01 August 2011

AOTW- A. Jarrell Hayes

A. Jarrell Hayes

About the Author:
A. Jarrell Hayes was born in 1982 in Baltimore, MD. He was raised in the suburbs of Columbia, MD. His love of reading started at an early age, as he read books from his older brothers in an attempt to emulate them. The computer games Writer Rabbit and Reader Rabbit pushed him to pursue writing. His first written books were handwritten and self-illustrated tales in the vein of Choose Your Own Adventure books.


You can read more about his life story here.


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Interview with A, Jarrell Hayes

A. Jarrell Hayes is a poet and author of such works as, Detecting Magic with Dick Hunter: The Mort des Hommes Files and Crowning of the Good King.

HP: What is your favorite quality about yourself?


A. Jarrell Hayes: My youthful exuberance. I treat every experience as new, because you can't have the same exact experience twice. I am excited about life.

HP: What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

A. Jarrell Hayes: Being an awesome uncle.


HP: How has your upbringing influenced your writing?


A. Jarrell Hayes: I read a lot as a child. In elementary school I created wacky, silly stories using the computer program Writer Rabbit. My parents limited my TV watching time, I guess so I wouldn't rot my brain. I played with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures, creating epic stories--many of the themes from back then are evident in my current writing. As I got older, I wrote and illustrated short stories and Choose Your Own Adventure type books which I sold to family and friends for a quarter each. You can say those were the first books I published and sold.


HP: What inspired you to write your first fantasy book?


A. Jarrell Hayes: My two older brothers read a lot of fantasy, so growing up I tried to mimic them and read the books they were reading. At the time I didn't know of any African-American fantasy authors; I read books about orcs and trolls but few people of color. I decided to write the story I wanted to read. My journey into writing has introduced me to many of the African-American fantasy and sci-fi authors that helped pave the way for this generation, and future ones, of writers and readers. I'm enjoying how more and more diverse the genre is becoming.


HP: I know you also write poetry and in addition to the four fantasy novels you also have four poetry works published. What do you like about writing poetry?


A. Jarrell Hayes: I have four fantasy books and four poetry collections published, along with four free e-books. That's twelve books total. What I like about writing poetry is berevity. I tend to get to the point and get out. Poetry, for the most part, doesn't need backstory or history, unlike most fiction. Poetry exists in that one moment; it is a snapshot of life.


HP: What do you find most challenging about writing and do you think writing has taught you anything about yourself?


A. Jarrell Hayes: Writing has taught me that I need more patience. Writing a novel is a time consuming process. After the first draft there are subsequent drafts. As I've grown as a writer, I've gained more patience. On that note, I also had to learn when to let go. I used to stress over writing perfectly. That is until a writing professor said worrying about it being perfect. He said to focus on writing manuscripts that are publishable. I've re-read my poems and short stories published in magazines and found changes I want to make. Maybe switch one word in favor of another; something like that. Not necessarily errors, but changes to make the manuscript more perfect (in my eyes, at least). I had to learn to let go when editing, revising, submitting, and publishing.


HP: How did you come up with the title for your novel, Detecting Magic with Dick Hunter: The Mort des Hommes Files?


A. Jarrell Hayes: I wanted a ridiculously long title that reflects the off-beat humor inside the book. The main character is a detective named Dick Hunter. There is magic. The title made perfect sense.


HP: Who designed the cover?


A. Jarrell Hayes: I found the photo of the Seattle skyline on Flickr. The photographer's name is Andrew A. Smith. I told him about the project and he allowed me to use the photograph. It was really a stroke of good fortune. The rest of the design, including the sinister face in the sky, was done by Jazmine C., a supremely talented graphic designer I've known for years.


HP: Can you tell us a little about it?


A. Jarrell Hayes: Sure. While on a routine missing person case, detective Dick Hunter witnesses a brutal murder. Feeling responsible for the murder, Hunter decides to track down the killer, a guy with magic powers named Mort des Hommes. Hunter joins forces with a lady named Amie, who is also after Mort, and her magical familiars in order to bring down the killer. What happens next is a fast-paced adventure full of laughs.


HP: Where can we purchase the book?


A. Jarrell Hayes: The book is available through special order at bookstores nationwide, BarnesAndNoble.com, Amazon.com, and on my website www.ajhayes.com. E-book versions are available on the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.com. Basically, if you want it, you can find it.


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


A. Jarrell Hayes: There are forces in the world that we do neither know nor understand. Our non-belief does not mean they do not exist. When we open our hearts and eyes to all the possibilities, we will discover what we once thought was impossible is, indeed, possible.


HP: In the name it has 'The Mort des Hommes Files', does this mean we can expect a second book?


A. Jarrell Hayes: I didn't plan on writing a second book until after I published this book. Now I'm making it into a trilogy.


HP: Are you working on anything at the moment?


A. Jarrell Hayes: I'm editing the final book in the Good King Trilogy. The other projects I'm working on are stand-alone fantasy novel about the relationship between gods and men, a collection of poetry, a collection of sci-fi short stories about the tumult history of a city in the desert, a collection of short stories and poetry, and another free e-book of sci-fi and fantasy short stories. I'm also developing an online magazine of speculative fiction and poetry.


HP: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?


A. Jarrell Hayes: Thank you for supporting my writing and my journey. It's good knowing that others are enjoying my stories and worlds. You're just as much a part of the writing process as I am. Your feedback and support is appreciated.


HP: Thank you for being here with us!!


A. Jarrell Hayes: Thanks for having me.


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Books by A. Jarrell Hayes
The Good King Trilogy
#1: Crowning of the Good King
#2: Reign of the Good King


Detecting Magic with Dick Hunter
#1: The Mort des Hommes Files


Single Titles
The Laroarian Conflict

Poetry
To Woman, From Man: Love Poems
100 + 1 Haiku
Just Another Angry Black Man
Heart and Soul of a Thinker


Free Works
Poetry
Seattle's Hymn
The Enchanted Prince
Impromptu


Fiction
Stranger Than Speculative Fiction, Vol. 1
Free works can be found here along with free excerpts.

You can find A. Jarrell Hayes at:
Goodreads
His blog
His website

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