Thursday, 14 June 2012

Author Interview with Jason Warne

I'm excited to welcome author Jason Warne to our blog today!

Jason's book, Fix by Force, is available at

Spencer doesn’t have a choice.

He can't choose to be different than what he is—the son of the town's worst enemy, the weakling who can't stand up for himself, the loser without friends.

He can't change the way things are.

Or maybe he can.

Immediate confidence.

Rapid change.

Instant hope.

These are the things Spencer believes he needs to fix his life, and that is what the steroids promise—a quick fix.

But promises can be broken and shortcuts are often treacherous, and Spencer must decide if those risks are worth the perceived rewards—if “artificial” hope is strong enough for him to be fixed, by force.

5 out of 5 stars

If I was could sum up this book in one word, it would be WOW (capitalized for effect). This is an incredibly powerful story chock full of emotion and drama.

Spencer is a high school senior who feels insignificant and powerless. He comes from a dysfunctional family, including a verbally and occasionally physically abusive mother, and he is being bullied at school with no one to turn to for help. Spencer feels he is alone in the world with his pain, and his greatest fear is of turning into his much-hated father. Spencer realizes he needs to take action to turn his life around, but he is looking for a quick fix with immediate results, no matter the consequences.

Spencer's character was nothing short of amazing. The way the author was able to portray Spencer's feelings of self-loathing, fear, and loneliness on the pages of this book made the story absolutely heart wrenching to read. We were able to get inside his head and were able to see his rationalizations for his actions, and even though he knew the consequences of the steroids and could see them being played out with a negative impact on his health and his friendships, he still thought what he was doing was okay because it would help him get noticed, be liked by other people, and ultimately be somebody.

I loved that we were able to get to know Spencer pre-steroids and then were able to journey with him over the timeframe of the story, watching the consequences of his decisions play out and how those consequences, plus other external forces (family and friends), change his outlook on life as he eventually realizes that he may not be as alone in the world as he thought.

The best kind of book is one that leaves you thinking about it long after you've read the last word. Fix by Force is that kind of book. Ultimately, I am going to recommend this book to everyone I know, as it is the kind of story that every parent and teen should read.

See my review on Goodreads!

Q & A with Jason Warne

Q:  What was the inspiration behind your story?
A:  While the inspiration for many of the plot concepts and themes was inspired by many of my own personal experiences, my real motivation for writing this story was a group of students at an alternative school where I worked. At the time, I was a teacher’s assistant in a substitute role, and while reading together in class was always part of our curriculum, the students never seemed to identify with the books we read, and they were mainly disinterested. Fix by Force was my attempt to provide them with something a little different—more relevant to their lives—so I’d usually write a chapter or two every other day, and we’d read it together in class and discuss it afterward. I probably only made it eight or nine chapters into the story before changing jobs, but, inspired by the response I received from the class (who hadn’t known I was the writer), I decided to finish the story.

Q:  Tell us about your main character, Spencer.
A:  Spencer isn’t always the typical well-intentioned “hero,” and in reality, as the story’s protagonist, he sometimes lacks some of the qualities that insure “likability” for the story’s main character. Spencer is real (as “real” as a fictional character can be), and he is honest with himself and with the reader. And I think that may be why many readers find him so relatable. Spencer admits to truths about himself that we often don’t, but that doesn’t stop him from making contradictory decisions and deviating blame. Still, I feel like we can understand him and empathize with his motives as a 17 year-old who is simply trying to “fix” things and figure everything out. So while we, as readers, are fully aware that Spencer is actually quite wrong in his way of thinking throughout most of the story, we can understand why he’s come to conclusions he has, and root for him to figure out what’s “right.”

