The Returned – Q&A with Author Jason Mott

1. The Returned raises some deep seeded questions about life and what happens after death. What would you like readers to take away from this story?

I would love it if readers came away with a two things: a desire to ponder some of the questions raised by the story and, perhaps more importantly, a desire to remember someone they’ve lost. In the end, our memories are what tie us most strongly to our loved ones who have passed away. Keeping those memories is important, I believe.

2. What are your thoughts on the death? If one of your loved ones actually returned, would you see this as a miracle or a sign of the end?

Death is the inevitability we must all encounter, but that doesn’t mean we have to be haunted by it. And if one of my loved ones returned, I wouldn’t try to qualify it as either a miracle or a sign of the end, I would just savor the time I had with them–as we all should do, every day.

3. In addition to The Returned, you’ve written poetry as well. What sparked your love of writing?

I grew up loving the classic heroic tales such as Beowulf and The Odyssey. And, when I was around fourteen, I found John Gardner’s Grendel. He showed me that the classics could be refreshed through new writing. Shortly thereafter, I began scratching out stories.

4. Tell us something we don’t already know about you. Any hidden talents or out-of-the-ordinary hobbies?

I’m a huge motorsports junkie. Formula 1 is my favorite but, ultimately, if it’s got a motor and you can race it, I’ll watch…and maybe even get behind the wheel if I can.

 

About The Returned

“Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.”

Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time…. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

Pick up your copy of The Returned at select Kmart locations or purchase online now!

 

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