Jack Castle loves adventure. Labeled by Coeur D’Alene Press as the, “Man of Adventures”, he has traveled the globe as a professional stuntman for stage, film, and television. While working for Universal Studios, he met Cinderella at Walt Disney World and they were soon married. After moving to Alaska, he worked as a tour guide, police officer, and Criminal Justice professor. He has been stationed on a remote island in the Aleutians as a Response Team Commander and his last job in the Arctic Circle was protecting engineers from ravenous polar bears. His first science fiction novel, ‘Europa Journal’, released in 2015 and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon. His second novel, Bedlam Lost, has been called by the Spokesman Press, “A creeeeepy novel that brings back memories of early Dean Koontz…”, and his third novel, White Death, was inspired by actual events while working in the Arctic. For more on Jack, his adventures, and his books, visit: www.JackCastlebooks.com
Your biography shows that you’ve lived a life of adventure. Among your past jobs you list stuntman for stage, film and television, tour guide, police officer, Criminal Justice professor and certified weapons instructor. Can you tell us how leading such an exciting life has influenced your writing?
When I was a young stuntman I was fortunate enough to meet June Lockhart (most will remember her as the mother on Lassie and Lost in Space). She asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and to my surprise I said, “A writer.” She tilted her head to the side, thought about it for a moment and then said, “If you want to be a writer, you need to go out and experience the world, have lots of adventures, and only then, should you sit down and start writing about it. So that’s what I did. Many of those experiences; traveling the globe, working law enforcement in a creepy little remote town in Alaska and nearly getting eaten by a polar bear in the Arctic were all inspiration for my books.
What was your first book and how many books have you published since the first one?
Europa Journal and Bedlam Lost were both published in 2015 and White Death was published in 2016.
What genres do you write and why do you enjoy them so much?
Europa Journal is Science Fiction
Bedlam Lost is a Supernatural Thriller
White Death is a Thriller Mystery
I usually don’t think about genre when I start writing a story. It usually begins with some adventure and then asking the “What if?” question.
Which author(s) inspire you and why?
I’m a big fan of Michael Crichton because he liked to write in multiple genres and most of his stories have the perfect blend of adventure while teaching us a little something.
I’m a big fan of Stephen King because I love how he makes us care about his characters right before he starts killing them off.
Can you describe your writing process?
1. I write every day, even it’s just journaling the day’s events.
2. I’m always asking the “What if…?” question wherever I go. For example: What if our plane crashed right now and we discovered a hidden monastery that led us on a path to Shangri-La?
3. I begin my research which usually culminates in an adventure in the region that I’d like to write about.
3. If I haven’t already, I start scouting for characters.
4. Then comes my personal favorite, CLUMPING scenes and dialogue exchanges. Sometimes this stage can take years; with Europa Journal it took nearly a decade of traveling the globe.
5. Once I have my big box of notes and scenes (usually written down in notebooks, legal pads and napkins) along with a very loose outline, I sit down and right the first draft.
Last: Multiple Edits, Beta-Readers, a second-third-fourth draft, More Editing, Professional Editing, Copy Editing, Proofing
You do many book signings at various events. Do you enjoy those kinds of in-person events where you get to interact with your fans?
Even before getting published, I have always loved meeting new people. I still do.
Given your success, which includes recently achieving the number one spot in several Kindle categories, can you describe some of your marketing ideas?
Taking a page from the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” authors, I try and do a bit of marketing every day: Radio interviews, book signings, and literary workshops and of course lots and lots of social media.
What are some obstacles authors face achieving sales in the current market and how have you overcome them?
There are over 12 million books available for purchase on Amazon right now! Quite frankly, even with all the marketing I’m doing, my publisher is doing, I am amazed anyone finds my books. You have to be prepared to go at it every day.
What are you writing now?
I’m finishing up another Sci-Fi novel (I’m about 225 pages in), but over the past year I’ve been secretly working on a straight up Horror Novel. Despite the fact that Horror doesn’t sell unless you’re King or Koontz, I’m pretty excited about it.
Where can readers find your work and where can they find you online?
All three books are available in print and in all e-book formats. You can find them at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, i-Tunes, Kobo, Kindle, Nook.
Thanks for having me!