March 29, 2009
Interview with Jaye Wells
Meet Jaye Wells. I first became aware of her when she held a vampire-themed event on her blog last March. As she was utterly hilarious I kept coming back . . . and now her book, RED-HEADED STEPCHILD, will be out this Tuesday. I can hardly believe it. But yeah, I've loved her blog so long I pretty much squeed when she agreed to guest. (No really, all these great authors came to my little pond without me twisting their arms or anything.)
1. There are actually vampires in Texas. What do you do?
Are you kidding? No self-respecting vampire would live in Texas. But if they did, I'd probably befriend them and then write a tell-all.
2. You're an author, blogger, reluctant adult, and mother. But what else are you?
Jeez, isn't that enough? Just reading that makes me tired.
3. Your first novel, RED-HEADED STEPCHILD, comes out this month on the 31st. What is it about? (No cheating and using the blurb.)
It's about a mixed blood assassin who has a to-do list that includes killing the leader of a rival vampire cult, getting rid of a mage stalker, dealing with a high strung demon sidekick and trying to stop a war between the vampires and the mages. All these tasks are accomplished with varying--and sometimes surprising--results.
4. Your vampires are different. How did you come up with them? Was research involved? (If so, spill, because I am a research junkie.)
I'm a total geek about research. Most of my world building resulted from research into mythology and folklore, and then combining or twisting what I found. But everything in the world goes back to Lilith, who according to ancient Jewish folklore was Adam's first wife in the Garden of Eden. According to legend, she left him when he wouldn't let her be on top during sex. She fascinates me, so I decided to start with her and build from there. In my world, she's the mother of all the dark races--vampires, mages, faeries and some demons. Everything just developed from there with me taking certain elements from both mythology and vamp lore to construct new rules and elements.
5. I love your blog because of your sense of humor. Were you born with it or did you get it through human sacrifice?
I sacrifice goats fornightly to my dark master. He's responsible for all my best jokes. True fact: Satan was the originator of the whoopie cushion.
6. At what age will you let your son read RED-HEADED STEPCHILD? Or will you just let him read it whenever he pulls it off the shelf?
Since he is my offspring, he'll probably be ready to read it in his early teens. He's already reading the Buffy comic books and he's only six. But by the time he's a teen, he'll think I'm lame, so he'll probably refuse to read it. After all, what teenaged boy wants to know his mother spends her days writing about faery porn?
7. When did you realize you wanted to be an author? Are you ever afraid of people's reactions when you tell them you write about vampires?
I've always enjoyed writing, but never really considered it a potential profession until I was thirty. I thought if you were meant to be an author you'd know it early on. Like the muse of writing would appear to you and you'd know it was your calling. So instead, I went into nonfiction. I worked for a few magazines as a writer, but eventually grew bored with reporting facts. So the year I turned thirty, I signed up for a fiction writing class at a community college. Keep in mind, I'd tried every other hobby under the sun and got bored very easily. I knew I'd found my "thing" when writing fiction became all I wanted to do with my time.
I used to worry what people would think. But that was more my own hangup. I felt that I didn't fit the mold of a "vampire writer" and I thought my friends would think I'm weird. But now I don't care. Getting a contract helped. But more than that, it's what I like to write about and ultimately that's what's most important.
8. What books were you reading when you were twenty years old?
Lots of Anne Rice. I remember specifically reading Mnemnoch the Devil around that age. That's a lot of people's least favorite of her vampire books, but I loved it.
9. What books are you reading now? Authors? Genres?
I read everything now. Of course, I read a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal--Christopher Moore, Mark Henry, Kim Harrison, J. R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, etc. But I also read mystery, mainstream and literary fiction, and tons of nonfiction.
10. What comes after RED-HEADED STEPCHILD?
Book two in the series is titled MAGE IN BLACK, and is scheduled for release January 2010. Book three is tentatively titles GREEN-EYED DEMON, but we don't have a release date for that one yet. I'll also have a story in the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance, vol. 2 scheduled for this winter.
Go mythology buffs! I must admit, I first heard of Lilith reading Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series rather than doing serious myth study. But it's definitely a neat story.
And guess what? There's a copy of RED-HEADED STEPCHILD up for grabs. You know you want it . . . and you know you wanna follow the rules.