J. Alton Mast

Author Interview Form
Tell us your name and where you’re from.:
J. Alton Mast from Bethlehem, PA.
What led to your decision to become an author?:
I’ve always been fascinated and obsessed with writing a novel
from the time I was young (about 11 years old) and as embarrassed as I
am to admit it, I was an avid fan fiction writer. So when I turned 18
I decided that I was done writing stories about worlds other people
had invented and I created my own. That, and my chosen major in
college was English.
Tell us about what you’re currently working on, and
what you’ve written in the past.:
I’ve recently published ‘Daemon Theory’ in April, a
science-fiction, horror series with a strong Dystopian theme. It had
been my major work in progress until its publication. Since ‘Daemon
Theory’ is a series I am currently working on the second, along with a
Psychological Horror story called ‘The Bone Garden’
What are some of your strongest points as a writer,
and what if anything are you constantly working to improve upon?:
I have a knack for storytelling, creating people and worlds
that people visualize easily. I’ve also been told that my writing
makes people think. However, I will admit that I have a nasty habit of
switching points of view from chapter to chapter, so that is something
I’m striving to fix.
Are you self published, traditionally published or
both? Why did you choose to go that route?:
I am traditionally published. I decided to go that route
simply because I don’t trust the self-publishing scene. At the risk of
sounding arrogant, I didn’t want something I poured my blood, sweat,
and tears into for two years to float around in the depths of
cyberspace for the rest of forever. Not to mention with all the vanity
publishers out there, I just didn’t want to take the risk. So instead
I took the heartbreak of seemingly endless rejection letters, but the
comfort of knowing that if I ever received a ‘yes’ my book would be in
more capable hands then myself.
What format are your books available in? Which of
these formats do you prefer and why?:
Paperback and Ebook. I prefer paperback. Call me old
fashioned but I like the look and feel of books. On the kindle, nook,
or Ipad it just doesn’t feel right.
How do you go about marketing your books?:
Through Facebook campaigns, Twitter, and I’m hoping to make a
trailer soon to post on YouTube. Essentially I just use social
Have you ever had to deal with harsh criticism in a
review, and how do you handle it?:
I go into a drunken stupor and I cry over my associates
degree as I question my choices in life. I’m kidding, of course. When
I see a negative or unfavorable review, I brush it off of my shoulder.
Whoever wrote it is entitled to their opinion and if every little
negative criticism brings you down then you shouldn’t be an author, or
in any entertainment medium for that matter. No matter where you go
and what you do, there’s always going to be someone trying to put you
down. I choose not to take it personally and keep moving forward.
Unless the negative/harsh criticism makes a valid point about my
writing style, I just forget it. But if it does, I take the critique,
and use the advice to better my skills.
What are your favorite genres to both read and
I really enjoy Horror. I like being scared and on edge, but
I’ve always felt that media as of late hasn’t been able to do that
job, so I like to try to scare myself. As weird as it sounds, I like
to go into that darker part of my head just to see what I happen to
pull out of it.
What authors have influenced or inspired you?:
I wouldn’t say a specific author inspired me. It’s more like
works by certain authors inspired me. For example: the Dark Tower
series by Stephen King. I wouldn’t call Stephen King an inspiration to
me, but one of his series did inspire me to write.
What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when you’re
not writing?:
Running. It really helps me clear my head and de-stress. That
and I’m an artist as a hobby (I’m okay…not really good, but not
horrible either).
What software do you use for your writing? Did you
try others before you settled on the one you’re currently using?:
I’m lame. I use Microsoft word 2010, mostly because it’s been
familiar to me since I was young.
What is it that you like about the software you’re
currently using that makes it the best solution for you?:
Like I said before, it’s familiar and it’s simple. Plus I’m
an old curmudgeon who’s stuck in her ways.
What’s the best advice you could possibly give to
your fellow authors?:
This is going to sound really lame, but the best piece of
advice I could give new/young/fellow authors is this:

For any reason, do not give up on your work. Don’t quit writing
because ‘mom wants me to pick a sensible major’ or ‘everyone says
there’s no money in it…’ or ‘No would want to read a story about a
Werewolf drag queen superhero’. Whatever the reason that’s festering
in the back of your mind, telling you to stop, fight it! Creative
types tend to let other people, and most importantly ourselves, into
our own head and start swaying our opinions on our work and our
choices. I cannot count the times that I’ve second-guessed myself
because the voice in the back of my head was telling me ‘Don’t write
that! It’s too strange! It’s too dirty! It’s too violent!’ But I
ignored the voices in my head, and stuck by my work. And what do I
have to show for it? I’m published. That’s what. I’m not saying to
ignore criticisms, to the contrary. But only take in the thoughts and
opinions of others that can help you and allow you to grow as a
writer. Don’t let the negativity or the judgement get in your way of
doing what you love to do.

Where can people find out more about you and your
My publisher’s website, ink-smith.com, or the Daemon Theory
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DaemonTheory.