J.S Latshaw- His Brathius Legacy Series & The Journey As Author
There are very selective foreign authors whose book I read and appreciated a lot and one among them is J.S Latshaw. I read both the books of the Brathius Legacy Series of the author and became his complete fan right away. Getting an opportunity to Interview this author is no less than a matter of pride for me. So friends join me in getting a glimpse of the journey of the author so far!
1) Welcome, Jason. It’s a pleasure to have you on this platform of Indiacafe24.com. Our readers would surely want to have a sneak peek about you and wish to know about you. Kindly share a brief about you, your education, and your family.
I’m originally from Pennsylania, on the east coast of the United States, where I grew up in a very rural, forested area. I would make forts and play in the creek most of the day as a child. My parents are both pastors, so the church and religion have always been a huge part of my life too. I moved to California where I attended UCLA’s screenwriting MFA program, and have fallen in love with the West Coast and the mountains and oceans here.
2) Which authors and their work inspired you the most?
The list is very long! For now, I’ll say Lois Lowry and her Giver series (but all of her work, really), because she handles the quiet emotions of complex characters so masterfully against a larger backdrop of world-building. And Mary Shelley and the original science fiction book Frankenstein, because of the way she infuses a monster with so much humanity and intellect. Khaled Hosseini and his works set in Afghanistan accomplish one of the things I love the most about story-telling – giving people a vivid window into a world they never knew existed, as if they were themselves there, too.
3) Can you recall that moment when you first realized that there is an author within you? Or it was someone else you discovered the author in you?
I mentioned earlier that I grew up within a heavily religious culture, and everybody’s life rotated around the church. Our church was a little unusual in that people were expected to express a lot of outward emotion – crying, or cheering, or dancing, or laughing – during the services, as proof that God was really working in their hearts. This was a difficult fit for me, as such experiences would be highly personal for me, and I wouldn’t want to put them on display. As a result, I often felt nothing during church services, even while people all around me would be deeply spiritual moments. But I found that as I started working on writing stories, and often while reading stories, too – I would feel a whole lot in my heart, kind of like what people seemed like they were feeling during church, and it occurred to me that maybe that’s how I’m wired, and that’s okay. I love stories, and I always have!
4) Read both your books of Brathius Legacy Series…. Now my question is how such interesting plots come to your mind?
When I moved to California, I fell in love with the mountains here. Where I grew up everything was basically flat, but now being able to see the world from a much high viewpoint really shifted my perspective. And often while I was exploring, the clouds would roll in off the ocean and I wouldn’t even be able to see anything down below them. So I thought to myself, what if I didn’t even know what was under those clouds, and people only lived up here, and they were afraid to go down any lower? What would that be like? Then I thought about how the ancient greeks through their gods lived on the top of Mount Olympus, and I thought what if the gods did live up there, but they stayed there because they were afraid of their creation? Those thoughts were the beginnings of the stories that are told in the Brathius Legacy books.
5) In general we witnessed that these days authors are keener towards writing romantic novels……what as per you can be the reason behind this tendency? Is it just because romance sells well? what’s your take on this.
I think for me it’s not that I ever set out to write a romantic book, but that romance and love are a pretty big part of life, and so they show up in the life of the characters. In these books, I liked to explore how romance shows up in a world where there aren’t many people, and where you’re supposed to be in love with one person assigned to you, and how that works or doesn’t work. I also loved the chance to explore other forms of love – not just romantic love. I think that the love between Icelyn and Everyone is probably the most important love in these books, and the purest form, and it’s not a romantic love at all.
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6) Hope you remember that in my last review I mentioned” J.S. Latshaw has once again proven that his writing skills are beyond reproach and that he is capable of creating a tangible and credible tale.”. Now what I wish to know is “how did you achieve such exceptional competency in your writing skill?
