Today we’re going to host an interview with one of our favorite local indie authors; Jaz Johnson!
Jaz could you please give us a short introduction to who you are and what you’ve published so far?
I grew up in a small town, went through a small school system, and had a small group of friends growing up. Never the one out partying or chasing the boy, I’d instead be content in my room, writing tales of my overactive imagination.
I’m both an indie author and artist. I currently have 10 published books, with the 11th set to release this February. I write fantasy, science fiction, romance, and erotica, and now, for the first time, am trying my hand at a comic book, combining my two passions! You can find information and sample chapters of my books at www.jazjohnson.com.
You’ve started a new project, the comic Player 2, about players in a fully immersive virtual reality massive multiplayer online role playing game. (VR-MMORPG) What was your inspiration?
Ah, yes. My pride and joy. I’ve had many inspirations for this project that directly impact both the story and the game itself (the MMORPG I’ve created for the comic), and they can all be narrowed down to my love of gaming, anime, storytelling, and the undiscovered limitations of human complexity.
In this project, I wanted to show a gaming world like no one’s ever seen - combining well-known features with ones I’ve alway wanted to see. I also wanted to showcase the diversity of the gaming community. Young, old, mean, woman, black, white, and everyone in between. Gaming can be, or at least I know it is for me, an escape from the chains of reality - especially in an MMO. And as this story unfolds, I really wanted to capture the emotions of just players would risk, and how they would come together to protect that sanctuary from being lost forever.
How has this project grown out of your writing?
I think writing stories for the length of time that I have has definitely helped me in developing this project. This story has 70+ characters, not including the A.I. NPCs (Artificial Intelligence Non Playable Characters) in the game. They all have unique personalities and backstories that had to both stand on their own and collide with others to create dynamic and realistic interactions. Having some experience as both a writer, reader, and movie-watcher definitely helps me keep control of my world. That and my ever-blooming love for fantasy and imagination make for an epic combination!
What challenges have you faced?
Time management. Oh my god. I completely underestimated the amount of work it would take to not only craft a story, but an entire functioning game from scratch. One long-term goal for this project is to actually have this be a playable game at some point. I know it wouldn’t be a 5-sense stimulation VR, but I think it could be a pretty popular MMO. That being said, I’ve devoted an absurd amount of time creating a handbook for the game, which can be found at www.worldofplayer2.weebly.com - along with other information about myself and the comic.
In addition, while I haven’t delved too much into marketing just yet, I know that networking and building an audience before my release (2018) is going to be a challenge. I’m not much of a marketing person, and this is going to be my first time consistently reaching out to bloggers, youtubers, and readers to get the word out. That being said, thank you for having me!
Do you have any suggestions for those who are considering trying their hand at a new form of media?
Absolutely. Go for it. Stop comparing yourself to other writers/artists. Tackle that learning-curve and make it do your bidding! I’m scared out of my mind that this project is going to fall flat on its face, and that thought will always be there. But I also know that I’m the only one that can tell this story the way I’ve envisioned it. I never doubt whether my story is a good one or not. I may worry about how many people disagree with me, but I always hang on to the fact that we can agree to disagree.
Any last words, comments, suggestions?
Well, I don’t have many suggestions other than what I’ve stated above, but I’m certainly open to them! If any of your readers have any suggestions for me moving forward with this comic, I’m all ears!
Thank you again for having me!
If anyone is looking for where to follow this project, see the links below.
Website - worldofplayer2.weebly.com
Blog - worldofplayer2blog.wordpress.com
Twitter - @WTFPlayer2
Instagram - @WTFPlayer2
Facebook - @WTFPlayer2
Tumblr - wtfplayer2.tumblr.com
Pinterest - pinterest.com/worldofplayer2