Hello, all! Welcome to the next installment in our “Spotlight” series. Today we’re hosting Mr. Jason Graff! He is the author of In the Service of the Boyar, a book just out from the indie publisher Vagabondage Press.
- Everyone has a story about why they love to write. What’s yours?
I like the solitude of it. I like how my thoughts seem to transform into something more once I’ve written them down. I really like the fact that it gives me license to still be a child in a way, because I love to play and enjoy the sort of work that is most like play.
- If there’s a particular book you’re trying to market right now, will you tell us about it?
In the Service of The Boyar is a novella that takes a look at the story of Dracula from the workers’ perspective. They have journeyed to his land to dig the earth from beneath his castle for transport to England. The unnamed narrator is looking back on the part of his life when he met his, for lack of a better word, soulmate. Fifika is mysterious and intelligent and dismissive of the narrator at first. After tragic events befall her family, Dracula (The Boyar) invites Fifika and the narrator to his castle to be tutored in English language and customs. It is there, under the spell of the great poets of that land, that the narrator devises a way to make Fifika see him in a different light. But as in all tales of this nature, there is a price to pay for this love and without giving too much away, there are also things to be learned about Fifika.
The story was inspired by the Stoker book, the Coppola movie, and the original myths about Dracula. I thought it would be interesting to try an approach that I, at least, hadn’t seen.
- Most authors in the market nowadays have experienced their fair share of ups and downs. Will you tell us how the positive moments make up for the negative ones?
If I have any sort of intellectual gift, it is to allow the positives no matter how small to speak to me and tell me I can do this much more loudly than the shrill Greek chorus of screaming negatives who, even as I type this, I can hear clearing their throats, readying to come at me again.
- If you could say one thing to the whole world, and have each and every person hear you – what would you say? It could be about your books, or anything at all in the whole universe.
Wow! What an opportunity! I’m certain that if this scenario actually came to pass I’d be too overwhelmed to speak. Luckily, I am answering this as I sit alone in my living room with only the idea of it to stress me out. Rather than try and come up with something pseudo-profound or even clever, I’d just say: relax and don’t be so greedy. You’re only here for a short time so whatever you think you own, you’re really just leasing it.
- Who’s your favorite author? Are you more into modern or classic literature? What do you think of modern literature on the whole?
At first, I was going to try and cop out on this question, like: Ugh…favorite author, there are too many, I couldn’t pick just one OR I like books but don’t really have a favorite author. But I dislike when people do that. I say be bold and put your writer on the line. Right now it’s John Banville for me. Birchwood, The Sea, The Book of Evidence, The Blue Guitar, Ancient Light, Shroud, I could go on. They are all so beautifully written. Scene for scene, paragraph for paragraph, sentence for sentence, they are all simply marvelous. Funny, smart, compelling, his work has it all. And he also writes mysteries under the name Benjamin Black. I read both modern and classic literature. I think a good story is a good story no matter the era it was written in.
And there you have it, folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s interview with Jason Graff, and I hope you’ll take a look at his new book. I, for one, think it looks really interesting. I’ve always loved supernatural stuff like that.
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