November 13, 2015

Fate in Plain Sight: an interview and giveaway with Jason Parent, author of "Seeing Evil"

About Seeing Evil:

Fate in plain sight.
Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly prefers to work alone—she’s seen as a maverick, and she still struggles privately with the death of her partner. The only person who ever sees her softer side is Michael Turcotte, a teenager she’s known since she rescued him eleven years ago from the aftermath of his parents’ murder-suicide.

In foster care since his parents’ death, Michael is a loner who tries to fly under the bullies’ radar, but a violent assault triggers a disturbing ability to view people’s dark futures. No one believes his first vision means anything, though—not even Sam Reilly. When reality mimics his prediction, however, Sam isn’t the only one to take notice. A strange girl named Tessa Masterson asks Michael about her future, and what he sees sends him back to Sam—is Tessa victim or perpetrator?

Tessa’s tangled secrets draw Michael and Sam inexorably into a deadly conflict. Sam relies on Michael, but his only advantage is the visions he never asked for. As they track a cold and calculating killer, one misstep could turn the hunters into prey.

Gef: What was the inspiration behind Seeing Evil?
Jason: My only literary inspiration was Stephen King’s The Dead Zone, which will always be a favorite of mine. But the premise is much older. It’s the story of Cassandra, of knowledge without power, of trying to do what’s right and being alienated for it. But unlike the big blockbuster endings with huge ramifications, like that of The Dead Zone and The Watchmen, I wanted my story to focus on real people with hard lives and the smidgen of hope they have of escaping them.
Gef: How intensive did the research get for you? Anything you learned and wanted to include, but just didn't have time or room for?
Jason: I didn’t need much research for Seeing Evil. It’s not loaded with science or technological jargon, with police procedure being perhaps the most technical aspect of the book. My legal background helped me there. Unlike my recent story in Bad Apples 2, where I needed to do extensive research into the military, Afghanistan, Mexico, and the Day of the Dead, among other things… Or an upcoming novel that takes place in Kansas, a state to which I’ve never been.
Yeah, sometimes I’m a glutton for punishment.
Gef: How much of a balancing act is there for you when teasing supernatural elements in a story that is otherwise firmly rooted in a real world setting?
Jason: Well, there’s no hiding the ball with Seeing Evil, with the synopsis clearly stating that the protagonist has visions of the future. So readers will be expecting that going in, and (I hope) are ready to suspend disbelief in that respect. The balancing act comes in trying not to overwrite the vision but instead transport the reader into a scene that seems as real as any other, not like a dream sequence. So it’s more making what’s seen in the vision believable than the fact of the vision itself.
Then again, Donnie Darko pulled off something else entirely.
Gef: Who do you count among your writing influences?
Jason: Well, I’ve given credit to Poe and King in the past, and certainly they still influence my work. With respect to thrillers, however, I may lean more toward James Rollins and Tess Gerritsen, not so much in writing style, but in plotting and pacing. But both my novels have been called “genre mash-ups,” and there’ll be more of that to come. While I love and respect the authors I’ve named and many more, I hope to stand on my own two feet with something original and refreshing.
Gef: What do you consider to be the lasting appeal of the thriller genre? 
Jason: It’s exciting. Really, it’s as simple as that. You’re running, fighting, diving, crashing, trying to survive right alongside the characters in them – the pacing is fast and, if done right, you always feel a need to turn the page and find out what happens next. You can’t relax until the book is done, and before you know it, you’ve read half the novel in one sitting. Try doing that with A Tale of Two Cities or Ordinary People.
Gef: What's the worst piece of writing advice you ever received? Or what piece of writing advice do you wish would just go away?
Jason: The advice I gave myself when I started: “You can do this on your own.” I hate asking anyone for help, but in meeting some of the great people I have met, I’ve improved my writing with, I think, every work I’ve released. And there’s quid pro quo. The advice I would give my younger self now would be: “Find a great support group of editors, beta readers, bloggers – people who you can trust and call friends – and support them right back.” No writer needs or should have to go about it alone.
Gef: What kind of guilty pleasures do you have when it comes to books or movies or whatnot?
Jason: Nothing I am embarrassed to admit. I am obsessed with determining who committed the crime and why in every television crime drama and most movies, mostly by following the same tired formula they all use. Twists are no longer twists when they are expected.
I may be just a little jaded.
Gef: What projects are you cooking up that folks can expect in the near future, and how can folks keep up with your shenanigans?

Jason: I should have a novelette, dark fantasy/horror that takes place in Scotland (told ya, glutton for punishment) coming out in the next couple of months. Beyond that, another novelette is in the works, and three novels are out for consideration, not to mention several short stories.
Your readers, if interested, can find me at my website,, though I am more active on Facebook at and Twitter at

Thanks again for having me on your blog and for participating in the Seeing Evil tour! 

In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it's harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he's back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that's another story.

When he's not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody's head off - he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

Please visit Jason on
 Facebook, on Twitter, or at his website for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.    

Praise for Seeing Evil
“… Parent writes in such a fluid, mesmerizing and realistic way that I found I couldn’t stop!” – My So-Called Book Reviews
Seeing Evil is one of those books that takes off at a fast pace and doesn't slow down.” – Carries Book Reviews
“Jason Parent tortures us right alongside his characters. The world building is excellent and very real.” – I’m a Voracious Reader
“…one of the best suspense thrillers I have read in a very long time. In lesser hands it would have been a decent read but the author's skill in setting the scene, character development, and story telling makes this a far superior novel.” – Book Nutter’s Book Reviews
Seeing Evil has some very special moments and is a very fast read. There's no denying Parent has talent.” Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, Boom Town, and Abram’s Bridge
“Wow! That was just brilliant! Every single chapter straight from the very beginning had me gripped.” – Andrew Lennon, author of Keith and A Life to Waste, a Novel of Violence and Horror
“Superbly fast paced from beginning to end meaning you will not want to put it down. A plot that will keep you guessing to the very end but not in a confusing way. Brilliant characters that gel together perfectly. A bloody good book.” – Confessions of a Reviewer
“This is one seriously entertaining, thought provoking read.” – Adam Light, author of Taken, Toes Up, and The Corpus Corruptum
“This book was a police procedural/thriller/psychological horror story-it doesn't neatly fit into any category except for: ‘damn fine read’.” – Char’s Horror Corner
“The entire story was strong, driven, and merciless in all regard from beginning to end. Even when you think you know where it's going, there's yet another--logical--twist.” Horror After Dark
Seeing Evil is a perfectly-paced book, with intriguing characters and white-knuckle, edge of your seat tension. The villain is particularly haunting in an all-too-plausible way, and even a few days after having finished reading the events of the book are still vividly etched in my mind. Parent's writing here is top notch - sleek, efficient and with surprising emotional depth.” – Evans Light, author of Arboreatum, Screamscapes, and Harmlessly Insane.
Purchase Links
Sign up to enter to win one of five books from Jason Parent! There is one print copy of Seeing Evil, one print copy of Bad Apples 2 collection, 1 e-book of What Hides Within, and one e-book of Dead Roses. All winners get Seeing Evil bookmarks! Random draw chooses winner. First name drawn receives first prize, and so on. Any giveaway questions may be forwarded to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist,
Enter to win at the link:

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