Wednesday, August 5, 2015

J. Alton Mast and The Daemon Theory of Everything

Today I welcome author and creator, J. Alton Mast, as she ramps up for the much awaited release of the second book in her Daemon Theory series. Fans and new readers alike will enjoy this post apocalyptic ride
Welcome to my blog and I want to hear all about it: 

Who are you and what brings you by today?
I’m J. Mast! I am a 23 year old author, graphic designer, and comic artist. And I’m here for this interview.
What drives you to write the kinds of books that you do?
Writing to me is cathartic, so (and I know this sounds lame) the type of genres I write tend to be a reflection of how I’m feeling. I tend to write things that are darker (I tend to stick within Horror or Black Comedy) because that’s how I deal with things. Some people have a punching bag or a stress-buddy. I write about demons. To each their own, right?
How would you describe your writing style?
Odd and cryptic! I’ve been told that my style is hard to read and that it makes people think.
What are your influences?  Favorite books?
I love reading about religion, philosophy, and human nature. I find those topics endlessly fascinating. I read a lot of the classics, and they tend to be fairly heavy on those topics. Some of my favorites among them are Candide and Vanity Fair.
What songs would be included in the soundtrack of your life?
I am a HUGE EDM and Dubstep fan. I love loud, thumping music that makes me want to drive my car irresponsibly fast. So, even though my own life is fairly mundane, the soundtrack to it would be pretty intense!
Could you share the best advice youve received as an author?  What advice would you share?
Compromise is your friend, but at the end of the day, never sacrifice the integrity of your work just to please someone. Write something that you would want to read. That advice still rings true to me, and I would definitely pass it down to anyone looking to break into the industry.
Can you talk a little about your writing process?
There’s a lot of procrastination involved. If I’m feeling blocked or just at a loss for words, I tend to play video games, or take several walks, or just do something completely unrelated to writing. I tend to get inspiration from seemingly innocuous things. However, when I’m in the swing of things, I tend to keep my coffee maker on for 24 hours straight and blast through my writing until I’ve either burned myself out for the day, or get hit in the face with writer’s block.
Tell us about your latest release!
It’s called Daemon Theory: Brotherhood and it’s the second in the series. It’s a post-apocalyptic horror/sci-fi that takes place on our Earth, more than one thousand years in the future and
chronicles the world post-rapture. There’s a significant amount of action and I think it’s a great read if you’re into dark (and more nihilistic) fiction.
Talk about one specific theme in your latest book.
A major theme of the series as a whole is the concept of freedom, what it means to be free, and at what price freedom does or does not come with. At the end of the book, many of the characters realize that true freedom can never be attained and that they will always be tethered to something (be it tangible or intangible) that prevents them from reaching true freedom.
Can you share a passage?
              Sure! This is one of my favorites that I’ve written in this series.
            Without thinking, she began to swim forward. The water was deafening, as the only thing that could be heard was her arms slicing through the grey and the occasional rattle of chains.
            What is it looking for? the voice asked, with utmost sincerity, What does it need.
            Shut upAlecko thought.
            We hear you, it laughed, We hear everything, little fish. Nothing is sacred here. Not thoughts. Not dreams.
            Where are you? she asked it, Why dont you show yourself?
            Im here! Im here! I am here! Oh silly fish. Stupid fish. Swimming about in circles, looking for something that can already been seen. Is that the nature of your kind? What can change that? Or are you doomed? I would very much like that. We can stay down here forever.
            Youre lying, she thought, Youre not hereyoure probably not even real.
            Youve had the dream before, havent you? The one of the goat-headed woman with seven arms? She lingers and waits outside of your house. Shes watching you. Waiting for the golden-god, the false god, to come and fill your sweet, feeble head with lies.
