The Innovators #8 with….author/poet Jared Kane

This week, I’m excited to feature my favourite author, Jared Kane. His novels (Decline, Mya and The Underside of Wars) are some of the most thought-provoking and beautifully written books that I have come across since my university days studying English lit. He is also an incredibly talented poet who crafts some of the most profoundly dark and stirring poems found on social media today. Read on to find out more…

Introduce yourself and your work.

I’m Jared Kane, a writer of books, short stories, and poetry. I’ve had poetry published by both online and print publications. My novels are currently self-published, and are regrettably in the corner, unwilling to raise their hands to draw attention to themselves. They don’t want to be noticed at this party because they make the most noise, but because they are the most beautiful and profound thinkers in the group. Sometimes those types stay in the corner and are never discovered.

Explain the significance of your Instagram handle, Whirlpool of Crows.

I went through a couple before I landed on this one, and really, I only stuck with this one because it is how many first found me. It’s four syllables of seventeen of a haiku I wrote: a whirlpool of crows / swirls above, justifying / our murderousness. It also features in my first novel, Decline. And I have it tattooed on my arm.

Your first novel, Decline, reads very much like poetry. Tell me why you were inspired to write it like that and why a nameless/anonymous protagonist?

I wanted Decline to differ from all the other post-apocalyptic/dystopian stories out there. I conceived the story before the glut of post-apocalyptic media hit our shelves and screens, but by the time I finished it, a lot of these stories were already out there. So, I took inspiration from a Salman Rushdie book I read once—I’m not sure if I even liked the actual book that much, but the manner in which he wrote it, it felt like you could pull out any random paragraph, arrange it like a poem, and a beautiful poem it would be. At least, that’s how I felt at the time. So, I set about writing Decline with a different mindset: to couch the story in poetic language.

The nameless protagonist is a bit of a shameless homage to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Also, the novel is very “stream of consciousness”, like the reader is inside the narrator’s head, hearing what he hears, and seeing what he sees. I feel like his name would be superfluous, and maybe even colour the reader’s impression of him (everyone knows a John, or a Dave, or a Dominic—maybe less so the latter—and if the narrator was “John”, the reader might see their John’s face or hear their John’s features).

Explain the meaning and significance of the quote “Temporis Destruit Omne – Time Destroys Everything” as it applies to your second novel, Mya.

Temporis Destruit Omne is another one of my tattoos now—I hope there’s no Latin scholars out there who pipe in about how terrible my translation is.

Mya is a very intimate book. Without getting into spoilers, “Time Destroys Everything” guides most of what happens in the narrative. It’s a very intimate belief and feeling of mine: it doesn’t matter what you build, what you create, who you become, it will all crumble to nothing in time.

There is no such thing as history and future, past and present—aside from what your senses are perceiving right this moment (itself an interpretation of the mind), everything else is dust or in a state of either becoming dust. A character in Mya proposes the theory of Eternalism, which is a sort of answer to this philosophy. Eternalism is the belief that past, present, and future all exist at once and are equally real (to put it mildly, this is the nutshell version, and I’m absolutely not an expert). This is reassuring in a way: all those times you had, or wish you’d had, they’re all out there still and possible, even if you will never return to them again.

The Underside of Wars protagonist, Matthew Talbot, is a writer frustrated with the state of the literary world and its inability to appreciate his work or give him his “break.” How much of that comes from your own experience as an indie author?

Underside is maybe my most personal book. This will be a very vulnerable answer.

The main character grapples with a lot of things I do, thinks some things I think, feels some things that I feel. Matthew’s experience does reflect my personal experience to some degree when it comes to personality shortcomings and substance abuse. He’s a bit of a cipher. While Matthew is supremely confident in his abilities, that confidence is so shaky that he’s fundamentally unable to accept being unsuccessful, or for success to look different than he always imagined. I am very confident in my ideas, my writing, and what I’ve created. And it can be very hard to accept being passed over. It’s all the more devastating to accept the possibility that I may never be successful (insofar as I define “success”). If that comes to pass, what else is there? There’s a lot more plot in Matthew’s journey, but those quandaries and principles are pretty central.

You’ve described your three novels as a trilogy. With different characters and storylines, how do they fit in/ mesh together as a trilogy? Do they need to be read in a specific order?

