May 10, 2011

Interview with a…Muse – Guest: J.A. Paul

J. A. Paul picture

“Hey, Jami, now that you have a bazillion things to do and no time to get it all done, what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to Disneyland!”

That’s right.  I threw up my hands and decided everything could wait a week while I head to Disneyland with the family.  Everything could wait but this blog, that is.  *smile*

I’ve arranged for a couple guests to join us this week, and because insanity loves company (or something like that), we’ll be “interviewing” our guests’ muses.  Our first guest is Jason (J.A. Paul).  I knew his muse had a story when a Twitter conversation with Jason about my Do You Have a Muse? post resulted in his accusation/confession:

“Mine’s a big flirt…”

So please welcome Jason and his muse, and let’s see if she’s really the flirt he claims.


Hi, Jason and Jason’s muse—I think I’ll shorten that to JM for this interview, okay?—come in and make yourselves comfortable.  Tell me, Jason, which came first, the desire to start writing, or the whisperings from your muse?

Jason:  I was writing before she started whispering in my ear, but my writing and story ideas were rather flat.  Now, when she relays her ideas to me, it’s almost like I can feel her sweet breath in my ear.  It makes my hairs stand on end and does the same for my writing.

*JM gives Jason a sincere smile*

Hmm, no evidence of flirting yet.  Let’s go to JM.  How did you first make your presence known to Jason?

JM:  I flashed him.  *JM laughs*  No really, it was a short story he was writing at the time about a girl in need.  This girl was desperate for a rescue and I could tell he was stuck as to how to properly set her free.  I nudged him along and he’s been my pet author ever since.  *JM pats Jason’s head*

*raises eyebrow*  Uh-huh.  So what’s he like to work with?

JM:  Oh, he’s a charm to work with now that I’ve got him trained to do things my way.

*snickers*  I bet.  And Jason, what’s she like to work with?

Jason:  Distracting.  Just kidding.  No wait, I’m not.  She’s great at pushing me and sparking new ideas for me, but she’s very flirty.  She always wants to role-play the emotion scenes.  I’m getting used to it now.

Well that sounds…interesting.  Was her voice always strong for you, or has it gotten stronger over time?

Jason:  Definitely gotten stronger over time.  Not only that, but I can understand where she’s heading with an idea before she fully reveals it.  Early on, I would run with the idea or subplot, not really knowing where it was going.  Now we think alike.

*JM puts her arm around Jason’s shoulder and leans in her head for a friendly hug*

Aww…  JM, how would you describe Jason?

JM:  He’s funny looking.  He a smartass guy.  Easy to get along with.  Obviously easy to distract, my god, all I’m doing is whispering in his ear.  Oh, and he’s overly adventurous.  He was typing with a taped up finger last week after a kayaking incident.

*eyes Jason*  All she’s doing is whispering in your ear?  You haven’t convinced me on that “flirt” thing yet, but the role-playing stuff has potential.  Tell me more about what she’s like to work with.

Jason:  She’s a night owl and I’m an early bird.  Fortunately, she lives in another time zone and just pops in when needed.  I wake early to write and she’s just catching her second wind.  Once I get some coffee, I write, she interjects, I write some more, she flirts, I write, she tells me to weave in a layer of romance, I do.  She wins.  I write some more.

Well, it sounds like you two have a system that works.  JM, what’s your favorite and least favorite thing about working with Jason?

JM:  Least favorite: He’s always wanting to put our characters through some macho adventure.  Most favorite: He likes beauty.  He lets them stop to smell flowers or admire a mountain lake along the way.

Ahh, so some creative differences there.  And Jason, what’s your favorite and least favorite thing about working with her?

Jason:  Her flirting.

Which one?  Favorite or least favorite?

Jason:  Both.  *Jason grins*

Okay, let’s see how deep those differences go…  *evil laugh*  This last question is to both of you.  Where do more of Jason’s ideas come from, his conscious thoughts or JM?

JM:  Me of course.  If I were human, I’d be J.K. Rowling.

Jason:  She definitely gives me ideas, and like most authors, I let them stew all day and I build on them.  I might come back the next morning with a completely new idea, but I wouldn’t have been able to do so if I hadn’t thought about the ideas first inspired by my precious muse.

*JM whispers in Jason’s ear*

Ooo, what was that about?


*Jason grins*


What do you think, is Jason’s muse a flirt?  Do you have any questions for her (she loves the limelight) or Jason?  I played nice and gave them a bunch of softball questions, but feel free to dig for some real dirt in the comments.  Heh.  Or if you want to play nice too, let us know why you choose to write in your genre?


J.A. Paul started writing short stories ten years ago and spent many years learning the craft.  Then one night after a long bedtime story, his sons challenged him to write a book.  He borrowed an idea from a friend and asked them to choose three things to go in the story.  They chose a dragon, a tree, and a ruby, and from the seed of that idea, the story of Gladius grew.  J.A. Paul set out to show his three sons that if you set your mind to something, it can be done.  Once he started writing Gladius, he knew he wanted to create a fantasy adventure novel that would encourage preteen and teenage boys to read more.

You can find J.A. Paul on Facebook, Twitter, and his website.