Q:  What’s one thing you would like your readers to take away from your story?
A:  I think the one thing I’ve struggled with the most, especially when I was “a 17 year-old simply trying to fix things and figure everything out,” is understanding and owning up to my responsibility for own situation and the choices I make. I would never presume to know or even speculate about other people’s motives for their decisions, but I would like it if the story could somehow encourage some reflection about our choices in life and who holds the responsibility for the outcomes. The story does seek out to illustrate the damage that outward sources can do, especially concerning things like bullying, but ultimately, Spencer understands that he is responsible for his response to these sources, which is why he consistently blames others when thinking he needs to justify his behavior—even if just to himself.

Q:  What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
A:  Many times, I had difficulty getting through some of the more personal aspects of the story, especially concerning the steroid use. However, the most difficult part was, and still is, staying motivated. I enjoyed writing this story, but staying motivated to keep writing was often very difficult, since I didn’t know what would happen when I finished. How would I get it “out there?” Would readers like it? Could I even obtain readership? Would it “matter” to people? There were so many questions and fears about what would come “after” and my oft-wavering and sometimes full-failing motivation affected my writing.

Q:  I love the cover art. Who created the cover and what was that process like for you as the author?
A:  I actually designed the cover myself—both front and back covers. The image on the front is my younger brother, Mitchell, and we took the picture in my kitchen with just a dark blanket as a backdrop. I edited the photo and used the scene of Spencer’s late-night triceps injection as the cover’s theme when designing. The process was actually quite enjoyable and I am glad that I had creative control of my cover. The publisher made an attempt and did a nice job, but their version didn’t capture the darkness and despair of the moment, and since I was more familiar with the feelings and themes of the part of the story that inspired the cover, I figured I could give it go on my own, and am very glad I did.

Q:  Are you working on any new projects?
A:  I started working on a story about one the story’s main characters, Janelle, a few years ago, but that “wavering motivation” has held up that story for now. However, I am excited about a work of speculative YA fiction I am a few chapters into. I have always been fascinated human potential as far as our physical and mental abilities are concerned, so I’m focusing on a realistic, more scientifically backed kind of “superhuman” story, and it’s shaping up pretty nicely so far.

Q:  Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A:  Well, I’m 28 years-old and northern born and raised (Michigan) and have been living in Tyler, Texas for the last few years. I’ve been married for nearly seven years to the girl I’ve been dating since I was about 16 or 17. I’m a bit of a wannabe athlete, and love football, baseball and basketball. My dream-job for some time has been to write full-time, preferably fiction literature, so, even with that “motivation” problem still creeping up now and then, I’m still trying for that!

Q:  What are you reading right now?
A: I recently met a local author, Steven Jennings, at Staples while I was printing flyers for a book-signing, and just starting reading his new thriller, When Darkness Falls, available on kindle.

Thank you Jason!  

Readers can find out more about Jason and his books on his websiteor on Goodreads.


  1. Wow designed the cover yourself? Amazing!

  2. Interesting how the story all came together. Good interview. I know after reading the book, I told everyone I knew about it- it really touched me too.

  3. What a wonderful interview. Sounds like Jason has a powerful connection and understanding of teens, especially teens with issues in their lives that go beyond normal teenage angst. I think, even as adults, we could probably relate to his main character's feelings of wanting to fix those things in our lives that we have no control over. I wish Jason the best of luck in his continued writing career and will check out his book, Fix By Force.

    Jody French
    Author-Red Dirt Rocker

  4. I was told about the book from a good friend and could not put it down once I started reading it. I could feel an instant connection with the Spencer and at times I think I even felt his pain. It was truly an amazing book and I cannot wait to read the next book. Great job Jason!! Please everyone tell your friends and help out this guy out. This kid has got amazing potential!!

  5. Good interview. I was rather fascinated by why you initially started the story.

  6. Great interview!
    I mentioned you on my blog and put your button in my sidebar. Just wanted to let you know I appreciated the Giveaway I won from you!

  7. Just finished reading this book today and loved it! It was great to read the interview and get to know some of the thoughts and ideas behind the book. Thanks for posting it!