Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

I am known by a few names: Jason E. Fort goes on the covers of my books and on the signature lines of important documents such as checks, taxes, and permission for the government to rule my lifeJ

I prefer Jason, but I have been called everything from Jase, Jaybird, Fort, Hair-boy, Bear-boy, Hulk, Lou, Magilla, and my favorite – Fortress.

I am the ripe middle age of 41, born in 1976.

 Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and raised right here in the upstate of South Carolina, in the good ol’ United States of America. I still reside there to this day, and probably always will.

 Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I’ve been everything from an elementary Phys. Ed. Teacher, to ball coach (pick an American team sport), strength coach, personal trainer, wellness director, and bouncer. While working towards trying to be the nicest bouncer in town, a regular at the bar told me I should be a police officer. After a good talk with my wife, I became a sheriff’s deputy, and seven years later, I now work as a training officer for a police department and teach medical staff, security officers, and police officers de-escalation and defensive tactics, while occasionally performing normal duties of a police officer.

Somewhere along the way, I wrote my very first novel about three years ago, and life has been awesome since. I am happily married to my wife after 16 adventurous years. She tolerates my quirks and strange storytelling. I also have a 15-year-old son who was 12 when he read my first two novels. Now he gives me input along the way, and loves to hear me read spoilers so he doesn’t have to read the novels when they’re ready; he already knows how they end before anyone else.

So there’s a little about me.

 Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I just re-released my first two books with brand new covers to help all my novels look more branded, to fit the style of Fortress Books. My illustrator and friend, Caleb Rivera, made this possible, and came up with pictures that will help my covers pop out in ads for the books. I plan on debuting the new look in paperbacks at a new local venue very soon, but have to get through the holidays first.

I also just achieved Defensive Tactics Instructor certification through the criminal justice academy in my state; something I had my mind set on when I first started law enforcement. Although I have only dabbled in martial arts and know a lot about describing different styles, I am by no means an expert. But this certification and the process of getting it was enlightening and bruising at the same time, and gives me a unique opportunity to help other officers stay sharp (and safe) at their jobs.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

It all started when my wife was about 7 months pregnant with twin boys… and something mysterious happened that forced one of our sons not to make it through the pregnancy. Although one of our sons still made it, and we are blessed to have raised such a smart young man, it was bittersweet. We named the child we lost John Robert, after our fathers, and just to obtain some kind of closure I began writing poetry. I wrote one poem in particular called A Perfect Picture, where I describe my idea of the perfect picture being the image of the son that made it, Jay, reuniting with his brother John Robert one day in Heaven, all the while his brother watched him go through stages of his life here on Earth:

A Perfect Picture

Can’t you just picture it?

A little boy with a golden smile

Plays baseball for a little while.

His daddy teaches him to ride a bike.

He goes with his family on mountain hikes.

Then he gets a little older…

Can’t you just picture it?

A middle-school boy, with that same golden smile

Goes on youth group trips for many a mile.

He tells his dad what he learned about God;

Even says he understands why dad never ‘spared the rod.’

Then he gets a little older…

Can’t you just picture it?

A tall young man, with that same golden smile

Cries with his dad at the end of the aisle.

He sends a smile to his mom before the doors open wide

And his beautiful bride stands by his side.

Then he gets a little older…

Can’t you just picture it?

Another little boy, with an identical smile

Looks down from Heaven all the while.

He sees his brother play ball and ride a bike.

He delights in seeing his family on a hike

And he waits a little longer…

Can’t you just picture it?

The same angelic boy with the golden smile

Stares down from the clouds in Angel-like style.

His heart fills with delight ‘cause his brother loves God.

But his brother seems bigger, and he finds this quite odd.

And he waits a little longer…

Can’t you just picture it?

The same angelic boy with the golden smile

Sees his brother, now a man, walk his lady down the aisle.

He has a smile across his heart, just bursting with pride

As he sees his brother carry away his bride.

And he waits a little longer…

Can’t you just picture it?

A boy and a man with identical golden smiles

See each other for the first time in a long while.

The man lived his life while his brother watched from up above

Yet now they are together in brotherly love.

No need for waiting any longer…

Can’t you just picture it?

In memory of John Robert Fort – March 15, 2002

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I began writing poems frequently during the first few years of my son’s life, I considered myself to be a writer in my leisure. When I had the first rough draft of my first novel finished, I knew I was given a gift for some reason, and I needed to share these stories in my head with the world.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

A combination of recently playing the video game, Assassin’s Creed, and seeing a particular item confiscated off someone at a metal detector. Add that to the obvious growing problem of terrorism in the world, and being close friends with a Marine, and I had source material that triggered an avalanche of stories.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

While I tried hard to get the reading audience to empathize with my main character, who sets out on his own personal crusade against radical Islam, I certainly don’t condone the actions the character takes. Thus the title, Misguided, as he is quite misguided by vengeance in the story. The subtitle, The Jesus Assassin, is actually a name for the character I have the popular media give him in the story; a sort of moniker.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I have a style that makes the action in the stories bring on the next events quickly. I like writing about movement and fights, and violence. The hardest part of the style I have is that I can’t have the readers so restless that there are no breaks in the action. So when I have to slow way down and describe static scenes, or just scenery in general – that is challenging.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

A lot of the action is realistic to martial arts I have participated in myself. The descriptions of characteristics of military personnel are realistic because I have met several people of that ilk, and one of my best friends growing up is a Marine. The rivalry and differences between Christianity and Islam are also very real. Several of the characteristics of the main federal agent, John Knox, are very similar to my own family. And several names in the story are combinations of real people in my family or real people in history.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I am very savvy when it comes to using the internet for research, so most of my traveling for research is done via Google EarthJ

I actually have written entire chase sequences either knowing local scenery very well and describing a pursuit through those parts, or using satellite imagery to trace the steps of the scenes and type them out on the page.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

As I said, Caleb Rivera. He is a local sequential artist who specializes in using his God-given talents to illustrate biblical characters and comic-book style characters and personas of his own creation.

 Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The main message that I wish to convey through ALL my novels is that no matter how dark the world or your circumstances get, there is one light that always shines through the darkness, if we just know where to look.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

Vince Flynn was new to me even though he passed away in 2013, and I didn’t read his work until I’d already written my first two novels. I like Flynn because his character Mitch Rapp is similar to my character Robert Brady, despite no prior knowledge of Vince Flynn’s work when I wrote my first novel.

I also read Brad Thor; I have stepped away from his books for a time, but plan on picking them back up. I found myself getting fixated on his work and decided I needed to read other people’s work.

My favorite author of all time is Ted Dekker. He is a Christian author who also used to write thrillers. He is probably best known for his Circle series, with titles Black, Red, White, and Green. But he has since begun writing devotionals and Bible study books. I met Ted at my first writers conference. He is a fascinating man with brilliant understanding of the gospels.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

A fellow self-starter who is still discovering many of his own talents, Jeremy Goldsmith, inspired me to venture out on my own and self-publish. He saw my frustrations with rejection letters, and he believed in my writing. He told me that maybe I should take a risk and put myself out there. I decided I would self-publish through the Amazon platform, and haven’t really looked back.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I see writing as another career, of which I am a current participant. But I also enjoy my career in law enforcement. If my work in writing ever produces enough fruit to make up for the money I earn in law enforcement, I will devote more of my time there, and perhaps one day leave law enforcement altogether. After all, I am only 41. When I was a kid, Jiminy Cricket told me I was no fool – no siree, and that I was going to live to be 103. So, I’ve got time.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not really. My latest book that is out there on the internet market is Dead Memories. It is the fifth in my series, and I was very pleased with the story. It is a quick read. I guess there could be some depth added to some of the characters of the main town for the setting, but I love the way the story reads; the pace set by the action. It is kind of a comeback story in many ways.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I probably learned more about an actual historical event that inspired the setting for my story than anything else. But I also learned a lot about how much fun I can have writing more about the broken yet revived character of Robert Brady.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Without question, the best man to play the part of The Jesus Assassin, a.k.a. Robert Brady, would need to be Max Martini. He is best known for his roles in the TV series The Unit, as well as Pacific Rim, and other action movies where he portrays a military man.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

If you are gifted in writing the most succinct details, and you are so technical with writing that you don’t even need an editor, you can probably save money. If you like catering to the crowd, traditional publishing might be the way you want to go. Maybe that is how you make your money; probably is the best plan. But if you’re stubborn, opinionated, and independent like me, but you have something you want to say – but do it through the storytelling…there is nothing stopping you from writing it all down, then typing it all out, and then self-publishing. What have you got to lose? If you have a story to tell, tell it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thank you so much for reading my work. It means a lot to me that anyone would want to see what I have to say. It means even more if you want me to hurry up and put out the next one; please be patient, because this writing thing doesn’t come as easy to me as lifting weights or taking someone to the ground.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Dance with the Enemy – Rob Sinclair

Veil of Deception – Michael Byers Lewis

Capital Kill – Marc Rainer

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Danny and the Dinosaur

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My son’s wit makes me laugh. Movies about a man and his dog make me cry.

 Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would love to meet Jesus Christ face to face, and I believe one day I will. But I think it would have been absolutely amazing to have been able to encounter Him when He was here the FIRST time. Despite differences of belief and history, there isn’t a whole lot out there anywhere written about Jesus that complains about His character. I just think being in the presence of someone so pure would do any one of us a little bit of good.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I consider my writing a productive hobby. I collect knives. I enjoy watching the show Forged in Fire with my son. Although the old body is breaking down faster than it used to, I still love to lift weights.

 Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Longmire, on Netflix, is my favorite television series. I enjoy anything Marvel or DC comics-related when put to film, though of course I think some presentations are better than others.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Food – Fresh, hot New York Style Pepperoni pizza

Color – Red

Music – Toss up between Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, and Alan Jackson

 Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Probably die as a disgruntled ex-cop J

 Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

He was born in 1976. He died in 2079. But he sure made a difference during his little dash there in between.

 Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Everything anyone and everyone who wanted to know anything about me, my worldview, and what is going on in my professional career can find me on Facebook on the Jason E. Fort page, as well my own website, www.Jason-E-Fort.com. While there, they should go to the CONTACT page and fill out the form.

https://www.facebook.com/Knoxmissionbooks/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Thanks so much, Fiona, for this opportunity. This is by far the most in-depth author interview I’ve come across.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Misguided-Jesus-Assassin-Knox-Mission-ebook/dp/B078FLNGW2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1513735990&sr=1-1

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Memories-Book-Brady-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N5GFMYM/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1513735990&sr=1-2

https://www.amazon.com/Misguided-Knox-Mission-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00P91BJSC/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1513735990&sr=1-3