Pump Up Your Book Chats with Jack Felson

ABOUT JACK FELSON

Jack Felson is a French bilingual author (novelist, screenwriter, playwright) and filmmaker, born in Lille, France, in 1970. He started writing in 1995, first in French, then in English from year 2002. Now he works only in English. He lives in London, where he wrote “Charlie’s Trips”. His works in French include a funny collection of sketches called “After AIDS”, another novel, “Adieu, Ciel bleu”, and a play.

Visit him online at http://www.feljackson.blogspot.com.

On Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-Trips/147875658590572

Q: Can you tell us why you wrote your book?
There’s no specific reason why you write a book, except for an idea you find good enough to be the subject of such a thing. And when you believe this idea and the book (or stage-screen play) can be very successful, then you don’t hesitate for a long time. Sooner or later you have to get to it. That’s the way I felt about the idea I got for “Charlie’s Trips”. A Sci-Fi version of a popular classic… I thought it was worth a try.

Q: Which part of the book was the hardest to write?
I don’t know. I would say the part when Charlie meets that cult, non-religious group, and has that long chat with the ‘Master’. I had to be very careful about the dialog. Also, the part that describes the future, what has changed.

Q: Besides books, what else do you write? Do you write for publications?
I don’t write for publications, even if I’d like to. But I also write screenplays. Besides, “Charlie’s Trips” also exists as such a film script, I’ve even written it as a script in the first place.

Q: Do you have a writing tip you’d like to share?
Even if your story is planned in your head or on paper, you need to follow your instinct. So you need to write a lot, in order to get your own, definitive style. Your instinct, imagination and heart are the main points.

Q: Are you familiar with the social networks and do you actively participate?

I’m familiar with Facebook but I know I don’t use it as much as I should. The thing is, I don’t know how to use that tool to add friends. I don’t use Twitter very much, actually I don’t see the utility of this one.

Q: What is the most frustrating part of being an author?
The waiting part. Especially when you feel in your heart that you wrote something really good. But that’s the game and the only way. Even if you get published by a major publisher, you still have to wait for them to edit and produce your book, and it can take a very long time since they usually deal with many other works. In the end you may even be unsatisfied with the result. But it’s still better than wait for a reply as a still unpublished author.

Q: What is the most rewarding?
A positive reply from any publisher, whatever big (s)he is. Then you know that your big effort and given time haven’t been fruitless. That’s the biggest reward – afterward you’re more trusted, your talent is recognized and things get much easier.

Q: How do you think book publishing has changed over the years?
The Internet has changed so many things. Several websites and new tools have appeared, allowing any writer to publish his/her own works by him/herself, for instance, even if basically there will be nobody else but him for the promotion part. Also, the paper formats are on their way to be replaced with reading devices such as Kindle, Nook, iPads, etc… Apart from an ecological point of view I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not, I’m not qualified enough to tell.

Q: If You could be anywhere in the world other than where you are right now, where could that be?

I spent 18 months in Vancouver, between 2005 and 2007, and it was the best period in my life. It’s a very good and exciting location with really nice people around. There’s nothing much for writers like me in Vancouver – no agents – but I almost sold a script there, anyway. I have many friends there and my wish is to meet them again. Basically I feel very comfortable in North America, a very big, extended place with so much to see. I’ve also been twice to Los Angeles and even if I kind of enjoyed the stays I wouldn’t like to live there.

Q: Your book has just been awarded the Pulitzer. Who would you thank?

All the people who’ve read it and told around about it.

Charlie's TripsABOUT CHARLIE’S TRIPS

A Sci-Fi version of The Wizard of OZ, about the adventures of a teenage soldier, in a special condition after a space-time travel

Charlie Bradshaw is an American teenage soldier, living in the deep Midwest. At only 16, he’s the youngest voluntarily committed US Army soldier ever. After a drill, he’s taken away by a violent tornado and is hurled into space-time, after lightning hits him at point blank, disintegrating him. He’s “reintegrated” 21 years later, on the West Coast, his memory lost but replaced with an ability to see into the future. He’s found on a beach, alive but unconscious.

He’s not aware of his new condition when he emerges from a 3-day coma, without any idea of where and when he is and what’s going on around him, but with the vision and prediction of another disaster, a big earthquake supposed to destroy San Francisco the day after. He doesn’t know either that he’s the host of a real TV show, as he tells about his vision.

As time passes, and even if his prediction is not taken very seriously, he finds out that he’s more and more talked about and coveted, as any special (and very young) person that he is. This is the beginning of a series of (mis)adventures and events that he can see coming but cannot control.