My guest today is multi-talented educator, author and artist, Jayson James.
Welcome Jayson and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed today. Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?
Yes, I am a teacher. I work with other teachers, teaching workshops and trainings as well as doing teacher observations.
When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?
I like to draw. More recently I’ve taken up painting too, with wet watercolors and water color pencils. A friend of mine showed me how to take my drawings and water color them, so I’ve been having fun with doing that. As a matter of fact, the cover of my next book releasing will be a cover I drew with pencil and then used water colors to finish. Yes, I have written about it. One of my favorite characters to write, Justin Parker from my Finding Our Way series of books is an artist and I have written about him doing various artwork.
What are you reading? Can you recommend something that you wished you’d written yourself?
I have about fifteen books on my Kindle right now, waiting for me to take a break and get to reading them. After this book tour, I plan on taking some time off from writing, promoting and other assorted author duties to do some relaxing, which will include reading.
The only books that come to mind that I wish I would have written myself were The Hunger Games or the Twilight series. I think that it would be so cool to have a series with their popularity and have them turned into several movies. My friends are always telling me that I need to put out a book in other genres, convinced that I could have that kind of success. I have a few more books that I want to get out of my head that are in my genre first.
In that crucial inspiration stage of a new story which comes first? Plot, situation or character?
Plot typically, closely followed by character. The situations come in and out of my head, often times not in the order they end up in my books. Without having the plot in mind, I am unable to start on a new book.
Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them? Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?
When I sit down to write, I have a pretty good idea of what I want my characters to be. As I sit down and write them, they evolve further. If I find myself getting away from the person I had them planned to be in my head, I will either go back and make changes to keep the continuity of the character.
Do you find there to be a lot of structural differences between a relationship driven story and one where the romance is a sub plot?
For me, I write about relationships people have. When I wrote Finding Our Way, I had not intended on it being a romance. It bothered me immensely when people would refer to the book as such. Then when I put out the second book, Tormented Discovery, people were even more thrilled by the romance continuing with Derrick Wilson and Justin Parker, the main characters. By the time I wrote Drifting, the third book I was all right with it. It was clear to me by all the response of readers, they were in love with this couple and wanted to see them do well together. It just happens that I wrote about two best friends falling in love and their relationship ended up romantic. I feel with T.E.D. people related to the characters and their relationships. Everyone who has talked to me about T.E.D. always has something to say about how they connect with at least one of the characters and feel for them as if they were someone they knew and wanted to help. So in so many words, I do not think there are much in the way in structural differences as far as writing, just in the way the reader perceives it.
Villains are incredibly important in fiction since they challenge the main protagonists and give them something to contend with beyond the tension of a developing relationship. The cruel sea. The serial killer. The society itself. Your hero’s inner demons. What sort of villains do you prize?
As far as the villain I would like to write, I think it would be fun to write a book from the perspective of a serial killer. In my books, my true villain is Kristian Kirkpatrick. He has been in three out of four of my books. He is a manipulative, evil little sociopath. I created him and even I loathe him. Even though I am sure it will not be well received, I would like to give him his own book someday. I have the plot in my head already.
What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.
My current work in progress is a book that features the twins, Tyler and Tyson Hensley from the Finding Our Way series. This book takes place when the twins are in middle school living in Ashville, Oregon and the story follows them until they move to Chandler, Washington. There will be some familiar characters from a few of my previous books in it briefly. I started this book a few years ago and it has been long awaited to have me finish it. Right now, I am trying to decide if I want to keep the content geared towards young adults or do my own thing.
Have you got anything else you would like to share with us?
Yes, I have a question about 1988! What is your favorite happy song from 1988?
I’d like to hear from you! Please post your response in the comments below!
Be sure to check out other stops on the tour for more questions.
PIECES OF US
“Into the lake?”
“Into the lake.”
For Jesse Stetson, a boy who knows he is different and Dylan Sterling, Jesse’s best friend, Sander’s Lake has served as a sort of scrapbook for them with sentimental items being dropped into the lake from their dock after significant events in their lives.
Life in 1988 was different from today. A boy and a girl being best friends were uncommon. Not that Jesse or Dylan cared, they had each other and that’s all that mattered. Or so Jesse wished. While Dylan has been meeting and dating guys, Jesse has yet to find the same connection with a girl. The closest he’s come is Dylan, but she’s a girl and a friend not a girlfriend. Jesse is struggling with his feelings and trying his hardest to be normal.
