GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: YA Fantasy Author Jared K. Chapman + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Interview: YA Fantasy Author Jared K. Chapman + giveaway

What can you tell us about your new release, 2HVØRHVNØT: To Have Or Have Not?
The numeronym title 2HVØRHVNØT came to me in a serendipitous moment while driving with my family. I remember thinking about To Be or Not To Be, while pondering the idea of the Haves and Have Nots. Seeing the numeronym appear in my head, I envisioned it as a defaced identification tattoo on a wrist of someone oppressed by the government. The whole story developed from trying to figure out how that would have happened.

2HVØRHVNØT: To Have or Have Not is a fast-paced, genre-bending murder thriller set in a dystopian future where the superpowered Mighty oppress the powerless Citizens. Mario’s identity tag is 24VØR4VNØ, but he defaced it when he was a kid to spell out the numeronym To Have or Have Not, after the Mighty took away his parents and left him to raise his younger sister Zelda. The whole story takes place from 5:46am to 8pm in a single day, starting with Mario waking up late for work.

As he waits in line, he has no idea his boss is dead, and an adjudicator named Tanalia, who is one of the telepath-seer monks that police Fellowship City, is on her way to arrest him for the undetected, grisly murder.

The book is split into three parts with Mario being the primary protagonist of part I. However, in part II, his sister’s adventure begins as she searches for her brother in a city besieged by a monstrous killer.

This book combines some of my favorite things to read: science fiction, fantasy, superpowers, post-apocalypse, dystopia, and horror. There’s also elements of romance and suspense, and it is littered with subtle pop cultural references and social commentary throughout. I write what I want to read (or watch). My hope is that others like what I like, because I’ve got a whole world I’m building, and I’m ready to entertain.

What or who inspired you to become an author?
In third or fourth grade, I wrote and drew a short little story that our school published for books to sell to parents. I remember seeing my work in print and thinking it was the best thing ever. From then on, I knew I wanted to be published again someday. I wrote my first novel in sixth grade, which was some sci-fi fantasy Star Wars/Star Trek mishmash that I have no idea if it was any good or not, as it was never returned to me from a classmate reading it. I’m not exactly sure what or who inspired me to become an author. I just remember those two moments vividly in my memories.

That being said, I read a lot of Stephen King from the age of 10 on, as well as Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, and others throughout high school. I think they inspired me to continue my dream. However, one of my biggest supporters was my adopted grandmother Bibby (we adopted each other, as she was my cousins’ grandmother). She always encouraged my writing and was so proud when I won awards for a poem in high school and short story in junior college. I wish she could be here today to see that I’ve finally become a published author, something she always knew I had in me, even when I didn’t.

What's on your top 5 list for the best books you've ever read?
My tastes change with the seasons, so my top 5 today may not be the same the next time I’m asked. So, with that caveat in mind, here are today’s top 5 in no particular order: Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide series, and Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: Lost Stars. By the way, this is really hard to limit myself to 5 books. I chose these, because I could read them over and over again. 

Say you're the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
If I could have any guest to be on my show, I’d want my first guest to be Stephen King. However, I would love to have both Stephen King and George R. R. Martin on the same show talking about their writing styles, but that’s not what was asked, so I’ll get back to the question at hand. 

The first thing I would ask Stephen King is how. How is able to produce so much? What does an average day look like for him? How can I become more like him?

What's your favorite thing about writing?
I love world-building. I’ll formulate the world I want to write in, creating its rules, customs, and history. I strive to produce vibrant, colorful worlds filled with interesting characters. I’ll spend weeks planning the world out and mapping it, so I know where everything happens, before I even put pen to paper to write one story. I believe that a fully fleshed out and compelling world is not restricted to only one kind of story. While my first story is technically a murder thriller, I could just as easily write a political espionage or a hard science fiction technothriller in the world I created. Seeing the endless possibilities in something I thought of and how others respond to what I’ve created are my favorite things about writing.

What is a typical day like for you?
I’d like to say, “I wake up before morning and watch the sunrise, have a light breakfast and begin to write,” but that would be very far from the truth. I work better at night, so I tend to stay up late and sleep in later than I should. My wife goes to work and leaves me with our three-year-old, who sometimes falls asleep with me and other times makes me get up to make him breakfast. I have an 18-year-old and 16-year-old also living at home, so sometimes I can get them to watch their little brother, so I can do some writing or other book-related function. I can usually get some things done while the 3-year-old is having quiet-time after lunch, and then it’s much more difficult until he goes to bed. Then, depending on my wife’s work schedule, we may watch a little TV before she goes to bed and I go to work on my laptop trying to write before falling asleep and starting it all over again. Although I can’t wait for COVID to be over, so I can go back to having more time to write without distraction, I truly enjoy this time I’ve been able to spend with my family.

What scene in 2HVØRHVNØT: To Have Or Have Not was your favorite to write?
There are so many favorites, but I cannot say anything about them, or they would spoil one of the twists. I loved writing the twists. They seem to just come out of nowhere and I hope that’s the experience the reader gets.

So, my favorite scene I can safely not spoil is the very beginning and its reprise. I love the interaction between Mario and Zelda. It’s short and sweet, and really shows who they are with one another. The first time we see it from Mario’s perspective, but in the second part of the book when Zelda becomes a primary protagonist, we get her take and it spins it a little bit. I like how Mario thinks about her and she thinks about him, and neither realize truly what the other is thinking.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
When I became a dad I said, “You can’t be a dad without getting a little snot on your shoulders.” I think I live my life by that philosophy. There are always consequences to our actions, and if we don’t act, there is no possibility of a positive consequence. I think Yoda’s “Do or do not. There is no Try,” is also something that influences me in the same way. It encourages me to push and make it happen, being positive about who I am and what I can do. I have a little sculpture of that on my desk, so I can look at it and be inspired. This is the way. 

