Friday, March 27, 2009


By Suzanne Welsh

As many of you know I'm the resident vampire of the Lair. Not so much because I drink blood, but because I work at night, which means I also prowl the Lair at all hours in the dark. So it seems rather appropriate that I invite my friend Jaye Wells to the Lair after hours to discuss her Urban Fantasy series.

Suz (offering Jaye a glass of Merlot):Welcome to the Lair, Jaye. Have a seat here near the fireplace. Please excuse the sleeping cabana boys and poor Sven the masseuse over there. They've had a hard day taking care of our Banditas and Bandit buddies. RED-HEADED STEPCHILD is your first book. We love "call stories" in the Bandit Lair. Care to tell us yours?

Jaye:(takes a long swig of wine and settles in) Thanks, Suz. Okay, I love telling this story. My husband left for Japan the week my book went on submission. At the time, we laughed about what would happen if I sold while he was gone. So funny, we thought. Little did we know.

Fast forward eight days. I'm sitting in a play area with my son. We were cutting snowflakes out of construction paper when my cell rang. Now, I'd convinced myself that if The Call was coming it would happen before noon. I don't recall why I thought this. So when my phone rang at like five on a Wednesday evening and I saw it was my agent, I was convinced he was calling with bad news. I figured he was letting me know we'd gotten the first rejection.

So I pick up and he says, "Are you sitting down?" I sighed, still thinking it was bad news, and went to sit on a stool that was literally a foot off the ground (kid's area, remember?). So I'm squatting there, waiting for the bad news, when my agent informs me that he's gotten an offer for a three book deal.

I leapt off the stool and screamed "OH MY GOD!" Then I promptly burst into tears. Remember: I'm in the middle of a play area surrounded by tired mothers and toddlers. I'm sure they thought I was insane.

After I'd calmed down a little and assured my son that I was crying because I was happy, my agent drops the next bomb. Since this was the first response we'd received, he needed to call the other editors. Then he said words I never thought I'd hear, "We'll probably go to auction."

Well, sure enough two days later, my poor tired husband gets off a plane from Japan. I literally walked in the door from picking him up and got on the phone. The next several hours flew by with me pacing around the house as I fielded phone calls from my agent. Toward the late afternoon, he called to tell me Orbit had preempted. So at 5:30, ten days after my book went on submission, I had myself a three-book deal. And my husband made it home just in time to drink champagne with me.

Suz: What a great story! I've read Paranormal Romances for years, what is the difference between and Urban Fantasy and a Paranormal Romance? Also, how is an Urban Fantasy different from Sci-fi or Epic Fantasies (ala Lord of The Rings)?

Jaye: To me, the main difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy to be one of focus. In paranormal romance the plot centers around a budding relationship and usually ends in a happily ever after. In urban fantasy, the central plot revolves around one character's goals--be that defeating the bad guy, saving the world or what have you. You often find romantic elements in urban fantasy but you're much less likely to get a happily ever. But all this flies out the window when books get into bookstores. A lot of books I'd consider UF are being shelved in romance right now.

As far as UF versus science fiction or epic fantasy, the biggest difference for me is world building. Science fiction and fantasy don't occur in "our" world. Generally the author creates a unique world--another country or planet or galaxy. But in UF, the world is more like an alternate reality where vampires, werewolves or what have you actually exist in our modern world.

It's difficult though because there are exceptions to both these answers. Urban fantasy is really such a blending of genres that there aren't a lot of hard and fast rules or formulas--just generalities.

Suz: What sparked your interest in Urban Fantasies?

Jaye: There's a swagger to Urban Fantasy, a bit of rebelliousness that appeals to me. I love the blending of genres and the challenge of world building and the sense that I'm going on a journey with the characters.

Suz (reaching for the wine bottle and topping off both glasses): I had the pleasure of reading a copy of RED-HEADED STEPCHILD. In it, your heroine, Sabina Kane, is an assassin for the Vampire race. That's not a typical career choice for heroines. How did you make her sympathetic to the readers and did you find that hard to do?

