I’m here with Jake Marley, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from Garden Grove, California. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?
I’m Jake Marley from Orange County, California. I write supernatural suspense fiction, horror, and dark fantasy. I’ve been an avid, varied reader as long as I can remember and I’ve always wanted to tell stories. My other job for the past sixteen years has given me a lot of time to drive through the night where I either listen to audiobooks or make up stories of my own.
What kinds of stories do you write? Why?
I’m attracted to dark fiction, or stories that show that our mundane world is more strange and amazing than we see, at first. Scratch the surface, overturn a few rocks, and there’s something wondrous underneath. It might be frightening or unsettling, or it might be the most magnificent sort of magic, but I don’t want to believe that boring is an option. Look for wonder or look for horror, and I won’t ever stop seeing shapes in the clouds or the spaces between stars.
What’s your favorite book? Why?
I think most readers have to hem and haw when it comes to favorites. I love Stephen King novels, and if you’d asked me five years ago I would’ve argued that The Stand or Skeleton Crew were my favorite books. Last year, an Ellen Datlow anthology, Fearful Symmetries, would’ve been my answer. Now, I think that Neil Gaiman’s American Gods might be my favorite book. Wonder, horror, suspense, fairy tale, mythology–all of it crammed between the covers. It’s got a lot of everything. And, now that I look at my answer, I TOTALLY hemmed and hawed and cheated out four favorites instead of listing just one!
What is your most eccentric habit?
I hate wearing shoes. If I could go barefoot everywhere, I would. I write barefoot. I walk out to the mailbox barefoot. I stand on hot asphalt and lift heavy things and try not to drop those heavy things on my toes, and I do it all barefoot. Of course, out in polite society, I have size 16 feet. They’re ridiculous. They like to smash into table legs and the edges of furniture. Doesn’t matter, I shun my shoes until the last possible moment.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I always wanted to live in a different country. As a kid I would plan elaborate runaway trips to New Zealand or Australia. I saw myself living near sheep farms and picking up an accent. I’m kind of obsessed with places like Hawaii and Fiji, and I’d love to spend at least a few months living on an island. Lucerne in Switzerland might be the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited, and I can see myself writing on the side of an Alp, but I can also see a life where I’m hanging out in Stanley Park in Vancouver and typing away.
I’d love to spend a few years living here and there, sampling actual LIFE in new places instead of just getting the quick touristy pass-through, but it might have to wait until my kid is in college.
To read Jake’s story, “Acquisition”, please buy your copy today of Writers of the Future: Volume 33. If you already have a copy and have read it, please take a few moments to click this link and place your review: http://amzn.to/2kNE5eh If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, then still click this link, get your book, read it, and review it!