August 06, 2018

#Giveaway: Conversation with @jchabotauthor Part One

Throughout the month of August, we are pleased to be hosting a giveaway for the complete three-book set of The Broken Sky Chronicles by Vancouver author, Jason Chabot.  In conjunction with the giveaway, we recently had a chance to connect with Jason for this two-part interview to learn more about his books and his unexpected path into the world of publishing.


Crossroad Reviews (CR):  Congratulations on the publication of your third book, Beyond.  This must be a time to celebrate.  

Jason Chabot (JC):  Thank you very much!  Yes, I couldn’t be happier.  Seeing it out now in bookstores across the States is incredible, and the feedback I’ve been receiving from fans has only added to the excitement.  They’ve been eager to find out how it all ends for Hokk and Elia, so their wait is over.

CR:  And they’ll be kept guessing right up until that very last page.  

JC:  Indeed!  All part of my master plan!

CR:  Was this latest installment a long time in the making?

JC:  The actual writing and editing of Beyond only took about a year, but it was almost a full decade earlier, back when I first started writing the series, that I had worked out many of the key plot points that would all come together for the conclusion of these three books.  As you can imagine, it felt amazing when I finally got all my ideas onto the page and was able to write that last chapter.  There were many times over the years when I wondered if I would ever get to this point.      

CR:  So then there’s even more reason now for you to celebrate.

JC:  Exactly.  

CR:  But all three of your books had previously been released in Canada before they came to the US, correct?

JC:  That’s right.  I originally signed a three-book deal with HarperCollins Canada back in 2010, and my first book, Below, was published throughout the country four years later, followed by Above and Beyond in each consecutive year afterward.  Once all of them were released in Canada, my agent, Daniel Lazar, was able to score another three-book deal with Turner Publishing in the US, which has now allowed my books to reach an even larger American market.  

CR:  Four years with the first book?  Why so long?

JC:  It was actually longer.  I had the story concept in my head for a number of years before I started writing anything.  I was an accountant at the time, with a very demanding job and huge workload, so the thought of actually writing a book felt too overwhelming.  Downright scary, in fact.  Where would I even start?  Besides, I just didn’t have the time to do it... or so I thought.

CR:  What changed?

JC:  I reached a tipping point.  My head was bursting with ideas that I could no longer ignore and I felt compelled to do something about it.  Because I crunched numbers all day long for my job, I began craving an outlet to express myself artistically.  It was only once I started writing that I realized I had found my true passion.  However, I could only do it during any precious spare minutes I could find, like in the evenings or on weekends, so it took two years just to write that first manuscript, then those additional four years to edit everything once I started working with HarperCollins Canada.

CR:  That’s a lot of editing!

JC:  It seemed endless.  I could have gotten through it more quickly, except I still had a full time job during that entire stretch, and again, I could only work on the book whenever I wasn’t tied up with my other accounting responsibilities.  That left only evenings and weekends, which really dragged out the whole process. One revised draft could take six months to complete before I’d be ready to submit it again to my editor for review.  But truth be told, I also had a massive manuscript!  I had created two huge, very distinct new worlds for both Hokk and Elia, and I had to trim out a lot of unnecessary material to get to the true meat of the story.

CR:  Was that hard to do?

JC:  Excruciating at times.  Thankfully, I had a great relationship with my editor, Hadley Dyer, who gave me wonderful advice.  With her guidance, I learned I could make the tough decisions about what had to stay and what should be cut.  At first, having spent so much time writing all of this great stuff (or so I thought!)  I resisted removing any of it.  But it didn’t take long to realize that with each new draft, the story was becoming stronger and stronger.  Just to give you an idea... I originally sold my manuscript when it was 140,000 words long, yet when it can time to go to print, I had worked it down to about 75,000 words.

CR:  Wow, almost half.  That’s quite a difference.  But no doubt a great learning experience.

JC:  The best.  Keep in mind, as a university student, I studied economics and accounting, rather than English and creative writing.  While working on Below, I did a lot of my own research on story structure, character development, and even grammar, all with the focus on crafting the very best story I could create.  I wanted to produce a page-turner that would hook its readers from the very start and not let go until they had reached that last page.       

CR: We’d say you accomplished that goal beautifully!

(Continued with Part 2...)

Jason Chabot is the author of three books in The Broken Sky Chronicles: Below, Above, and Beyond (available nationwide from Turner Publishing Company).  To learn more about Jason, check out his website, and follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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