Interview with Jack Eadon
Head Trip: One Case of Super Twins
Eloquence Press (2011)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (1/11)
Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is pleased to interview Jack Eadon, who is here to talk about his latest book “HEAD TRIP.”
Jack Eadon’s writing career was launched in fifth grade when he wrote a small book, forty pages long, called “Exercises for Boys” and a short story called “Mystery of the Abandoned Lighthouse.” In high school, he began a decade in rock music, writing songs for his band “Khazad Doom,” now a worldwide cult favorite among progressive rock fans. Many of his songs had a moralistic drama theme, which he has continued in his new “American Drama Series” that focuses on the Seven Deadly Sins. After earning an MBA and spending time in the corporate world, Eadon opened his own ad photography studio in southern California. Today, he writes full-time and is the author of numerous books, most of them based on life experiences. “HEAD TRIP,” his newest book, about rival Super Twins, of which he is one, is the debut novel in his new “American Drama Series.”
Tyler: Welcome back, Jack. It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest again. You’ve been here several times, but for those not familiar with your previous books, they can also find reviews and interviews here at Reader Views for them, including “A Consequence of Greed,” “Gigolo on the Row” and “Lacey’s Day.” Your newest book “HEAD TRIP” is now the prequel of your entire American Drama Series. Will you tell us a little about how this odd turn of events came about?
Jack: Sure. First I wrote six books about different subjects, though all were contemporary drama. One night after midnight, I was looking at my titles and noticed that they lined up surprisingly well against the Seven Deadly Sins. But there wasn’t a title that talked about ENVY, one of the Deadly Sins. So, at that point I decided to write a book about envy that happened to be based on a super twin relationship I had with my brother. My character became Marcus Ramsay, who had already appeared in several of my books. So my newest book actually became the prequel of my entire line, and it started in the womb with a real psychedelic scene; I’d love to see it on film. So, now the new American Drama Series takes Marcus Ramsay, my lead character, from “Womb to Tomb.”
Tyler: You must have been really excited to discover you had been writing a series and there was a way to connect all of your previous books. Do you remember what that moment of insight was like?
Jack: It was that late night. Several PR gurus had said that my line didn’t have a “hook.” Then, suddenly there it was, right in front of me. It all fell together like clockwork. I was very excited!
Tyler: So tell us about “HEAD TRIP” specifically. I understand it’s a story about twin boys who grow up having a rivalry. You refer to the boys as “Super Twins.” Can you tell us what that term actually means and how it plays out in the novel?
Jack: Super Twins, actually a case of what is called superfetation, is a very rare birth event in humans—a 1 in 40,000,000 chance, but common in the animals. One fetus is conceived first. Then some time later a second fetus is implanted into the uterus—in my case, a month later! I was actually a super twin myself, a preemie when my brother was full-term. So, for a month my brother had the womb all to himself. That theoretically gave him an attitude of privilege. Then I came along—whom I called in the book the intruder. The irony was that eight months later, I was actually born first, a preemie, and my brother was born second, a full-term baby. He actually kicked me out!
Tyler: Wow, Jack. That is fascinating. I always thought twins developed together. I didn’t know that it was possible one could be conceived later. That reminds me of Celtic legends where women were accused of cheating on their husbands if they had twins so they would try to drown one of the children. Very interesting. So, did you get any flack from your brother for writing this book?
Jack: Of the two, I was born first but conceived second. Quite unusual! Actually, I dedicated the book to my twin brother who I’m now becoming friends with again. I give him a lot of credit for ending our “feud” with his forthrightness. He doesn’t read much but I have a feeling he’d read the book with some interest. He might not particularly like it, especially the ending, which leads into Book 2 of the series quite nicely—and dramatically.
Tyler: Jack, why did you choose the title “HEAD TRIP”?
Jack: Well, with the twist of the first conceived being the second born, and vice versa, the whole book took on a kind of irony, and ENVY became a wonderful and appropriate theme. What a head trip!
Tyler: Since each book in the American Drama Series focuses on one of the Seven Deadly Sins, will you tell us a little about how envy works in “HEAD TRIP,” spurring the rivalry between the brothers Marcus and Roger?
Jack: Since Marcus was born first, he naturally got to have a first-born kind of life experience, loaded with experimentation and achievement—and like him, I was reminded constantly by my parents that I was the first-born twin. On the other hand, Roger, who lived in the womb alone for a month, felt privileged, but ended up being born second. While he might have expected to live a “special” life in some way, he actually hid in the shadow of his first-born twin, so much so that he really resented him…and eventually, worse. Much of the drama that comes from this situation is based on my real life.
Tyler: I assume you exaggerated the conflict in places for dramatic purposes, that the characters in the book take envy to extremes you and your brother didn’t?
Jack: The ultimate extreme was a stretch, but my brother and I did have a fairly dramatic childhood. Several of the most intense scenes in the book are taken from my own experience! Some of the most poignant scenes are too; they still give me chills!
