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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Interview with Jaye Raymee

    Where do you hail from? What do you love most about your hometown?
I grew up in a small town on California's central coast.  It was a great place where regular people, movie stars, and old hippies all hung out together without a lot of ego or attitude.  We all loved the beach, the sunsets, and oddities of villagelife, like pine tree roots that break up the street and nobody ever wants to fix because it makes cars go slower.
It was a safe and magical place to grow up.  I had miles of tidepools and rocky coves to explore, all kinds of woodland to play in, and I was able to let my imagination run wild every single day.
    As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your current career?
Funny you should ask that.  I was just recently going through some old boxes with my mother, and I came across a bunch of old school papers.  There was an English assignment from 8th grade that asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up." 
My answer was spookily accurate.  "I want," I wrote "To be a writer.  I have written several stories and have a couple of more that I'm in the middle of writing." 
The teacher's comments in the margin was perfect, "This common for writers.  If you ever do get to be one, you'll probably have things in different stages all the time."  Whenever I look at my notebooks full of stories waiting to be typed, or try to balance out the work I do to pay the bills with the writing I do for love and pleasure, I remind myself that no artist ever just has one project going on at a time.
Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
                My latest novelette, "Getaway Weekend", has just become available from Breathless Press.  It's the story of a young woman who takes a trip up the California coast with an older man.  He's struggling to keep his feelings for her at arm's length, and she's determined to make him understand that love has no age limit.  The heat level is pretty high, with some intense love scenes, but the journey that Jack and Cara take together is emotional as much as it is physical.
    How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
                I try to keep them short, usually 1-2 words which embody the essence of the story in more than one way.   "Getaway Weekend", for example, is abouttaking a trip on a three-day holiday weekend, but it's also about testing and ultimately breaking down emotional barriers.
    What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
                Write.  Write. Write.  Not tomorrow or next week, but right now.  Don't worry if it's any good.  Don't worry if somebody will or won't publish it.  Do not agonize over every line before you even get the story written.  After you tell the story (and you will know when it's told), you cango back and edit. 
    How did you deal with rejection letters?
                 I understand that they are a fact of life.  And I remind myself that they are not necessarily a comment on the quality of the story, or on my skills as a writer.  They simply indicate that a story isn't right for a given market at this time. 
                That being said, I love rejection letters where the editor has taken the time out of their insane schedules to provide some feedback, even if it's just a line or two.  Those are some the best gifts a writer can get, and I'm always sure to send a brief "Thank You" back to those editors. 
    What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
                500 pounds a year and a room of one's own.  No, I'm kidding (and plagiarizing Virginia Woolf).  The only absolute thing that writers must have is a commitment to write.  1000 words a day, or 500, or 30 minutes a week, the exact amount doesn't matter.  It's the commitment to consistency that's required.
                A "nice-to-have" is a support structure comprised of loved ones and critics.  A writer should have friends who tell us that what we write is great, no matter what, because we always need our egos stroked.  But we also need to share our writing with people who can tell us politely that the incredibly fantastic scene we thought  we wrote was completely incomprehensible to an external reader.
    Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
                For me, the story itself sets the limits.  Most of what I write is inspired by an image, and idea, a fleeting glance of something.  Or an intense emotion.  If the story that wants to be told conveys that experience with subtle or sweet language, then that's what comes out on the page.  If the story demands explicit language or graphic imagery in order to convey the strength of the idea or the emotion, then that kind of language is what I use.  Sometimes it's a kiss on the forehead with a promise of more…sometimes it'svivid  heat and sweat and fire that leaves us gasping for breath.
Which is not to say that every piece of writing is appropriate for every reader.  I have one piece that involves a certain type of sexual release that two publishers have said is too over-the-top for their audience, and another has said is too tame.  Several of my test readers said it made them uncomfortable, but a couple of others have said it's the hottest thing I've ever written.
    Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
                Absolutely.  A writer, at their core, is one of the most curious people around.  I always want to know what came before to bring the world to this point, and how that helps shape what will happen next. 
                Recently, while living in Dublin, Ireland I was surrounded by images and myths and some pretty dramatic real life events that claimed to have their cultural roots in Ireland's struggle for independence generations ago.  I spent a lot of time in museums and libraries to learn more about that history. What I learned led directly to the book I'm currently working on, which takes place around the events of the Easter Rebellion of 1916, as experienced by the Sidhe, or Fey Folk, of Dublin.
    Where can we find you on the net?
The best way is to follow me on Twitter @JayErotica or read my blog www.jayeraymee.blogspot.com (WARNING-explicit content ;)  and I do have a website www.jayeraymee.com.  I love reader feedback, and can always be reached at jaye@jayeraymee.com
    Where can we find out more about your books?

Weekend Getaway: A young woman invites herself along on an older man's vacation, and spends three nights showing him that its ok to want her.

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