Cover for Gladius and the Bartlett TrialAbout Gladius and the Bartlett Trial:

When fifteen-year-old Gladius Oldmont is thrust from his peaceful home into the dangerous Longwood Forest, he finds himself pitted against a tyrant who has been terrorizing the lands in search of answers to an ancient secret that could unlock absolute power.

From the shadows of Longwood Forest to the Hills of the Moon, Gladius must survive encounters with a near-extinct scimitar cat, an ornery dragon, a horde of death bats, and a tumultuous underground river that leads to a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels.  Along the way, he makes new acquaintances and discovers the true meaning of friendship, including Elle—a girl who captivates his heart.

Can Gladius and friends solve the riddle of the ancient secret before the evil Mulhurt does?  If they can, will they be able to do anything about it?

Comments — What do you think?

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Raelyn Barclay

That was cute!

Have a great time with the family Jami.

Tamara LeBlanc
Tamara LeBlanc

The story you wrote and the fact that you asked your children for three things to put in it sounds inspired. What a great tale!
Loved the interview, very, very cute.
In answer to the question, I actually write in a handful of genres. I’m published in contemporary (chose that because my muse, who I actually have a picture of tattooed on my left arm, helped me flesh out a story that had been brewing in my head for a while) But my favorite genre is paranormal romance. I love that you can do anything you want in PR…as long as you’re able to get the reader to beleive it that is.
My WIP is paranormal, and hopefully I’ll be fortunate enough to get it published too.
Thanks for the interview!!
Have a great day:)

J.A. Paul

When Jami asked me to help her blogsit I was a little apprehensive because I don’t have a blog myself. Especially this morning when this post went live I got nervous and excited. In hindsight this is pretty fun!

Raelyn, my muse is taking all the credit for being cute.

Tamara, my children keep me motivated and inspired! And I’d love to see that tattoo — what dedication! (my muse just crossed her arms and is giving me that ‘don’t even think about it look’) WHAT? I wasn’t thinking that. But now I am. 🙂

Thanks for the comments.

PW Creighton

Isn’t that the truth. Sometime they just bug you until you learn to pay attention. Then when you do they’re likely to throttle you for making a logical decision when it should be an emotional one in the story. The best question is how do you rein them in/know when they’re more right then you are in the story?

J.A. Paul

What you said got me thinking… maybe we need to write it out both ways and let it sit. Come back to it after a while and see what reaction we have. Most likely it ends up being a combination of the two. I think a little emotion goes a long ways.

I’m not sure my muse can be reined in, but I might try it.

Thank for chiming in! Great blog btw.


Hi J. A Paul:
Sounds to me like your muse is trying to seduce you with her ideas instead of flirting with you. 😉 I have a tendancy to think that a muse presents the content we are not 100% ‘consciously’ comfortable with writing, therefore we have to be seduced or flirted with in order to put it on the page.

Love your brainstorming with the kids – I got my best ideas for childrens stories that way.

Great interview! Good job guys!


JA Paul

Thanks Murphy. You might be onto something when you say our muses might be trying to seduce us with their ideas especially with the ideas we are not comfortable with.

Kids can have some very honest and pure ideas. It’s always worth asking.

Thanks again!

Christine Bell

You had me at horde of death bats. Your book sounds like loads of fun, so I will definitely be checking that out!

JA Paul

Thanks Christine! It was loads of fun to write so I hope you enjoy it!

Jami's Tech Guy

So, Jason & “Nameless Muse”, I’m curious about your vacation schedules.

“Nameless Muse”, when Jason is at his most busy with non-writing work, do you take a vacation or is that when you’re most active?


JA Paul

Fortunately for me my muse will bug me at all times of the day (I wonder if she sleeps). If I’m mentally working through a scene she might pop in and give me her two cents. Sometimes I cash it in, sometimes I won’t.

Gene Lempp

Interesting how our muses are as diverse as we are. The “flirting” of JA’s muse makes me think of a negotiator that understands precisely how to make us listen to reason and comply.

Have a great time with the family Jami 🙂

JA Paul

That is pretty much how I get along with my muse. We negotiate together until we are both happy. It’s just that her powers of persuasion are stronger than mine!

Irene Vernardis
Irene Vernardis

It seems like Jason’s muse tries to have her way in Jason’s writing 😀 And I think she wins most of the times, LOL.

Very enjoyable post, thanks Jami. Disneyland blogging, new concept 😀

JA Paul

Publicly I make it sound like my muse is in control but I am the one who pushing that little round button to wake up the laptop!

Umm… my muse just put duct tape over her mouth… OK, fine. She is in control. There I said it, now take the tape off. Seriously, take the tape off.

Irene Vernardis
Irene Vernardis

LOL…Well, it’s a good thing she didn’t put duct tape over your mouth, or fingers in this case :D. Or the laptop…Imagine that 🙂

Thank you for the laugh, Jason.


[…] I want to thank J.A. Paul and Rachel Firasek for their guest posts.  I had fun with their interviews and I hope you all did […]


[…] time, we interviewed J.A. Paul and his muse, and today we’re checking in with Rachel Firasek and her…  Well, she doesn’t […]

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