this is the guy to beat), and once played drums in a little grunge outfit in the nineties. Also, our research may or may not be wildly inaccurate. You're a busy man. Was writing always the goal?
Jay: First up, oh my god, what is up with that dude’s beard….
I wish I could say “I wrote my first novel when I was 13 and I’ve always dreamed of being an author” because that’s what lots of authors seem to say. But to be honest, I always dreamed of being a rock star, or maybe the corrupt dictator of a small island nation, and when I was 13 I was too busy fantasizing about Dr Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: the Next Generation to write down much of anything….
As I got older, I wrote as a hobby, but never took it seriously. The last thing you want to do after writing TV scripts all day is come home and write more. My first book (trunked) began as a scene I scribbled down when I was bored at work, and somehow over the next 18 months, it became a book. A screaming train-wreck of a book, granted, but still a book. I discovered that I really liked the process of novelling (it is TOTALLY a word) and the feeling of purpose it gave me, so I decided to get serious, learn how publishing actually worked and see where it took me.
Five years later, here we are :P
Stormdancer has received glowing praise from the likes of Patrick Rothfuss, Beth Revis and Scott Westerfeld--kind of HUGE. Has it really sunk in? Do you still have that fanboy moment when you hear from a favorite author?
Jay: TOTALLY. I’m still blown away that writers of that calibre not only didn’t die of a brain haemorrhage after they read it, but actually liked it. You figure there’s just no way someone that famous is going to have the time to spare to read. But the great thing is, if the stars somehow align and you manage to get in touch with writers like that, you find out they’re totally awesome people who just love books. Everyone in this industry has had someone help them out along the way, and most folks are happy to share the love they were once shown if the right book comes along.
It’s a great feeling. Every famous author I’ve dealt with has been frackin’ awesome tbh.
What's been your funnest (it's a word, I swear) moment writing so far?
Jay: Surprising myself. There’s one twist near the end of Stormdancer that even I didn’t see coming. I’d kind of written myself into a bind, and was just typing away on this scene without any idea how it was going to end, and this voice in my head said “Wouldn’t it be cool if...”
And that twist is probably my favorite part of the whole book now.
When it happens, it’s frackin’ magical.
And the dullest?
Jay: Copy proofing. I hate copy proofing with the fury of a thousand burning suns. It’s like being slowly bludgeoned to death with a bag of dicks.
Last one! You say you don't believe in happy endings... what about in real life? With book one coming out and two more on the way, are you living the dream?
Jay: It’s fantastic, don’t get me wrong. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. But I’m a pessimist by nature. I’m fully expecting the Eurozone crisis to peak and the world descend into financial chaos about three days before my book actually hits shelves. Either that or aliens will abduct me and replace me with a lizard wearing my skin...
...god I watch too much crappy TV...
Find Jay on: Goodreads | Website / Blog | Twitter | Facebook