I call them my Apocalypse Trilogy. It’s more like they exist in the same universe, and fall somewhere on the same timeline. There’s no direct connection between them except for some easter eggs in Underside that point to it taking place a certain amount of time after Mya. If there was an order, it would be Mya, Underside, then Decline. They absolutely do not have to be read in that order. Though that’s not a bad order in which to read them. A new reader would probably find the language in Mya and Underside more accessible. Then, hopefully after they’ve read those two, they’d be willing to undertake the challenge of reading Decline.

What role does music play in your creative process? What else inspires your creativity? What bands/artists are currently on your writing playlist?

Music is everything to me. Life without music would be food without taste. I have a psychological dependence on music, sort of the way someone can become addicted to gambling: like a gambler feels a shot of dopamine when they pull the slot lever down, so do I feel a surge of dopamine when I hear the music I love.

I always match up a song with what I’m writing. If it’s a sad moment, I play a sad song. If an action sequence, I play a more aggressive song, and so on. I know some writers have difficulty focusing when they’re listening to music, and especially music with lyrics, but I don’t hear the lyrics. All I hear is mood.

In that regard, I have thousands of songs on my writing playlist—it all depends what type of dopamine hit I need at the time! For example, Decline is a quiet, sad, philosophical post-apocalyptic novel, so my playlist for that book included a lot of Lycia for the quiet, sad moments. For the more heartbreaking moments, the playlist would become more aggressively despondent, like Psyclon Nine’s “Under the Judas Tree”. Mya was very much influenced by songs from Yendri, while Underside is more raw, and had music from Amenra and Black Mare (see Black Mare’s “Ingress to Form”). Right at this moment in the block universe, I’m cycling through those three playlists (I still keep a separate playlist for each book on iTunes) as I write these answers.

What else inspires my creativity? Maybe everything, maybe nothing. I’m usually most inspired when I feel a lugubrious emptiness. It’s a profound need that feels deeply hollow. Ironically, it’s difficult to write at those times, because my mind will conjure up the same words and lines over and over. Instead, I’m most productive during times of (and I’m paraphrasing . . . someone . . . I can’t remember who, and I don’t remember the quote well enough to search it) sober reflection on past inspiration.

I’m sure you’re the cosmic love-child of dead poets. Who do you think they are ? What writing talents have you inherited from each of them?

I love this question. Anything that makes me turn around and consider my bookshelves is welcome. It’s like returning to nature after the city.

I’ll say William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy, which is starting right at the beginning. From Wordsworth, I gained a sense of wonder at nature and a feeling for romanticism that is much more vast than our current crass concept of “romance”. From Thomas Hardy, I inherited a dark and tragic outlook. One is basically a response to the other. Hardy probably continues to have the most influence on my writing. His books can be one thing for 300 pages, and then deliver a gut punch out of nowhere in the last chapter (or last two pages in the case of The Woodlanders) that makes you completely re-evaluate your feelings about the entire book.

What do you hope readers will take away from your work? Do you prefer they read your novels or your poems or both? If they only read one of your books, which one would you most recommend?

I hope that my work evokes an emotional response from readers. The best books I’ve read, I’ll put down and feel different afterwards. The light will be a different warmth, and everything around me will look a little different than it did before. Sometimes this feeling lasts a few hours, a few days, sometimes it’s forever. I want my writing to land on that spectrum for readers. Honestly, as I veer back to the question of “success” that came up several questions back, that is true success. If I can make a reader feel that way, then let the rest of the chips fall where they may.

If I had to choose, I’d rather my readers read my novels. But I don’t write long-form poetry, so read both! Depending on the reader, they might want to start with Underside or Mya because they may go down easier to start.

Where can readers find you?

Readers can find me on Instagram @whirlpool_of_crows, where I post poems and other blurbs, while The Underside of Wars, Mya and Decline are all available on Amazon.

Thanks, Jared!!

Go check out his books…

The Innovators {episode 2} with…

Preston Bell

singer/songwriter/guitarist

Outside the Shadows

I’m excited to be doing the second installment of The Innovators with my Instagram friend Preston from Outside the Shadows! I’m a fan of his music (and his voice! seriously, one of my top five favourite vocalists to listen to) and he’s a fan of my Insta stories, lol.

