The Wide Island View would like to give warm congratulations to Jason Letts, a second-year ALT based in Shobara, on his new ebook, Powerless, available at www.powerlessbooks.com. The book is the first part in a fantasy-adventure series that Jason penned in his free time when he wasn’t busy clowning around with his elementary school English students. What amazing, wondrous things we can accomplish without the evil lure of the Internet, ね?…
The story is centered around a character named Mira, a superhero not quite like any of the superheros we’re all familiar with. Jason took some time out to answer some questions from the Wide Island to tell fellow JETs more about his book.
WIV: When you came to Japan, did you think you would try to write a book?
Jason: I definitely didn’t. I’d done some short-story writing back home, even coming up with a few here, but then the basic concept for the series popped into my head. After that the ideas started piling up, and it felt like the only way to get them out was to start writing. It’s been over a year since then, and for me the story has grown in the most unexpected and amazing ways.
WIV: Can you tell me a bit about the basic concept of the story?
Jason: I think everybody’s familiar with the structure of most of these fantasy stories, like Harry Potter, Spiderman, or Superman. Somebody’s having a problem, they discover some incredible ability, and then they go on to thrash whatever was giving them a hard time. It got me wondering if it’s really all that impressive to win when you’ve got these special powers. I decided I wanted to see a story where the protagonist discovered she didn’t have an amazing gift. That’s the thought that started it all, and now I’ve got a story about one character just like us trying to make it in a world of super-powered people.
WIV: How did you find the time to do this while living and teaching in Japan?
Jason: I know writing a book sounds like work, but I’d really classify it more as my entertainment time. Instead of flicking on the TV or grabbing a game controller, writing this series has been a great way to have fun just letting my mind spin whatever craziness it can think of. If it’s even half as much fun for readers, I think they’ll have a blast.
WIV: Would you say being in Japan has influenced the story in any way?
Jason: Though there aren’t really nationalities in the story, one character very obviously has a Japanese name, Aoi. I think the proximity of Aoi to ‘owie’, something which signifies both childishness and pain, makes an interesting genesis for a character. And someone who hasn’t wrestled with the Japanese language may not have thought of that.
WIV: How many books will there be in the Powerless series?
Jason: There will be five. The second one is called The Shadowing. They all have the same characters, but the setting is different in all of them, and I think that gives each one a unique feel.
WIV: Any closing comments?
Jason: I’ve had an amazing time on the JET program, and I’m sad my time in Japan is coming to an end. A lot of times writing this story helped keep me grounded, and it was a productive way to vent any frustrations or shrug off irritations. But mostly it was just a lot of fun, and I hope everyone interested in a unique story will take a moment to check it out. Thank you!
For more on the book, check out www.powerlessbooks.com. Got questions for Jason? Leave them in the comments section!