Thank you so much for the compliment! I appreciate it very much. I think any talent I have for writing and weaving a tale comes from first, reading a ton of books, watching a lot of movies, and paying attention to what moves and fascinates me. I also read a lot of non-fiction – history, philosophy, science, memoirs – just because I have a ton of interests, and I think all of that shows up in my fiction. Second, I think I’ve improved my writing just by writing so much over time. I’ve written a dizzying amount of scripts and pages over the years, and with each page I write I think I get a little better at it.
7) As an author what are your expectations from a reader of your book?
I have been deeply affected by many stories which I’ve read and seen on the screen, and my hope is that I give back in the same way. I would love it if readers could dive into my book and experience the world and the characters and the relationships and feel like they are there, too, and that they can learn and hope and imagine because of the books that I write.
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8) The conflict between the publishers and authors is very common. Have you faced such problems while finding a publisher for your book?
Because the television and film world where I’ve worked in development for years and years is brutal and laced with rejection, I started writing my books as an antidote to that climate. I grew tired of writing so many stories that were only read by harried executives. So when I wrote these books, I wanted to really have the publishing of them be under my control. I did get some small offers of publication, but I decided to self publish the Brathius series so they could be mine and no one else’s. Again, after collaborating and developing so many scripts, I needed something where I could just write my stories.
9) Share some of the reviews of your book which actually gave you the needed kick to pen down such wonderful stories?
Yours is one of them! Any time any review expresses how much a character means to the reader, or how exciting they think the world is, or that they can’t wait for the next book – I feel ALL of that, and it inspires me to work on the next chapter. I love the idea that people are enjoying following these characters. It’s the best.
10) What about poetry- It attracts you or not? any plan to try this section of the literature world. (I mean only poetry and not mix and match of poetry with the story)
I do love poetry, and I’ve always been a songwriter, so I’ve always written lyrics since I was a young teenager. In fact, my daughter is named Lyric because of how much poetry and music means to me. I’ve never really thought to publish my poetry, it’s almost more like a diary or a journal for me. But who know, maybe someday!
11) Is there something that you feel, that you need to improve in your next project?
I want to finish my next book more quickly! I think in general I need to improve the speed with which I write these books.
12) What are your other passions in life?
I have so many! I love to hike, to sweat, to explore, to travel, to swim in the ocean, or a river, or a lake. Water in general. I love television and movies. I enjoy watching and playing sports. I love live theater, live concerts, musical theater. I play the piano and guitar, I love to sing. I love to cook, and to eat. I love my kids, my family, my friends. I think every second of this life is a precious gift and never want to be guilty of squandering any of it.
13) What are your future plans- what else you want to do?
I would love to work on something which I can watch on the television or movie screen. That hasn’t happened for me yet, and since I adore both of those art forms it’s a huge desire for me. I also want to figure out a way to give back to the community in a big way. I really care a lot about the issue of homelessness and want to be a big part of helping solve it.
14) What next in the pipeline in books and of what genre?
I’m working on a shorter magical realism novel which I’m very excited about. It’s not in the Brathius series. Then I’m going to write a shorter sci-fi novel that is set in a part of the Brathius universe but isn’t the third book in the series. (It’s set in the continents of Europe and Asia and will explore what’s going on over there while the events in books 1 and 2 are set in North America and South America.) Then I’ll write the 3rd book of the Brathius Series, which I’m really excited about.
15) How difficult is it for an author to reach the potential book lovers having an interest in the genre of the book?
I think with Instagram and social media, it’s gotten easier to find your audience, but it’s still not easy! But I’ve found that persistence and participation in the reading community helps.
16) Share some tips for young authors who wish to make a mark in the industry with their work?
Just write. Don’t worry too much about whether it’s good, but focus more on whether it’s a story that means something to you, and excites you, and one you would love to read yourself. Put the judgment aside and just jump into the river and let the current take you where it takes you. Find a way to express who you are in your writing, and be honest about that, and there’s a good chance people will respond to it.
17) Define Jason Latshaw the author in One line?
This is difficult for me! But I think overall I’d say “someone who tells fun, intriguing stories that make you think and feel while normally including a monster of some kind!”
Participating in Outsetbooks Book Marathon