Jaye: That's a good question. Honestly, some readers won't find Sabina sympathetic. She's foul-mouthed, has anger issues and is really good at self-deception. She's also got no qualms about violence. With a character like that, the goal isn't sympathy--it's empathy. You aren't supposed to feel sorry for Sabina, but you do need to understand why she does what she does. And that is achieved by showing her motivations and how her situation affects the choices available to her.

Suz: You did some "other world" building in RED-HEADED STEPCHILD. Can you tell us about the world you created? Was it difficult coming up with unique characters for all the worlds?

Jaye: When I sat down to create Sabina's world, it was important for me to understand where the dark races came from. So I started at the very beginning--literally. The dark races--vampires, mages, etc.--all started with one important event. According to some Jewish traditions, Eve wasn't Adam's first wife. Instead, a female named Lilith was created from dust just like Adam. When she demanded Adam let her be on top during sex, she left him and went to go consort with demons at the Red Sea.

I basically took this folklore and reworked it so the affairs Lilith had after she left Adam resulted in the creation of the dark races. Everything else just kind of came together from that, including the changes I made to the vampire mythos. For example, there's a direct connection between the fact Lilith left the Garden of Eden before the fateful forbidden fruit incident, and the fact apples can rob vampires of their mortality.

Coming up with main characters was pretty easy. Some of it comes from instinct based on the needs of the story, and other times they just pop up while I'm working. Vinca, who is Sabina's nymph roommate in the book, is an example of a character who just appeared. She ended up being one of my favorite characters.

Suz: Without giving anything away, you have a romantic interest in the book for Sabina. Do you want to tell us about him and will he continue to play an important role in the other books?

Jaye: Adam is a mage who initially causes a lot of trouble for Sabina. But he ends up being an ally and mentor of sorts, who helps Sabina get in touch with her magical side. Yes, there's also some sexual tension, but their relationship is far from a romance at this point. He will continue to play an important role in the overall story, but whether he and Sabina will end up together? Well, I'll just say there's a lot of story left to tell and you never know what might happen.

Suz: Are you planning more stories for Sabina?

Jaye: Absolutely. Right now I'm contracted for three book in the series. The second book, MAGE IN BLACK, is scheduled for release in January 2010. Plus, short story prequel of sorts will appear in the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance, vol. 2 this winter.

Question for the readers: If you were a character in an Urban Fantasy novel, would you rather be a mage or a vampire?

Jaye is giving away an autographed copy of
RED-HEADED STEPCHILD to one lucky commentor.


Wendy said...


Virginia said...

Mine, Mine, Mine!

Virginia said...

Oh heck, I just missed him!

Wendy said...


So - Hi, Jaye! Hmm, interesting queston. I'd have to say a mage because I could totall curse people who piss me off (like that freaking Doctor..grr) without anyone being the wiser. Awesome!

Can't wait to read Red-Headed Stepchild! LOVE that cover.

Wendy said...

@Virgina, bwuahahha! ALL mine. *g*

jo robertson said...

Welcome to the Lair, Jaye. Your book sounds wonderful. I love urban fantasies, mainly because there's not a complicated world building that I have to figure out. I like the familiar of the real world with the addition of other beings that inhabit it with humans.

Loved your call story. How fun is that?

Before I can answer the question, I need to know more about what a "Mage" is. Can you elaborate?

I do like vampires, however, so I'd probably lean towards that.

Helen said...

Congrats Wendy just missed Virginia

Great interview Suz and Jaye I haven't as yet read a lot of paranormals and I have not read a vampire one at all yet. Over the last year of so the Romance Bandits have opened my eyes to so many different genres and I have really enjoyed the ones that I have read and loved the fact that you have explained to me the difference between UF and paranormal.

I have loved Nalini Singhs pys changeling series and the world she has built there so I would say that I will very much enjoy your series Jaye.

Love your call story and congrats on the series I will be adding Red-Headed Stepchild to my must get list.

Have Fun

Helen said...

I forgot the question but I need to know what a mage is then I will be able to answer I do love learning new things Thanks Everyone

Have Fun

Tawny said...

HI Jaye!! Welcome to the lair and thank you for visiting us :-) Your book sounds amazing. I love your call story and am definitely hitting the bookstore. Yours is a cover I won't forget :-)

For the question, I'm all about the mage. Magic is much more intriguing to me.

