Apparently Christmas is coming whether you’re ready or not, but I hope you are! I don’t have a boring old Christmas post for you, though; I have something even better–an interview with author H.M. Jones. So strike a pose and let’s get to it!
Me: Why do you write?
H.M.: I write to express the pain, love, anger, joy, sorrow and fantasy of everyday life. I want people to see themselves in what I write, and to love or accept what they see. I also think literature reveals a lot about our place in time, societal norms and what is changing in the world. I want to be a part of that.
Me: Great answer! The supernatural – is it real? Why or why not?
H.M.: Real, of course. There is just so much out there that defies explanation. And, really, it’s just more fun to imagine that we aren’t alone, that there is more to discover, believe in, and imagine. Magic, ghosts, fairies, sprites, aliens, witches and warlocks have always made a story, real or imagined, more interesting.
Me: Agreed! You just walked in the door after a long day. What do you do first?
H.M: I am immediately pummeled by aggressive hugs and squeals of “Momma!” So, I take that in and let it make me feel special and loved before doing anything else. Then, I check my many social networks. Not because I like to, really, but because I am my own marketing agent.
Me: Awww, that’s so sweet! I hear you on the whole marketing thing. Would you consider yourself a pioneer or a settler? Why?
H.M.: I wish to be a pioneer, obviously. Decades from now, I want readers to be saying about new authors, “____ is the next H.M. Jones.” I want to think of the unknown, but I also have a Master’s in English Literature, so I am aware that all I’ve written is probably rooted in something. So, while I hope I’ve stomped upon new ground, I understand that much of what I write rises from tread-upon ground. I embrace that and just try to leave a unique, slightly varied footprint where I step.
Me: That’s all we writers can do, right? When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type, or do you like standard foods?
H.M.: I am adventurous in most things I do, almost to a fault. I will try anything once, and most things twice. I’ve eaten alligator, ants, beetles, various innards, countless seeds and seaweedy drinks. You name it, I would probably try it.
Me: Awesome! I like my bugs lightly salted and toasted. What’s the last song you listened to on purpose?
H.M.: It was either Alabama Shakes “Always Alright” or Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates.” Can’t remember. I listen to a lot of music.
Me: I do like me some Pantera but I’ve never heard of Alabama Shakes. I’ll go YouTube them shortly. Where did the idea for Monochrome come from?
H.M.: I had severe postpartum depression after I had my first child. The feelings of isolation and desperation and failure that came from PPD really generated a lot of awful thoughts. I turned those thoughts into a story because that’s just what I do when I am having a hard time processing life. Monochrome is a representation of the depressed mind, in all its empty, dreary ugliness. I wanted other mothers, other depressed persons to see their lives in a detached way (which is why I made Monochrome a fantasy), and, I, in turn, was able to see my life in its entirety, outside of my depression.
Me: Wow. Writing can truly be an excellent outlet. Sometimes it’s the only outlet! What’s the name of the book you’re reading?
H.M.: Currently, I am reading Aquila: Into the Darkness by an indie author from the UK, T.L. Searle, and Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I tend to read many things at once.
Me: What scares you?
H.M.: My own anger. And failure. And deep water. I am not a good swimmer.
Me: What’s your favorite planet?
H.M.: I haven’t been on many others, but I’m fond of our planet. It’s pretty beautiful and awe inspiring. If I could see another, it would be Saturn. Like Gollum, I’m fond of rings.
Me: Best. Answer. Ever! Would you rather live in a world where huge, friendly gummy bears walk around or live in a world where hover boards exist? Why?
H.M.: Huge gummy bears would be delicious and you’d never go hungry, but teeth rot is a serious issue. So, I would choose hover boards. I am so disappointed that they don’t exist yet. Back to the Future really set me up for numerous letdowns. I mean, is a body aware vest too much to ask for? Is it? I don’t think so…
Me: Yeah, I’m still waiting for self-tying shoes. Who has time to tie shoes anymore? No one, that’s who. What is something you’re really looking forward to?
H.M.: I am eagerly looking forward to my first book signing. I do a lot of my networking online, but I actually prefer face to face. As you can tell from this interview, I am super charming, or, at least, strange enough to be interesting and not repelling.
Me: Of course we can tell! Best of luck to you at your first book signing! Do you have any strange writing quirks?
H.M.: I plot my story and what will happen next when I am running. It is the only time, as a mother of preschoolers, that I am alone, so I utilize it and think, uninterrupted, about where my story is, where it needs to go, and what I need to write in my loose outlines. I know that doesn’t sound relaxing, but it is. I feel like I’m accomplishing two goals at once: fitness and advancing my story.
Me: That’s the way to do it! I figure out story problems on the treadmill while stuffing my face with cookies. Does that count? Anyway, thanks so much for being here and answering my questions! Now here’s a bit more about Monochrome:
A young mother battles postpartum depression, marital troubles and addiction. Her weary mind plagued with horrible thoughts not her own, she decides to end it all. Suddenly, her mind and heart begin to race, her vision blurs and goes black. She awakes in a strange, dull, monochromatic blue world. Here, she comes face-to-face with the most beautiful and ugliest moments of her life, choosing those that she will lose forever, and those that are too precious to let go.
In a world where many choose a living death, and no one is above suspicion, will her handsome Guide help her fight her way back to the beautiful life she left behind, or will she succumb to her ugliest urges and let her sweetest memories disappear into the blue?
Oh, and Merry Christmas, everyone!