Jami Gray is here! Jami Gray is here! Wait...did I mention Jami Gray was here? I am so stoked to have this amazing author visiting my neck of the woods!
Oh my God, there she is, at the door!
*swings open door*
Jami! How are you? Thank you so much for joining us today! Here, have some cookies *passes plate* and perhaps a nice, hot beverage? *passes cup of coffee* I hope you’re doing well. It’s so awesome that you’ve stopped by. So let’s get right to it, shall we? Tell us….
Please give us a synopsis about Shadow’s Edge.
Hey, Melissa, thanks for letting me come over and visit. I managed to escape the testosterone for a little bit of me time. *sitting back and getting comfortable, sipping coffee* Well, SHADOW’S EDGE is the first in my Kyn Kronicles series, and is free for a limited time. In it you get to meet Raine. She comes across as a hardened warrior who’s courted death intimately. Yet her thick veneer of lethality hides the scars of a survivor. She’s part of the Kyn, the combined races of all those creatures humans scare each other with over campfires—witches, wizards, Fey, shifters, and demons. Yet, even as one of them, she stands apart—always. While she’d do whatever it takes to protect her people, she doesn’t really believe anyone would do the same for her. Due to traumas she suffered as a young teen, she has a difficult time accepting herself. Which in turn, makes her feel unworthy of anyone’s acceptance. At her core, Raine is no different than any of us—we want to be loved and accepted, even as we love and accept those around us. Hard to do when you’re struggling to love yourself.
When did you first decide to sit down and write?
I hit on writing after being adopted at the age of fourteen. My state mandated therapist suggested I keep a journal. Funny thing, it got boring, so instead I started creating stories and characters that were much more interesting than reality at the time. I started writing fiction in earnest as a freshman in high school. Back in the dark ages, typing on an actual typewriter was a required class. My parents had invested in an electric typewriter so the six of us in high school could practice our typing skills. Needless to say, I would hover over siblings until they finished then I would commandeer the typewriter for my own nefarious purposes. By the time I began to pack for college at eighteen, I had almost 200 pages of YA fantasy novel done. And no, it will never, ever, see the light of day again. After that, writing was something I had to do.
Do you have any inspirations?
I’ve always been a voracious reader. I started young, so some of my very first were Terry Brooks, Lloyd Alexander, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey. When I realized that the stories I was creating fell into the Urban Fantasy genre, that’s when I started paying attention to who I was reading. Laurell Hamilton was the first one I read that switched my creative light bulb to ultra violet settings. After that, I found Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Ilona Andrews, and Elizabeth Hand. Now, my shelves and Kindle are overflowing with fantastic talents.
Do you like to write with noise? No noise?
Most of the time I’ll write with music playing. Depending on the story/scene it may or may not have vocals. When it’s a really tricky scene, I’ll go to a white noise recording I found (18+ hours of that sucker).
Are you a paper-and-pen type of gal or strictly on the computer?
Majority of the time, I’m clicking away at the keyboard of my Mac in Scrivener, but when I’m struggling with world crafting or a particular scene, I’ll go back to pen and paper. Sometimes the change in medium finally trips whatever hang-up I was encountering.
Do you need an outline to write your stories or do you wing it?
I can generally pass myself off as a “pantser”, writing by the seat of my pants with a bit of outliner thrown in. I know…I’m a type-A personality so you would expect detailed outlines, character sheets and PowerPoint graphs, but nope, I start with an overall idea, some appealing characters and an intriguing problem and let it go. So long as I have the big sign posts (big bad guy hits here, heroine reacts here, dead bodies here), I can let my characters go and follow along for the ride. It’s a frightening way to write, but I’ve found it works best for me. The more I outlined a plot, the farther away from it I tend to get.
What’s your favorite snack to munch on while you let the creative juices flow?
It varies; currently we are on either a pretzel crackers with red bell pepper hummus or celery and peanut butter.
Do you have one of those nagging little voices in the back of your head, telling you that you can’t do it? If so, how do you shut it up?
All the frickin’ time. Every time I sit down to a new book. Every time I hit the mid-point of a book. Every time I finish a book. Writing is not easy, it takes a toll on a writer—emotionally and physically. I find if I give myself a challenge with each new project, I can forge my way through. For example, SHADOW’S MOON was my response to my writing group’s challenge to “write a romance”, while SHADOW’S CURSE was my answer to a personal challenge to take an unlikable character, and make her relatable to my readers. Even my Paranormal Romance series, PSY-IV Teams, was to write in first person POV. The challenge I set for myself for my current project—write a series without magic. *catching Melissa's wince, and nodding* Yeah, I know, I’m not sure if I’ll make it out of that one in one piece.
Does your story come from personal experience or have you had to do some major research?
A combination of both. Some things I can pull from my own repertoire, but I’m a research fiend, which makes being a writer fun. I could go on and on until you all walk away and leave me talking to myself. I enjoy taking what I learn in my research and ask, “what if?”. When I first sat down to write the Kyn Kronicles, my research focused on mythology, namely European mythology. Fascinating cast of characters over yonder. You think our modern day soap operas get convoluted? Try following family lines of the Greek, Romans, or Irish. Not to mention the Nordic folks who make genealogy a hot mess. Yet it’s a great place to start when you’re building a modern day world filled with the fantastical. Creating believable worlds for readers requires me to understand where our stories come from and why. For SHADOW’S MOON, the third book in my series, which focuses on the wolf shifters of the Northwest, I dug into the psychological reasons behind the stories of werewolves. I found how historical man tried to explain away more “primal” instincts by giving his more frightening desires a physical presence—a slathering, maddened predator who hunts by the light of the moon. I took this little gem and added it to my character motivation for my hero, Warrick Vidis, who just happens to be the top dog of the Northwest. When you’re able to meld the whys into a what if, you can create a character with depths to ponder. In Warrick’s case, as the Alpha, having a mate equaled giving your enemies an opening to take you down, so on a primal level, the equation became: Mate=Weakness, Weakness=Dead.
What kind of books do you like to read? E-books or the real thing?
I have a HUGE library, both in print and electronic format. Most of my most loved series I have in print, but since the males in my family started complaining about how much space my bookcases take up, I’ve started hoarding on my Kindle.
What’s the one thing you can’t write without?
The Synonym Finder by J.L. Rodale, it’s a great prompt when you’re stuck searching for the right words to paint the picture you want to get across.
Jami's SHADOW'S EDGE, the first in her award-winning Kyn Kronicles, is FREE for a limited time. Pick up your copy today to avoid the summer heat and play in the shadows...
Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters… When the supernatural lurks in the shadows of the mundane, hunting monsters requires unique skills, like those of Raine McCord. A series of deaths threatens to reveal the Kyn community and forces her to partner with the sexy Gavin Durand. As the trail leads to the foundation haunting Raine’s childhood, she and Gavin must unravel lies and betrayals to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.
You can find Jami and her books at the following: Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads Google+
Amazon Author Page Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.