Jaye's debut book, Red-Headed Stepchild, was my favourite read in 2009 and the follow up, The Mage in Black, is looking like it is going to be my favourite read this year. It seems I am not the only one who is enjoying this series as you can see if you read this article.
So what is all the fuss about? Read the interview and then make sure you enter the contest for your chance to win a copy of Jaye's new release!
Amber - Hello Jaye and welcome back to Amberkatze's Book Blog! The Mage in Black just came out. To start things off maybe you can tell my readers a little bit about what Sabina gets up to this time?
Jaye - I think a better question might be what doesn't she get up to this time? There's a cross-country road trip, a long lost family to meet, magic to learn, a demon to wrangle, an old flame to contend with, a current flame to figure out and werewolves out to get her (along with a steadily growing list of enemies).
Amber - There are a few new characters in The Mage in Black. Was it fun bringing in new people? Did they cause any trouble?
Jaye - New characters are always trouble--in a good way. It's fun to shake things up for Sabina as she tries to navigate her way through the stories. A couple of my favorites from The Mage in Black are Rhea, who is Adam's aunt and Sabina's magical mentor. I also had a lot of fun with Michael Romulus, the alpha werewolf, and Giguhl's new girlfriend (whose name I won't mention here because it's a doozy).
Amber - Sabina has a couple of love interests in The Mage in Black. Will it be a 'Happy ever after' ending for her in Green-Eyed Demon or will there be more Sabina Kane books?
Jaye - At this point I hope there will be more books because there's simply too much story for just a trilogy. But as for her love life, well, Sabina's got enough baggage to fill a 747. Besides, she's a vampire so happily ever after is a relative term. However, I can say that she makes some headway in the romance department in Green-Eyed Demon.
Amber - How do you come up with the names for your characters? Are they just names or do they have any cool meanings?
Jaye - For me, names are very important. I put a lot of thought into them so that they sound right for the character, and, yes, some have cool meanings or double meanings. All the dark races tend to have particular types of names. For example, vampire names tend to be influenced by ancient Rome, fae have plant or nature-based names, etc. That said, some names I just make up because I like how they sound. Giguhl is a perfect example of one I made up because I needed a demonic sounding name that lent itself to the nickname "Mr. Giggles."
Amber - Do you get to do some cool research for your books? Did you spend time in New York's Black Light District for instance? ;)
Jaye - One of the unintended consequences of having each book in a different city is that I have an excuse to visit them. I did visit New York in the process of writing The Mage in Black and I just returned form a trip to New Orleans for Green-Eyed Demon. Of course, I tend to make up a lot of settings for the books but I tend to base them on places or areas that exist and then I twist them to suit my purposes. But, in general, I do a ton of research for the books--everything form mythology and folklore to symbolism and magic to more mundane things which subway line Sabina would have to take in NYC to get somewhere.
Amber - Red-Headed Stepchild was my favourite read last year and now The Mage in Black is looking to be my favourite read this year. Why do we have to wait so long for book three??? ;)
Jaye - Well, see, it may only take you a day or two to read the books but it takes me a long time to write them. Thus far the fastest book in the series took me 9 months to write. But what people forget is it's not like the book just gets downloaded from my laptop and printed. My publisher needs another 9 months to edit, print, design a cover, market, etc, etc the books. Each book is coming a little faster since I know the characters better, but there's a balance. I am a firm believer that rushing the process too much shows in the final product. That said, I'm thrilled people love the series so much that they're clamoring for more. And I promise I'm trying to write faster.
Amber - I know book three is due out next year but are you working on anything else?
Jaye - Good lawd, woman, I've got to sleep sometime.;) Actually, though, I do have another series idea that's been percolating for a couple of years. I'm hoping to write up a proposal for it once I get Green-Eyed Demon turned in.
Amber - How much say do you have in the book publishing process? Eg. Do you get to pick the cover?
Jaye - The titles are usually mine and I do get some input in the covers, but I try to leave the marketing decisions to the professionals. However, I have an awesome editor who welcomes my input and tries to incorporate it when possible. But mostly Orbit has done a fantastic job without me mucking things up with my opinions.
Amber - What are the good times and bad times of being an author?
Jaye - The good times outweigh the bad, I guess. I mean, I get paid to work in my pajamas and play make believe all day. I also get to make lots of immature jobs about demon penises and faery porn. What's not to love? Plus it's really cool to know that people actually want to read the products of my skewed imagination. As for the bad, well, the truth is most of the bad is generally stuff I can't control and I try really hard not to get too pissed off about them. But when I do I'm lucky to have a very grounded spouse who listens to my whining with the patience of a saint.
Amber - There are alot of online sites taking up peoples time lately. Are you on Facebook or any other sites? Do you think the sites are useful or do they just take up too much of your time?
Jaye - I'm on everything--Facebook, Twitter, My Space (although I'm not active there), a couple of blogs, etc, etc. I believe they're useful, but there's a big balancing act. It's so easy to lose a whole day getting wrapped up in your own press or internet drama. Sometimes I just have to walk away completely for a couple of days and remember my main job is writing books, not tweeting one-liners in the character of a hairless demons cat (yes, Giguhl has his own twitter account).
Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?
Jaye - I listen to everything. I'm an iTunes junky. It can never just download one song. In fact, just before I sat down to answer your questions I downloaded six songs by the following bands: The Motels, Massive Attack, Sia, Ben Harper, The Duke Spirit and Telepopmusik. See? I'm schizophrenic about music and get bored easily. But when I'm writing I tend to listen to the same playlist of 20 to 30 songs I've compiled for that book.
As for TV, my two new favorites are Spartacus: Blood and Sand (OMG so melodramatic and gory and raunchy--love!) and Justified (Timothy Olyphant!). I also love TruBlood, RuPaul's Drag Race, Californication and Dexter. I also recently discovered (late, I know) Deadwood and have been watching the DVDs back-to-back. It sounds like I watch a lot of TV, but I actually TiVo a lot and then binge in one-sitting.
As for influences, Buffy, the Underworld movies, Blade Trinity, From Dusk til Dawn (really anything Tarantino but that's my fave).
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Jaye - I bet a lot of people would think I'd answer vampire, but I'd probably rather be a mage. I'd rather zap my enemies than drink their blood.
You can win a copy of The Mage in Black by just answering one question!
How to Enter
What is your favourite read so far this year?
No Book = No Entry
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The contest will stay open until Sunday 16th of May 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.