Wendy -way to snag that rooster!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Whoohoo Wendy! Congrats on catching the GR this morning!

Suzanne Welsh said...

One of the things we didn't discuss in the book is the title and how Jaye worked it into the book or the book into the title. (That's a little like the chicken and the egg conversation, isn't it?)

Anyways, Jaye I found it fascinating how you used hair color in your book. Want to elaborate on it with our readers?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Wendy, I think I'd like to be a Mage, too. Although given my nocturnal nature, I'd probably hang with the Vamps more than the Mages.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good morning, Jo! That was the best part of reading Red-headed Stepchild for me. I could relate to the places and people. Oh, and by the way it takes place on your coast!

Lisa said...

I would like to be a vampire. I have always had a thing for the vamps.

Gillian Layne said...

Great cover! I love escaping into urban fantasy. They are fantastic to unwind with after a long week.

I'm going with Mage, sounds like fun. ;)

Mage, according to World of Warcraft site: "Mages wield the elements of fire, frost, and the arcane to destroy or neutralize their enemies. They are a robed class that excels at dealing massive damage from afar, casting elemental bolts at a single target, or raining destruction down upon their enemies in a wide area of effect. Mages can also augment their allies' spell-casting powers, summon food or drink to restore their friends, and even travel across the world in an instant by opening arcane portals to distant lands."

Is this how you use the term, Jaye?

Jaye Wells said...

Well, hello! Thanks so much to Suz and the rest of the Bandits for welcoming me today. I'm excited to hang out, chat and answer your questions.

Wendy, yes the cursing thing would be fun. Although usually there's a some sort of karmic repercussions.

Hi Jo, great question. A mage is a part of a race born with the ability to do magic. They're more similar to wizards than witches in my books.

Hi Helen, one of the things I love about UF is that it blends so many genres that there's something for everyone. See above more mage definition.

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome to the Lair, Jaye!

I love your call story - how cool. And I can totally relate. With a hubby who used to travel all the time, good news always seemed to arrive when he was on a plane somewhere LOL. Hopefully, now that eh's retired that won't be a problem - though I hope the good news keeps a'coming!

Thanks for the info on what an urban fantasy is - I tend to prefer stuff in our world or, like JD Robb, in a close approximaton of our world, but with a dash of futuristic or whatever in it. I dont think I have the energy any more for the complex world-building of SciFi.

Thanks too for giving us the fascinating background to Sabina's world! How cool!

As to your question, I think I'd rather be a mage than a vampire. Magical is more of a draw to me than vampires. I'm all about the light woowoo *g*.

Barbara Monajem said...

I have to CHOOSE?

Sigh. A mage, I guess, because her abilities are more far-reaching.

But (sob, sniff) I've always wanted to be a vamp. My canines ache at the thought of what I'd miss.

How about a combo? What happens when a mage mates with a vamp? A vampage? (Sorry, but it's Friday.)

Love your title and cover, BTW.

Jaye Wells said...

Good morning, Suz. So the hair. OKay so in the biblical story of Cain, God marks him after he kills his brother Abel. There's been debate about what this mark was, but one of the theories is he was marked with red hair. Some Eastern European folklore said vampires also had red hair. So I combined those ideas and said vampires, who are descendants of Cain, all have red hair. The older the vamp, the darker the shade. Sabina, since she's half-mage and half-vamp, has red-and-black-streaked hair, which instantly identifies her as a mixed blood.

Jaye Wells said...

Hi Lisa, I've always had a soft spot for vamps too.

Gillian, that definition is close, but it's specific to the WOW world and the rules they set up for mages. Instead of being a "class" my mages are a race created by the goddess Hekate. They use magic, but each has a different specialty. The mage world building is developed more in the second book, Mage in Black, which comes out in January 2010.

Jaye Wells said...

Anna, I like the fact UFs are in our world with a twist, too. It's almost like alternate reality, isn't it?

Barbara, Sabina is half-mage, half-vamp. IF you're cool being an outcast then we'll allow you to be a mixed blood too. ;)

Louisa Cornell said...

