Blog tour: Inspiration for Semiviral by Jax Anderson


Cage fighter Mathew Stemp is known as a hero to some, a criminal to others, and a legend to all who live in northern Utah. As a cannibal virus spreads internationally, the world is torn between Exterminationists and Curists, and Mathew leaves his prostitution business to repair his relationship with his brother and his God. But his journey becomes even more difficult when he meets Shaylee, the victim of both the virus and his brother’s bullying.  While battling his ongoing depression, Matt fights to protect his friends from his past in SemiViral.

Guest Post: 

Several pieces of SemiViral were inspired by different events scattered throughout my life. I initially began the story after having a very spontaneous dream about a team of vampires and a depressed teenage girl stalking a young man from her school. Although that has nothing to do with the story I wrote, that dream put me in front of my keyboard to begin typing SemiViral.
At the time of that dream, I had just moved my brother in with me after he was hospitalized for heavy drug use. My relationship with my siblings was not where I’d have liked it to be and I used this opportunity to try and help my brother. After he moved in, I was inspired to write my story around the relationship of two brothers, Matt and Garret, the fictional story of where I wished I could take the relationship with my own brother. On the flip-side, I added another brother pair of Charlie and Blake, who represented what I feared our relationship would be if I had not turned my life around in high school, and finally Kel and JW, who represented the fear I had if I had chosen not to work on our relationship whatsoever.

            Almost each of the fight scenes throughout the story was inspired by actual violent events I had experienced in my life. I used a lot of the faults that I struggled with throughout my high school and young adult life to format the stories of the characters. For example, Kel’s inspiration came from my experience being bullied as a kid. I was institutionalized for most of two years during high school. Like him, I always wanted to just fit in, but because of who I chose to hang out with and how I acted, I was a target of a lot of bullying. During early high school, I spent class time hiding in the restroom in embarrassment and tears because of the physical and emotional abuse I took. I feared all through school that I would never feel like I belonged with anyone else in my age group.

 Much of SemiViral is the struggle of several outcasts trying to find their place in the world together. However, it wouldn’t be as fun without adding a challenging environment. After lots of thought, I remembered the 2012 article about the man who smoked bath salts and attacked another man. Many referred to this as a real zombie attack, which caused me to imagine a world with zombies who were not dead—in other words, a cannibalistic virus. My hope when writing this novel was to create relatable characters who struggled with the same issues that many modern teens and young adults face with in a fictional story that was fun and exciting. With the help of many of my friends and their vastly different and distinct personalities, I accomplished the novel with the impact I had hoped for.

             Although I had a lot of inspiration, writing SemiViral was difficult for me to accomplish. While working full-time, attending college, and battling depression, I struggled to stay motivated while writing. I brought back coping skills and techniques I had learned while in rehabilitation as a kid and was able to regain focus and motivation. I told myself after an episode of writer’s block to just dedicate thirty minutes each day to either writing or reading the manuscript. By reading what I had written so far, I would remember ideas I may had forgotten, or even find a piece of the story that originally didn’t mean anything but inspired a useful direction from where I was currently in the story.
            My advice to any writer is to dedicate the time to their story. Writers write, it’s what we do and if we aren’t writing, then we aren’t writers. Second, experience the world and your environment. A creative writer does not simply imagine their stories, they write from experience and without it, there are no tools for your imagination to use when creating the story.

About Jax Anderson: 

Jax Anderson got his start in writing when he began keeping a journal as a kid. After finding his life was pretty embarrassing, he switched to fiction. SemiViral began when he discovered many individuals in his personal life were intolerant people. Without calling them out individually, he wrote a book with cannibal style living flesh eaters, prostitution, drugs, and Mormons to address what he had been seeing his whole life in a neutrally opinionated manner. Anderson resides in Colorado with his wife and young daughter.
For more information, please connect with Jax Anderson on Facebook and Goodreads.

SemiViral is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Green Ivy Books

"Continue to follow the SemiViral blog tour tomorrow at Mallory Hearts Reviews!"

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