Walking in the Dark, The Part of Me and Passing Me By are some of my favourite OTS tunes on my Spotify playlist (you can check them with the Spotify player at the end of this post)……

Introduce yourself.  Tell me about the band and your new single “So Much More” coming out soon – new album to follow??

I’m Preston & I am the singer, songwriter & guitarist for Outside the Shadows. The band currently consists of Tyler Medley on bass & background vocals & Steven Jones on drums. I started this band in 2013 with our original drummer Marty. Marty & I wrote the first two albums together lyrically & I handled the musical parts. Our upcoming single So Much More is one of our heavier songs we’ve written as a band. Tyler actually came up with the main riff for this song & I worked in all of the lyrics & other music for it. It is one of my favorite songs we’ve ever written. This song is about someone who has been verbally abused & bullied throughout life but in this song we get to express how much greater this world is with them in it & how to destroy their words with the pain & move on from it.

There is an album in the works. Is this album a deluxe edition of an album or a whole new album? We shall share soon 😉

What or who influenced you to pursue a career in music? 

I was influenced at a young age watching the musicians at my church play. At that age all I knew was contemporary Christian music. From there I learned drums & began filling in sometimes at church. I went to a Christian music store where I found a band that was covered in tats & had dreadlocks & I was like ‘who are these dudes & what kinda music is this going to be?’ lol. This band I speak is the legendary P.O.D & it was their album Satellite. It was the first hard rock / metal album I ever owned. I was blown away by the guitars & the heavier style vocals & so began my path as a vocalist & my path to learning guitars. All together I play guitar, bass, & drums & occasionally I’ll use a keyboard for effects when recording new music.

What is your creative process for writing songs? Who / what inspires your music?

My creative process is simple. I write a lot of lyrics and the songs that have come to me lyrically have been around for 10+ years & just now made it to music. I always have riffs running through my head that I built upon & usually will have lyrics already written that will work with it or some songs are written lyrics & music together at the same time. So many things inspire my music, mostly my love for heavy music. Heavy music in general just does something for me in a way that most things can’t. Heavy music can bring for me something, that while being heavy, also soothes the soul. There is so much passion in a lot of heavy music. Bands like Demon Hunter & Killswitch Engage just know how to make music heavy & beautiful at the same time. These bands inspire me in so many ways along with hard rockers like Skillet, Red, & P.O.D. If you’ve noticed in a lot of my heavier songs, such as Division, I try to blend those two musical elements along with punk rock & make it kinda my own sound. I know I fit in with certain bands & genres but I try my best to stand out.

You identify your music as Christian Rock.  How does your faith impact / influence your music?

My faith impacts my writing in so many ways. No matter what I’m writing about, whether it be good or bad, always comes down to how my faith in God always gets me through everything. He is always there any time I ever need him so all of my songs end up being about how God always pulls me through. Unless it’s songs like Surrender. Surrender is a simple praise to God above for all that He does in my life. He is an amazing God. The greatest gift of all is son Jesus & the gift of salvation He gave us if we just believe. It’s truly the most beautiful gift ever.

You find yourself on a deserted island with a fictional character – what three songs or albums are you listening to?  And who / what is listening with you?

If I was on a deserted island I would wanna spend it with Shawn Spencer from the show Psych. He reminds me a ton of myself as far as his character, comedy, & just his overall personality. The three albums I would take are Where do we go from here by Pillar, Hearts of the Innocent by Kutless, & Collide by Skillet. I believe those three albums are perfectly made. No bad songs at all & I could listen to them everyday, all day & never lose interest.

What are your thoughts about the state of the music industry today?  What would you change about the music industry if you could?

My thoughts on the music industry now: I think the industry is crap, I think record labels in general have sunk some of the most incredibly talented bands we’ve ever come to know such as Sent by Ravens & many others. I’m blessed enough to be on a label that worked with me on a contract that lets me govern myself musically but helps me get my music to places I can’t. The music industry also tries to tell you how to look & how to sound. That doesn’t work for me. If I can’t sound like Outside the Shadows then I’m out. I will sell out to no one except for Christ, of course. I think now with digital & social being as available to artists & bands as it is, bands should definitely govern themselves for sure or find a manager or label that will agree to help you like mine does but let you run the show like my label does.

