Friday, May 27, 2011

Hitting The Mark... Jason Pinter

A friend recently gave my husband and me a copy of The Mark by Jason Pinter. I had never heard of him before and had not had the opportunity to read his work, but he has quickly become a delightful addition to my regular list of authors. His style is easy to read and reaches through the pages to pull the reader into the story. Henry Parker, an ambitious young New York journalist, is a well-developed and believable character with a self-deprecating style that endears him to the reader within the first couple of pages. I was even more excited when I realized The Mark was the first in a series of books following Henry as he inadvertently finds himself smack in the middle of some hairy situations.

I could spend this entire post telling you how much I love reading about Henry Parker and the other characters that make up the main cast of the books, but as I started digging into the author, Jason Pinter, I realized that the real treasure is in the man behind the stories. So often, we identify authors with their characters or ascribe a distant persona based on the impersonal nature of many author’s websites. What I found when I started trying to learn more about Pinter was a vibrant, intelligent personality that demonstrates an almost child-like curiosity and enthusiasm.

Pinter graduated from Wesleyan University in 2003 before working as an editor for Warner Books, then Random House and finally St. Martin’s Press. To the benefit of his fans, he began working as a writer full-time in 2007, releasing The Mark in June of that year. He is currently contracted for a total of seven books in the Henry Parker series (of which five are out already), but said he’ll keep writing them if we keep reading them! The Mark has also been optioned to become a feature film, although, as usual, this process involves of lot of waiting and wondering when.

However, Pinter is not waiting for anything. He is gearing up to be quite the prolific writer. Pinter said he sticks to a fairly strict schedule and writes a book in about four to six months. Then the next two months are spent editing and revising before the publishing process takes over and the books are released. With this kind of schedule, it’s no wonder that fans are eagerly awaiting the release of two new series in addition to The Invited, the next Henry Parker novel.

The first series is Zeke Bartholomew, SUPERSPY, a series for young readers about a geeky 12-year-old who finds himself tasked with saving the world.  “I aim to write the kind of book that I loved when I was growing up” said Pinter. Given the skills he has already demonstrated, I look forward to not only reading the new series but sharing it with my children.

The second series, The Great Divide, is aimed at young adults and is due out in 2012. It is described by Joe Veltre, Pinter’s agent, as “a trilogy set after the United States has been torn in half following the second Civil War, in which a boy and girl raised to be elite soldiers must travel 3,000 miles to find a cure to a disease that threatens to wipe out what remains of civilization.”

While researching all of this information on the man behind the novels I came across Pinter’s Facebook page and, of course, sent a friend request. To my surprise, he accepted and now I get my daily Wilson in my newsfeed every morning. (Wilson is the Pinters’ adorable furry housemate) Scrolling through the pictures, comments and miscellaneous other fragments typically found on Facebook, a refreshingly down-to-earth, slightly geeky, but very REAL human being emerged. The kind of person you add to your kick-back-with-a-beer-with list.

As a writer myself, I feel a certain kinship with Jason Pinter and appreciate his accessibility to his fan base. I can identify with many of the stories he has shared and truly have enjoyed everything I’ve read by him, whether novel or answers to interview questions. I’ve owned several copies of The Mark and continue to loan it out to anyone who asks for a book recommendation. I can’t loan it to all of you but I absolutely encourage you to get your hands on a copy and get to know Henry Parker and his friends. But keep your eyes on Jason Pinter. I believe we’ll be seeing some great stuff coming from him in the years to come.

 Books by Jason Pinter
  • Henry Parker novels:
    • The Mark
    • The Guilty
    • The Stolen
    • The Fury
    • The Darkness
    • The Invited
  • Contributor to Killer Year, an anthology of 16 short crime stories by a variety of authors and edited by Lee Child (another of my favorites!)
  • Faking Life, a novel released exclusively as an e-book
  • Zeke Bartholomew, SUPERSPY, a series for young readers due Fall 2011
  • The Great Divide, a trilogy for young adults due 2012


  1. I met Jason at the Backspace Writers Conference in November 2010. He's a writer passionate about his craft who gave me great pointers on how to strengthen my manuscript.

    Thanks Jason!

  2. Joseph, that's awesome! I'm hoping Jason comes around to Boston in the future. I'd love the chance to meet him in person. Good luck with your manuscript! Keep us posted on its progress.