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Friday Night Reads: Jason Witter's The Tiniest Vampire

This Friday I'll be hosting my second #FriNightReads starting at 7p mst on my author Facebook. Featuring Albuquerque's own Jason Witter with his book of children's poems, The Tiniest Vampire! I finished reading through them and they're so much fun (plus, pictures!). A mix of short, medium, and long poems featuring monsters of all shapes and sizes, The Tiniest Vampire is a quirky read that you can nibble on bite by bite, or devour all in one go!

I first met Jason via one of Titlewave Books, Revised's after-hours Magic the Gathering games (yes, we're both huge nerds). But I had already heard about him and his books through mutual podcast friends Brian and Gio (aka Brian and Gio Made a Podcast). He's funny, down to earth, and just another example of a wonderful indie author that deserves more rep and reads.

To support Jason, read, review, and share his books with your friends. You can either stop by Titlewave Books, Revised, and pick up a copy of his book curbside or head here. In the meantime, check out this exclusive interview with Jason below!

How did you first start writing?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember.

My brothers and I grew reading Marvel comics, Mad magazine, and Mark Twain. And lots of other things (but those make a decent alliteration). I think we were always trying to imitate the stories we loved. I used to write and draw silly comics and bring them to school and hopefully get some chuckles from my friends.

Fortunately, my folks encouraged these silly endeavors. My mom was the school librarian, and my dad taught high school math and science. We used to draw comics on the backs of scrap ditto sheets from his classes. When I was in high school, I won a statewide short story contest with a comical story about a cowboy who wanted to drink milk instead of whiskey. I remember there were a whole bunch of us sitting in an auditorium when they were announcing the winners. When the host (one of the local ABC news anchors) called my name, I was in shock. Mainly because I didn’t think a comedy would have any chance. I just had a good time writing a funny story (with a little moral to it), and other people liked it. That was super cool. I think that really started my affinity for comedy.

After goofing around with English and History in college, I discovered theatre. I started writing and performing sketch comedy at the Tricklock Theatre’s Reptilian Lounge. I then took a class with an awesome dude named Digby Wolfe. He was this old British guy who had helped create the TV show “Laugh In” back in the day. He did all kinds of other cool stuff, and he also taught comedy writing at UNM. His class was awesome! I met some great folks in there, and we formed a sketch comedy troupe and created a whole lot of silliness (parodies of Dracula, Hamlet, Macbeth, and lots of original stuff). Through another great instructor (Susan Pearson), I started writing plays for young audiences. Eventually, I got a little burned out on the whole theatre thing, but I still needed some sort of artistic outlet. I gave myself a challenge to write a poem and draw a picture every day for 60 days. I planned to end this on Halloween, so all of the poems and drawings involved monsters of some sort. I love monster movies and scary stories and Shel Silverstein, so there’s a whole lot of inspiration right there. I did the 60 poems and drawings every day and posted them on Facebook. I have to admit, that worked really well. Folks were super supportive, and all of those silly monster poems and monster drawings became my first book The Tiniest Vampire (and other silly things). I did the same thing the next two years and ended up with the books Monsters Eating Ice Cream, and Dinosaurs at the Dentist. The journey has been going on as long as I can remember, but the constant destination is a desire to make people smile and maybe have a chuckle or two.

Why do you love writing?

Simply put, I love to make people smile and laugh.

If I can come up with the right combination of words and drawings to make that happen, then I am a happy guy.

More on Jason:

Jason L. Witter has been writing and drawing silly things ever since he was a kid. His folks always encouraged him and his brothers to be creative, so there were often crazy characters and comics appearing on random pieces of paper throughout the Witter household! Now Jason uses his creative energy to draw silly monsters and write silly poems about them. His books of poems and drawings include The Tiniest Vampire, Monsters Eating Ice Cream, and Dinosaurs at the Dentist. Being a huge literature nerd, Jason also has his "Classics (kind of)" series in which he rewrites and illustrates such things as Hamlet, Dracula, and The Odyssey. Jason's primary goal is to make people smile and maybe have a chuckle or two.

#FriNightReads is a collaborative live-read author Ryan P Freeman hosts each Friday at Titlewave Books. The goal is to help bring talented indie authors into the spotlight where they can enjoy the exposure and delight they deserve. To watch this celebration of talented indie authors, simply pop over to Ryan's author Facebook, Friday nights at 7p MST.

Want to have your own book read on the show or help sponsor #FriNightReads?

Just message me, Ryan P Freeman, HERE!


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