Sep 5, 2009

Interview with Jocelynn Drake

As promised I started talking/emailing some authors, well started with one so far, and Jocelynn was kind enough to answer some questions I came up with about her writing. This interview was done via email on September 5 2009.

Where did you get your idea for your books?

My ideas come from many hours of daydreaming. Nightwalker was started as a short story, which was nothing more than an experiment in writing. I had been playing around with point of view and a couple characters that had been running around in my brain. I had never intended it to become as big as it has become. But the new characters kept coming to me with their interesting personalities and personal agendas. A good friend read the short story and demanded more, so I kept writing and writing and writing. Now I’m five books deep in the series with the hopes of several more waiting in the wings.

What can you tell me about Dawnbreaker?

Dawnbreaker takes place a couple months after the conclusion of Dayhunter in Savannah where Mira is being hunted by the naturi. They are desperate to capture and destroy the vampire, as she and Danaus are the only ones that could potentially stop the naturi from freeing Aurora, Queen of the naturi, and the rest of the naturi people. While fighting the naturi, Mira is lucky enough to take a hostage that could help her turn the tables on the naturi when she and Danaus finally go to the final showdown at Machu Picchu, Peru. The dawn lies just over the horizon and Rowe is desperate to finally free his wife-queen. The time has come to face the past.

In the series you have a lot of different settings--different countries that the characters travel to, what made you have your characters travel to these places?

A number of books in the urban fantasy genre had their characters focused in a central city, which they were determined to defend. I wanted something grander in scope. I was accustomed to reading fantasy novels, where the characters frequently traveled to distant lands and strange, foreign continents. I thought that my character should be able to do the same thing. The naturi weren’t going to just stay in one location. They were going to travel and cause chaos around the entire earth, so my characters would have to chase after them as well.

Another reason is slightly more selfish in that I like to travel and research places that I have never been. I like the idea of taking my readers on trips to distant cities, and exploring all the interesting little places. Though, I like to think that Savannah will always be home to Mira.

I hear the publishing world is very hard to get through, what was your experience to getting published like?

Getting published is very hard. It takes a lot of patience and a thick skin. It took me two years of steady queries to agents before I was finally given an offer. There were a number of close calls and lots of rejections before I finally located someone who liked my work as much as I did. We were lucky in that we were able to locate a publisher soon after I found an agent. You have to stick with it, keep writing, and keep trying no matter how daunting the process becomes.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing stories when I was 12 years old. I spent that summer rewriting the story of Robin Hood so that it now included a stronger female character that could hold her own with the other boys in Sherwood forest. From there, the stories kept coming. I wrote in all different genres and points of view. I never questioned that I would always write stories. It was a part of who I was. But I honestly never considered writing as a career until I was actually published. I knew that it was extremely hard to become published and never got my hopes up about it actually happening. I just wrote my stories for fun and dreamed about the rest of the world reading them. I never honestly thought it would become a reality. I’m a very lucky person.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?

I consider myself a full-time writer based on the hours that I put in every week.

If part time, what else do you do? If full-time, what is your average work day like?

I still work a regular dayjob part time. In the morning, I am a financial analyst, writing article about the stock market with a specialization in options. After noon, I grab lunch and update my blog, answer emails, contact my agent and editor as needed, and complete other tasks that are simply business related. This usually takes me 1-3 hours depending on how close I am to a book release or a book deadline. After that, I write until I reach my word count writing goal for the day. The word count goal depends on how close I am to my deadline and how much of the book is already finished. I have a minimum word count goal of 2,000 words, but it has stretched up to 4,000 words per day due to me running behind. I frequently work weekends.

What are the benefits of your choice?

One of the key benefits of my choice is that I get to spend a great deal of time with my characters. They are my best friends and my family. I love writing my books and living in the Dark Days world. Every day is a new adventure.
When you have free time from writing, what do you like to do?

During my free time, I like to hang out with friends and family. I go to see action movies and watch TV, such as Ghost Hunters, Mythbusters, and Top Gear. I don’t get to read as much as I would like. I don’t like to read while I writing books and my publisher has kept me on a very busy writing schedule.

Who are your favorite authors to read?

There are a lot of authors that I love and couldn’t possibly name them all here. Some of my top favorites include Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson, Rachel Vincent, Charlaine Harris, Christine Feehan, Raymond Feist, Neil Gaiman, Simon Green, and Jim Butcher.

What's the strangest thing about yourself? Any odd hobbies, or strange favorite food?

Strangest thing? Wow. I don’t know. I love to travel, do landscape photography, and go hiking in the woods. However, I would have to say that I am a video game addict, with role-playing games being my favorite. I am a Final Fantasy fanatic and I’m dying for the release of the next game. I am also a Batman fanatic. I’ve written several pieces of Batman fanfiction that will never see the light of day and I dream of one day adding my voice to the Batman pantheon of stories.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t ever give up. It’s a hard road, but it’s all worth it in the end. Just keep writing. Even if it will never be published. It is all great practice in the end that will help to improve your writing skills.

Dawnbreaker is set to release on September 29 2009!

1 comment:

Comments are an award all on their own! So my blog is an award free one! Thanks for any consideration though!