            At that moment, she heard a massive rumble from beneath. A strong current pulled her down several feet, then flung her back up, closer to the surface. An impressive, blackened body slithered in the ocean beneath her, like hundreds of coiling snakes ever-entangled into one entity. Unable to process the creatures immeasurable size, she hadnt taken the time to notice the great, red eye that had opened just beside her. Horrible, asymmetric and ugly, it stared down at the daemon before it.
            A tendril thrashed from the chasm below, and wrapped itself around her body, crushing her in its grip. She scratched at the leathery appendage, though it did no good. It whipped her around, forcing her to look the great beast in the eye.
            Her pupils shrank and her body seized up, gazing into the black, amorphous mass hidden behind the turbid water. The hideous arm loosened and let Alecko drift up towards the beasts face. She could see a set of horrible, yellowed teeth the size of pillars. A putrid stink soon followed as its massive jowls spread.
            Do not move, it hummed, rattling the chains nearby.
            This voice was much different that the one before. It was almost soothing.
            Do not speak, and do not think. I have much to say to you, born again child.
            What are you? she thought, her heart pounding.
            I am the prophet…” it replied, I am the silent watcher within these waters. I speak for the unheard, and I dream for the unsleeping.
            What would you ask of me? she questioned, unable to physically speak.
            I ask only that you listen, it retorted, Alecko Hagai of the Draicsonce Alecko vi Fenrisonce Vanessa Hilyard. Daughter of Hunter and Jennifer. You left a once beautiful life behind to eradicate the lives of others. What say you to that? What is your defense for your crimes?
            II have none, she pondered, I have nothing to say. What I did was a mistake.
            A sorry is just a sorry, except when its notthen it becomes something else entirely! Empty words. Its all empty words. I dont understand them. Ah! But action, wouldnt that be a thing? What will you do, little fish? You ask for redemption. Sometimes, I hear you calling out to me in your deepest sleep. You are afraid. You are alone. You are scared that you will remain alone in the end. Lie to others and you are merely deceptive, lie to yourself and it becomes reality.
            Im not afraid to dieAnd thats not why Ive come here. Ive welcomed death.
            I know, I know silly fish! Does this tragedy amend for another? Or are you just pretending?
            You ask a lot of questions-
            And you assume you know all of the answers.
            I never said that I did. Apparently you know better than I. Tell me
            You were born into a den of eels and prostitutes! The spirits of your ancestors cling to what little remains of your sad soul. They scream, they claw and they cry out. Your mistakes burn at their essence. You allowed the golden-god to crawl inside of you and what does that say?  Oh how they scream. I can barely hear you over their songs. Apparently, they are numerous. Would you let them down?
            I helped set the First Impact in motion! I know I haveBut I can put a stop the Third. Ive managed without the likes of you so far. Sogo back to your swimming! I dont need you.
            I expected better of you. Its a pity that I cant just do away with you, but then again Ive been down here for so long and Ive lost my taste for mad women. In the city of flesh and sins live only mad things. Its so tiresome. Somehow I was hoping youd be different, thats all.
            Youre awfully civil for
            For a monster? Your judgement is not a supplement for sentiment. You are a frog, arent you? Not descent enough to be one of us and too cowardly to be a snake. How odious, we should think of you.
            You speak in riddles, prophet. But I have no time for games.
            On that we can agree. Tick tock. Your time is running short. The golden-god must be stopped. Tear him down, and cast him in bronze. Is degradation the key? No. Bring him! Bring him to me. Oh sweetest Vanessa! Oh youthful Vanessa! We know what to do with him here. But only I can make sure that he suffers.
            Would you do to him what you do them?
            My sinners? No, no. His crimes vastly outweigh the likes of them. His crimes are innumerable. His punishment will never justify what he has done…”
            Then why punish him? Grant me the power to destroy him, and I will.
            I cannot. Punishment is the nature of things. An eye for an eye? Ive always liked that one. But there are those who believed that punishment for crimes of the most lurid kind can be paid in time. What is time to beings who are endless. Does time accrue from the souls consumed? The lives lost? Or even worse, the lives never lived? His endless hunger did not just affect those who were on the cusp death. You know this and you will never be satisfied. Do you think that his transgressions against you deserve all that the full force of hell can bestow upon him? Yours seems to be a petty complaint in the scope of things.
