28 February, 2019

Finding Life on Mars by Jason Mars Book Spotlight and Interview!

Finding Life on Mars
By Jason Dias
Genre: Science Fiction
About the Book
Jaye struggles with her relationship with her neurotypical father. She can’t tolerate him, and can’t let him out of her sight. But when the last man on Earth targets them with a nuclear deadline, she has to learn to trust her dad. Together, they need to figure out not only how to survive, but why. Nothing on their failing Martian colony is ever going to change anyway.


About the Author
Jason Dias lives and writes in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His autism and experience as an existential psychologist give him a unique view of the universe.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2w2qE4B
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
Everything I write is personal. If I’m not crying at the end of a session, I chuck it all out and start over. Now, what touches me might not touch the reader, but it’s how I know I’ve written authentically.
Engaging with the pain all the time is, well, painful. This writing thing is more than time consuming; it’s all-consuming. I suffer for my art. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It does make writing in public a challenge.
When and where do you do your writing?
These days, I mostly write at home or in my office after hours. I have some privacy and some peace to engage the work.
But, I have written in almost any circumstances you can imagine. My laptop won’t open when I’m sitting on a plane – not enough room. So I’ve written on Word on my phone. That sucks… but you can do it. One year, when I was working adjunct at the community college, I wrote a whole novel in 20 minute increments standing outside classrooms, waiting for it to be my turn to go in. Phone again.
Now, when I’m in the crying parts, that can sure create some awkwardness. I’m standing there murdering my favorite characters and weeping over them and people are walking by giving me odd looks, maybe ready to offer sympathy or condolences, and I start to get a bit of a reputation.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
I am fairly shy, like a lot of writers. Thing is, you can’t be shy if you want to get your books in front of people. I’ve learned to always ask, be polite, and think big.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I’m an existential psychologist. That’s pretty obscure. It can also be very difficult to understand. What I’m proud of is getting these dense, difficult philosophies out in accessible forms people like to read. Fiction is and always has been a wonderful avenue to communicate heavy ideas.
I published my first novel five years ago. Since then, I’ve worked on my craft every day, getting better and better at writing. At the same time, I’ve built deep, meaningful relationships in the writing community. As much as the words, I’m proud of the relationships. That’s the stuff that sustains you.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I think Anne Rice would be really interesting. Isaac Asimov had a lot to say and was incredible voluble (if, perhaps, pretty into himself). Stephen King defined a genre. Karen Armstrong has a deep, expert perspective I’d love to mine someday.
If I had to pick, though, it would be Frank Herbert. Interesting as a human being, the definer of a genre, and certainly a subject expert worth mining. Dune is the model for my science fiction work. I know I fail to replicate the deep ethos underlying Dune but, if you recognize even the attempt, I feel like I’m succeeding.
Excerpt:
I was six years old.
"Father, I think I am ill," I said, in my tiny, piping voice.
"Oh?" Merlin said. He set aside the solenoid he was working on and turned his full attention to me. We were in the kitchen and my memory informed me it was identical then and now. "Why do you say so?"
"Look," I said, and extended one hand, palm up. In the center of my palm lay a milk tooth. It had fallen bloodlessly out while I slept. When I awoke, my tongue found a gap in my gums, and I found the tooth on the floor under my sling.
"Oh, you have lost a tooth. How wonderful."
"Then I am not sick?"
"No, baby, the farthest thing from it."
"I am not a baby," I said. "Please explain."
"Well," Merlin said, "it is normal for a child of your age to lose her teeth, slowly, over the course of a few years. New ones are growing in, beneath your gum-line where you cannot see them, and eroding the roots of the old ones. The old ones fall out, new ones grow in. Perfectly natural."
"Why?"
"Well, because if you were born with a full set of adult teeth, your head would be too big to fit through the birth canal. And if your teeth were not replaced with larger ones, your adult jaw would be full of gaps."
"Oh."
If he had left it at that, it would have been better. Maybe a lot would have been different. But he did not.
"Now, where should we put the tooth? On Earth, we used pillows. You would leave a lost tooth under your pillow and the Tooth Fairy would find it, replace it with a few coins. Here we not only have no pillows but no beds. So where should we leave it?"
"What is a fairy?" I asked.
"My goodness, but we need some books to read to you. We never planned for children, you know. Let me see. Fairies are magical creatures that live in the woods and sometimes at the end of nice gardens. Mostly they are there for young girls to find beautiful, but sometimes they are mischievous. They steal or play tricks or cast naughty spells."
"There is no magic," I said.
"Can you be sure?" And Merlin reached behind my head, touched my ear, produced a solenoid. "If so, then how did this get behind your ear?"
"That's a trick," I said. "Not magic. There is no magic."
"You mustn't be so upset over it, baby girl. Magic is just something we talk about to have fun, to explain things we cannot otherwise explain, to wonder at the nature of the universe."
"I'm not a baby and there is no magic."
"Please, just calm down."
But it was too late for that. I started to shout. "You're a liar and there isn't such a thing as magic. You shouldn't lie to your children. Father Christmas is a lie and the Easter Bunny is a lie and God is a lie and the Tooth Fairy is a damned lie."
Merlin sat back, narrowed his eyes, crossed his arms. I knew I had crossed some kind of invisible line and I didn't know what it was, why it was. He didn't say anything, though, and I couldn't stop.
"If there is a God and if there is magic, then bring back my mother. Give her back to me!"



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