Today, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring author Deboray Jay on this edition of A Perfect 10. Deborah is a respected blogger and author and I’m glad she stopped by to tell us more about herself.
Please enjoy this special installment of A Perfect 10
If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:
A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen, Darlene Foster, Robert Rayner, C.C. Naughton, Sherry Rentshler, Linda Bradley, Luna St. Clair, Joan Hall, Staci Troilo, Allan Hudson, Robert Eggleton, Paul Scott Bates, P.C. Zick, Joy Lennick, Patrick Roland, Mary Carlomagno, Kathleen Jowitt, Michele Jones, J. Bliss, Maline Carroll, Alethea Kehas, Angelique Conger, Colin Guest, Rebekkah Ford, Andrew Joyce, Win Charles, Ritu Bhathal
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Interesting question! Energizing, definitely. I get a huge buzz out of creating story, characters and interactions, and I love it when I read it back after I’ve finished for the day, and think, ‘Wow – did I really write that? Awesome!” Not because I think my writing is so fabulous, you understand, but because my characters take over and often produce nuances I wasn’t expecting.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
Deborah Jay is my pseudonym. I have a lot of non-fiction – years’ worth of magazine articles, two books and a lot of features on websites – published under my real name, Debby Lush, on the subject of horse training (my main profession), and I didn’t want to confuse my readers, so I decided to write my fiction under a pen name.
Also, although the connotations of my surname are pleasant in the UK, who wants to be known as a ‘lush’ in the US???
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
I think that can work both ways. You need confidence in yourself as an author – every time you publish any work you are putting your head above the parapet and inviting criticism, which some readers/reviewers are only too happy to provide. An ego that is strong enough not to be dented by such can be an asset.
On the other hand, an ego that is so big it leaves no room for taking on board genuinely helpful critiques would be a bad thing, as that writer would have no capacity for improvement.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Paying for professionally designed book covers. I’ve been to writing conferences, bought software, paid for online courses, but of everything I think my covers are my best investment – they are my shop window and without them no one is going to take a look at what I’ve written.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
Steady, ongoing sales, along with good reviews. Yes, I’ve achieved both of those. I’d like to increase my sales per month, but I realize I really need more books out before that’s likely to happen, and before I feel it will be sensible to invest in some serious marketing.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
I don’t, really. The sort of books I write (epic fantasy and urban fantasy) rely more on imagination than research. I sometimes find myself needing to do a little – I’m researching ways of preserving a dead body for long distance transport right now – but as I don’t plan my books in any great detail before I start, just draw up a rough outline, that sort of thing crops up as I go along. Google is a wonder, and Wikipedia is often a great help.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
For my fantasy worlds I make up my characters’ names from scratch. As an avid reader of fantasy and SF I know how irritating it is to be faced with characters with unpronounceable names, so I try to keep them so they roll off the tongue pleasantly. Many of mine have a Russian flavor, though that wasn’t originally deliberate.
I made some mistakes when I started, having too many names beginning with the same letters. Now I make a point of going through the alphabet and trying not to repeat that error, though as I’m writing a series, I’m stuck with those early mistakes!
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
A static conversation. I try to find ways to introduce action of any sort, even if it’s just wandering around the room touching objects. Give me an action scene any day!
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
Neil Gaiman, – such a fascinating man and an amazing speaker. I would like to quiz him on what he plans to write next – he is such a ground breaker and trend setter in the SFF world.
Peter Jackson – I want to know how he goes about conceiving such mind-blowing visuals for his films.
Queen Victoria – What was it like to be a woman, ruling in a time when only men had any power. And what was it like, overseeing the incredibly rapid development of technology that built such an enduring legacy.
Queen Cleopatra – for similar reasons, and to find out how the Egyptians integrated their vast pantheon of gods into their everyday lives.
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
Facebook. Because I already had a large following from my day job, I had a ready-to-go fanbase that I didn’t expect. Who knew how many horse riders were also fantasy fans? Of course, I do write horses into some of my books…
It seems to have just spiraled out from there, and although I am also active on Twitter, Goodreads and, of course, my own blog, somehow Facebook seems to be my best platform.
The Five Kingdoms series:
THE PRINCE’S MAN
Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, has been described as ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’ – a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.
With their kingdom under threat, vain spy Rustam Chalice is dismayed to be partnered with a beautiful assassin who despises him. Plunged into a desperate journey to seek aid, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.
THE PRINCE’S SON
Think ‘Lord of the Rings’ with a ‘Game of Thrones’ edge.
Compared to his last escapade, Rustam Chalice’s commission sounds simple: wrangle an unwieldy bridal caravan across a mountain range populated by bandits, trolls, werecats and worse, try to cajole a traumatized princess out of her self-imposed isolation, and arrive on time for the politically sensitive wedding.
What could possibly go wrong?
Also available, an exclusive short story from this series, THE SPY AND THE LADY, available FREE only by signing up to my newsletter.
Connect with Deborah:
Amazon author page: http://viewAuthor.at/DeborahJay