Yesterday I posted my review of the runaway bestseller, The Returned, by Jason Mott (click here for the review). Thanks to TLC Book Tours I am also fortunate enough to have been able to interview him about his book. Because both Jason and I are graduates of UNCW I was especially interested in how living in Wilmington may have affected his storyline. For those of you who don’t know, Wilmington is the “Hollywood of the East” and is home to Screen Gem Studios, where hits like One Tree Hill, Dawson’s Creek, Iron Man series, Firestarter, Matlock, and other shows/movies were filmed.
Here’s the interview:
1. The Returned received an incredible amount of buzz before it was even published. Do you think that was, in part, a result of it being optioned by Plan B Productions?
The Returned has been fortunate enough to have readers and reviewers respond positively to it. The responses have been better than I’ve ever hoped for. I’m just grateful that readers are giving The Returned a chance and that Plan B has optioned it for a series.
2. Wilmington is known for being home to several popular TV shows, including Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. Did your proximity to the film industry during your time at UNCW give you a boost with getting your book optioned for a television show?
It was exciting living near a town where these two great shows were being filmed. Living in such a small town gave me the opportunity to create a setting that was true to the south when writing The Returned. The story of southern living played as a character in the novel, and I’m thankful that it’ll be once again represented in a television series.
3. If given the option, would you want to have someone “returned” to you or would you prefer to leave them in the past? Why?
Tough question. I would like to hug my mother one more time.
4. Before The Returned, you were known for your poetry. If you could only write poetry or fiction, which would it be?
For me, fiction and poetry are never as far apart as many people seem to feel they are. Fiction can be poetic. Poetry can contain narrative. Both are a way of exploring yourself through the written word. So I don’t see any reason (or ability) to choose one over the other. I enjoy writing both.
5. You have said that you draw inspiration from comic books and have written a lot about them. Do you have any plans to develop your own comic book series?
Potentially. Comic books as just as important to me as fiction, poetry, and film. I grew up reading about the epic heroes of Beowulf, The Odyssey, and The Iliad, so it was a natural evolution for me to be drawn to their descendents: Batman, Superman, the X-Men, etc.
As for developing my own comic book series, yes, I’ve considered it. I’ve even got a few preliminary notes drawn up. There’s one story in particular that keeps coming back to me over and over again. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to explore it and bring it to life.
6. (From Jennifer at Bookalicious Mama): What was your “made it” moment? Have you had more than one?
Another tough question! Haha! Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever really feel as though I’ve “made it.” There are always other goals I want to achieve: other stories I want to write, other mediums I’d like to write in, etc. But I will definitely admit that spotting your debut novel in a bookstore—the natural haven of literature—is special enough.
Pick up your copy of The Returned NOW!