How often do you get to interview an Illustrious Peep with a surname like that? Not often!
Jake, it looks like you’ve been writing scary crap for a while now. What’s your inspiration?
Dude, did you just call my writing crap? I’LL KILL YOU!!! But, seriously, my inspiration has always been Poe and the fact my birthday is four days before Halloween. Horror and the macabre have been a fascination of mine since as long as I can remember. My daughter is the exact same way. She LOVES the stuff and always has.
Have you always been the writing kind, or did it come and get you by surprise? Does it hurt?
I have been a writer since elementary school. We used to actually write, illustrate and bind our own books in 4th and 5th grade each month. There have been periods in my life where I didn’t write, but since 2009 I have been full throttle. As for whether it hurts or not, the answer is: not anymore. It actually used to hurt if I wrote too long. I’d get tension headaches after an hour or two of trying to figure out a story. Those days are long gone. Just like anything else, you have to condition yourself. I can now write a 75K novel in 2-3 weeks.
In growing your readership, what have you done that has served you well? How do you self-promote?
I started my professional writing career by podcasting my novels for free. That is really what built my fanbase and platform. But, once I started to see success, I had to give up the podcasting. An hour of finished audio takes 5-8 hours of work. I need to use that time to write. My current self-promotion is basically Twitter and Facebook. I try not to get too wrapped up in the whole social media thing. It’s more of a time suck than anything else. I have a web presence and I keep churning out novels. That’s really it for my plan.
As a writer, do you find that you start the ball rolling and the characters themselves take over? Or are you more likely to plan a project from the first word to the last?
I plan some, wing it some, and then see where it all goes. Each novel is different. But, since I write a lot of dialogue and action, I do tend to let my characters have their say and go where they feel they need to.
Given your choice, do you prefer rifles with large clips and stopping power, spears, knives, or suitcase nukes?
Tell me about the scariest critter you can imagine, fictional or otherwise.
Big cats. Seriously. I would gladly go all Liam Neeson and take on a pack of wolves over one, single big cat. You ever watch a small cat try to gut something with its back legs? Terrifying! No way I want to tangle with a cat that outweighs me by a few hundred pounds. No, sir.
I’m a firm believer in paying things back (and forward). What advice would you give to new writers that might not be found in all the helpful books on the shelves?
Be prepared for success. Have a plan for what you are going to do if things take off. Do not let success surprise you so you miss an opportunity. But, of course, the number one bit of advice is found in all the books: sit your ass down and write because it’s the only way you’ll ever succeed.
I have to add one frivolous question. Enrique Iglesias used to get cake from his fans, prior to Type 2 Diabetes. Laurell K. Hamilton gets stuffed penguins. What would you like your fans to give you?
Baseball caps. Not specifically caps of baseball teams (although minor league team caps are way cool!), but baseball style caps of whatever. I will admit that my pate is less than hairy and I have now entered the “wearing baseball caps as an everyday thing” part of my life. No flat brims, please! Hate those things. Nope, just a nice, old fashioned baseball cap. [Addendum: I love craft beer and microbrews, so hats from local breweries would be ideal!] A man after my own heart, on the craft brews.
Read your Jake Bible, but find him here first: