tea?

 

Stuart: Cha yen = Thai iced tea.

 

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you’re working on now? What’s next?

 

Stuart: I have two novels coming out very soon. EPIPHANY is cross-genre sci-fi/mystery/drama.

 

Doctor Sam Enright and his geneticist wife, Dorinda, face turmoil in their small town when a dozen adolescent girls show up pregnant at Sam’s office—and they’re all virgins. When their own daughter falls victim to the same fate, the Enrights rush to Homeland Security for answers. As the questions multiply, they realize they are at the vanguard of a worldwide epidemic, and the mystery deepens. As the events escalate, a disparate group of international doctors, scientists, and mothers-to-be are brought together at Dorinda’s genetics lab in Middle America. They race to find the cause and meaning of the mysterious pregnancies, but every discovery reveals a new, worse scenario, leaving humanity’s very existence in question.

 

This story is based entirely on science fact with no paranormal elements.

 

The other book is a total rewrite of my first novel:

 

BACK FROM THE DEAD: the true sequel to Frankenstein: Frankenstein’s creature, revived from a two-hundred year arctic freeze, reveals a different perspective on his origins, why he survived, and what happened to his mate. How he fares in the modern world is an assemblage of psychological drama, horror, romance, and sci-fi, with Gothic sojourns into the past.

 

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Stuart Land and his work at the following places:

 

WebsiteBlogTwitter, FacebookLinked InGoodreads, Ning

 

SHADOW HOUSE in the US.   SHADOW HOUSE in the UK. 

 

ORIGINAL BLOOD in the US.  ORIGINAL BLOOD in the UK.
http://about.me/stuartland/  and  http://www.bookdaily.com/book/2760480/

 

 

Next week, I have author Cara Bertoia on tap.

 

Until then,

 

Ciao.

 

JET

 

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