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Jason Mott Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Returned Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Wonder of All Things (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Crossing (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hell of a Book (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Here A Drabble, There A Drabble... (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

We Call This Thing Between Us Love (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hide Behind Me... (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Musings, Volume 1 (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Musings, Volume 2 (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Musings, Special Edition (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Random Drabblings of a Madman (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Creature Feature Collection Books

The Pram (By: Joe Hill) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ankle Snatcher (By: Grady Hendrix) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
It Waits in the Woods (By: Josh Malerman) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best of Luck (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Big Bad (By: Chandler Baker) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

27 Views of Wilmington(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jason Mott

Jason Mott’s Novel, “Hell of a Book”, was a challenge to get published. It took nearly a decade, several rejections by publishers, and the peek at a screenplay before it made it in print. Then the book exploded on the literary scene.

Because Mr. Mott wasn’t under contract for his book “Hell of a Book” with a publisher, he was writing the novel for himself, having fun, and playing with language in a way he hadn’t had an opportunity to do before.

After publication of “Hell of a Book” Mr. Mott immediately started collecting more attention than he thought was possible. The book has been listed and awarded multiple accolades including the most prestigious literary prize in America, the 2021 National Book Award.

Mr. Mott has had published works for over a decade. His collections of his works of poetry have won awards. His first novel, The Returned, was optioned for television and was produced for two years as “Resurrection”.

His “wild experience” of doing an author’s book tour for “The Returned” later inspired him with the bones of a story. His idea was shot down multiple times by publishers. He was very discouraged by it but he never dropped the idea.

Mr. Mott chose to flesh out his story, first drafting “Hell of a Book” as a screenplay. The snappy dialogue and fast pace inspired the revisions that became the final draft. It is playfully written and the plot is about a Black man on a book tour and the inherent foibles and subplots of his experiences.

He shelved his story while he was trying to convince publishers to print it. In the meantime, he worked on other projects. “The Wonder of All Things” and “The Crossing” were published. As time passed the Black Lives movement and the assaults and murders of young Black men and women were pervasive in the news and culture. He was deeply affected by the violence and deaths. These issues and feelings worked their way into his book and helped firm up what he was thinking.

Mr. Mott’s novel, “Hell of a Book”, has overt racism as a leading theme. His primary characters, Soot, his father and grandfather, Daddy Henry have lived in the small southern town of Whiteville, NC for generations. The sleepy locale, strong on American values and long on history of growing strawberries and lynchings is the setting for a typical deep south community.

His story starts with Soot, a young boy, hiding from his mom and dad in his own home right under their feet. The skinny, dark-skinned kid is often bullied and to compensate, his parents pour all their love into him, feed him his favorite foods, and support and complement is talent and imagination as a writer.

They also teach him to protect himself by becoming “invisible.” It’s the kind of love every parent can connect with no matter the creed, color, race, or gender.

Mr. Mott approaches this complex, delicate, emotionally charged situation with humor and levity. He wanted to balance a typical Black experience with humor and tragedy.

Too often the Black story is discussed only as horror but Black lives also have a balance of fun and joy mixed in with the grief. Mr. Mott wants to share the picture of balanced lives with the frequently one-sided, too often appalling events that occur and get the prime time news slots.

Mr. Mott did an interview with Literary Hub. He was kind enough to share some of his thoughts and methods about his writing.

He starts writing when he gets up about 5:30 in the morning. He gets on the computer right off when the rest of the world is sleeping. There’s fewer interruptions and distractions in the early hours.

The most frequent asked question of authors is about writer’s block. Mr. Mott says he keeps writing, even if he’s writing badly. He thinks writer’s block stems from a fear of writing badly. His brain eventually comes around to what he wants to write.

His best writing advice he’s been given is the classic: write every day. He was told by a mentor he had good writing habits and routines. He advised Mr. Mott to lean on that and he has done that and it works for him.

He’s also learned over the years, through experience and practice, to be kind to himself. His writing journey has been difficult at times. Learning to write well takes much longer than most people think. Self-doubt and self-criticism creeps in to a writer’s mind and being kind to yourself with support and encouragement is what you deserve.

Mr. Mott is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry. He’s back at UNCW at the universities as the Distinguished Writer-in-Residence. 

Mr. Mott’s fiction and poetry has been printed in journals: The Thomas Wolfe Review, Measure and Chautauqua, Prick of the Spindle, and The Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets.

“Hell of a Book” has been awarded: 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, the 2022 Aspen Words Literary Prize, the 2022 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and was longlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

For earlier writings, Mr. Mott was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 “New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jason Mott

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