Hello, Jaye! Awesome book cover and another new Urban Fantasy for me to look forward to! I write Regency Historical, but I read across genre lines and I really enjoy Urban Fantasies, i.e. Kim Harrison's books and several others.

I love the folklore angle on your books. Great twist! And a very unique occupation for your heroine.

How hard is it to walk the line between a character who evokes empathy and a character who crosses the line into "what an unlikable "*itch?" I've seen it done well and I've seen it done NOT so well in many different genres. When the hero and heroine end up together and I am screaming at him "NO! You can do better than her!" I feel as if I have wasted time and energy in reading the book. How do you walk that line?

Hmm. A mage or a vampire. That's a tough one. How about a mage/vampire? I would love to be immortal AND have the magical talent to turn people who act like toads INTO toads!

And WENDY !! You got him! And just in the knick of time. Virginia was hot on your trail or maybe that was the GR's tail!

Di R said...


This book sounds amazing, it is now on my TBB list.

I think I would choose mage.


Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning, Jaye!!

See, I thought that was the coolest thing. But I have to confess...about halfway through RED-HEADED STEPCHILD I had a "duh" moment when the hair and the sort of double meaning of the title clicked with me.

(Hey, I blame it on working nights!)

Jaye Wells said...

Lousie, I'm a total Kim Harrison fan girl. You ask a good question about empathetic versus unlikeable. It's a toughie for sure. For RHA, I focused on balancing Sabina's external actions with showing her internal experience. So, for example, we see her kill someone, but we also get to see inside and know she's torn about what she's doing and understand why she's doing it. Of course, in the end, a characters' likability is in the eye of the reader.

Jaye Wells said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaye Wells said...

Whoops, sorry Louisa, I misspelled your name. Sorry about that.

Jaye Wells said...

Di R, hope you like it. Mage life would be fun. Red-Headed Stepchild just scratches the surface of the mage race, but the second book, Mage in Black, has lots of magic.

Suz, ha! I was so relieved when Orbit liked the title. To me, any other title would have felt wrong.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, Jaye...not only do you have Vampires and Mages in your book, you have a few other races showcased in it too.

Care to fill us in on who or what those might be?

Joan said...

Great interview. I think I would like to be a mage even though I like vampires.Can't wait to read your books.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning, Helen!

I loved interviewing Jaye. Besides being a good friend, her writing was smart and snappy. Also it gave me a chance to read a genre I'm not familiar with. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, MAGE IN BLACK!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning, Tawny!

I love the cover, too! It gives it that hip, contemporary feel, with a bit of a dark side. Really showcases the story inside.

Jaye Wells said...

Okay, so Suz asked about the other races. Demons don't live on our world, but instead reside in a realm called Irkalla. It's kind of the dark race version of Hell or Hades. Demons can be summoned by mages and control them while they're here. The important demon in RHS is GIguhl. He's a fifth level mischief demon, and he wreaks plenty of havoc for Sabina.

Faeries are also a part of Sabina's world. They're not tiny, like Tinkerbell; most are the size of petite humans. There's nymphs and other types that have their own specific characteristics (although we'll learn more about them as the series progresses). The main nymph in this book is Vinca. She's Sabina's roommate, and she used to work in faery porn. ;)

Suzanne Welsh said...

hehehe, Faery Porn! Cracks me up everytime I read that!

Okay, y'all take good care of my friend, Jaye. I just finished my three nights in a row and I hear my bed calling me for a few hours!!

Have fun, Jaye! And watch out for any loose roosters!!

Jaye Wells said...

Hi Joan, thanks!

Suz, Mage in Black comes out in January, but like I said the Mammoth Book of Vampires will feature a prequel for RHS, which also sets up backstory for Mage in Black. It's planned for September, so it should tide over fans who get impatient waiting for January.

Jaye Wells said...

Sleep well, Suz! Thanks for inviting me.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Jayne! And thanks, Suz, for bringing Jayne by. I have such incredible respect for you world builders. Every time I try to create an alternate reality, I get all bogged down in my own rules & end up giving it up for something character-driven instead.

