Jason McCuiston: Iron Age Marketing Podcast Episode 018

In today’s episode of Iron Age Marketing, I talk to Jason McCuiston,  author of “The Brotherhood of Secret Darkness: Cults, Cabals, and Conspiracy Theories.”

Let’s Meet Iron Age Creator Jason McCuiston

Jason J. McCuiston was born in the wilds of southeast Tennessee, where he was raised on a carnivorous diet of old monster movies, westerns, comic books, horror magazines, sci-fi and fantasy novels, and, of course, Dungeons & Dragons. He attended the finest state school that would have him with the intention of becoming a comic-book artist. Following his matriculation and a whirlwind tour of spectacularly underpaid and uninspired career paths, he finally realized he was meant to be a professional storyteller.

Vampirella, King And The Brotherhood Of Secret Darkness

We begin our conversation with Jason McCuiston and have him tell us what drew him into the nerd world in the first place. He regales us with a tale about starting with whatever he stumbled upon at home: Vampirella, his dad’s pulp comics, and his mom’s Stephen King novels. Mom was the more voracious reader though his tastes come more from his father.
When asked what he’s working on now, Jason tells me about his upcoming book, The Brotherhood of Secret Darkness: Cults, Cabals, and Conspiracy Theories. It’s a collection of pulp stories with a common thread where he works through the past few years’ events, be it aliens or pagan gods.

Lovecraft, The Ritual, And Coming Up In The Sad Puppies Era

As the conversation carries on, we talk about H.P. Lovecraft and what drew Jason into his world. Jason was a late bloomer, discovering Lovecraft after years of playing The Call Of Cthulhu RPG by Chaosium. Lamenting how few modern horror writers seem to understand what Lovecraft did, we spend some time nerding out about the movie The Ritual, one of the few modern horror flicks to capture that Lovecraftian feel.
After a quick chat about stories in general, Jason digs into the circumstances that led him to begin writing his own. Over several years and a missed start or two, Jason honed his craft and began submitting to publishers. Unfortunately, Jason came up in the Sad Puppies drama and quickly recognized a need to look outside the mainstream system to find his market.

Growing Past Short Stories Into Novels

Next, Jason and I have a brief discussion about story craft. I bring up my struggles writing anything longer than a short story presenting a cool concept or setting. Jason reiterates his position on the importance of craft and gives us a couple of resources for improving.
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks is Jason’s manual of choice for novels, but he recommends the Lester Dent formula for building a short story. This gives us a moment to talk about rules in creativity and how established rules are necessary to subvert and break in creative ways. You must know the rules and expectations so you can know how and when to break them.

Sell Your Books With Trust As An Author

To satisfy my curiosity, Jason explains how he would choose to engage with an audience. His marketing of choice is the book signing at cons or local libraries and even farmer’s markets. Direct sales in favor of marketing. This leads to a lament about the fall of comic shops.
Jason gets into his experience being a long-standing fan, suddenly finding himself on the outside of a fandom that seemingly began openly rejecting its audience. Does this have anything to do with corporations buying up IP? Can making the nerd culture personal with things like the Iron Age Movement create a situation that allows audiences to trust authors again?
Hopefully, today’s episode with Jason McCuiston serves as both inspiration and education in your own journey to bring your creation to the world.

Shilling In The Iron Age

Need help connecting with or growing your audience for your book, comic, TTRPG, or other creative endeavor? Check out Nicky P @ ironagemarketing.com
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