KEY FACTS

He eats too many sweets in the middle of the night.
He won't say certain words in public, e.g. croissant, delicious, refreshments, cup of tea, bargain, nice-to-have.
He only buys button-activated umbrellas because he secretly thinks when he presses the button he's activating a lightsaber.

MOST CONTROVERSIAL FACT

He likes the prequels.

BIOGRAPHY

Jason grew up in Costessey, a village just outside Norwich in the east of England.  It was there his love of the outdoors - bike rides through the woods, strawberry picking, playing football in the open fields - was suffused into his personality.  That love of the outdoors, and how his mixed English and Caribbean heritage affected him while growing up in a predominatntly white area are themes he deals with, however obliquely, in his writing.

He was fifteen when he started getting creative, first as lead singer and bass player for his high school band, then, after moving to Peterborough (a small fenland town lost somewhere between Norwich and Birmingham), filmmaking and writing.  It was in his later teens when he directed his first short film Like I Taught You, which was a winner at the Shots in the Dark crime film festival in Nottingham.

Unable to decide what he wanted to do with his life, Jason was twenty when he first went to university, where he studied History, but he left the course halfway through as he wasn't satisfied creatively.  He moved back to Peterborough and made a half hour film Tramp, which was broadcast on Antiguan television.

For the next few years he worked in various roles - warehouse operative, customer service representative in a call centre - until he decided to return to university in London to study Video Production and Film Studies, in which he obtained a First.  The short documentary he made at this time, Hill of Crosses, filmed in Lithuania, was broadcast on their national television.

Throughout all this Jason kept writing short stories; and now that he'd finished university, he began writing the novel he'd been leading up to his entire life, just hadn't know it.  This was The Distant Sound of Violence, an epic, heartbreaking tale of bad decisions and love gone wrong, the novel which cemented the themes he's interested in as an author: coming-of-age, isolation, how the past can overshadow our lives.  He strives to write commercial literary/contemporary novels with a mystery element.

the distant sound of violence

He still works in a call centre - yes, he's one of those annoying people who call you at home when you're cooking tea.  After work, however, he blogs and tweets on the mysteries of writing, life and the cosmos, as well as working on his second novel, another coming-of-age mystery.

Here are just a few of his influences/inspirations or just pure loves:

AUTHORS

Paul Auster, Joyce Carol Oates, Martin Amis, Michel Faber, Denis Johnson, Jonathan Franzen.

NON-FICTION SUBJECTS

Cosmology, astrophysics, philosophy, Russian history and anything relating to concentration camps, film theory and practice, and novel writing (although that's assumed).

FILM DIRECTORS

Terrence Malick, Francis Ford Coppola, Leos Carax, Lynne Ramsay, Park Chan-wook, David Lynch.

MUSIC

Late Romantic/Modern classical music: Sibelius, Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussy, Shostakovich, Adams, Gorecki, Ligeti, Salonen, Dutilleux.
Jazz: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Grant Green, Bill Frisell, Tord Gustavsen.
Electronic/Drum and Bass: Goldie, Boards of Canada, Kraftwerk.
Black Metal: Emperor, Burzum, Mayhem, Darkthrone, The Ruins of Beverast, Enslaved.

 
 

Jason's bookshelf: read

London Fields
The Information
The New York Trilogy
Invisible
A Confederacy of Dunces
In Cold Blood
Wuthering Heights
No Country for Old Men
Faceless
The Dice Man
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
Survival in the Killing Fields
If This Is a Man / The Truce
1Q84
Lonesome Dove
Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
The Corrections
The Crimson Petal and the White
The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
Gulag: A History