What makes Figment Figment? Well, there are forums and blog posts and writing groups and featured books. But what really makes this place special are all of you Figs. So you should get some love.Ohio-native Jack Fosset likes to sing, watch 30 Rock, and ride roller coasters (when he’s not writing). He writes simple, direct prose and poetry, and spends a lot of time on Tumblr.
Fill in the blank: “At 2 a.m., I’m most likely . . .”
Scrolling through my dashboard on Tumblr and mindlessly reblogging anything that doesn’t call itself “soft grunge.” Or watching reruns of 30 Rock. I can never get enough Tina Fey.
What cliché would you most like to see erased from YA fiction?
I absolutely despise that the majority of the rich, attractive, popular kids are seen as “bad guys” while the “nobodies”—the kids who live in their own world with only a handful of friends, or maybe none at all—are almost always friendly supporting characters, if not the heroes of a story. That’s a stigma I’m very tired of hearing about, and the fact that it’s so prominent in the books my generation reads worries me. Being pretty doesn’t automatically make a girl stuck-up and rude; being a jock doesn’t always make a guy stupid. In the same way, being relatively unpopular doesn’t automatically make someone a hero. It’s what’s on the inside that truly matters, but I feel like that message is lost because a lot of YA authors don’t bother to give their characters insides anymore. Inner and outer beauty are not mutually exclusive.
You mention in your profile that you’re fascinated by roller coasters. Does this have any effect on your writing?
Not yet, no. I actually have an idea for a longer work in the back of my head, inspired by the Jet Star roller coaster on the Jersey Shore that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, but I need to flesh the idea out before I start writing. It won’t be roller coaster-based, but they’ll definitely be involved.
In addition to being a writer, you’re a singer. How do these two passions inform each other?
Because I go to a school specializing in the arts, my teachers mention the connection between my arts classes and academic classes far too often. They insist everything is connected—and it is! I’ve spent a good deal of time exploring this question, so I’m glad you asked.
In my writing classes I’ve experimented with rhythm and rhyme, which has helped not only with my poetry, but also with my performance as a singer. Being able to feel the beat of the lyrics as well as the music helps me bring a song together and makes a performance infinitely more intimate, even if it’s in front of a large group of people.
My music classes expose me to many different eras and styles of songwriting, which of course inspires me to play with different styles myself. Every once in a while, my voice teacher will assign the class a short essay; we are to analyze the lyrics of a new song and the notes that accompany them. Though it’s work I’d rather not do, writing those essays has bettered my own songwriting by helping me associate sounds and tempos with emotions. By listening to sounds and feeling beats, I can also decipher cryptic lyrics and form a greater emotional bond with a song.
If you had to give your writing style an adjective, what would it be?
Direct. A lot of my works have morals, and I doubt anyone would have trouble figuring them out. I don’t waste any time getting to the problem, and I don’t add extra words upon extra words to make my pieces longer; they are what they are because that’s all they need to be.
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