Here’s another ‘Authors are People’ segment, folks.
The super-likeable, oddly charismatic, ridiculously endearing:
I think it’s wildly important to gain an understanding of the creator behind the creation. When our eyes feast on a painting, when we read a book, even when we ride a gravity-defying ride at the amusement park, we bring into that experience the preconceptions that we have garnered over our X numbers of years on this planet.
Take it from Orson Scott Card’s “Characters & Viewpoints” –
OSC makes a good point and that point applies to most artistic creations (and also goes beyond the realm of art to taint and decide consumer acceptance of everything from interracial cereal commercials to plus-sized clothing).
One thing learning about an author as a flawed, opinionated person will do is break down the fluxing barrier between the consumer and the producer.
Once you’ve delved into an author’s psyche, you may realize that there exists a deeply personal reason for why a character in the book responds the way he or she does to a tragedy or joy. You may begin to understand that, as improbable as a plot twist may be, that it’s a piece of the writer’s reality and, therefore, must be treated with the respect of reality.
I knew of Jack quite a while before he and I began forming a ‘virtual’ friendship via social media. He has turned out to be a generous man, nurturing lesser-known Indies on their journey, who manages to maintain a modicum of admirable modesty, despite his fans calling him the ‘Zombie King.’ He’s a talent beyond the page- a stage actor, a narrator, owner of Adorkable Designs, Inc. He’s always up for a challenge and I’m jealous of his almost preternatural ability to roll with life’s punches and discover for himself the road to a brighter, healthier future. Many of us don’t have that talent- sitting in a cesspool until an outsider shows us the window that opened in place of the door slamming in our faces.
I asked Jack to send me a list of facts on himself- things that his fans wouldn’t have discovered from a simple, quick search on the net. Some of the little tidbits about him surprised me and I find myself looking at him in a different way. These revelations, listed below, coupled with my current reading of his stellar book “Hell’s Muse,” leads me to examine my preconceptions (and current conceptions) of Jack, the person & the author.
Thank you for sharing, Jack. I’m very grateful that we’ve become friends.
Get the facts… Jack 😉
More than you ever wanted to know about Jack, that you won’t find on his website (or your imagination).
- Born in New Castle, Indiana
- Suffered from a bone de-generative disease when he was 7
- Was planning on studying marine biology until he auditioned for his first play in high school
- Scored 100% in both geometry and biology classes in high school
- Was a national finalist in speech and debate
- Played Tuba in both marching band, orchestra, and even jazz band
- Is in three movies that you’ll likely never see
- Started his writing career with a vampire story based on a role playing game he played
- Enjoys wearing kilts more than he’ll ever admit – oh wait, I just admitted it
- Will grow “old” but never “up”
- Favorite film of all time is The Crow
- Favorite piece of classical music is Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings
- Studied opera for a brief period
- Performed in one opera and quickly left the field due to the raging egos
- Listens to music nearly all day
- Plays guitar (but only with a lot of effects so you don’t know how bad I am)
- Has been an avid cyclist since high school
- Have two (living) brothers and two sisters
- Was named after my father
- My real name is Jackie – I stopped going by that name in elementary school after I made the school bully cry
- Has five cats (Oni, Wookie, Bigen, Bazo, and Miko)
- Has three step children (Josh, Leah, and Courtney – all grown and out of the house)
- Is married to the fantastic Stephanie Wallen
- I was nearly shocked to death as an infant (I chewed my way through an electrical cord). Had it not been for my father seeing me convulsing on the floor and unplugging the cord…well…you can do that math.
- Went through a very long goth period (didn’t we all?)
- If I could be one character from my books it would probably be Shero because…well…he’s Shero!
- Used to have an office that was entirely black (walls, floor, ceiling, desk) so I could concentrate solely on writing
- Have been told I look like the bastard love child of John Mellencamp and Stephen King – or Leonard Hoftstadter’s twin.
A note from Jack: Imagination has been my savior throughout my life. As a child I would spend hours devising ways to scare my younger sister. The methods of madness grew ever-more elaborate with time. That same imagination helped me survive not the greatest of surroundings and also propelled me into a twenty-year career as an actor. I hold onto that imagination very dearly – even though it tends to keep me from growing up. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.
Jack is the author of:
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Find out more about Jack:
Twitter: @jlwallen | Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+jackwallen/posts
Zombie Radio: http://www.zombieradio.org
I’m so enjoying showcasing authors as people that I’ve decided to make this a regular segment on my blog. Look for a new showcase next Friday!