It’s that time again. I was sent a two-fold question from reader Jeremy Hunt . Jeremy asks:
I have a question for Ask Jack. Of all your books, which did you enjoy writing most, and which are you most proud of?
I love this question, because it gives me a moment to look back on my body of work and forces me to be absolutely honest with myself. I think the answers might actually surprise you.
Joy is such a relative term. I’ve enjoyed writing every book I’ve published. Yes, some have been more challenging, one book, Endgame, nearly did me in in the process. But joy has always been a part of my process. If I don’t enjoy it, I don’t write it.
But one book, in particular, brought me more pure joy than any other. That book was Shero II: Zombie A GoGo. I distinctly remember, writing the first draft and waking my wife up as I laughed at the audacity and cheekiness of the narrator. I not only enjoyed the whole of the the process of that book, I had fun writing it.
I haven’t made this public yet, but the narrator of the Shero is…
DUM DUM DUM!!!!
That’s right, when you’re reading Shero, you’re reading dear ol’ me telling you a story. As Shero II progressed, I pushed the boundaries of narration further and further. The snarkier the narration became, the more fun I had. As I wrote that book, I woke my wife up so much she threatened to not allow me to write in bed until Zombie A GoGo was complete and I could move on to another book.
I finally did, but the warmth Shero II left in my heart, will always and forever remain.
Until I start writing Shero III: The Pink Fog. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
A matter of pride
Looking back on my oeuvre (don’t ya love that word?), one book stands out with regards to pride — Hell’s Muse. Let me explain. First and foremost, it was my first true-to-form horror novel. From start to finish, this book could not be mistaken for anything but horror. But more importantly, it was one of those books I had to write. It came from a very dark, very personal space in my mind and heart and demanded to be given an audience. But what really fills me with pride is that I took on a very challenging task with that book — to write a book, within a book, within a book. I knew, going in, Hell’s Muse was going to be very challenging. The end result, according to the reviews, works and works well.
The icing on that prideful cake? Being compared to the early works of Clive Barker. One of my goals as a writer was to someday be compared to my idol. When I read one of the first reviews of Hell’s Muse — and that review mentioned me and Mr. Barker in the same breath, I could have easily exploded with pride (sending chunks and sauce over the firmament).
So, without having to even give it a second thought — Hell’s Muse takes top prize for pride.
Of course, I’m proud of each and every one of my novels.
- I Zombie I — was the book that started it all.
- My Zombie My — proved I Zombie I wasn’t a fluke
- Die Zombie Die — made me realize there was more than a series
- Lie Zombie Lie — helped to cement me as a serious force in the genre
- Shero — there are SO many reasons that I am proud of this book
- Screampark — opened up a whole new world for my writing
- Endgame — showed that, no matter the obstacles, I could overcome just about anything as a writer
- Gothica — was inspired by a very special time in my life
- A Blade Away — was my very first full-length novel