Tyler: Our reviewer here at Reader Views obviously loved the book but also said that the dark evil side and glimpses into the seamier side of life in the book might have been “too much detailed information,” which I took as meaning the book is very intense. Did you ever yourself struggle with or find shocking how the personality of one of your characters turns out, like you have created a monster you couldn’t stop?
Jack: Well, a little. Although those few people who have read the book so far thought it was a very realistic portrayal of life between two brothers. Perhaps the life situations, which at times were quite dramatic, were intense. That just makes them more real—hardly seamy. Many of them, in fact, were taken from my real life!
Tyler: What about your main character, Marcus Ramsay, fascinates you so much that you keep writing about him?
Jack: Probably because Marcus is in a lot of ways me. In my maturing years, I’ve finally figured out some issues about myself through my writing, and through Marcus. I’ve also figured out some things about my brother, too!
Tyler: Jack, do you ever have readers ask you whether the characters in your books are real people?
Jack: I think it’s fair to say that I made my character Roger a bit more colorful than my brother. A big issue for us writers has always been where to draw the line between fiction and reality. I agree with you. The better I do my job as a writer, the more you (and others) will see the characters as real, themselves, or someone they know. Once I read Nathanial Hawthorne’s detailed description of Abraham Lincoln after he had met him. It was so real that I could hear the great man’s voice and see every detail of him! I only hope I can bring that kind of richness to my characters!
Tyler: Do you think your readers find Marcus attractive or interesting? If so, is it for the same reasons you do?
Jack: I admit that I’ve tried to imbue him with some of my better qualities, but I’ve also allowed his, er, my weaknesses to show, too. Makes him more human. A nice balance, but a sympathetic character too. You want to root for him!
Tyler: As we mentioned, each novel in the American Drama Series focuses on one of the Seven Deadly Sins. What made you decide on creating that structure for the books, and I’m also curious why you named it the American Drama Series? Do you see a correlation between American society and the Seven Deadly Sins?
Jack: I was looking for a structure and found it one night by accident. Since life is naturally dramatic because of our struggle with The Seven Deadly Sins and American life is what I know best, the American Drama Series name and the Seven Sins structure seemed like they’d fit well together.
Tyler: Since you wrote the other novels previous to “HEAD TRIP,” I understand you’re now making some revisions to the other books so they will all work together as a series. Will the changes be major or minor?
Jack: The most interesting changes will be because of the additional characters I’ve created in “HEAD TRIP.” They will make appearances throughout the books, so some of the changes will be quite significant. The books will become more character-driven and less plot-driven, and more complex in a good way. After reading “HEAD TRIP,” the reader will be hooked to the series. And only I know roughly where it’s going. But the reader will see all 5,500 pages of the series as a nice neat arc that starts in the womb!
Tyler: Do you have a timeframe in place for releasing the rest of the books, and will you be letting the earlier versions then go out of print?
Jack: I think as I complete each of the new versions, which will be noticeably more textured, the old title will cease to have any relevance so it will quietly go out of print. I think I’ll do the rewrite of each book in one to two years, so the whole series will take me ten years.
Tyler: Once the new “American Drama Series” is completed, do you have ideas for any more books?
Jack: I have two ideas: hang up my “spurs” and write short stories for fun OR do a series based on the Seven Heavenly Virtues.
Tyler: Jack, I understand you’re going to give “HEAD TRIP” a major kickoff with a worldwide release party. Will you tell us a little about what you have planned and when the book will be released?
Jack: I’ve invited people from around the world and across the country to my kick-off “cyber signing” with a campaign of pdf fliers that announce the event. While I’ll have a local signing on April 10th, we’ll shoot some film of that event, then post it on my website a week later, so the rest of the world can be “virtually” there. As far as I know, it’s the first time an author has taken advantage of technology in that way to market a book. It’ll be a huge signing—worldwide!
Tyler: What made you decide to make the event be worldwide, and have you gotten many people planning to come to the party so far?
Jack: So far we have sixty attendees from the UK to Myanmar and from Switzerland to Canada to Scotland and all across the U.S. It’ll be really something! We’re calling it “holding hands around the world.” And we still have two groups of fliers to send out!
Tyler: Jack, I understand reservations are needed for the book signing party—whether coming to the live event or experiencing it virtually through your website. Will you tell us how people can register to attend this unique event?
Jack: Sure. Just register at eadonbooks.com and leave me your first and last initials, and home town. Then on about April 16th, I’ll send you a link to “go see” the signing.
Tyler: Importantly, where can people get your books?
Jack: While they can get them all over the Internet, I’d like them to get them at Eadonbooks.com, where they not only get their books the fastest, but can watch a nice Preview by Reader Views of each book, including HEAD TRIP. The day of the cyber-signing there will be an easy way to link to my grocery cart to get a copy of HEAD TRIP, a wonderful little hard cover book, to start their American Drama Series library. Just go to Eadonbooks.com to register for the cyber-signing.
Tyler: Thank you again, Jack, for the opportunity to interview you today. May I say it’s been a real “head trip.” I wish you great success with your book release party and the writing and promotion of the entire American Drama Series as it unfolds.