Jeffrey Allen Mays

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Jeffrey Allen Mays

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Born
Memphis, TN, The United States
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Member Since
March 2010


Jeffrey has written for Design Studios and Newsbyrd. His articles have been published in Catapult, Z-composition, and Topology. His short story Malefic appeared in the 2013 “eco-horror” anthology Growing Concerns. His debut novel The Former Hero was published in 2014 by AEC Stellar Publishing, winner of the 2015 Texas Association of Authors Book Award for Suspense/Thriller and finalist with the Nation Indie Excellence Award. His short story "Concho Diary" won the 2017 Texas Authors award for contemporary fiction. He lives with his wife in Austin.
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Jeffrey Allen Mays First we need to ask 'what is writer's block?' I don't think it is a real, clinical condition the way it sounds. It's just a state of mind in which yo…moreFirst we need to ask 'what is writer's block?' I don't think it is a real, clinical condition the way it sounds. It's just a state of mind in which you are not being particularly creative. For mere mortal writers, I think it is fairly common and nothing to worry about. Quotes you see on FB to the effect that for 'real' writers there's no such thing are not only annoying, but an expression of arrogance coming from one who apparently has a lot of natural activity in the creative part of the brain. But even Hemingway lost it toward the end of this career after having the ability to write great stuff seemingly effortlessly, and then wax philosophic about it.
So, I take 'writer's block' down a few notches. Don't look to pharmaceuticals, and don't define yourself by it. I use a combination of going somewhere new, reading literature that I find the most brilliant, and then, and this is the main thing, I muscle my way through - I sit in front of the blank page/screen for a long time doing nothing but thinking. Then usually after 2 or 3 hours (interrupted by coffee refills, ordering lunch, going to the bathroom etc.) I give up and just write something stupid: "Dave was walking down the sidewalk" or something, and from there I ask myself, what did Dave see? What happened to Dave? And then I come up with, "Dave found something meaningful on the sidewalk" or "Dave had just emerged from donating blood, so he was woozy" or "Dave saw a homeless man lying still and feared that he might be dead..." And away I go.(less)
Jeffrey Allen Mays I have been working on a particular short story for about a year and a half and have had much trouble getting it right. At this point it is uncertain …moreI have been working on a particular short story for about a year and a half and have had much trouble getting it right. At this point it is uncertain if it will ever see the light of day unless I get some inspiration about how to make it worthwhile.
I have plans and some ideas for at least one sequel to The Former Hero. I would like to write more books set in the same location because I like the setting so much and enjoy going back there in my mind.
Finally, it has occurred to me to write a screenplay of The Former Hero. Many of my readers have told me that the book would make a fabulous movie, and although I didn't have that in mind when I wrote it, I agree that it moves along fast enough, and has so much visual material, that it would translate well onto the screen(less)
Average rating: 4.06 · 17 ratings · 8 reviews · 1 distinct work
The Former Hero

4.06 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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One Flew Over the...
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Kazuo Ishiguro shared a note from
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I’d made two previous attempts back in the early 1990s to write the novel that became NEVER LET ME GO. It was then called ‘The Students Novel’. Both times I felt there was a key piece missing to the jigsaw, a piece whose shape and color I couldn’t determine, and I’d moved on to work on a different book. The story eluding me, I knew, would feature ‘students’ who lived in wrecked farmhouses in the rainy English countryside. (But there’d be no sign of a college near them.) They’d be a segregated group whose lives had become strangely shortened. I couldn’t progress beyond that. I couldn’t work ...more
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The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches by Gaétan Soucy
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This story is completely crazy and I loved it. Shocking and disturbing, but an amazing literary accomplishment that I will never forget. The narrator is the eponymous girl. She's not right in the head. She lives with her idiot little brother, their f ...more
Jeffrey Mays finished reading
A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet
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Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
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We loved Emma. We fell into her eyes. We noted her silk slippers and the way she leans out the window watching the passing yokels. We admired the whispering curls on her nape below the black chignon, breathed the musky scent from the gossamer down of ...more
Jeffrey Mays has read
That All Shall Be Saved by David Bentley Hart
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Jeffrey Mays has read
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
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Jeffrey Mays has read
The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki
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Jeffrey Mays is currently reading
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
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Jeffrey Mays has read
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
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Jeffrey Mays is currently reading
A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet
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