The Questioning Blogger Edition

The Questioning: Jason Aycock

The Questioning is where everything gets upside down. As part of my blogiversary celebration, I invited 10 authors and 10 bloggers/reviewers who showed great support during my first year as a blogger. Then I pushed them waaaaay out of the comfort zones. Authors had become interrogators and Bloggers got interrogated. Rest assured, no one got hurt (much) and everyone had fun (eventually). You can find every related post on The Questioning page!
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In college I studied history and in grad school theology. I once had dreams of being a professor but a Ph.D. was a bridge too far. I also entertained thoughts of becoming a writer but that too has never panned out.

Now I live in the Bluegrass (Kentucky), work full-time in an admin job, spend time with the family, and enjoy traveling (when we can afford it). My love of books has never gone away though. And since I’m not writing my own book I figured why not write about other people’s books? I mean I know everyone out there is clamoring to know what I think right?

Welcome to the Asylum! Take a seat by the fire, have a glass of beverage of your choice and tell me something about yourself!

Hi I’m Jason and my blog is “Off The TBR.” I’m a middle aged, husband, father, Florida native, and book lover. I first fell in love with reading in elementary school with Treasure Island. I mean who wouldn’t, it had pirates and sailing ships, and a young boy (just like me) who was the hero. Not long after that I made my first foray into adult level fiction when my father lent me his copy of The Hunt For Red October. Yes I read it in elementary school (it had cuss words – it was great)!  I devoured that book and went back for seconds.

I didn’t start reading SFF until middle school however. I was in eighth grade and I started seeing friends carrying around this book with three characters on the cover, a woodsman with a bow, a woman in animal skins, and a knight in full armor. Behind them on a small hill lurked a red dragon. Feeling like I was the last to pick up on a trend I borrowed it from a friend and read into the wee hours of the morning. Dragons of Autumn Twilight introduced me to a whole other world of fiction and I’ve been hooked ever since.

What blogging means to you?

Hmm…I don’t know that I’ve ever really thought about it. I suppose first and foremost it’s an outlet to talk about my love of books and reading. Most the friends I’ve had in life have not been huge readers. They’ve known that I read a lot but they really didn’t have any idea what I was reading or how I felt about it. My wife enjoys reading but we don’t have the same tastes. So for me I guess blogging is a way to share about the books I enjoy with others who have the same reading interests. I’ve discovered a lot of great books from reading other bloggers reviews, and hopefully somebody out there has discovered a new book to love from something I’ve reviewed. It’s also fun to chat about what we love (or hate) about certain books.

That leads into the second thing I love about book blogging: The community. Since starting the blog I’ve found this amazing community of bloggers that I didn’t realize existed before. I keep in touch with them primarily through my blog feed and through Twitter. It’s a great group of readers, bloggers, and authors who 99% of the time are wonderful people (there’s always one who has to be an ass). But yeah the blogging community – at least the Sci-Fi/Fantasy community that I hang out in – is a fantastic group of people and I can’t thank them enough for allowing me to hang out with them in cyberspace.

You are locked in an asylum. What did you do to end up there?

Probably maiming somebody who cracked the spine of a book they didn’t ask permission to borrow and then dog eared some pages. I may have also keyed his truck…slashed his tires…and burned his house down. You know to get even.

Which fictional character and/or author would you like to live with in an asylum?

Tyrion Lannister – because if I’m locked in an asylum who better to keep a great conversation going? And because he’d find a way to get us out. And he’s got gold. Lots of gold. Or he did before you know…

And he likes books. “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”

Which fictional world would you like to live in?

Ooh…this is hard. My first thought was to say Krynn (Dragonlance). But then I thought living in Westeros would be cool cuz you know I’m locked in an asylum with Tyrion Lannister. But I also think the world conjured up by Nicholas Eames in Kings of The Wyld and Bloody Rose would be awesome…cuz then I’d get to be in a band! Which would be cool as long as I wasn’t the bard.

If you could switch lives with any character in a book, who would you choose? Would you like to have the author along as a fellow character?

Hmm…this is hard. Arya Stark. She’s a badass. But I don’t know that I want George along because he has a bad habit of killing off his characters and if it’s him or me…? Or…maybe Arya adds a new name to her list?

You are a treasure hunter, about to retrieve a chest of gold from a sunken pirate ship, when a beautiful mermaid/merman approaches you, trying to stop you. How do you react?

I’d probably drown. I mean c’mon a mermaid swims up and I’m most likely gonna have the shock of my life, open my mouth to scream or catch my breath and being under water and all that’s gonna be the exact wrong thing to do, lungs fill up with seawater and now I’m swimming with the fishes.

Your family allows you to keep one fantastical creature at home. What do you choose?

Dragon. If get to pick a fantastical creature go big or go home right? And who is gonna mess with you when you have a dragon as your pal hanging out in the back yard? Well…I suppose we’d have to buy some property and live out in the country. But still. Yeah dragon.

You can have one magic ability for a day. What can you do and how do you spend that day?

That’s easy. Time travel. Because then you can make that day last…well as long as you want. I’ve always thought if I had one cool ability I’d want it to be time travel. I’d go back and just go back and observe all the great and small events of history. See how people really lived, what really happened, laugh at what all we get wrong, and be amazed at what we don’t know about our past. This is obviously the history junkie coming out in me.

You are a magical creature living near a village. How do you get on with humans?

Do I have to? I think I’d rather hang out with the other magical creatures and play tricks on the humans.

While you are locked in here for eternity, we will allow you one book – what would you choose?

Just one book!?!? You’re cruel. Heartless. Evil even. Let’s see…ah…the spellbook of Fistdandantalus. I could probably find a way out with that.

Well then, we hope you’ll enjoy your stay in the Asylum! Any last words? *locks door*

WAIT!!!! Can I at least have my Kindle? No? Fine I’ll just talk to Tyrion. At least we have wine.


Jason is one of the most supportive bloggers I’ve got to know over Twitter. You can find him on his blog, Off the TBR or the other social media sites:

 Off the TBR | Twitter | Goodreads

Check out The Questioning page for more similar content where you can follow both the Author Edition and Blogger Edition in one place!