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Interview With Book Author Jason Price

Interview With Book Author Jason Price

Hello all,

I had the pleasure to do an interview with Jason Price, the author of “Pleasant Grove”. I read this book recently and I really enjoyed it! It is the perfect adventurous book to read during winter. You can read my review by clicking HERE. Get to know Jason Price better and find out more about his reading and writing preferences and his favourite books.

Who is Jason Price?

I’m a husband and father. I’ve worked in movie publicity for almost 20 years, which, I suppose, tells you the most about me as an author: my lifelong love of movies and storytelling.  

Tell us a little bit more about your book – “Pleasant Grove”.

In many ways, it was movies – particularly those I watched as an adolescent – that most informed the writing of Pleasant Grove. I wrote the novel for my daughters, who are both in grade school now, and approaching the same age when I first discovered movies like The Goonies, and E.T. and TV shows like The Twilight Zone. I wanted them to read a novel that captured the same spirit of wonder and adventure that Steven Spielberg’s Amblin films captured for my generation. Pleasant Grove is the story of a 12-year-old girl named Agnes Goodwin, who lives in an idyllic small town with one peculiar feature: It’s enclosed by a glass dome. But that all changes the day Agnes discovers a strange boy from the outside. The hook was to take a small town and drop it in the middle of a sci-fi story – a story built around a single mystery: What’s outside the dome? I grew up in the suburbs, so I pulled from those experiences as well. The kids’ adventure becomes an exploration of what it means to leave a hometown – what’s gained…and what’s lost.

Interview With Book Author Jason Price

What was your favourite moment when writing “Pleasant Grove”?

My favorite moments are when a character says something, or acts in a way, that’s contrary to my outline. It happened multiple times during the writing of Pleasant Grove, despite my best-laid plans. That’s always exciting, because if I can surprise myself then there’s a good chance it will surprise the reader too.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Agnes. She’s curious and likes asking questions…which puts her at odds with the adults in the town, who hold the secrets of Pleasant Grove and aren’t too keen on spilling the beans. But Agnes’s quest for knowledge knows no bounds. I hope readers of all ages can identify with her. I wanted to ground the extraordinary in the ordinary. My favorite sci-fi stories would still resonate without the supernatural element, because as much care is given to the ordinary as the extraordinary.  

How long does it take to write a book?

Pleasant Grove took me a little over 2 years, from rough draft to published copy. But the truth is, a book takes as long as it takes. There were months of brainstorming before I began writing. Stories are an accumulation of life experiences, so perhaps the more accurate answer is a lifetime.  

How do you deal with a writer’s block? 

Some days the writing is easy; some days it’s hard. I outline before I start writing, which gives me a blueprint. Inevitably, the characters and story will take the lead, but the blueprint helps mitigate any potential writer’s block. I also find it useful to end the writing day when I know what happens next, so when I sit down again, I have the benefit of a head start. 

What is the most challenging part when writing a book? 

I can only speak for myself here. The way I see it, there are 3 major steps to writing a book: brainstorming, first draft, editing. None are easy, but all hold their pleasures. I find brainstorming to be the most difficult. It’s the foundation. Building a foundation is grunt work; it’s exhausting, and your hands get dirty. But a good foundation – a house with good bones – will see you through; so in that sense, it’s also the most rewarding. 

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

A screenwriter. This started in high school when I began writing screenplays. I also wrote stage plays and had a couple works performed at the Alley Theatre and Stages Theatre in Houston. But there’s a certain creative freedom to the long-form narrative that appeals to me now, namely that the work is complete when I type “The End.” It’s not dependent on funding, or performance, only a willing reader.

What kind of books do you like to read in your spare time? 

At the moment, I’m coming off a deep dive into Stephen King and Richard Matheson. I like genre books that transcend their genre.

When you are not writing, what keeps you busy in life? What are your hobbies? 

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m on the hunt for my next favorite movie or album. Outside of a great book, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as watching a great movie, or listening to a great album, for the first time. 

What is your favorite book, author or quote? 

I’ll take a crack at all three. I’ll pick the first book to really blow my mind, and that’s 1984. Over any other author, give me Stephen King at his best. My favorite quote comes from King: “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” 

What are you planning next for us, readers?

This is going to sound like a dodge, but I like to keep ideas close to the vest. Many of my closest friends didn’t know about Pleasant Grove until it was published.

Get your copy of Pleasant Grove here. And don’t forget to follow Jason Price on Goodreads as well.

Thank you so much for this lovely interview, Jason! I wish you all the luck and success in the future. 

It was a pleasure. Many thanks Ivana!

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Book Review · Books

Pleasant Grove by Jason Price [BOOK REVIEW]


Thank you to the author, Jason Price, for sending me a copy of his book, Pleasant Grove, in exchange for my honest review. Pleasant Grove was a very interesting, fast and pleasurable read.


Welcome to Pleasant Grove, a quiet small town where neighbor helps neighbor and doors are left unlocked at night-an unspoiled paradise with one peculiar feature: It’s enclosed by a glass dome.

No one can leave and no one can enter.
No one can survive beyond the dome.

But then, a visitor arrives from the outside.

When 12-year-old Agnes Goodwin discovers a strange boy with no memory, she teams up with her best friends to unravel the mystery. Their extraordinary adventure will threaten everything they know…and everyone they love.

My Thoughts:

From the moment I read the synopsis, Pleasant Grove reminded me of the Simpsons movie, when they have a dome put in Springfield. No one can come in. No one can come out.

And honestly, with a synopsis like that, curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to know everything! Why is the dome there? Why are the parents not saying anything? Who is this boy and how did he come in? And most importantly, what is outside the dome?

Pleasant Grove is aimed for middle-grade, YA audience, and it won’t disappoint. The writing is very vivid, and every chapter leaves you wanting to know more. From the very first moments, I was hooked with the description of the town. The people leave idyllic lives, everyone is minding their own business, and all seems to be perfect. During lockdown, I could actually understand being in this dome in a while new level. The whole reading experience felt a bit surreal as well, and I enjoyed it! But 12-year-old Agnes can feel something is wrong, despite her family denying it. When one day she sees a boy that she knows does not belong to this town, she knows something’s up. And if no one can give her the answers, she’ll have no choice but to find the answers for herself.

Agnes perfectly portrays the curiosity I feel in the book.

She is looking for answers, and she is determined and not afraid to look for more clues and ask questions. I also loved her determination to help this boy that she doesn’t know.

“Agnes liked asking questions, and had always assumed answers would lead to understanding. But sometimes, she now realised, answers only led to more questions.”

Alongside her, there are her friends and her brother, that are helping her on this adventure and the chemistry of this group is amazing! I loved their chats and when they were making plans, I loved their bickering, but most of all, their ability to keep encouraging each other and stay together. It was also interesting to see how each of the friends had a small story, or a small challenge they were dealing with at the moment – it added a bit of refreshing diversity from the actual plot and its intensity.

I even enjoyed the scenes when the bully Ruth was involved with her friends. It was interesting to see the fear she awoke in many people, and their personal growth when they would slowly start overcoming this fear. There were a few things left unsaid I felt like, especially in the end and regarding Ruth, that I wish were explained more. I have my theories for now though.

The reveal in the end was very pleasurable to read about.

For me, the ending was somewhat predictable because of books I have read before and movies I’ve seen, but there were still a lot of unexpected elements in it that I really enjoyed. I feel like we got all the answers that we were looking for. The last part felt a bit slow, but it left some space for another book I think, which may have been the reason why it was slower. If you are a fan of YA fantasy, with sci-fi elements, this is definitely the perfect book for you!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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