Weeks before my first time at a writer’s conference, I was connected to a guy named Jason Joyner. It was both of our first time at Realm Makers – and we both LOVE Star Wars. Jason was my introduction to several speculative authors, and I was floored by his connection to people, the industry, and his passion for writing. Jason’s first book, a YA superhero book called Launch, releases today, and I’m so excited for his achievement.
Launch is a fast-paced story featuring a group of young people discovering super-powered abilities. Together they discover connections between them, and they learn that they were born, chosen, and equipped for such a time as this.
To celebrate his Launch, I was able to interview my friend and fellow Cap’s Chaps – Jason Joyner. I can’t wait for you to meet him!
Jason C. Joyner is a physician assistant, a writer, a Jesus-lover, and a Star Wars geek. He’s traveled from the jungles of Thailand to the cities of Australia and the Bavarian Alps of Germany. He lives in Idaho with his lovely wife, three boys, and daughter managing the chaos of sports and superheroes in his own home. Launch, a YA superhero novel, is the first book in the Rise of the Anointed series.
I’m hoping that through these questions and answers that you being to fall in love with this story, and get a glimpse at the characters in Launch. As today is the release day, I’ll have links at the bottom!
Q: Where did the idea for Launch first come from?
A: I get story ideas as pictures in my head. I saw a teenager who could run really fast, but he had to save up money to always buy new shoes. He kept burning through them with his speed. He could do a couple paper routes pretty quick. I also saw a girl who was trying to be goth, but because her powers were based on light, her hair wouldn’t stay dark. I took those ideas and searched the Bible for other things that would work as modern day superpowers.
Sixteen-year-olds Demarcus Bartlett and Lily Beausoliel are among a select group of youth invited to an exclusive, all-expenses-paid conference at social media giant Alturas’ California headquarters. Led by charismatic founder Simon Mazor, the world’s youngest billionaire, this isn’t the typical honors society. It seems that everyone here has some secret, untapped potential, some power that may not be entirely of this world. An ancient prophecy suggests that if these teens combine their abilities, they could change the course of history. The only question is: Will it be for better or for worse?
Q: What kind of research did you do for Launch?
A: This was fun. I have family that lives in San Francisco, and Launch is set in the Bay area. I went to Facebook headquarters and Google. They really gave the feel of a busy campus, people were running around everywhere. I ate at In & Out.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge of the release for Launch?
A: The amount of work that goes into trying to make this a success. There’s a lot of things in general with publicity, and podcast interviews, blog posts, final edits, and cover tweaks.
Launch is published through Little Lamb Publishing, and this is their first dive into a YA story. Jason was able to get noticed by Little Lamb in an interesting way.
Q: How did you find a publisher?
A: I found them through a Twitter pitch party. It was for #faithpitch last July. I sent out a 140 character pitch and they liked what I wrote, and sent in a request.
From the first idea, stories take time, effort and influence from other sources. I asked Jason a few questions in that regard.
Q: What is a story (book/movie/game) that inspired you early on to be a writer?
A: Knights of the Old Republic – It’s a Star Wars game, and I heard about this thing called fan-fiction. I discovered a website, and that got me into practicing writing, and I decided “What if I could do my own story?”
Q: When do you typically find time to write?
A: Time? What is this thing you speak of? I tend to gear up and focus on a project for a month or two. I use NanoWriMo to knock out a project, or get a group of friends to do a 10k day to knock out scenes.
Q: Who if your biggest supporter?
A: Definitely my wife and kids. They’ve put up with me when I’m busy with other things, and in this lea up to the release. I wouldn’t be able to do this without them.
As a bit of a “get to know the author”, and honestly just to pester him, I asked Jason to list some of his top 5’s.
Top five books:
The Story Peddler by Lindsay Franklin
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Is that really you, God? By Loren Cunningham’
The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson
Top five authors:
Top five fandoms:
One of the last questions I asked Jason involved part of his journey. It’s a valuable lesson, and his response rang true for me, and I hope that we all can learn from those who are on this journey with us.
Q: If you could tell your 20-something self anything, what would it be?
A: I would emphasize to trust in the Lord, because He has good things in store in His time. All the stressing and striving that you’re doing isn’t going to make it happen, just make it worse.
I’m so happy for Jason on his release of Launch. I can’t wait to have him sign my copy in a few weeks at Realm Makers. You can find Launch on Amazon today, and you can always find Jason posting a random gif, posting a writing tip, promoting fellow authors, and posting about his family on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.