A visionary, a man, a reification of the most contradictory and illusive darkness in our collective unconscious … keeping the thug life alive. Jason Hes is a Johannesburg-based author and copywriter, who lives with his cat and loves to write horror stories. Our Immaculate (an occult and Lovecraftian-inspired story set in an all-girls school in the Magaliesburg) is his debut novel. When not trying to scare people (and himself) with his stories, Jason can be found in his crusty onesie spying on his neighbours.
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I believe in the whole “show-don’t-tell” process when it comes to writing. That way, I can subtly make minor demands on the reader and take care of them at the exact same time.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Definitely a Cannes Lion. That, and my cat, Delphi.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
I’d say quite a lot. They’re your muse, your inspiration for writing these characters. Without them, there’d be no story. You’re indebted to them for life. If they want a lifetime’s supply of Krispy Kreme donuts, you best start saving. If they ask you to kill someone for them? You better have a pistol with a silencer ready and enough bin bags to keep the corpse wrapped. This is why I’m grateful that characters present themselves to me, as opposed to finding inspiration in other people. I’m in the business of killing fictional characters, not real-life ones.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I’d say only one – an epic sci-fi adventure similar to the likes of Battlestar Galactica. I never got round to finishing it, probably because I was scared of how long it would take me to write at the time. It is my goal to one day revisit that world and finish the manuscript.
What does literary success look like to you?
The day I stumble upon a poor erotic fan fiction centered around a few of my characters is the day I’ll have achieved literary success.
What’s the saddest song you’ve ever heard?
Is there something you wish you had said sorry for but never did?
Killing off one of the characters from “Our Immaculate”, my debut novel. At the time, I thought it was funny. Now, I’m quite upset about it. Perhaps in one of the stand-alone sequels she’ll be resurrected from the dead in one form or another, or at least receive justice for what happened to her.
What is under your bed?
The previous owner of my house.
What is the one food that you will not eat under any circumstances?
Do you know how to play dominoes?
I’m a millennial, I’ll let you decide that one!
You can find Jason Hes here: