Jack Pewitt: Graphic designer
Meeting the Rising Writer No. 17
Some members in Authors’ Tale have been active for almost as long as the group has been alive. Jack Pewitt is one of those members, and he has agreed to a virtual interview today.
Jack is a writer with a background in design, so his skills have allowed him to create his own book cover as well as write the book, itself. He has a self-published book and an audiobook, but right now he is working on the sequel to his first published book, “The City of Ire.”
Thank you, Jack, for agreeing to an interview today.
Do you go by that name as a writer?
John Augustus McCann Pewitt, son of Randy Pewitt, heir to the McCann bloodline. Y’all can call me Jack.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Working on something else (a drawing, review, or logo) or play video games.
When did you start writing?
When I was eight, but nothing came to fruition until I was much older. I wrote adventure stories mainly about hunting, ghosts, and machines. I remember once I tried to write about a teen romance between vampires. (not vampires and humans—just between two monsters) because I loved the story of Cirque Du Freak and thought, “How do relationships work between these people?”
Did you finish that story?
I was working on it when my hard drive got wiped.
You never tried re-writing it?
I could, but I’m working on a different story at the moment, and I’m not the same writer I was as a kid. I was far less structured with my wording. I had no detail to speak of in the work so if I wanted to resurrect my childhood work, I think I’ll have to revamp the entire story.
What are you currently working on? How did you begin working on it?
A sequel to City of Ire. I’m about a third of the way finished with it. I started with a bunch of phrases and rough ideas, then hammered out a story to them.
the City of Ire is my only major work outside of reviews. It follows the exploits of a group called the Vanguard who are the royal guard of city Jord. They deal with a number of horrible and bloody encounters. It takes place in an unspecified future where things like magic, space travel, and artificial planets are just as real as you or I.
Give us insight to your main character.
Vela K. Mara, vanguard of the fortress city of Jord, vassal to the great hierarchy. She isn’t particularly bright and is very hard headed, but Vela has had a very hard life. Every person in Jord (her city) has to be conscripted to serve in a military capacity. She has no parents to speak of and was raised in a orphanage monastery. She is well read, which is a luxury in her world, and invests most of herself in her sisterhood and the hierarchy she lives under. Most of her character is driven by her self-conflict with what is moral and what is necessary because this is a merciless, lightless world she is born into.
She has to eradicate or disable any forces that are either against the hierarchy or the sanctity of Jord.
And you’re continuing with your second book?
I’m a 3rd of the way done with book 2; here is where I will split the Vanguard (because there are 6 of them and 1 liege that they answer to). In book 2, which I’ll call “Stone Sea,” we hope to gain some insight to the events of the first book.
Really, I want this to be an expansive universe like the Warhammer books or Lord of the Rings told though the perspective of many people and many years. I want it to be epic for lack of a better word.
What is the biggest mistake you think you make while writing? How do you overcome it?
Spelling, grammar, and I have an aversion towards periods; this is why I hire an editor to sort through all the mistakes.
What do you hope to achieve with your writing?
Well, get a series finished; my past goal was to get an audiobook done, which is a lot more time-consuming than I originally thought it would be.
How did you go about getting an audiobook done?
I asked around and eventually happened upon a site called Voices.com. There, I met an actress named Amber Lee Conors (it is told through a female so I could not voice the book myself). She agreed to terms of our contract and in three months had the file ready to be loaded. However, I had to go through a whole bunch of paperwork because the agreement was a royalty share, which means Amazon had to have Amber’s information. It was time-consuming and troublesome.
Which authors inspire you?
A- Dante, Lovecraft, Homer, Shakespeare, Robert Howard, M. R. James, Clark Ashton Smith, Orwell, Patton, Sun Tzu, Niccolò Machiavelli, Joseph Conrad, Tomas Paine, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twine
When do you usually write? How often?
At night (almost always) how often well usually when I’m depressed or lonely. I don’t have a word count because, and this is important to note, my two favorite stories have chasm size difference: Fallout Equestria (word count: 489,000) and The Tragedy of Macbeth (word count: 17,000). I firmly believe that it is the story, not its size, that dictates greatness.
What books or writing projects have you completed/published in the past?
Currently, I write reviews for a site called Based Gamer that is in Beta at the moment. The main thing I aim for is to be as empirical and critical as possible when reviewing, because there are far too many talking heads in journalism inserting their own agendas at the cost of informing the public. On the novel front, I’m about a third the way though my sequel to the City of Ire.
What genre do you enjoy most, and what draws you to the genre you write?
As you can gauge from above, my interest are mainly in elevated fiction, high horror, classical society, and military.
Where do your ideas come from?
Sometimes, during the year, I have a string of nightmares. That’s where most of them come from.
Are you reading any books right now? If so, what are you reading?
I’m currently reading the books from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. I’ve started with the Adepta Sororitas (the Sisterhood of Battle) in their book called Faith and Fire.
Do you have any amusing stories about your life as a writer?
Almost killed myself over publishing…well it amused me. Getting though all the bureaucracy of publishing is a nightmare (at least in my case). I had to update a lot of personal information and ties and spend a good chunk of change to get everything correct.
Do you have any favorite books? Favorite motivational quotes?
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”-John 15:13
“Persevere to the end in any enterprise begun.” – Code of Chivalry
What advice would you give your younger self?
Never date crazy and do not go to art school.
BONUS QUESTION: If you had to fight the toughest creature in your book, which one would it be, why is it the hardest battle, and how would you win?
The Empress, Magenta. If you can remember way back from the writing prompt story called the Vanishing White Crown, she was embedded with immense dark magic and has become a force of earth destroying nature. I intend to integrate her in to the main story somehow—haven’t figured out how she can be stopped, yet. But, I’m the writer and without me, she’d be nothing. So I have that logic protecting me.
How can readers and fellow writers discover more about you and your work?