With me today is author and graphic novelist Jason M Burns.
I started out in comic books and graphic novels, which in and of itself, happened as a mistake. I was an entertainment journalist and had done a feature on the independent comic book boom. I stayed in touch with one of the publishers, who after reading a feature film script I wrote (my dream was to write for the big screen), gave me a shot in comics. From there I started doing a lot of licensed work, like on DreamWorks projects (Shrek, Megamind, Kung-Fu Panda), as well as others like Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street. I released my debut novel, The Young Despondents, last year and continue to work in the comic space, as well as film and television.
What’s your favourite part of being an author?
Being able to be creative every day is a blessing. I believe it’s the key to staying… or least convincing your brain that you are… young.
What’s the worst part of being an author?
It’s not necessarily bad, but, the oddest thing is convincing people that it’s actually a career, particularly family. He writes “funny books” is what I usually here, and said with a snarky tone. Haha
Who is your favourite YA author and why?
I’d say Dan Wells and his I’m Not a Serial Killer series (John Cleaver books). I thought the author was brave in the concept alone, which is taboo in and of itself, but to do it with a young adult protagonist is just really interesting.
What was the best advice you’ve been given about writing?
The oldest and most cliché piece of advice is the one I really take to heart… write. A lot of writers talk about writing, but the ones who succeed are the ones who are writing every single day. If it’s your career… put in the career hours.
If you had a time machine, what advice would you give yourself ten years ago?
Not to get excited about each career milestone. When you’re young, each step you take seems like the step that’s going to launch you into the author stratosphere. A career is all about not building up unreasonable expectations, and instead, looking at the big picture. Ten years ago I looked at the dots on the timeline. Now I look at the entire timeline.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m just finishing up a hilarious memoir by character actor Stephen Tobolowsky called The Dangerous Animals Club.
You describe your next release, Brunderfold as The Goonies meets Bettlejuice (two of my fav movies – I’ll want to read this book!) Tell us a bit more about the story and what inspired you to write it…
The story is about a creature who feeds on the imaginations of children. There is a book tied to the creature, also called Brunderfold, that writes itself as the creature does whatever it is it does. Essentially, Brunderfold is the first story ever told, a wicked fairy tale brought to life. A troubled young man releases the creature from its prison, and then it’s up to him and his friends to stop Brunderfold before it’s too late. In terms of inspiration? Well, I was deep into my comic career at the time of conception, and it was originally going to be a graphic novel because I thought visually, the story lent to the medium. But, as I started developing it out, I realized how it wasn’t just visual, but also, very internal, which is not always something you can achieve in comics. I started playing around with it as a novel, and as I got into the characters’ heads, it just clicked for my creatively and I moved forward with it as a novel.
If Brunderfold was to be made into a movie – who would you cast as the leads?
Yikes. This is really tough. I’m not sure. One of the things I always try to do, especially after licensing a couple of comic projects to studios/production companies over the years, is to separate myself from my work after my vision is complete. If someone wants to come in and adapt it in another format, I try not to get hung up on those kinds of choices because it can keep you up at night. That being said, I always had a very specific voice in mind from the creature Brunderfold… like, crystal clear in my head… though I’m not sure who that actor would be.
Where can fans find you online?
Well, even though I don’t update it nearly as often as I like or should, www.jasonmburns.com is a good place to start, and then www.plymouthrockip.com, which is my company. People can find links to my web series, Adults Only, listed there as well.