TWENTY QUESTIONS with MeeGenius
What is your name (and pen name, if applicable)?
My name is Jason Glaser, and that’s what I put on my books. Some day that’s going to create a clash, I know, because I write in such diverse markets that it sometimes creates a strange juxtaposition of titles. I have this book launching within a month of my adult novel (Double Jump) launching, so I am wearing both my hats this month.
My pen’s name is Roger, by the way.
What book(s) have you published with MeeGenius?
My Daddy is a Mind Reader is my first one, but hopefully not last. I did publish another e-book with a different publisher, and I often wish I had brought that title to MeeGenius first. But live and learn.
Where do you currently live? Please include city and state
(or town and country if you’re non-US based).
I live in Mankato, Minnesota. I’ve been a life-long Minnesotan and I’m not sure if I’d enjoy living somewhere else (as much).
Do you have any other occupations (excluding writing)?
I always say that I’m a dad first and a writer second. I’m always less resentful of times when being a dad imposes on being a writer than I am the other way around. I try never to say “Not now – Daddy’s working” if I can help it.
Did you attend any secondary education institutions (college/university)? If so, where did you go? What was your major? Did you complete any post-secondary education (Masters, Ph.D. programs)?
I went to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and got my Bachelor’s degree in English. In a sense I started on the road to my other “career” there, too, because that’s where I met my wife—the love of my life and my much-needed ally in parenting. I also have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Do you have any children? Significant other? Pets? Dust
bunnies that keep you company?
I’ve got three girls, and My Daddy is a Mind Reader came out of a conversation with my oldest when she was a kindergartner. Young children have such a narrow focus and awareness that she couldn’t understand how I could know if she was still awake, hadn’t brushed her teeth, or had nabbed a cookie. She thought that if I didn’t see it I wouldn’t know. She’s a lot craftier now, so I have to stay sharp.
When did you first start writing stories?
Since before I could even spell anything. I had spiral notebooks filled with crudely-drawn pictures and indecipherable scribbling in green crayon. There was the occasional letter, but it was almost always backwards. The weird part is I still remember how those stories went, despite everything happening pretty much for no reason whatsoever.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? Love a specific type of tea to warm your creative juices, or do you listen to any particular bands/genres of music?
I love to write at night. It’s a blessing and a curse because my mind is at its most creative around midnight. It worked wonders in college, but children rarely accommodate such a schedule.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
You just have to write through it—there’s no way around it. Anything I stop doing is so much harder to start back up again, and it takes more energy. Even if I throw away 100% of what I wrote in a session, I still need to do it. For every paragraph that’s ever seen the light of day, I’ve shredded or deleted ten times as many at least.
What inspired you to write your book? Did you learn anything from writing this book?
I was inspired by my kids, as I imagine many people are. They always have such a liberating perspective on things. The biggest challenge or risk was creating a book where the text is meaningless without the images. If you were to read the book without seeing the art, it wouldn’t make any sense. I provided some pretty specific notes on what needed to accompany the discussions the children were having. I’m a bit of a control freak, and so I’ve had to work on trusting artists to bring their talents and their strengths into play without wanting to look over their shoulder constantly.
How are you similar or different from the main character in your book?
I’m not all that similar to the children in the book, but pretty much all the dads in the story are having moments I can totally sympathize with. It’s every parent who knows their children’s “tells” and aren’t letting on about them.
What is your favorite children’s book?
Oh goodness, it’s hard to pick! I do enjoy Winnie the Pooh. My grandmother gave me an early edition of Winnie the Pooh a long time ago that’s at least seventy-five years old now. Not a first edition, but darn close. It’s very delicate now, but I love to leaf through it. Stuffed animal philosophy is a lot deeper than many people realize.
What is your favorite adult book?
It changes all the time. I love the things I’m reading the most. It’s waaaay too grown-up for kids, but I just finished reading Joe Hill’s N0S4A2 and that was a really compelling read, I thought. I’ve thought about some of the things he did with his writing in that book a lot. I’ve always loved Douglas Adams also, and I’ve re-read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series more than any other book.
What are your hobbies?
I play a fair share of video games—too much some times, but it really helps me relax. I’ve written about them a fair share so I can at least feel like it’s been a form of research. I don’t think my family’s buying that, though. I also like to cook and bake. I’ll put my apple pie up against anybody’s.
How do you like to spend your free time?
If I actually have a free afternoon, I would love to just sit with a bottomless cup of coffee and read until I get up at some point and wonder what day it was.
If you were forced to live in another country for the rest of your life, where would you move?
I suppose Canada would be the least culture shock. I’m not a huge world traveler. But I do enjoy Germany and Austria and would welcome the chance to go back. I also have a fondness for Ireland without having been there. I hope to go some day, maybe try it out before I’m forced to leave the United States.
If you could spend an afternoon with any one person, living
or dead, who would it be and why?
I can think of lots of people I’ve lost or who have passed away that it would be so amazing to talk to for one afternoon, but I think it would ultimately be too sad to really enjoy. So I think I would go with someone living. I’m going to say Stan Lee. It would be nice to be able to say “thank you” to the person who pretty much built the superhero playground my mind grew up in.
If you had to spend a week inside a book, interacting with the characters and environment, what book would you pick?
The power of the Mary Sue! I like a lot of action adventure stuff, and I’m pretty sure I’d get killed in no time after I arrived. But seeing as how the kids in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe get along ok, I think I’d take my chances in Narnia.
Please provide three random facts about yourself. Feel free to make them as wacky and interesting as you prefer!
1.) For one thing, I do not have a cell phone. I get no end of grief from people on this. You’d think all of mankind was immensely fortunate to manage to stumble through generations of civilization without them. I think they cause more problems than they solve.
2.) AND YET, were it not for computers, I doubt I’d be a writer. I hate writing with pens and pencils. My handwriting is atrocious and no one can read it, oftentimes including me. I could not get by without word processing to edit with.
3.) I’m named Jason in part because I was projected to be born in July (and I was) and at the top of the calendar my parents were charting the pregnancy in there was JFMAMJJASOND, and if you start at July and work forward you get J-A-S-O-N. They thought that seemed like a workable enough name.
What was your favorite part of your story?
The part where one of the fathers is trying to get the girls at a sleepover to go to sleep. In my experience that’s always a losing battle. Hosting a girl’s sleepover is like choosing to go on a fast, but in regards to sleep instead of food. Hopefully you’re suffering for a purpose at least.