How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
Prayer, pondering, talking with trusted family and friends, observing the world around me. If I know what I’m doing is right, I suck it up and push through whatever it is. If I’m not so sure, I stop, and reevaluate myself because I’d rather have a direction in movement than mindlessly moving around.
What scares you the most?
Not being strong enough. Not not being the best, but not being strong enough to do what I feel I need to do to fulfill my purpose.
Why do you write?
It may seem like a generic answer, but I write because I want to make a difference in the world. I want to help make the world a less tragic place. I’m not the best at explaining myself with facts, proving what I know to be right. I may know of a good way to be happy, but I can’t always persuade people. I can live those principles though. I can live them and I can write about them in the form of fiction.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
I’m not sure if I’ve always enjoyed it, but it has never been a burden. In school it was always difficult to write a paper on a subject I was forced to, but I’ve never detested writing. Now, I love it. Give me a topic, and I’ll learn all I can and then I’ll write about it.
What motivates you to write?
Hate and despair. Sounds emo, but when I see what’s wrong in the world, I want to write because I want to fix it. I’m not the most educated or well versed in how the world works. I have a simple belief of what is right and what is wrong, and because of that, I have a hard time proving what I’m saying is true. I am not a sophisticated scholar. With writing though, I can put my truth, my beliefs into metaphors and parables that aren’t blatantly thrown out the window because of biased opinions of my faith and simple nature.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
It’s not so much as what, but who and that who is my wife. She’s from Arizona and when she moved up to Utah (which is where we met) she came knowing a handful of people, and less than $300 to her name. She did it because she felt it was where she needed to be. Not to mention, she is the one that chased me down. She saw how much I cared about her roommate, whom I had a huge crush on, and she was like “I want to marry that guy.” How much faith does that take? When she knows what’s right, there’s no stopping her.
What books did you love growing up?
I loved the “Great Brain” series by the American author: John D. Fitzgerald. My mom started reading them to me when I was little, and when I was old enough, I finished the series. I love them because they’re about this kid, The Great Brain, who outsmarts all the educated adults in this small time with swindles and solving mysteries. No one ever takes him seriously, but he continues to trust his Great Brain and makes a difference in this small town as a result.
Who is your favorite author?
I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite author, but there are some writers that I love. Vince Gilligan, Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, they all are great writers and artists in my book. The way they tell a story is so unique and if there are any writers I want to impress, it’d be these guys.
What book should everybody read at least once?
This will sound a bit nerdy, even preachy possibly, and I know that there’ll be some back lash, but it’s the first answer that came to my head. The Book of Mormon. It’s a book that has changed my life. I’ve read it multiple times in English, twice in French and read sections here and there from the book in Tahitian. The story structure is fascinating, there is so much hard core doctrine and life changing principles in it, and above all, it’s true. It has been and still is a keystone to my beliefs and has solidified my beliefs in Christ.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I was born in raised in Orem, Utah, smack dab in the middle of Mormonville. I now live in Provo, the next city over, and you know what? I love it! Although I grew up in a place a lot think is a giant bubble, my parents didn’t shelter me. They protected me of course when I needed it, like all good parents would, but they didn’t shelter me. “Suck it up”, that’s what my mom would always tell me. She still does in fact. “Work hard”, that’s the principle my dad lives by and naturally he raised me always doing 110% in whatever my responsibilities were and are. Those two things have forced me to write, work, and believe when I haven’t wanted to.
Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.
The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.
In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.
Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.
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Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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