Welcome to an interview with Jade Reyner, author of Twelve Days: The Beginning. Jade also has a blog, Jade’s Jungle, at www.jadereyner.com where she takes you along on her “self-publishing safari”!
M: Jade, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed. I’m excited to be able to talk with you about your current novel, Twelve Days: The Beginning, as well as the two sequels I believe you have planned.
J: Marie, it’s a pleasure to be here and thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me!
M: Can I get you anything? There’s a bit of a time difference between us so I think you’re in the right time zone if you want anything harder than tea. Some sherry, perhaps?
J: Thanks – but I am a true Brit, tea, tea and more tea.
M: Wonderful! I’ll make us a pot of tea, then. Let’s sit here on my couch. Don’t mind the cats, especially Wendy. She’s young and quite curious.
J: Oooh, is she the one that you rescued from the restaurant? I would love to do something like that. I hope she’s settled in okay.
M: Yes, she has! Thank you for asking. OK, let’s get started. First, let’s talk about your first novel. How did you come about to write Twelve Days: The Beginning? What was the impetus?
J: This is going to sound odd but it just kind of ‘happened’. There are several events that have occurred throughout my life which I have used as inspiration but once I got started, the book really did write itself. I have always wanted to write a novel, it was on my bucket list so to speak and then after taking a Creative Writing course I decided to just sit down and give it a go. Twelve Days – The Beginning is the result.
M: Of course, I’ve read your novel and thoroughly enjoyed it. But I have to admit, I had read very few romances before yours and I was very surprised at the rather explicit sex scenes. They were well-done, not at all gratuitous, but is it common for such steamy scenes to be in romance novels? Or have I misunderstood your genre?
J: Yes is the short answer to that. Romance as a genre has probably evolved more than many in recent years and there are now distinct genres within the genre, if that makes sense. Twelve Days – The Beginning would sit at the erotica end of the spectrum and then your classic Mills and Boon would sit as far away from it as possible. There are a huge number of books that incorporate explicit sex scenes nowadays and I think that many women (and men) are more open about wanting to read these types of books. I tried very hard to make my scenes relevant however as I did not want to put the sex in just for the sake of it. I think that this development of the genre can only be considered to be a good thing because it allows authors more freedom if they wish, but it doesn’t take anything away from the classical romance which is still widely written and enjoyed.
M: Thank you for explaining. I was also quite impressed with how you handle the issue of domestic violence in your novel. As someone who has worked with victims of domestic violence, I thought your writing was spot-on. When you began the novel, did you know that domestic violence would be part of the storyline?
J: I always knew that there would be domestic violence in the book, the issue that I had was how in-depth it should be explored because although it is a major storyline, it is in no way the sum total of Twelve Days. I did draw on some personal experiences to write the part of Elise (the female protagonist) and I am just really pleased that someone with your experience, found the scenes to be spot on. I take that as a massive compliment.
M: (smile) I do appreciate how you approached domestic violence in your novel. Let’s talk a bit about your next two novels. I believe you have two in the works, based generally on the same characters as your first novel.
J: Yes, actually I have quite a few in the works, but at the moment I am nearly finished writing Twelve Days – The Future which is the sequel to Twelve Days – The Beginning. This is the final book covering the story of Elise and Vaughn and completes their tale which as anyone who has read Twelve Days – The Beginning will know, ends on a bit of a knife edge. There are many more twists and turns and the ride is in no way smooth, but I hope that readers will enjoy finding out how they both fare after what has been a hugely emotional journey for both of them.
I then plan to release two more books in the Twelve Days series which will be from two of the other major characters points of view and will cover the same twelve day period in which everything happened in the first book. I am planning to write both Twelve Days – Dale and Twelve Days – Cole as these are the two other major characters who I think readers have identified with.
I then have other projects which will move away from Twelve Days but the beauty of this series is that there are so many characters whose lives I can develop, and so it will be sitting there like my favourite slippers, to return to any time that I wish.
M: Oh, I love that metaphor: your favourite slippers! That’s a wonderful way to look at one’s writing. You know, so many writers are influenced by other writers. Are there writers who have influenced you?
J: Whenever I get asked this question I would really love to say something profound but actually the answer is no. I do not really have any particular literary heroes as I enjoy so many authors for so many different reasons. I think the only book that I can really say stuck in my mind and made me appreciate the power of words was An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley which I read at school. I think that it is such an amazing and clever piece of writing and I try to emulate some of the style and the twists and turns in my writing. I would like to say though that since I have been on WordPress, I have been hugely inspired by all of the wonderful writers that I have met and connected with. You truly are the unsung heroes.
M: I agree. There are some amazing writers in this community. What is a typical writing day for you? Do you set yourself goals like word or page counts? What needs to happen for you to say that you’ve had a productive and satisfying writing day?
J: I have a word goal usually. I try to do 4,000 words a day when I am on a ‘writing’ day and if I achieve that then I am happy. I have the morning’s only to write and so I have to try to fit in blogging, networking and marketing as well which we all know can take up a huge amount of time. There are days when I just don’t get any writing done and that is definitely not a satisfying day!
M: Four thousand words is impressive! You know, publishing, whether it’s self-publishing or traditional publishing, is very competitive. Writers who are coming out with their first novels or short stories may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the marketplace. Do you have any advice for writers who aspire to be published authors?
J: I think my only advice would be that they need to take on board just how hard it is. I know that I definitely entered this with my eyes closed but now I am so much more aware of what it takes to get the book from inside your head to the bookshelf. I would urge everyone to follow their dream and to keep at it and just to believe in themselves as that is the key. I would also say that you need to build up a good support network. Without you Marie and my other blogging friends, I don’t think that I would have come anywhere near as far as I have. You are all such a great inspiration and support to me. So thank you for that.
M: Well, it’s truly been my pleasure to get to know you and read your novel and your blog. I want to thank you again for taking the time for this interview. I know I am one of many others who are eagerly awaiting the publication of your next novel. I assume you will announce it on your blog, which again is Jade’s Jungle. Would you like some more tea before you head back?
J: Marie, it was my pleasure to be interviewed by you and I never say no to a cuppa! Thank you for a brilliant interview, I had a great time.
And yes, Twelve Days – The Future should be out towards the end of the year but please keep watching my blog (www.jadereyner.com) for updates.
Well, that’s it, folks! My interview with romance author, Jade Reyner. Be sure to follow her blog Jade’s Jungle and pick up a copy of Twelve Days: The Beginning. Please stay tuned for more interviews by 1WriteWay.
To get your own copy of Twelve Days: The Beginning, visit any one of these links:
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.