Not that sci-fi/UF isn't character driven. Just that I take the easy route & use the 'normal' world & try to make my characters big enough that the readers won't care I'm short-shrifting them. :-)

Tell me, though, for you what came first? Was it the character who needed a story? Was it the story who needed a character? Was it the world that needed both? How did this whole idea come to you?

And I love your call story. A first book that spawns a three book deal at auction? That's a fairy tale right there. :-) Congrats again. Can't wait to get my hands on RHS!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Jaye. Red-Headed Stepchild sounds great. If I were a character in an Urban Fantasy novel, I think I would prefer to be a mage.

Jaye Wells said...

Hi Susan, the character came first. Sabina was very clear to me from the get-go. The world came second and then the story.

This was my first attempt at world building, and I really enjoyed it. I always thought world building required knowledge of cartography and linguistics and other things that seemed intimidating. But I just started researching the elements I knew I wanted to include and it grew fairly organically from there.

Thanks, Crystal. Hope you enjoy it.

Rylie said...

Thanks for the interview -- I'm looking forward to reading this book. If I were a character in a UF novel, I'd prefer to be a mage as well.

MsHellion said...

LOVE the title! And the cover is awesome...Score! :)

A mage or a vampire?

The mage. Definitely the mage. I'm sorry, but after reading the scene in boook 4 of the Twilight series, I gagged and decided I would never have any desire to be a vampire. I am a night owl and typically shun the sunlight, but to never be able to be out in it really? (Well, except in Edward's world.) That'd be too hard.

But to be a mage--since pretty sure I'd have some major magic skills going on AND still get to be in sunlight--that'd be cool!

Congrats on your debut! Your book sounds great. I'm going to have to look it up! (Urban fantasy rules!)

Pissenlit said...

Great interview!

If I were a character in an urban fantasy novel, I'd prefer to be a mage. Vampires? No fun with the blood-drinking and the lack of sunlight and the undead problem. And in Sabina's world, I'd be so sad...I'd have to do without apple pie, apple strudel, apple danishes, apple juice, apple crumble...

Sin said...

I would definitely be a vampire.

Ms. Jaye I must find this book immediately! This sounds like my type of book. I love folklore weaved into an alternate universe we live in now. And a heroine who has an attitude and isn't afraid of a little violence is my type of heroine!

I'm scribbling myself a note because I don't want to forget! Must find this book ASAP.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Jaye, welcome to the lair. Great interview Suz.

I loved the call story! I haven't read much urban fantasy but your books sound great.

As for me, I think I'd have to pick mage.

Jaye Wells said...

Thanks, Rylie.

MsHellion and Pissenlit, yeah, I'd probably have trouble with the blood issue as well. But maybe it'd be different if I HAD to drink it to survive.

Sin, definitely sounds up your alley then. It's already in a few stores (A few Borders sightings so far), but should definitely be in most store by Wednesday latest.

Christie, thanks. As many times as I'd imagined the call, nothing compared to the actual event. It still makes me laugh.

Margie Lawson said...

Jaye -

I loved RED-HEADED STEPCHILD! You hooked me with line one, then WOW'd me with your use of anaphora in the first paragraph. Excellent!

You and Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner--all use anaphora in your openings. So smart. ;-)

Happy Birthday to you in eight days. You're guaranteed to have an exciting birthday, with your book signing, presenting workshops, and celebrating with your DARA friends at Dreamin' in Dallas!

Cassondra said...

Hi Jaye!

Welcome to the lair.

Your books sounds great! I've recently become hooked on a couple of series with overarching plot lines/relationships that don't resolve at the end of each book, and to my amazement, I'm okay with it. The characters are powerfully-drawn enough that it's not bothering me.

And I have no trouble empathising with a character like yours. I love the title, and I particularly like that you've gone all the way to the "beginnning of things" to create your mythology. I think that adds a level of power to the work that can't be gotten any other way.

And CONGRATULATIONS on the great sale story. An auction. That had to be nerve wracking!

I haven't read through all the comments, but I'll look back, so this may already have been answered: This is probably premature, but I guess I think a muse as creative as yours must be a very busy muse, so can you see beyond this series already, to know what you'd like to do next?

Cassondra said...

Wendy, congrats on the GR! What are you two doing today?

Cassondra said...

