Jason Nahrung is the author of Salvage, a novella, and the newly released Blood and Dust (published by XOUM), a vampire story set in the Queensland outback. Visit Jason online at his website, Vampires in the Sunburnt Country.
1. Can you remember the first story you ever wrote and, if so, what was it?
I wrote a lot of stories when I was a kid, outside of the stuff we had to do for school. I’ve written for as long as I’ve been able to read, I think. War stories, adventure stories, fantasies, science fiction stories. You can see what I was reading. But the first one? Not so much. I do, however, still have the stories I wrote during typing class at high school, flash fiction about a character encountering something fantastical, only to have it revealed as commonplace with a final twist that would make my classmates groan.
2. How many novels did you write before your ‘first novel’ was published?
Just the one before The Darkness Within, the fourth unique iteration of which – Blood and Dust – is being published by Xoum. Hey, it only took a decade or so to get it right. That’s not counting the novella I wrote in university, a neat little fantasy set in an Australia-like continent under threat from a magical winter.
3. What sorts of books do you love to read?
I love character-driven, preferably moody, yarns, usually with a supernatural or fantastical bent, but not always. A strong sense of character and place, an authentic and skilled authorial voice, will get me in regardless of the genre, though speculative fiction is my favourite landscape. I’m a big fan of the Gothic.
4. If you were forced to co-write a novel with someone (as we’re not presuming that you’d want to co-write with anyone necessarily) who would it be?
I have collaborated with another person before — once with my then girlfriend on the forerunner of The Darkness Within, and again with my friend Shayne on an outback occult adventure; he had brilliant ideas but wanted to work with someone else with a more contemporary voice. I still owe him more work on that one to get it over the line, but it was a hoot. So I quite enjoy the process of having two brains attacking ideas. My wife and fellow Xoum author Kirstyn McDermott and I have talked about getting together on a series involving nasty fae folk, which might happen; I think we get on well together enough! Between my speed and her style, it’d be fun to see what we came up with.
5. What are you working on now and next?
Now, I’m actually proofing Blood and Dust for Xoum — outback vampires doing bad, bad things — and writing the follow-on, which involves city vampires doing bad, bad things. After that, we’ll see: it might be knocking a sequel to The Darkness Within into shape, or there’s that book I owe Shayne, still waiting for some repairs …