August 11, 2018

Unexpected Inspiration for New Worlds with @jchabotauthor #Giveaway

Unexpected Inspiration for New Worlds By: Jason Chabot, Author of The Broken Sky Chronicles

Being an author appeals to my personality in two very different respects.  

I love the solitude of the creative writing process.  Sitting alone in my home office, fingers flying over the computer keyboard, I can release all restraints on my imagination.  Though sometimes my progress is slow, and my word count for the day is not impressive, most of the time I am amazed how I can start out in the morning with nothing, yet end the afternoon with ideas on the page that seem to have appeared from some unknown source deep within me.  It is an incredibly exciting and satisfying experience.  

But I also love to escape the four walls of my office to visit schools, libraries, book clubs, and writing workshops where I have opportunities to talk about my transition from accountant to author, as well as my approach to crafting characters, inventing plots, editing my manuscripts, and ultimately getting published.  I have never been shy to get up and speak in front of a large group of people, though it is the one-on-one connection I can make with individuals who share my passion for literature that is always a wonderful exchange that allows me to learn and grow.  

At these events, I look forward to answering questions, and one of the favorites I’m always asked is what initially inspired me to write about Elia and Hokk as they try to survive in the worlds of Above and Below.  Readers are especially curious when they find out that I used to be a chief financial officer for over a decade at an organization in downtown Vancouver, where I faced huge demands and a heavy workload.  What could have moved me to come up with a story to begin with?  How did that first word, that first sentence, that first paragraph, that first chapter, evolve into the three books I have written so far?  

Looking back, the inspiration for The Broken Sky Chronicles drew upon many significant factors in my life.  Living on the West Coast of British Columbia has always been a great influence, with the oceans, the forests, the very real threat of earthquakes, and the heavy storm clouds hanging low overhead as if the sun will never break through.  However, it was actually a summer job as a teenager that originally planted the seed for the unique worlds of Below and Above.

When I was sixteen, I worked at a tree nursery that supplied saplings for reforestation programs, and I didn’t think a job could get any worse.  The days felt endless as I found myself in a constant battle with the elements: the mud, the rain, the relentless little flies biting any exposed skin.  

The nursery was located in a remote area, surrounded by soaring mountains that would poke above the mist whenever clouds rolled in.  Gazing up at their high alpine meadows, I’d longingly wish I could fly off to spend the day on their slopes, leaving behind the rest of my coworkers to slave away with their backbreaking work in the fields far beneath me.  “Above” always seemed like the ideal place to be, especially compared to the toil and drudgery of “Below”.  I now suspect, however, that the bugs up on those mountains were probably much larger and more ravenous than the ones down in the fields!

I chose to write an eco-fantasy adventure novel for young adults because I was intrigued by the natural environment around me, and how more extreme circumstances might affect the lives of two teenagers when their physical worlds literally collide.  While Elia has been enslaved by class and drudgery, Hokk lives in almost complete isolation as a banished criminal, and I enjoyed exploring how each character discovers unexpected strength to survive epic challenges, yet at the same time questioning their perception of reality.

Whether you have already finished reading Below, or you’re curled up in your favorite cozy chair, preparing to start on page one, you now know what inspired my vision and what drove me to write.  So enjoy the journey as you dare to venture to worlds unknown... BelowAbove, and Beyond!

Jason Chabot is the author of three books in The Broken Sky Chronicles: Below, Above, and Beyond (available nationwide from Turner Publishing Company), and he is currently working simultaneously on his fourth and fifth titles in the series: Years Before (Book 4) and Months After (Book 5).   Besides creative writing, he enjoys hiking, playing classical piano, ballroom and Latin American dancing, and caring for the fish in his saltwater aquarium.  To learn more about Jason, please visit his website, and follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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