Jason Carr has been a member of the Writers’ League since 2006 and will be attending the Agents & Editors Conference in June. He lives in Austin, TX.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
I write in multiple genres. I write religious and spiritual nonfiction, Christian philosophy, essays, creative nonfiction, poetry, plays, contemporary fiction, and Christian speculative fiction.
Scribe: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?
I could choose a contemporary author, and many of them are probably interesting. But I am going to choose an ancient person. I believe that Aristotle is probably the smartest person who ever lived. He wrote treatises on so many topics, and despite society’s scientific revolutions, many of his works are relevant today. I don’t believe that anyone has ever had a grasp of the sum total of the knowledge available in any one era like he did.
If I sat down with Aristotle, I could drink one of the fashionable Greek wines, and I would practice my listening skills and just query him and let him speak.
I’ve wondered what Aristotle would be doing in our modern world and what he would have thought about it. Would he be a professional philosopher, a literary or theater critic, a biologist, or what? And what contributions could he have made? He mastered so many fields of knowledge for his day that he should be able to contribute to some field today.
I’ve been recently reading and studying his Poetics and his works on logic and rhetoric. I would have at least one good question for him. Since he gave such a good critique of the drama of his day in Poetics, I wonder what he would think about modern-day novels and films. I’m sure he could give a thorough distinction between the genres of theater, film and fiction to enlighten other readers and hearers.
Other people who I would like to sit down with are St. Paul, St. Thomas Aquinas, Walt Whitman, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, and William Faulkner. I could even drink wine with St. Paul, but I’m not so sure about that with Aquinas. Whitman indulged in so much of his day that a drink wouldn’t be a problem either. I chose the more modern authors because they are all Mississippi natives where I grew up. I would love to discuss the ways of Mississippi life and literature with them.
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
The clichéd answer is to have three books – a dictionary, Shakespeare, and the Bible. I could live on an island with the Bible, but probably not Shakespeare. If I really had to choose one book, I would want a long one and one that I could benefit from reading over and over again, and it would also have to give me insight into why I was on the island.
Since I would be on the deserted island all by myself, why not just read Whitman’s Leaves of Grass over and over and sing myself all those sunny days.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
I have enjoyed the many Saturday workshops that the WLT has hosted. I have enjoyed meeting other writers and hearing their writing stories. The Writers League is a quality organization that can be beneficial to writers who take advantage of its many programs.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
I would like to see some of my projects to fruition by either getting manuscripts published or produced on stage. If either of those fail, I will do what I like best which is to keep writing. My writing has already taken me further than I imagined a decade ago, so I’ll see what the next decade holds.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
One of my biggest problems is that I try to write in too many genres. If I focused on just one, I could become successful at one.
I just keep writing hoping that something will work one day. I’ve heard that some authors fail because they give up, and others succeed because they never give up. If there are four words to describe successful authors they are passion, patience, persistence, and perseverance.