Oh, and I'd be a mage. No question. Or a mixed blood. Outcast doesn't bother me too much. I'd hate it, but ya know...ya are what ya are.....

Treethyme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Treethyme said...

I love your Call story, love the world-building explanations, too. I just read Nalini Singh's Angel's Blood, about a woman who is a vampire hunter. I'm sure your heroine is going to be another one that I like!

I actually picked up your book a couple days ago. While I didn't buy it for the cover, I sort of bought it for the title. I LOVED it, and, since there are a lot of redheads in my family (brother, sister, son, and even me in the olden days) I felt as if I owed it to redheads everywhere to buy it!

It's in my TBR pile right now, but I'm looking forward to reading it soon!

By the way, congrats to Wendy on capturing the GR!

Virginia said...

Great interview, I think I would want to be a mage! I would love to know magic and I am intrigued by it. So I would want to be a mage!

donnas said...

Great interview. Thanks!! Red-Headed Stepchild sounds like a great book. I cant wait to get the chance to read it.

While I love vampires, if I had the choice I think I would rather be a mage.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Jaye Wells said...

Hi Margie! You know you're one of my favorite people. Ya'll, Margie teaches amazing writing workshops. I learned everything I know about rhetorical devices and emotional writing from this lady.

Cassondra, yes, my muse is quite active. I have several stories marinating in my brain box right now. My head is an interesting place to hang out some days.

Kay Thomas said...

Congratulations, Jaye! What a great interview.
The backstory for Lillith and your world-building process is so fascinating to me. I can't wait to get my hands on this book! Will you be doing many signings next month?

Nancy said...

Suz and Jaye, great interview. Jaye, I can hardly wait to read RED-HEADED STEPCHILD!


Tracy Garrett said...

Hi Jaye!

Congrats on Red-Headed Stepchild. I can't wait to read this book. Do you have a signing coming up for the book?

As to your question: Vamp! I can't stand robes. :D

Tracy G.

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Jaye! Red-Headed Stepchild sounds fantastic! I'm definitely going to pick up a copy as I'm working on a YA with a...well...a less than sweet protagonist. I can't wait to see how you made Sabina empathetic. I'm finding all sorts of fun and sneaky ways to show my protag has a good heart - even if she doesn't realize it sometimes :-)

Was there ever a time as you wrote where you had a hard time liking/empathizing with Sabina yourself?

And I'd be a Mage ;-)

Helen said...

I would be a mage I think and yes I too love the title of the book I have a daughter who is a redhead and 2 grandsons so I will be looking forward to picking this book up.

Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Wendy, congratulations! Virginia, missed it by THAT MUCH!!! Wendy, is this your first visit from the GR?

Jaye, congratulations on such a stellar start to your publication career! And I loved your call story. Laughed at all the other mothers thinking you'd lost it! The books sound wonderful, especially Adam the Mage. Thanks for coming to the lair today and Suz, thanks for a great interview.

Oh, and where's my merlot?

Lara Lee said...

What a wonderful call story! Congratulations! Red-Headed Stepchild sounds like a great read.

I've always loved paranormal romance, but in the past year have just started delving into Urban Fantasy and have found I love that too. I also like following a heroine through a series and watching her growth, so your books really appeal. I'm impressed with your world building too. I haven't heard that premise before, it's fun and original.

I'm looking forward to reading the book, I'll be sure to keep my eye out for it! Has it been released? Forgive me if you've already answered that question.

In a UF, I'd want to be a mage - love the idea of making magic! :D

Wonderful interview!

Treethyme said...

Forgot to pick: I'd go with Mage.

I just noticed Jaye is going to be visiting with Paul Goat Allen and his enthusiastic crew on the Paranormal book club board at Barnes and Noble ( That ought to be a wild ride!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Gillian!

I hadn't ever heard of a Mage, until my son started playing WOW. Between him and his friends, I've learned more than I thought I wanted. hehehe

Suzanne Welsh said...

Barbara said: What happens when a mage mates with a vamp?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh what an interesting question...(winking at Jaye). You'll definitely need to read RED-HEADED STEPCHILD. As that is how Sabina came to be!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Louisa! Congrats on the GH final, by the way!!

