•What was your inspiration behind Family of Dog?
First and foremost thank you very much for the interview it is appreciated and I hope it brings readers insight on the book and series.
I honestly cannot say there was an inspiration as much as years of built up frustration that finally exploded and needed to be put on paper. My father, who the book is dedicated to, taught me to question everything even, if you have been told the answer. We all know the answer is not the same for everyone so use your head question anything, everything and then question your research until you find your best answer.
This has gotten me into a ton of controversy in my life and I love it!
The name of the series, Family of Dog, is actually a lyric from a song noting DOG is GOD backwards.
•When you chose to write this book, did you base it off of any personal belief system, or was it based on what you knew of Christianity?
This is a very good question and also very important. I cannot tell you how important this piece of information is for anyone who reads The Family of Dog series.
These books are fiction. I do not claim or believe any of the events in the book actually happened and I have already been flooded with theological minded individuals about how the story is not factually sound nor is it plausible due to time lines. And the book is not even out; there are only pieces of the book available.
Now, having said that, let me outline my view on things. I am NOT a Satanist!
Though some might call me that, I abhor religion though I embrace faith.
I advocate questioning organized religion, but do it with education and meaning. Chaos without cause is empty.
Dying your hair green to look cool at school is one thing, but when it is against the rules it has an entirely different meaning. I am breaking the rules. I am the enemy of organization in the minds of people.
As far as my knowledge of Christianity, try me. I believe in the adage "Know thy enemy".
So in short, yes. And I am against any organized system of belief.
•Who is your favorite author, and did their writing style influence the way you wrote the book?
It’s hard to say. Ann Rice, maybe? Clive Barker’s “The Books of Blood” are monumental.
Stephen King; a lot of his work actually takes me home. I am from New Jersey and he is from Boston. I believe just the way he writes makes me feel like I am back east eating a Dolly Madison or a tasty cake on the beach; silly but it’s true.
As far as influence, I think I have come up with something never before done.
There really was nothing to draw influence from. It all came from a dream I had and it was like this seed that just grew and grew and turned into this massive story line. I can watch the entire movie in my head!
I will say that the original version of the book, the first draft, is much, much more shocking than the final product. I have a wonderful group of people around me softening my blows. My publicist is fantastic. She will just say "Jake......seriously" lol and I know every time she is right on the money.
My editor is fantastic and should get a co-author title but she does not want one
I call her up and say, “Listen I need a crown of thorns put on Ronald McDonald". Then I get 15 emails asking the history of McDonalds, where do large thorns grow, etc. She pushes me and then she takes my twisted work and makes it beautiful. It’s an art taking a bloody chunk of meat and turning it into a rose, but she does it.
I am actually considering releasing the original unedited draft as a limited deal on Halloween. 666 copies only.
•What are the underlying themes of Family of Dog? Are there any lessons that you are trying to teach in this book?
Yes and no. I am not a preacher or a teacher, I am just a normal guy with non-linear thinking who wants to share this story because I believe it is a brand new type of writing.
This is going to be the big shocker: This book is not about Satan or God in all actuality it is about the greed of mankind. Seriously, it is something we all can believe in today’s world. People are greedy and mankind’s greed has caused ALL of the world’s greatest atrocities. The Holocaust, 9/11, Jim Jones, Jeffery Dahmer, Charles Manson… I mean this could go on for days. Man is the problem, not Satan.
And that’s where the focal point of the book comes from. In the beginning you learn about the deal God and Satan have, the BIG secret. When the humans sue Satan all pacts are off. BUCKLE UP! It’s a roller coaster of insanity.
•Who is your favorite character in the Family of Dog book, and why?
Melatron, without a question!!! Melatron is an angel that was cast out of heaven with Lucifer. He then fought with Lucifer and pledged his soul back to God.
And since the voice of God will destroy humans (it’s in the bible!) God sends Melatron to speak for him at the trial and Satan punishes him. It’s amazing.
The description of Melatron and the way he communicates is just incredible. Every time I read it I kinda say to myself, "Dude that’s not bad!"
•The idea of people suing the devil because the outcome was less than what they wanted is the key plot in your story. This is an interesting story point that not many people really thought of before. How did you come up with this particular story angle?
It was a dream about a bunch of women, I such as Kim Kardashian or those despicable ladies on Jersey Shore or Kate Goslin who thinks she is special because she has 8 children. You know what’s special is a mother of 8 in the Bronx raising her children working 3 jobs that is special!! But we will never see THAT on television because reality is just too much for people to deal with, that is why they dive into crap like Jersey Shore… OK now I am ranting.
The dream had all of these ladies sitting on the hoods of their Ferraris in front of their mansions, showing off their 9 carrot diamond rings, wearing $4,000 dollar shoes and saying to each other, "This just is not enough".
That is how it all started...Who is the world’s biggest scapegoat?
•What sort of research did you do when writing your book?
Ah, well my editor and I did research on Finland. I chose Finland because Helsinki is actually designed and built according to the design of the seven layers of Hell in Dante's Inferno.
Also we had to research Finnish law and proceedings.
A little research on ritual magic, but overall not too much
And I learned how to live on 2 hours of sleep..... lol
•What were the biggest challenges that you faced when writing your story?
The biggest challenge was condensing the movie in my head into a book that was not ten thousand pages long. Originally the 18 people suing the devil were all going to be in the first book, but with a genius suggestion I decided to do
6 people in the first book (The Harvest) 6 people in the second book (Return to Sender) and 6 in the third book (The Reich).
So 666...... ohhhhh scary huh?
I also think that sex is an important element in my books, not so much in The Harvest but it picks up steam in the second book Return to Sender.
Sex is a driving force of not only evil, but in competition. Think of it like this, do you cook the same dinner for your brother as you do for the hot redhead you want to fill out like an application?
•What got you interested in writing about this type of genre, in particular, religion?
It touches a big nerve, religion, because it is what we have all been taught!
I just want someone to admit that if we all took our children only to McDonalds and if they ate anywhere else they would suffer an eternity of fire, McDonalds would be the size of the pentagon.
It’s indoctrination and it should be questioned. I don’t know about you, but I will take some sushi and lamb chops over a damn Big Mac any day any time!
Lastly, a few things my press agent gets all of the emails before I do and I LOVE that she is my right hand! But do not hesitate to contact me. I will answer all emails do every interview. Just ask my Facebook and Twitter friends, I will call you personally.
It is also important to say I am going to be giving a portion of the proceeds to Project Boobies (www.projectboobies.com). I want to give back everything I can.
Thanks for all of the fans over at The Family of Dog Blog http://familyofdog.blogspot.com
Find me on twitter @jakebannerman and search Jake Bannerman on Facebook.
Once again, thanks! I hope everyone enjoys the book and if someone happens to want to be involved just shoot my press agent an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Non stop to Nowhere!