Jason Webber Interview
The Indie Book Butler Interview.
Indie Book Butler: Let’s start things off with an introduction. Tell us a little about yourself for those not already aware of you and your work.
Jason Webber: My name is Jason Webber. I’m a writer, journalist, and raconteur who has just written a memoir called “Purple Bananas: How Prince Saved Me and Other Selections from the Soundtrack 2 My Life.” I’ve lived in five states and currently live in Toledo, Ohio.
IBB: You’ve got twenty words to tempt us to read your book(s). What would you say?
JW: If music has ever changed your life—or saved it—you will like my book “Purple Bananas.” No Prince experience necessary!
IBB: Where do you like to write?
JW: I write at my kitchen table. It’s not exactly ideal because I have a rambunctious 5-year old running around, but Melville wrote at HIS kitchen table and he turned out alright.
IBB: Is there anything you must have in order to write?
JW: I usually need a pot of coffee and some music playing in the background. Sometimes at night, I’ll have a glass of whiskey.
IBB: What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
JW: I’ve been really influenced by the Beat Generation and my work has been compared to Kerouac. I love “Naked Lunch” by William Burroughs, all the works of Hubert Selby Jr, Joan Didion. I love the great music writers like Lester Bangs and Rob Sheffield. Other books that have played a role in my life: “The Way You Wear Your Hat” by Bill Zehme (my hero), “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” by Chuck Barris, and “On Writing” by Stephen King
IBB: What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
JW: Practice. Practice, practice, practice. I write every day and I try to get a little bit better with each work. I’m a GOOD writer now, and maybe someday I’ll be a great writer.
IBB: What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
JW: I want to reach a level of success where I’m widely read and my work is known all over the world.
IBB: Have you received a favorite review of your work?
JW: Yes. Nathan Rabin, one of the best pop culture writers in America, praised my book, calling it “insanely entertaining.” That was a nice feather in my cap.
IBB: Were there any particular parts of the writing/publishing process that you struggled with?
JW: The level of honesty I included in the book. I write very candidly about my dysfunctional childhood, and various failed relationship. It was hard to revisit those parts of my life. But I did it and I think the end result was worth it.
IBB: Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
JW: I just try to get a little bit better every single day.
IBB: What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
JW: The writer’s job is to mine a literary diamond. The editor’s job should be to polish the stone and make it gleam.
IBB: If you had a direct line to someone who loves or hates your writing, what would you say?
JW: If you love my writing, thank you for the support. If you hate my writing, I still appreciate you taking the time to read it.
IBB: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
JW: Learn how to handle frustration. Period.
IBB: What does your writing future hold for you?
JW: I’m currently working on my second book “Mr. Fantastic Bastard: Adventures in Love and Depravity from an Unknown American.”
IBB: How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
JW: I got lucky with my first book. The cover art just came to me very easily. I’m going to hire a very good graphic designer to help me with my second book.
IBB: How often do you read? What genre?
JW: I read mostly music-related nonfiction these days. I really enjoyed “Beastie Boys Book” and the recent Prince biography “This Thing Called Life” by Neal Karlen.
IBB: Before we let you escape, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
JW: Yes. I highly recommend the book “The Mold Farmer” by the amazing and possibly deranged Rick Claypool. It will blow your mind. I also loved the recent anthology of poetry by John Dorsey “Which Way to the River?”
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.
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