Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guest spot with Jason Parent author of What Hides Within

As a new author, people sometimes ask me what writers my work is most like. While I’d like to think everything I write is 100% unique right down to the last word, parts of What HidesWithin have been compared to just about everyone from King to Kubrick (okay, so “Ki” to “Ku” isn’t that broad of a range). While these comparisons are awesome and, admittedly, undeserved, they probably go more toward the content of What Hides Within than its style.

So, the easier question to answer is this: Which authors have inspired my writing? Here’s a few of them:

1. Edgar Allan Poe – Poe is the granddaddy of American horror and my favorite required read in school. He didn’t need guts and gore to instill fear or create an atmosphere of true horror. Poe could have taken any two people and placed them side-by-side as they walked through a flower bed surrounded by kittens and teddy bears, and from that, created some of the best, quietly building tension – something far more deliciously menacing than anyone who has come after him. Poe’s mastery of the craft is the standard that I will always strive to reach. For those looking to cheat on a book review, I’ve written several articles on Poe that may be useful.

Favorite Short Stories: The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart

2. Stephen King – Any horror author who claims he/she hasn’t been influenced by King is a liar. If Poe is the master of classic horror, than King is the “king” of the modern day variety. (I’m sure he’s never heard that play on words before). His imagination seems boundless, as he continues to pump out fantastic novels. There’s a reason his works rival the Bible in sales: he writes what fans of horror want to read, myself included. It used to irritate me when I’d read some critic who called him a hack, the reason being (as far as I could ascertain) that he writes “genre fiction.” Not that King ever needed me to defend him. Countless bestsellers later, he has pretty much quieted those critics . . . or maybe he killed them. The Dead Zone serves, in part, as the inspiration for an upcoming novel of mine. It won’t star Christopher Walken or Anthony Michael Hall, though.

Favorite Books: The Stand, The Dead Zone

3. Tess Gerritsen – Gerritsen writes thrillers, sometimes pigeon-holed as “medical thrillers,” and each one is thrilling. Dr. Gerritsen wrote her first novel after becoming a physician. That’s a ton of work on top of a ton of work, and I admire her for it. I have followed a seemingly analogous path (lawyer first, then author, but don’t expect to see me writing any “legal thrillers”), so I can imagine her commitment. And we’re all better off for it, because Gerritsen has enormous talent. She’s introduced the world to Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles. I have one recurring character in my work thus far: Detective Samantha Reilly. I’d be remiss if I didn’t concede her passing resemblance to Gerritsen’s far more famous female detective. What can I say? Who doesn’t love a take-charge woman with a badge and gun to back up her authority? Um, criminals, I suppose, but besides them, no one.

Favorite Book: The Mephisto Club

4. John Carpenter – Okay, he’s a director. But when it comes to horror, Carpenter has been a huge influence on my work. His films never pretended to be something they weren’t. They lacked pretentiousness or illusions of grandeur. They merely sought to entertain, and damn, his films were entertaining! But keep in mind, I think Slither should have been Oscar-nominated, so I may be somewhat biased in favor of the campy-fun horror movie. I try to put a little dark humor in everything I write. Even if my readers don’t come away with some life-altering epiphany, I hope to achieve that which Carpenter, even at his worse, never failed to provide--a roaring good time with a fair dose of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Favorite Movies: Everything with Kurt Russell in it.

Those who have read What Hides Within will likely see little of those above re-envisioned upon my pages. But mash them all together into some twisted genetic marmalade and mold an ill-begotten spawn from it, and you’d get me . . . or something like that. I’m not really a fan of marmalade.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished reading the book and I agree that there could be some comparisons made here and there, however, Parent's overall plot and style are both very unique. There is also a splash of dark humor and some unexpected twists. The book spans quite a few genres such as horror, thriller, suspense, mystery, dark humor, etc. The style that resonated the most with me personally were the mystery, suspense and of course the comic relief! I would highly recommend it as there is something in it for everyone. Everyone around 18 and older that is!