You always ask such good questions on here. I think you'll love how Jaye handles Sabina's character. I really can't wait to read the next one to find out more of the saga!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Anna S!! How are things "across the pond"?

***Can y'all tell I'm awake now?***

Jaye's ability to give us some cool world building in her UF amazed me. I don't know about you, but I find it hard enough just to stick to this reality!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Di R, Joan and Rylie...glad to have you visit us here in the Lair!

Jaye Wells said...

Hi, Kay! I have two signings planned so far and a couple more in the works. People can check out my web site for more info.

Nancy and Tracy, thanks ladies! I'm constantly humbled by all the support I've received by the great ladies of DARA (even the remote members).

Beth, that's an excellent question. I don't think I had a hard time empathizing so much as a hard time remembering my choices and hers aren't the same. Sometimes I have to just myself and ask, "Wait, is that how I would handle this or Sabina?" There was one example in the book where Sabina is faced with a huge, devastating secret. Originally, I wrote the scene that she ran away, needing time to think by herself. But my beta reader called me on it and said, "That was you running. Sabina would punch first and ask questions later." He was so write. The scene is so much better now.

Jaye Wells said...

Helen, I have heard from so many red-headed and relatives of red-heads who are amused by the title. Did you know there's also a song called "Red-Headed Stepchild"? It's by a band named Golden Smog. I love it and used to listen to it over and over in college. Check it out.

Anna, thanks so much! You know you just reminded me that I forgot to mention in the interview that there's a wine component to the plot of the book. Specifically, a vampire-owned vineyard that's home to some suspicious activity.

Jaye Wells said...

Lara Lee, I love being able to follow a character over a long arc. That's what I prefer to read so I guess it's not a surprise it's what I chose to write.

Treethyme, yes! I was so flattered Paul chose my debut for the book club. I'm excited to answer their questions. It's a really savvy group of readers.

Suz, welcome back!

Nancy said...

Jaye, welcome to the lair! Suz, thanks for hosting her.

Jaye, I love your call story. It's funny how we assume things and operate on the assumptions, isn't it?

I enjoy urban fantasy, and I don't expect to have a problem with Sabina. She sounds very relatable (if that 's a word), and many of us love "boom" (explosions) here in the lair. I also think anyone who walks among the ghastly and ghouly had better not have qualms about violence if she wants to survive. She sounds perfectly fine to me.

Now I have another book to look forward to.

I don't have to stop and think which to choose. I'd be a mage in the blink of an eye. Way cool.

Nancy said...

Wendy, congratulations! Virginia, better luck next time.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Jaye! Welcome to the lair. Loved your call story. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I'm getting into the urban fantasy a bit more and I'm intrigued by your book. Plus I love the gutsy looking gal on your cover. The title leads you to think of someone quite different!

I would hate to be a vampire. I think the mage thing sounds a lot cooler! Looks like I'll have to read your book to see which is better. Vampires are different in each author's world, aren't they?

Ha, I'm laughing at the tussle for the GH. Go Wendy!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Anna Campbell! Aren't you up late or is it early down there in Oz?

I'll always share a glass of Merlot in the middle of the night in the dark den of the Lair with you or anyone else!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jaye, I have to tell you Mages remind me of the character Gambit from X-men comics. My daughter Lyndsey LOVES that character and his love, Rogue. (That's how I know anything about X-men is from her.) Even though he isn't a mage, he reminds me of them and they of him, because he is very mysterious, as well as sexy!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Kay, Nancy and Tracy!! Wow former guests on the blog, fans of it and such good DARA freinds! Trust me when I say you'll love Jaye's book!

Thanks for stopping by, guys!

(How many exclamation marks in blogging is too many?)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Nancy!

If there was one Bandit who would love Urban Fantasy, I knew it had to be you, with Trish a close second!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Christine!

You're up late or early, aren't you?

I agree, each author does write their vampires and vampire worlds differently. Jaye's has a really unique twist that will keep her readers clamoring for more!

Jaye Wells said...

Nancy, yes, there's a lot of magical thinking when it comes to submissions. It's silly but with so much out f our hands in this business I guess it's a better coping mechanism than hitting the bottle.

