#WhatsYourStory Featuring Jason Fort
Jason was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the oldest of three boys, and raised in a traditional, southern, conservative Christian household. He grew up with a flair for drawing pictures, but always loved a good story. He did just enough in high school to get into Erskine College, where he majored in Physical Education. Jason served as a public school teacher in PE and as a coach in several sports for several years. His interest in lifting weights led him to a brief career both full time and part time in fitness. All the while, he also worked a side job as the nicest bouncer in town…leading him to a career in law enforcement. Jason works as a training officer for a hospital police department today, but has also channeled the creative talents from drawing into writing stories. Each stop in his career path has prepared him for something more, and he weaves this life experience into his tales. But he doesn’t just write to tell a good story. He is on a mission himself, just like the main FBI agent in his first novel. John Knox began his mission in November of 2014, an FBI agent on a path to become a missionary. Jason’s mission – to reveal light in the darkness of the world around us through Christian fiction, one reader at a time.
Jason resides in the upstate of South Carolina with his lovely wife, his ultra-intelligent teenage son, and four dogs
Growing up, every now and then I used to sit down and write a poem about something happening in my life. Poetry was one of the few things I liked about English classes in school, but I wasn’t a reader. What I had going for me was that I always had something to say, as far back as I can remember (Mom and Dad called me Motor-mouth when I was around 3 years old). And poetry is what got me started as a writer in my adult life.
It was 2002, and my wife and I were set to have twins. Unfortunately, following a short trip to the beach with my in-laws, we came back to bad news in my wife’s next checkup. The doctor broke tragic news to us that one of our twin boys had passed. This was a bittersweet time for our entire family; we had lost a child we so looked forward to seeing, but we still had a little boy who stood a chance. The rest of the pregnancy was high risk, and of course had strong emotional impact on both my wife and me. It had been a while, but I wrote a poem to cope with the loss on my part, and to try to give my wife some sort of closure. Thankfully, my son Jay was born to us a few months later in the summer of 2002.
Meanwhile, that poem sparked something to life in me. I began writing more poetry. I lost a collection of poetry some time ago that I shared with people here and there back then – a collection I called Daddy’s poems, showing the first couple of years of life as a father. It was during this time of sharing poetry with the guidance counselor and librarian at the school in which I worked, that it was suggested that I try to write a book. I began taking their advice… and I wrote the beginning of one story…and another… and another. But I just couldn’t seem to finish a story. It would take the words of Stephen King, something about you’ll never make it as an author until you actually sit down and write an entire story, to get me to come to my senses. It also took time, and a short run at two careers (PE Teacher/ coach, and Wellness Director/ Personal Trainer) before my job as a training officer in law enforcement, which I hold today.
Then one night, as I checked in with a security officer when I was a police officer on night shift at a hospital, that the perfect inspiration came to me for the first story. The security officer was cleaning out the knife inventory drawer near the metal detector, and he tossed a little plastic bag aside.
“Why is this in here? It’s not a weapon,” he stated as I picked up the small baggie.
I took out the contents and held it up. It was a small golden cross; a necklace charm, but bigger than most I’d seen. I studied the cross in my hand, and an idea occurred to me.
I spoke up to the security officer, Officer Pace I believe; “No – but it could be a calling card.”
I smiled at him and walked into our substation office near the metal detector. I sat down at the computer and took a plain white piece of paper from the printer. Using a pen, I scratched out an outline of main ideas; a chronological order of events surrounding a broken man who takes revenge against a religion he hates, leaving a gold cross at the scene of each assassination of important religious figures. The Jesus Assassin was born. A few months later, I sent out attachment after attachment of the original rough version of Misguided, to agents and publishers everywhere. I received several rejection letters and e-mails. Some of this upset me; some didn’t. But the fact was that I had done it; I’d written my very first novel!
And my father was one of the most supportive people in that early part of my writing career, bragging to all his friends and family that his oldest boy had written a book. After learning a little more about the publishing world and talking to a close friend, I decided to attempt self-publishing. I published on Amazon using CreateSpace, and on December 19th, 2014, I had my first book signing. My dad invited several people, and I had friends from several circles attend. I decided to make the venue a local bar where I bounced a few years prior; the folks at Chicora Alley in Greenville, SC were more than accommodating. And Dad made a toast at the end of the evening that helped me realize one of the proudest moments in my life.
So that’s how it all started for me. That was four years ago; I’ve written five more books since then. I am steadily working on number seven. I’ve started a fictional universe that keeps expanding with every exciting dynamic character I add to pages. I’ve learned so much more about self-publishing since then. I have not ruled out traditional publishing, but self-publishing is the main path for me because I am my own man, and to quote Frank Sinatra, I can always say
regarding most of my novels: “I did it myyyyyyyyyyy way!”
When I started my Agent John Knox universe, I realized my investigators would have to move on to several stories far beyond their pursuit of the elusive Jesus Assassin. It occurred to me that it would be unique if I could figure out a way, since I was writing Christian fiction, to somehow show my agents in the FBI eventually become missionaries.
Hunting Parties, five books later, finally shows the beginnings of the works of these missionaries… and so much more.
An ex-con sits in a cell, being interrogated by a Muslim Sheikh. An assassin and his female counterpart are hunting down ISIS leaders in an attempt to change the current American landscape. A former federal agent is helping a former killer and his cousin in the mission field, and they’re not just preaching the gospel. This is just how the story starts. Hunting Parties follows the tales of several characters as they hunt for answers; answers to questions that have a direct impact on the future political climates of America and Europe. Who is holding the ex-con prisoner, and why don’t they just kill him already? What’s in store for the assassin, and the woman he is falling for? What can the armed and dangerous missionaries do about the radical Islamic onslaught that has befallen Europe? How are all the parties in question related? Find out more in this story of political and religious intrigue, where Muslims and Christians, killers and pacifists, and children and their parents are all at odds with one another. Can the Hunters all find what they seek?
Find Jason on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter along with his website
Where to Buy Hunting Parties
12/6/2018 08:20:40 am
Jason Fort's story was one of the most inspirational stories I've read so far. Just like what I keep on saying, It's not easy to reach your dreams. There will be dark days that can succumb everything out of you. But what you should do is to keep non sailing for there was no dreams that is easy to reach. Some people might be wondering what keeps me motivated despite everything. I will be honest by saying that it is my dream that keeps me going. The road may be rough but it will always be worth navigating!
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I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.