Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interview with Author Jarrett Rush

I recently read Jarrett Rush's novella, Chasing Filthy Lucre, and was impressed with the quality of writing and how the story pulled me in (check out my review of it here). I'd tweeted occasionally with Jarrett, and after I read his book, I decided to ask him if he'd be up for a brief interview. Jarrett was kind enough to agree, and I'm happy to share that interview with you today. If you haven't purchased his novella, you can get it for the Kindle or Nook.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Jarrett Rush?

I can give you my standard answer that appears on my blog and at the end of all of my online fiction. It goes like this: "Jarrett Rush is a writer who lives in the Dallas area with his wife, Gina, and their overly energetic lab, Molly." If you want more than that, here goes. I'm a guy in my late 30s who has wanted to be a writer nearly all my life. Until this writing thing can pay the bills -- and the hope is that one day it can -- I work for The Dallas Morning News. Baseball and writing have been my two loves since I was a kid, and before I wanted to be a writer I wanted to be a baseball player. I play a little softball to indulge that dream. Not being able to hit a curveball kept me from taking my baseball career past junior high so I had to settle for being a fan. I spent far too much money cheering the Rangers through the playoffs last season. But it was all worth it to be able to be there when the team clinched its first American League pennant.

2. What's your creative process like? Do you have a routine, or do you just wing it?

My process depends on the project. For short stories I wing it. I know the beginning and maybe the ending, but, usually, not much of the middle. With longer pieces, like Chasing Filthy Lucre, I use an outline. It's loose. Not moment-by-moment, but just hitting the action's high points. There are four parts to Chasing Filthy Lucre. In the outline each of those sections was broken into four parts. I knew where the action was supposed to start and I just wrote from one part of the outline to the next part of the outline. It was the first time I'd used something like that and I loved it. I didn't feel like my creativity was stifled, and that was always my worry with using an outline.

As far as the actual writing goes, I try to get behind the keyboard on a daily basis, but I'm not always successful. When I'd I shoot for between 750 and 1,000 words. Not as much as some, but it works for me.

3. Who are some of the influences on writing?

The most important is my wife. She's the person who pushed me to try and make a real go of this, to make my dream come true. That's probably not what you meant though. There's one writer who showed me the power of a good book. It was Matt Christoper and the book was The Kid Who Could Only Hit Homers. That was the first book I read all the way through in one day. I was a kid -- third or fourth grade, I think -- and I remember laying on the couch in our living room just buried in those pages. I couldn't tell you now what the book was about, but the title seems like it gives things away. But I think it says something that the title and the author have stayed with me all these years later. It's that kind of book that I want to write. Something that pulls a reader in and just won't let go.

4. What inspired you to write Chasing Filthy Lucre?

I just loved the story. It was something that came out of a few other ideas I'd been playing with. The idea of data addiction first appeared in something that's still sitting on my hard drive. I fleshed the concept out in a short story. It was there that I created the beginnings of the world where Chasing Filthy Lucre takes place. The opening scene is actually a response to a writing prompt I put together for a writers group I'm part of. I took all of those pieces and let them marinate for a while then started writing. And once I started I didn't want to stop. Even though I knew how it was going to end, I still wanted to see how we got there.

5. Are there any projects that you're currently working on that you can tell us about?

Chasing Filthy Lucre is part of a planned series, so I'm working on Book Two right now. We pick up the story a few months after the end of Book One. Berger and Rexall, our heroes, are in the middle of investigating a kidnapping, looking for missing girl and also trying to stay a few steps ahead of Roma Corp security forces. I've also got a few ideas cooking on the back burner that I'm excited about. I'll keep those to myself, though, because I don't even know when they'll see the light of day. But, trust me, they're cool.

6. How can readers connect with you? Website, Twitter, etc.?

I have all the social networking tools you can think of. You can follow me on Twitter at @JarrettRush. I try to keep the book promotion to a minimum. I also don't Tweet every thought that pops into my head. If you are on Facebook and are in the mood to like an author then head over to http://www.facebook.com/jarrettrushauthor. I can always use more Facebook fans. Like Twitter, I try to keep the book promotion to a minimum. Most of the time I'm sharing links to blogs, mine and others. And, yes, I have a blog. It's a http://jarrettwrites.blogspot.com/. I update it semi-regularly. And if all of that's not enough, readers are always welcome to email me at jarrettrush@yahoo.com.

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