2HVØRHVNØT: To Have or Have Not
by Jared K. Chapman
Sept 8, 2020
Genre: YA, Dystopian Superhero Fantasy, Horror, LGBT 
492 pages
Welcome to Fellowship City, where the Haves are super-powered, and the Have-Nots are just like you.

The Mighty have all the wealth, fame, power, and superpowers, but even they are subject to the monastery’s control. To maintain peace, telepathic monks see into the past, present, and future to police the other Mighty and the minority of powerless Citizens, who have nothing but their identity tags tattooed on their wrists.

Twenty-year-old Mario lives with his kid sister in one of the many camphouses on the island south of the city. Unlike the other citizens he stands in line with every morning waiting to be bussed to work, he actually likes his downtown job and the Mighty restaurateur who employs him.

At least, he did.

This morning, the grisly, undetected murder of his boss changes everything. In a flash, Mario becomes the primary suspect and must race against time to prove his innocence in a world that oppresses the powerless.

Part READY PLAYER ONE. Part DIVERGENT. Part MINORITY REPORT. Totally Superpowered! 2HVØRHVNØT has fast-paced action, suspense, horror, and mature themes that are sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Book Trailer: 

Excerpt #1:

But I’m fast for a man in a black suit, he chortles at the thought. All these other workers, leaving their camphouses now and taking their sweet ass time as they stroll toward the bus stop, are probably looking at me and thinking, glad I’m not that guy.

Ahead of him, he glimpses an older woman with salt and pepper brown hair tied up in a bun with white lace, walking at a steady pace. As he closes in on her, he recognizes the stereotypical black and white uniform of a French maid she’s wearing. 

She must work for some richy-rich Mighties up in Emerald Hills, he thinks, a little jealous. They love dressing up their workers in crazy shit like that. I’m surprised she’s living in the WPC and not in the Normal slums with all the other preferred workers. I bet it’s a new gig, and she’ll be moving on up real soon.

He often ponders what life might be like if he lived outside of the WPC, wondering if a place in the Normal slums (or what the Mighty call southside ghetto) would truly afford more freedom at all. 

Having to wear a ridiculous outfit just to land a cushy job up there might not be worth it though, he thinks, loosening his collar and adjusting his necktie, as his short-lived jealousy fades away.

He hurtles by, startling her. 

She jerks out her earbuds and yells, “Watch out!”

He waves his hand in the air without looking back or slowing his gait. At the next block, he jumps up and high-fives the Luxuria Street sign.


“Stupid kid,” barks the lady.

He laughs, picking up his pace, trying to cut ahead of the many people leaving their homes for their 7 a.m. shifts.

Come on. Come on, he thinks, racing forward, trying to ignore the soft rumbling of a crowd.

The noise builds, rising into a voluminous cacophony of chatter, as he crosses Tristia Street. He can no longer ignore the sound of the gathered mass of people waiting in the bus line, not moving an inch. 

“Son of a bitch!” he exclaims, zipping by people of all shapes and sizes, costumed and uncostumed.

In the distance, he spots a lone bus exiting Olum Bridge toward Citizen Way. He bolts toward the front of the line, passing a myriad of glowering faces. The weight of their judgment does nothing to slow him down.

“No cutting!” a woman’s voice shouts, but he disregards her and runs faster. The crowd’s murmurs merge into some foreign-sounding condemnation where the words are unintelligible, but the tone is clear. 

“I’m sorry,” he apologizes, galloping past the gawking onlookers. “I need to get to work. I can’t be late!” 

No one is fooled by his lip-service apology, but they do understand his dilemma. Not that his boss will. He’s not the most forgiving about tardiness, and the recent promotion from the kitchen to the dining room floor would likely be the first thing on the chopping block. 

I don’t want to be back in the kitchen all the time, he thinks. Or worse. It could be a lot worse.

His eyes lock onto the bus, as it creeps toward the bus stop. He rounds the front of the line, maneuvering through the crowds of other workers to inch closer to the door of the bus before it burps to a halt. He grins ear to ear. 

Mere steps away from the doorway, his smile rips from his face in a sudden jolt of panic, as a massive reptilian tail drops in front of him like a boom barrier at a railroad crossing. 

“Where do you think you’re going?” the guard inhumanly snarls.


About the Author
Goodreads-FB Group
Jared K. Chapman is an author, filmmaker, and educator.
He is a native Californian who spent his formative years at school in frigid Alberta, Canada with his father and summer vacation in arid central California with his mother. He holds degrees in psychology & religious studies and is currently a doctoral candidate studying the social psychology of extreme groups. He lives in a little oasis just east of Los Angeles with his wife and three sons. 2HVØRHVNØT is his debut novel.

$15 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner, Exclusive Signed Prints by Derek Smith, cover designer/artist – 3 winners 
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  1. I am not thrilled with the raised fist.

    1. I'm sorry you feel that way, Victoria. What about the raised fist rubs you the wrong way? I think Derek Smith really made my vision a reality and this captures the story well. The identity code on the wrist belongs to the oppressed class of Have Nots, and his fist is raised in defiance, indicating some kind of uprising against the oppressors. While that isn't the story I tell here, it is the world my character lives in and something that burns within him--a desire to be equal and free.

  2. Liked the description of your book. It sounded interesting and something I would read. Thanks.

    1. That's great to hear, Sharon. Those descriptions are the hardest things to write out of all of this LOL. I look forward to hearing what you think :)