How do you use social media to promote your band?  How much do you think it will influence the future of music, especially now with COVID?

I use social media a lot for promoting my band. I believe nowadays it is the best outlet for promotion of music. I think with this pandemic social media is great because you can do lives and shows and still reach your audience. It’s an amazing thing to have, I think, a fantastic tool 😉

What do you most want listeners to take away from your music?

I want listeners to take away positivity from my music. I hope when someone hears my music it can in some way make their life better and they can relate to what I’ve experienced in my own life and how I’ve dealt with certain dark times I’ve been through. Not only do I want to bring people a great sounding product always, but I want it to be a life changing situation. I want God to use the music He gives me to be an outlet for people who struggle with things in life.

My books are FREE this weekend!

P_20200710_080428All of my book babies are FREE this weekend!! 🖤💙(Friday thru Sunday). Find the books here:  my Amazon Author’s Page.

I would love to find some new readers and get some more reviews, especially for my Hope Quest books (Hope Quest book 1: Blackbird and Hope Quest book 2: The Lightning), a YA, supernatural, coming of age series about 14 year old Hope, an unusual girl who speaks in a whisper and occasionally pulls stars from the sky, and her motley group of friends, whose search for Hope’s strange origins takes them to STARfest, a rock festival, where they find enigmatic musician Blackbird and discover his dark connection to Hope.

I also have two poetry and dance photography collections (I’ve worked as a children’s photographer for the last decade): Elegant Execution and The Stars Went Out.

So, if you are looking a summer read or two (or four!), please check out my books and consider leaving a review if you liked them! I would be forever appreciative. Those reviews are gold for indie authors like me!!! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

My books are free today!

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To celebrate the one year anniversary of Hope Quest book 1’s release, BOTH books in the series are FREE today on Amazon!  Link to Hope Quest book 1: Blackbird and link to Hope Quest book 2: The Lightning.

This story developed in my head for twenty years before I finally sat down and wrote it (the entire trilogy in an eighteen-month period!). The main character, fourteen-year-old Hope Quest and her coming of age story to find the origins of her strange star-moving talents came to me in a series of dreams when I was fifteen and going through some very dark times in my life.  She was very much like a life-line for me and in writing her story, my hope is that it will be the same for others, particularly teens, although it is meant for all ages.  Just know that book 1 does contain some triggering material in it related to abuse and drug use.

If you read them and like them, please consider leaving me a review on Amazon!  Those reviews are gold to indie authors like me!!

Between the pages, between the cracks

crackI never feel more alone than I do when I am amongst a crowd.  I’ve always felt that way.  Just out of place with everyone and everything. I don’t stress about it too much.  I figure that’s just what makes me who I am.  And I like who I am.  I enjoy my own company, to be really honest.  But at the same time, there are periods when I want to belong, when I want to be accepted, when I want to be a part of something bigger than just me because sometimes being alone a lot becomes, well….lonely.

I have a very small family and I have very few friends.  Being introverted and, for the most part, very private, it takes a lot for me to let others into my tiny circle.  I don’t care for small talk and anything that is popular in the mainstream usually turns me off.  I’ve always been drawn to the outsiders, the outcasts, everything and anything on the fringe.

Maybe that’s why I was always drawn to writing.  It’s the perfect occupation for an outsider, an outcast and can and often is done on the fringes of society, away from the crowd.  I feel most comfortable when I am alone and writing.  But I sure would love for some of that writing to be read at some point.

Rachel Carson so beautifully wrote about the loneliness of creative work:

“If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in, the chances are very high that you will interest other people as well.”

I like to keep that in mind when I am writing – alone in my head, alone at my keyboard, feeling as though I am sending my thoughts and words out to no one.

If I keep at it, maybe people will eventually read my work.  Maybe my words will resonate somewhere, with someone and maybe, just maybe, I might be accepted and finally find my place amongst that crowd.

 

 

 

My book is FREE this weekend!

Screenshot_2019-05-14 Kindle Cover CreatorMy first book, Hope Quest book 1: Blackbird is FREE today (Friday, Feb. 21 thru Sunday, Feb. 23)!!  Get it here.  It is the first part of my Hope Quest trilogy (Hope Quest book 2: The Lightning also available and book 3 still to come this year).  Cosmic and supernatural, the story is set at a music festival with punk kids and musicians, and a strange girl named Hope who speaks in a whisper and occasionally pulls stars from the sky.  The story came to me in a series of dreams when I was 15 and a fun fact, my own fifteen-year-old daughter graces the cover!