Hi Christine, yes I think that's one of the fun things about paranormal stories--seeing how each author tweaks the mythos.

Suz, interesting connection between Gambit and RHS. In X-Men Origins, the first X-Men film featuring Gambit, Ryan Reynolds will play Deadpool. And Ryan Reynolds is the inspiration for Adam Lazarus, the mage in RHS.

Pat Cochran said...

I love your title! Red hair runs in
our family, I love "red heads,"
especially my 6 y/o red-haired
grandson, Mason!

Your book sounds very interesting!

Pat Cochran

Caffey said...

Gosh, this sounds fab! Thats a perfect cover for it too!

This was hard to choose! I think with there being so many different magics for the Mage, I'd like to choose that!

Anna Campbell said...

Miss Suz, we're currently 14 hours ahead of you. So it's 2pm in the afternoon of Saturday for me and midnight, Friday, for you. And I WANT MY MERLOT!!! The closest I come to fantasy writing is Merlot the Magician!

Suzanne Welsh said...

X-Men Origins...

Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds....can movie watching get any better?

I've been waiting for this to come out!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jaye...thanks for joining us today in the Lair. You've been a fantastic guest.

Now, I have to creep down into the Lair's hidden wine cellar and fetch some more merlot for Madame Campbell, before she sics the gladiators or cabana boys on me....oh wait....uhhhhhhh How badly do you want that wine, Anna?

Lori T said...

Hi Jaye~

I would probably be a vampire as I have always loved them. Although, a mage does have some interesting perks.

I am very much looking forward to the release of Red-Headed Stepchild! I have been anticipating it for what seems like forever.

Have a great weekend.

Anna Campbell said...

Suz, it's not just me, it's the cabana boys. And you know how cranky they get when they miss out on their merlot. Be a big girl and get down to that cellar. Perhaps Jaye will lend you a mage for protection!

Treethyme said...

It's 1:15 in the morning and I STILL can't get the GR. I'm getting a complex about this.

Wendy said...

Guys sorry I couldn't reply sooner, I kinda slept all day! (after working a 12-hour shift over night)

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: If you were a character in an Urban Fantasy novel, would you rather be a mage or a vampire?

I'm probably too late thanks to a persnickety pc. --But mage, absolutely.

Jaye, congrats woman! What a great call story!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I hate shaving, and vampires are too clean-cut and neat. I'd rather be a mage.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Huh? A mage isn't a werewolf? Heck, magic messes everything up. I'll go for that.

Spencer said...

I would choose to be a mage because they can do more than a vampire can. Also depending on the story/author/legend using magic makes you live much longer than any human, as long or longer than most vampires (because of the power running through you?). And it would possibly be possible that a mage could make their own realm/world inside a portal or temporal hole allowing them to be immortal and study forever. On the other hand... if I wasn't immortal and mages couldn't become vampires I would choose to be a vampire. Karen Chance's vampires, as well as many others, slowly gain power over time until they have powers that are nearly as magical as mages; although they are generally more elemental or internal than mages. Furthermore, it would probably be fun to drink blood, make very long term investments, create a nest/coven/gang/stable of vampires who would do my bidding as they are my minions until I release them. I don't mean this as in have a harem of vampires/succubi by the way, fun though that may be. I would let them go if they were desperate enough, I liked them enough, or it would get me more money/power/influence/minions all of which are synonymous to me (did I spell synonymous right?). And if vampires can learn magic, mages can become vamps with their magic still attached, or I could become a half-blood mage/vamp I would like that best. Of course, if the choice was extended to being an elf magister, or an etheral arcanist/other word for magic user, I would rather be those than mage or vampire since then I wouldnt be reliant on blood, but would still have magic and immortality. Would it not be awesomeness to be a vampiric elf magister who can create worlds enterable by portals? I would grow a tree with my native elf magic and put a world on every branch and name it Yggdrasil then become the sun/night god of a bunch of ruffian raiders and turn the almost dead into minions with my blood-thirsty sex slaves... wait that's been done before huh? ^^ Feel free to respond by imagining new ideas and/or rambling on about what u would do as an elven vampire. I will spam you if you spam me.