The Sword of Kuromori is Jason's debut novel, a cross between Percy Jackson and The Matrix. Packed with monsters, magic and mayhem, it's perfect for boys, reluctant readers and fans of Japanese popular culture. And it's got demons!
That's easy! Step up, Mr Richard Marcinko, Vietnam veteran, US Navy SEAL commander, and founder of SEAL Team Six - the guys who took out Osama bin Laden. This guy is a Special Ops guru and a real-life killing machine. What more needs to be said?
2. Look, I got a time machine on eBay! Where do you want to go? (Said time machine may possibly malfunction and leave you there. Possibly. It was *very* cheap.)
It's so tempting to go back in time to check out dinosaurs, Jesus, Shakespeare, or even see Newcastle United win a trophy but, since I have the choice, I'll go forward in time 2,000 years to see if humanity makes it and, if so, what kind of world we inherit. The bonus is that, unlike with the former options, I'll have a decent crack at a long life given expected advances in medical technology so getting stuck there won't be so bad.
3. What’s your favourite thing about writing for kids?
When writing for adults, I feel more compelled to do detailed scene setting - you know, add concrete details to make the action as believable as possible. With children's writing, I can cut to the chase and leave the reader to fill in blanks. For example, you don't have to describe a dragon to a child, whereas an adult will ask, "What kind of dragon is it?" without a trace of irony.
4. A witch has cast a spell on you (sorry about that) and you’ve woken up as a character in a children’s book – what’s your special talent or power?
Is it cheating to go with a comic book? If not, then I'll be Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. This was my favourite character as a kid, because he had a James Bond-like billionaire playboy lifestyle, but also carried the Iron Man armour around in a briefcase, enabling him to leap into action in seconds. Best of all, anyone could be Iron Man - you didn't need to be born with any super powers; he's a self-made hero.
5. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
I once climbed to the top of a 40-metre tower and dangled off the edge, held up only by a safety harness. That might be scary to some people.
6. What’s something you wish you’d known about writing when you started out? What’s something you wish you’d known about publishing?
I wish I'd known that it would take seven years to break through but that it would ultimately work out. Any long stretch can be borne more easily if you know it's scheduled to end. The not knowing required a lot of patience, determination and resilience. With publishing, no-one ever warned me that I'd be promoting Book One whilst editing Book Two whilst writing Book Three.
7. What would your daemon be?
I really have no idea - something weird like a pangolin. Cute but tough.
8. My books don’t have dragons, but they do have... Actually, my book does have a dragon, but if we ignore that it also has demons, ogres, vampires, ninja, ghosts, car chases, explosions and a spider-cow. Really. Look, don't blame me for the spider-cow - it's an actual Japanese monster.