I would love for you to check it out and if you like it, please consider leaving me a review on Amazon!  Those reviews are gold for indie writers like me!!

The Measure of Everything

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Two of the most powerful attributes that humans possess are:

1)  the ability to LOVE

2) the ability to CREATE

Having spent my formative years under the thumb of a restrictive parental figure: I was not allowed to say “I want”, I never heard the phrase “I love you” (certainly was never inspired to speak the words either) and my creative endeavors were always overlooked and dissuaded – the idea of living a creative life was laughed at and labeled a “pipe dream” – I’ve spent my adult years learning both how to express love and how to express myself – including allowing myself to express both my needs AND my wants.

 

In the process, I’ve discovered a deep, rich and untapped well of passions lying dormant inside of me. 

 

It’s taken many, many years of learning, growing, stretching myself beyond my comfort zone and oftentimes just plain scaring myself, but the faster my heart beats and more anxious I feel, the more that well gets churned, and the deeper and deeper I am able to dip into it – loving, creating (particularly, writing) and allowing myself, finally and freely, to express myself.

It hasn’t always made me the most popular girl around – especially within my own family!! – but I refuse to censor myself, to keep my emotions or my wants or needs repressed any longer.

It was no way to live. 

With a heart full of love and a head full of stories, neither of which were wanted or allowed to be expressed, my memories of childhood and adolescence boil down to being simply a very unhappy time for a very unhappy kid.

But now, I am the parent and as so, I have always encouraged my children to express themselves in every positive and negative way they see fit – and they are growing up to be the most loving and creative people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing!

 

My measure of everything in life now lies in how much that well of passion gets churned by the thought of a new project, new adventure or new endeavor:

If it’s not a ‘hell yeah!’   Then it’s a ‘no’.

                      (the unhappy kid inside of me smiles whenever she hears that)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My second novel is released!

Screenshot_2019-12-17 Hope Quest Book 2 The Lightning (Hope Quest trilogy) - Kindle edition by Melanie Ever Moore, Jared Ka[...](2)My second novel (and fourth book of 2019!) is officially released today!

Hope Quest book 2: The Lightning!  It is the second part of my Hope Quest trilogy and today thru Friday, the e-book is FREE!!

Link to book here: Hope Quest book 2: The Lightning

Also, for today (Wednesday, Dec. 18th) only, Hope Quest book 1: Blackbird is also FREE!

Link here: Hope Quest book 1: Blackbird

This is a story that was in my head for twenty plus years and that got me through some dark times in my life.  It is the story of 14 year old Hope Quest, an unusual girl with a face full of scars, who talks in a whisper due to a damaged heart from a lightning strike as a toddler and has some very strange coping mechanisms to deal with an abusive life as she searches for her true origins, which are not entirely human.

I would love for you to check it out!  And if you like it, please consider leaving me a review on Amazon and /or Goodreads!

 

 

My book is FREE this weekend!

Screenshot_2019-05-14 Kindle Cover CreatorIn anticipation of my second novel, Hope Quest book 2: The Lightning being released on December 18th, my first book, Hope Quest book 1: Blackbird is FREE today and tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 7 & Sunday, Dec. 8th) as an e-book via Amazon!

Get the book here:   Hope Quest book 1: Blackbird

It is a dark tale of 14 year old Hope Quest, an unusual girl with a face full of scars who speaks in a whisper, survived a lightning strike as a toddler and possesses some strange coping skills to deal with an abusive life with her alcoholic grandmother.  A getaway to a three day music festival with her motley group of friends, leads to the discovery of Blackbird, an engimatic musician with some strange skills of his own who shares a dark history with Hope.

Be warned that there is disturbing, triggering material in the book.

This is a story that was in my head since I was 15 and helped me get through some dark times in my own life.  It has taken me twenty-plus years to get it out into the world – and my own 15 year old daughter is on the cover!

If you enjoy it, please consider leaving me a review on Amazon and look for Hope Quest book 2: The Lightning to drop on December 18th!!