Friday, October 17, 2014

The Story Behind Hooked By Bobbi JG Weiss

This post includes spoilers!

I was first inspired to write Hooked by the obvious source — the story of Peter Pan. I saw the Disney animated film first as a kid, and that was the version I knew until I was an adult. Then, one day in 1990 when I bought the newly-released DVD of Disney's film, I looked at the cover art and thought to myself, out of nowhere, "Captain Hook isn't a villain. He seems so unhappy!" To me, villains in children’s stories are pure evil. But I didn't see Hook as all that evil. Yes, he wanted revenge for Peter taking his hand, but that actually made sense to me, y'know?

So I read J.M. Barrie's original novel and the play, and in them I found the key word: "melancholy." Barrie wrote that Hook often fell into deep melancholy moods, what we would call depression. Ideas just started flying through my head, and I began to write them down. Why would the infamous pirate Captain Hook be depressed?

Over time (we're talking 20 years here), the story of Hooked developed. All during that period as I plotted and wrote, one particular aspect of the plot stuck in my head as the most important: I didn't want my protagonist, Jonathan Stuart, to be a complete innocent. In other words, I didn't want to make Hook a victim. He's a victim to some extent, yes, but Jonathan Stuart starts out as someone you might not want to know anyway. He's got a foul temper, he's often churlish, and he's a recovered alcoholic who's having a hard time staying recovered. (Is there a plot reason why I gave Jon such a dark personality to begin with, you may ask? Hmm. I don't think I'll answer that here.)

So anyway, Jon's girlfriend, Melanie Forrester, can see that he's a good man at heart, and she believes that he just needs support. But she puts up with a lot. She loves the man he could be more than the man that he is. As for Jonathan, he loves Melanie like crazy and is grateful that a woman as wonderful as she is could ever love him.

So Hooked ended up to be a story about love, actually. It's a dark fantasy/horror because Stuart goes through hell and then some, but he does have love to keep him hopeful. For awhile. Sort of. (heh)

As for how Hooked got published, well, I self-published it. I did this because 1) I've been interested in self-publishing, so what better time? and 2) my agent decided to quit and do other things, so I would have had to first find a new agent before I could even submit to publishers. That can take months, so I opted for doing it myself. We'll see how it goes!

By the way, when Wicked first came out, I about had a fit. I could see the avalanche of fairytale remakes coming my way. But I didn't want to put Hooked out until it was as good as I could make it, so I took my time. After all, fads come and go, but good stories always find an audience. I'm certainly hoping Hooked will find its audience!

About The Book:

Title: Hooked
Author: Bobbi JG Weiss
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: July 21, 2014
Pages: 518
ISBN: 978-0990360001
Genre: Dark Fantasy / Horror
Format: Paperback, eBook, ePub, PDF

He is not Captain Hook.

His name is Jonathan Stuart, and he’s just an ornery post-alcoholic bookstore owner from Pasadena with a mania for fencing and a bad habit of disappointing his girlfriend. He doesn’t want to be in the Neverland, impossibly trapped aboard the Jolly Roger with a horde of greedy stinking pirates. He was tricked there by Peter Pan.

Pan happily invites children to come to his wondrous magical island, but he has to trick adults. No adult in their right mind would go willingly. Adults, you see, don’t have a very good time in the Neverland. The fairies and mermaids are against them. The island itself is against them. Most of all, Peter Pan is against them.

In particular, Peter Pan is against Jonathan Stuart. Why? Jonathan had better figure that out, and he’d better do it fast before his mutating memories insist that, not only does he indeed belong in this nightmarish hell of bloodthirsty children, ticking crocodiles and vengeful boy gods, but he’s never existed anyplace else.

So you see, he’s definitely not Captain Hook.

Well, not yet.

For More Information:

About The Author:

Bobbi JG Weiss made her world debut one Christmas morning (cough-mutter-mutter) years ago, and as long as she can remember, she’s wanted to be a writer. Why? She has no idea. Probably a birth defect.

After several boring “normal” jobs, her writing wishes came true — she and her husband/partner David Cody Weiss began to make their living as full-time freelance writers, focusing on Hollywood tie-in merchandise like movie/TV novel adaptations, comics, and other related and often ridiculous products. After 20+ years of this, the “WeissGuys” decided to enter the wild world of self-publishing.

You can find more information about Bobbi, her books, her life, and her weird husband at She also posts on Twitter, tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook unless her passwords mysteriously stop working and she can’t get on, which seems to happen a lot. Why? She has no idea. Probably computer voodoo.

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