Màiri: Where do your story ideas start?
Jared: Story ideas come from everywhere. One day as I was sitting in my chair, reading a western novel, my wife said, since you like westerns so much, why don't you write one? I said, "You know, that's a good idea - and, walla - my award winning, HACKER'S RAID was born. Sometimes someone will say something and I write the thought down in case I want to someday write a story about the idea. Sometimes a thought shows up, wandering around inside my brain. I've had the good fortune to have traveled to a good share of the world, so, my head is filled with more people, places and ideas than I can ever write.
Màiri: What do you write first? [beginning, middle, end]
Jared: That's easy, I start at the beginning and write until I see the words, the end, and then I stop.
Màiri: Character development, do you do anything special?
Jared: No, I don't do character development. In fact, I never know who will show up next. I guess I'm unorthodox because I never know where the story will take me and I'm just as surprised, angry or laughing out loud when something does happen. I'm just like the reader, except I get to read it first as I put it on paper. The characters just appear when they're supposed to; leave when they're supposed to or hang around; depends on how they fit into the story. I will say, in my defense, I try to make them and the events as real as I can. I want my readers to identify with them as much as I do. And if they fall in love with them, so much the better.
Màiri: Where do you do your writing?
Jared: Wherever I happen to be living at the time [ I'm a bit of a gypsy at heart} I pick a spot, set up my desk, table, etc. and my computer and that's where I go every morning, with my coffee. I write 3 to 4 hours, then go on with my day. If I have to be gone for a day or two, like a storytelling event, or fishing, I just go, but I don't take my computer with me. When I get back, I grab my thermos of coffee, turn the computer on and then the switch in my head and the story is right where I left off.... I've never had writers block. [knock on wood]
Màiri: A story usually springs from an idea, a character or a scene. Once that idea is planted - how do you make it grow?
Jared: Once I have an idea for a story, I turn that little switch on inside my head and watch a movie. I write down what I see and hear and the story grows by itself. Like I said, I'm just as surprised as the reader. I guess, subconsciously, all that stuff is in my head, somewhere, but I don't consciously think about it. I do find myself writing about places I've been and people I've met, except now, they wind up as fictional characters and places. I like doing it this way because it allows my mind to be inventive, and being a storyteller, I guess the stories are all in there, waiting for me to put them on paper so I can share with others.
Màiri: Do you write in Chronological order or do you bounce around with in the manuscript?
Jared: Chronological order. Like I said before, I flip on a switch in my head and watch a movie from beginning to end and write down what I see and hear. But, as we all know, a movie is shorter than most of the books they're taken from, so, when I finish the first draft, I do a second one, where I fill in the blanks that the movie doesn't cover, but by then, I know all the characters, their moods, backgrounds, etc. I do however, check maps, etc to make sure my locations are where they are supposed to be.