Welcome everyone. I would like to introduce Jack Hessey, author of True Hero?. Jack is here today to answer a few questions and give away two e-book copies of his book, True Hero?, an action packed superhero adventure starring Stella Stargirl. All you have to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment. Winners will be drawn just in time for Christmas on December 18th and we will forward each winner a copy of True Hero? in whatever format you require for your e-readers. Remember to enter a comment to participate and your email address so we may contact you as a winner!
Thank you, Jack, for participating in this interview and giveaway! I'm sure your fans would love to hear more about you!
Jack, tell us your latest news.
Nothing much to tell at the moment. I started work on a new superhero fantasy novel but that's ground to a halt for now since I didn't like the way it was going. I enjoyed the characters but didn't really like the plot so maybe I'll just reuse the characters again in a different story?
I've got the bare basics of another story but haven't started work on it yet.
When and why did you begin writing?
I've always wanted to write but never really bothered to try until a few years ago since I automatically assumed that I'd suck. I've always enjoyed reading and have always wanted to create a unique world of my own which is why I decided to write.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Not much if I'm honest. When I'm not at Uni I just chill playing video games, reading, watching television; normal things like that. Nothing all that exciting to be honest.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Philip Pullman's Mortal Engines series was my biggest influence. It was such a great series of books set in such a unique world that it inspired me to try and make a world of my own in my writing and inspired me to start writing Steam Queen.
What do you think makes a good story?
A fun plot is important. It doesn't even have to be all that unique as long as it puts a unique spin on things. Star Wars is a great story but it ultimately boils down to the standard 'Heroes Journey' storyline that has been around for centuries. Unique aspects can turn even overdone ideas fun.
The most important thing though is characters. I can't read a book with a decent story if the characters are dull whereas I can happily enjoy a book with a pretty basic or dull story if the characters are awesome.
The best author for writing characters in my opinion is J.K Rowling. Even the minor characters in the series have unique aspects that make them memorable and other than Ginny (who I can't stand) I wouldn't say there's a bad character in the books. As horrible and nasty as Professor Umbridge was she is still a great character since she worked so well as a heel who you wanted to see receive her comeuppance.
So yeah, great characters are the key to a good story in my opinion.
How do you want readers to feel after they read your stories?
Of course I want them to feel satisfied that they've just finished a good story that they'll want to recommend to others and read again. I also hope that the readers feel sympathy for my characters, even unlike-able ones like Erica who, even though she is a selfish, unlike-able psychopath she was made that way by experiences during her childhood.
What is your favorite character out of all the books you have written?
Hmmm, this is a tricky question.
I think I'll go with Erica from Steam Queen because not only is she the first character I wrote but she's also pretty unique. A psychopathic girl with a fear of dirt, a tendency to exact over-the-top punishments on people who wrong her and who only looks out for herself; she's not really your typical main character.
I was also a fan of Stella Stargirl from True Hero? Though. I tried to make her as realistic as possible to how superheroes would operate in the real world with agents, laws governing how they can work, merchandising etc and I thought she turned out pretty cool.
Then again, I can't leave Susie from On Angels Wings out either. She's such a sweetie and even though things don't always turn out right for her (usually because of her clumsiness and naivety) her heart is in the right place at least.
Thinking about it, I love all my characters really. Even detestable villains like Infernus from True Hero?
What influences your creativity of your characters?
A variety of things including television, people who I've met in real life, my own imagination etc.
Take Stella Stargirl; she influenced by the countless celebrity singers and sports stars who get by on media hype and good promotion rather than actual talent but also with a dash of Rocky Balboa (idea for her character stemmed from the revelation in Rocky III that Rocky's opponents were handpicked. I liked that idea and it got me thinking how that would relate to superheroes and thus, Stella was born)
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Would do but I have nothing to share since I haven't actually started it yet!
I've got a few ideas though, including a possible ghost story told from the ghosts point of view and another superhero story. Other than a basic outline of the ideas though I havem't got anything going with them at the moment.
What are some of the goals and future plans with your writing?
Hmmm, I'm not sure. I'd definitely like to write more books and hopefully become well known to a degree. I enjoy writing superhero stories so might focus on writing them since the superhero genre seems to be a market that hasn't really been cracked yet. Becoming well known in that genre might be the best way to get my name recognised? Who knows?