            Again, you do nothing to help.
            What would you ask of me? After all, you are so close.
            Then why have you called for me!?
            Let me show you, little fish.
            The sea prophet opened its gaping, cavernous mouth and inhaled. Alecko froze as the water pulled her in towards the horrid rows of teeth. The realization swept over Alecko and she began to swim away from the opening. She tried to scream, though she could no longer fight against the current.
            Like a thunderous tidal wave, Aleckos body went crashing down against the floor of the monstrous mouth. She was able to catch her breath enough to expel the foul water from her lungs. Though the stink of death and rot filled the damp orifice and she began to gag uncontrollably. Water then flowed into the mouth, crashing into her body as though flood gates had been opened.
            NoNO! Alecko screamed, clinging to the back of the throat, the water pushing her back down the putrid pipe of the prophet, NO!
            Her vision then began to go black as she stared down into the endless blackness of the beasts insides. She felt her entire body go numb, as though her spirt had decided to leave. As she lost consciousness, she heard the voice of the prophet call out to her once again.
            I may continue to survive once the rewriting of the world is upon us, but youre finished. You are all doomed. The kingdom of man is in ruin, and youre no better off. Ascendancy is a disease that cannot be curedbut it can be purged. Look around! They will all betray you. I must show you something, but you must remember that sacrifices must be made! And you must never be afraid.
Tell us about your books cover!
I made it! No, seriously. I did the cover artwork myself! Personally, I like white covers. I think they look clean and eye-catching, and that’s definitely the aesthetic that I tend to stick to when doing my own covers haha!
What else can you do besides write?
Well I do all my own artwork for Daemon Theory, so there’s that! I’m also working on a graphic novel (currently being serialized on its own website, by the way) called Newchord Panic, so I can make comics as well. I’m also a cosplayer and go to conventions regularly. I mostly work with fabric construction, prop painting and makeup. My better half does prop construction. We make a good team!
After the last page, what do you want the reader to leave with?
I want them to want to read the next book, haha! But seriously, at the end of the day if I made the reader think, if they were entertained, and enjoyed the story at the end of it all, that’s all that matters to me.
Whats next?
As I said before, I’m working on a graphic novel. As far as writing goes, I’m working on a book unrelated to Daemon Theory. So far, all I can say is that it’s a dark comedy for an older audience, involving Succubi and Incubi. I plan on writing the next installment for Daemon Theory (obviously!) but I definitely need a break from the story and the characters for a bit.
Where do you see the publishing industry heading in the next five years?
I think books will never be out of style. I think that for all the scares involving ‘Books going under’ and ‘eReaders will replace printed word!’ is just that, all scares. As long as there are people who can think, then there will be people who read!


1)      What movie could you watch no matter how many times its on? 
          Jurassic Park!
2)      What side of a tree does moss grow on?
          Any side it so desires. Who are we to tell moss how to live its life?
3)      Is it wrong for vegetarians to eat animal crackers?
          Absolutely. Animal Crackers have rights too. And someone needs to stand up for them.
4)      Have you ever wondered what happened to the #1 pencil?
          People realized that it thought it was better than everyone else and stopped hanging out with it.
5)      Why isnt phonetic spelled like it sounds?
          Because irony is a cruel mistress

Thanks for playing Fast Five. The animal crackers of the world finally have an advocate to call their own! Though I find it strange you mentioned them right after Jurassic Park. Don't tell the sheep cracker!

Thanks again for stopping by.

Make sure you check out Daemon Theory: Brotherhood coming out August 20th with Ink Smith Publishing, available for pre-order now! To read more about it, stop over at the publisher's website by clicking HERE

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