Dylan and Jesse are growing up and possibly growing apart. Dylan has a new boyfriend and is now splitting her time between him and Jesse. To further complicate things, Jesse meets Orion, a new boy in town. Jesse knows that his feelings towards Orion must be wrong, yet it feels so right. Even if Orion feels about Jesse the same way that Jesse feels about him, should they act on their attraction?
This story is a journey of friendship and discovery, finding out who you are as a person, and then being okay with who you are.
Over 100 drawings were created, modified, merged, cropped and manipulated to create the cover for Pieces of Us. This by and far was the most labor-intensive cover on any of my books to date. I feel with how it turned out, it made all the work worthwhile.
[Insert PoU Artwork here]
WHERE TO PURCHASE
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jayson-james
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Jayson James. I am an Indy author of several novels and novellas. I was born and have lived most of my life in Washington State. My interests beyond writing include drawing, reading a variety of books, watching movies and hanging out with his friends, family and dog. Besides an author, I am an artist. The cover art on every one of my published works are one of my own drawings. I take the drawing I do for each cover and then design the rest of the cover around it.
Google+ & email: email@example.com
MORE BY JAYSON JAMES
How It Was Supposed To Be
Reese Kennicott and his family were living the carefree life of an upper middle class life. That was until one day when his father arrives home from work and shares the company he has worked for since he was Reese’s age has gone out of business. Adding to the stress of being out of work for the first time in the worst economic downturn the United States has ever faced. Hope comes in the form of a new job for Reese’s father. The downside is this job is across the country, forcing Reese to leave behind his friends and the life he’s always known.
Releasing Fall 2014.
Tim is being bullied. No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him. The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.
Eric is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.
Delsin is gay and ready to come out. Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.
Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to working either.
Finding Our Way
Justin Parker and Derrick Wilson have been best friends since meeting back in middle school. Currently they are in their junior year at Chandler High School, and living the good life as teenagers. They have great girlfriends, plenty of close friends, their own cars, and parents who are well off. As nice as things might look to an outsider, something is missing from each of their lives.
Justin has become the invisible son in the midst of his parents failing marriage. In an effort to get his parent’s attention, Justin keeps getting into trouble. So far he has been able to get away with anything without facing any repercussions, while Derrick is feeling distant and tired of what he feels is a too “perfect family”. He just wants to have a normal social life and spend time with his friends without the pressures from his family to spend time with them. With blurring the lines of friendship in the process to realizing what was missing and discovering who they really are.
Justin and Derrick take turns narrating the story of their junior year in high school and all of the events that take place in their lives. Being a teenager can be tough. Being gay can be tougher. For Derrick and Justin they are both, and life cannot get any more complicated.
What happens when two best friends cross the boundaries of friendship? Will they be able to be happy together? Will they keep their secret?
Justin and Derrick have a secret that they revealed only to their closest friends. They are gay and are now a couple. The story of Justin and Derrick continues as they learn more about being a gay couple in their senior year of high school and the complications that arise from it. Some friends will have their backs while others simply stand on the sidelines. Other friends will be accepting and others will ridicule them.
Sometimes love is almost not enough to save a relationship and both Derrick and Justin begin to have their doubts as they watch relationships around them rise and fall. Justin and Derrick both want to have new experiences, new choices and make new friends, which leads to them questioning their own relationship. They soon discover that some of the people they consider friends have their own secrets, some darker than others. The couple begins to see how people react towards homosexuality and just how people want to deal with it and them.
Will Justin and Derrick be able to hold onto each other while their lives and secrets spiral around them?
Or will they decide to step back and give up on themselves and each other?
What happens when the person you love is having doubts?
These two boyfriends have been through a lot. Best friends since childhood, fell in love in high school and thought they would be together forever. They stuck together even when their friends and family found out about their relationship. Struggling with challenge after challenge, they have finally made it to college and are living on their own. Living together is a whole new world and being open with their relationship is even more so.
Spending every day together as a couple they begin to learn about their differences. Things that never bothered them are now annoying traits driving a wedge between them. Can their relationship survive their differences? Can it handle new friends and new romances? Will they find their way together or will they drift apart?
WHERE TO PURCHASE
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jayson-james
Google+ & email: firstname.lastname@example.org