Onet’s tale is a chilling warning of what real evil could be. I never was into sci-fi and definitely this one held me by my short hairs. It grabbed from the first page and refused to let go until the very last. I found the interesting twist at the end more frightening. For I felt Onet was the absolute evil itself. I would not deign to classify it as even near human. I found the way women were portrayed a bit of a hard chew, which being female I guess is understandable. I would like to congratulate Jack for this brilliant work and can only say, in obedience to his statement from the beginning, mankind sows seeds in words, actions and in thoughts and the consequences of such sowing lies at their feet. I would sincerely hope the world will be spared the thoughts of the Khaz.
I ‘met’ Jack Eason on one of the social networking sites, specifically FACEBOOK. He had a contained presence even then and has this brusque vinegar and lime gentleman courtesy towards me. I took a risk, I decided I liked him which may have annoyed him but he was (and still is) unfailingly encouraging and supportive as I submitted my book and waited for the publishers to take a decision. He remained always encouraging and had a deep sense of what I may be going though. His book came out and I was awed but for all I know it was Greek. I read it and yes, that is my review you just read. I have retained my respect for Jack since then knowing full well we are cut from different bands of light. It is thus my pleasure to bring Jack Eason to Center Stage. Please enjoy the interview.
1.Tell me a bit of what you thought of in your younger days as you gazed at the stars?
Like most people from my generation, I grew up as the space race was in its infancy. I still remember the reports when Sputnik was heard beeping for the first time. We all thought it was a wonderful technological achievement at the time. As for my literary preference for science fiction novels and short stories Biola, my imagination was fired by authors like Arthur C Clark. I must admit that it was several years before I got bitten by the astronomical bug. But when I did I spent many happy nights looking up towards the stars, wondering if we were the only sentient beings in the entire universe.
2.It is understood that writers can influence others with what they write, what kind of impact do you want Onet’s Tale to have?
My first published science fiction space opera, at least to me, is nothing more than a story telling the sometimes brutal journey a group of altered beings who become ‘brothers’ take while trying to save the universe from an unseen evil that inhabits several of the many characters during the story. The overall premise of “Onet’s Tale” is a simple one – good versus evil.
3.Sci-fi and fantasy is a heady mix and humanity is portrayed in your novel as being very expendable, could you explain?
Number One – Onet’s Tale is pure science fiction, there is no element of ‘fantasy’. Number Two – In the story I portray humanity as an unwilling pawn in the battle between good and evil. In this particular case, humanity is totally out of its depth. It has no answer to the far more aggressive beings that just happen to use the Earth as their battleground.
4.Will it be right to read you as a woman hater in your portrayal of the totally evil cannibalistic inhuman queen of the Lesbos?
You are so completely wrong on all accounts with this question Biola. The character you speak of was created by the evil genetic manipulation of an entity whose agenda was to take over the entire universe. She was born out of a hellish set of circumstances, who somehow managed, despite everything to survive. Personally I admire her survival instincts. Given her early life, is it any wonder she wound up bitter and angry, and leading a group of female amazons in a world which has reverted back to its most primitive and brutally savage state, hating the men who had contributed to her circumstances in the terrible way they did? So, no Biola I am not a woman hating misogynist in any way shape or form; in fact quite the reverse.
What type of reader did you have in mind when you were writing Onet’s Tale?
Isn’t it obvious – readers of science fiction? The genre has moved on since the early days when sci-fi authors like H.G Wells only ever wrote about space or time travel, decades before we finally sent men to the surface of the moon.
5.Your first book came out when you turned 60, a science fiction fantasy that was well received, however please share why it took you so long to publish?
To correct you on a couple of points – firstly I was sixty-two, secondly as I have said earlier – there is no fantasy element in “Onet’s Tale”. Now as to why it took so long, well like all first time authors I spent years sending hundreds of letters off to literary agents and publishers in the hope that someone within the closed world of mainstream publishing may want to read the product of my blood sweat and tears, largely to no avail. Then some seven years after I had written it, by pure chance I met my future editor on Facebook. The rest as they say is history. “Onet’s Tale” was finally published last year via an up and coming new small press publisher - IFWG Publishing.
6.Is there really a retirement age for writers?
You retire from writing only when you depart this mortal coil Biola, only then.
7.Onet is the classic evil, never really conquered nor defeated and there is the implicit threat that Onet will resurface soon in a more evil sequel, true?
In answer to the first part of the question - Incorrect! Onet (the story teller) is waiting for the evil he seeks to arrive so that he can remove it once and for all. To answer the second part of the question - I have moved on since writing “Onet’s Tale” and I can say I have absolutely no plans now or in the future to write a sequel.
8.Please give us an insight into your writing schedules and how you cope.
My writing day starts around 9am after I have caught up with my emails and consumed a large pot of coffee. On a good day I may write as much as five thousand words, but days like that are few and far between. Usually I tend to write on average two thousand words from 9am till around 3pm every day, spending most of the time reworking a particular sentence or paragraph until I am relatively happy with it. Of course as the author of the piece you know that that is only the beginning once you have placed it under your eagle eyed editor’s highly critical gaze. As to the second part of your question – coping doesn’t even enter the equation. If you are driven to write, then that is what you do.
9.Every writer has a worry..the writer’s block. Have you ever experienced it and how did you deal with it?
Yes on many, many occasions. My current project is a good case in point. For nearly two months, up until a few days ago, I sat staring at my computer screen re-reading the manuscript trying to decide where it was that I wanted my characters to go next, both physically and mentally and emotionally, within the context of the storyline.
10.How is the book doing in the market?
Like all first time novels, “Onet’s Tale” is doing as well as can be expected. If you are asking will I retire on the royalties – definitely not? I’m just happy that other human beings across the world have read it and either enjoyed it, or like yourself, been obviously confused by it Biola as evidenced by some of your previous questions. Perhaps you should re-read it.
11.What can writers do to boost sales of their books especially first time authors?
I can only speak from my own particular set of circumstances Biola. I make a lot of use of social platforms like Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter, not only to promote my work, but also that of my fellow authors within IFWG’s stable. In this day and age the Internet is growing at such a mind-blowing rate of knots that far more people look for books via the internet than they do in their local bookshop or library.
Thank you for coming on Centre stage.
She sat there
her withered cheeks
bloodied rag covered feet
and empty begging bowl
as the line thinned out
we cleared the dishes
of choice food
she shuffled over
stretched out her bowl
and looked up
in the ensuing silence
her eyes told
of the neglected past.
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