My name is Jayson James. For those who do not know me, I am the author of Finding Our Way as well as other books and short stories. With the release of Drifting I wanted to take the time and share some things about myself with my readers and how this (long awaited) book came to be. I thought it would be nice to have those who know me, come up with some questions to ask and have me answer.
I was lucky enough to have been interviewed by one of my fans, Jennifer Wilson. While Jennifer was reading my books a couple of months back, she emailed me and shared with me how much she enjoyed my work. Since then we have become friends from afar. She is a wonderful person and I am glad we have become friends. Jennifer took the questions and decided which ones I was going to answer and below are the results of that interview.
Hopefully you will enjoy reading this interview as much as I had doing it.
What were you like at school?
Average I suppose.
What is your favorite movie and why?
Currently I would have to say Pitch Perfect. There is something about this movie that I love and I can watch it over and over again without ever getting bored with it.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Watch your weight. Get out and exercise, diet, or whatever you need to do. It all adds up and is difficult to take it off later in life. Also, believe in yourself. Do not put off doing the things you dream of doing. You will be surprised at how far you can go when you put your mind to it!
You recently adopted a puppy. How has that changed your life?
Overall, I would have to say that Cooper (my puppy) has changed my life for the better. I do not have much free time, though she is getting better at occupying herself and letting me have some time to myself, she can be demanding, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cooper is a wonderful little girl and is so smart. I cannot believe how quickly she is growing up. I think that she has improved my quality of life.
What are you reading currently and why?
Under the Dome by Stephen King. It is a book I have always been curious about, but thought it would be too long for me to read. After the series started on television, I wanted to read it even more. A couple of different friends told me that I should and that I would get into it. I bought it for my Kindle and was immediately sucked into it.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Although there are times that I will use my smartphone to write parts of it I mostly use my computer and type. Most recently I started using the speaking to text feature on my phone, which puts my writing into a whole new perspective.
What are you working on at the minute?
It a book I have been calling TED. Previously I would have come up with a solid title by the time I’d gotten to the halfway point of writing a book. TED has been different in many ways. I have started and stopped several times. Although it is taking me awhile to write, I think that it will eventually have a real title and become a published work. I am writing the story in layers, giving the readers an inside look at each character as the storyline unfolds.
What’s it about?
The story focuses on three guys dealing with individual issues. It also focuses on serious matters such as bullying and depression. I wanted to explore the effects it has, not just on one person, but other people’s lives as well. This book will have similarities to my other published works as well as several differences.
What genre are your books?
Gay, young adult
What draws you to this genre?
I read a book by Mark Roeder called A Better Place a couple of years ago and enjoyed the way it was written from each characters perspective. A couple of months later I read Jay Bell’s Something Like Summer and it had me thinking about how I would love to write a book of my own with the same content. Though at the time I wrote my first book, I was only doing it to get the story out of my head, I am glad that I published it and shared it with others.
Who designed your book cover and how did you chose them?
I did. My friends have always been insistent that I use my own artwork. Unlike my writing, I am still quite shy when it comes to my drawing talents.
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
I’d seen two guys walking along, holding hands out in public one day. They did not seem to care about the looks they were getting and seemed to take comfort from each other. I thought it was so cool that I snapped this picture of them with my phone, real fast so they would not see me. It ended up being fuzzy and chopping their heads off, but I had this overwhelming urge to draw the picture. A friend saw it and thought it would be great to use on the cover of the book. A couple of redraws and coloring later, I finally had a picture I liked.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Although I have heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” many times in my life, I think people tend to take the cover into consideration when buying a book, especially if it is an author they are not familiar with. Often times I have thought about doing a cover like most of the books out there in my genre are, but each time I consider it none of my supporters like the idea. A couple of people have said that using my own artwork for the covers has kind of become my trademark.
What prompted you to release Drifting a month before doing any marketing on it?
The fans wanted to read it and I wanted them to read it. I have been getting an email a week and some weeks several with fans expressing their desire to read what will happen to Derrick and Justin. After Tormented Discovery there has been a lot of speculation about what happens to these two as well as the other characters. I have loved reading so many passionate thoughts people have had on my books. Drifting is a book I have looked forward to writing and sharing for quite some time. I have been delighted to see it selling so well prior to any marketing.
What is the plot of your new book?
Drifting is about two best friends who fell in love in high school and became boyfriends. Now they are in college and after being in a relationship for a couple of years, they find themselves drifting apart. These two deal with what happens in a relationship when two people quit liking who they are with, but instead would like them to be more of what they expect them to be. Although it is the third book in the series, I wrote this book so that it could be read as a standalone story.
How did this book come to be?
I have never seen a book written about a gay couple having relationship problems. You see stories about guys falling in love, beating the odds and becoming a couple, but I have yet to see a book about what happens after they’ve been together for a while. This is a book I’ve wanted to write for quite some time and I am glad that it is finally written.
What is your favorite part of this book?
Not to sound conceited, but I have quite a few. Perhaps my most favorite is ???
Who is your favorite character?
Although I adore Justin and Derrick, I think Ian is my favorite character in this book. Ian is an overweight gay guy and it was somehow therapeutic and fun for me to write from the perspective of what a heavy set gay guy deals with.
What do you think the reader’s will like most about this book?
I think that anyone who has read the previous two books with Derrick and Justin in them will enjoy that several characters from previous books make an appearance.
How much of the book is realistic?
As with all of my books parts are true fiction with a lot of realism to balance things out. I find it amusing when one of my friends will read something and tell me how they can remember when that happened. Most of the time ideas simply come to me as I am writing and I type them as fast as I can before I lose them.
Would you be willing to share one of your favorite scenes from Drifting with us?
Sure! This is from earlier in the book and is told from the character, Ryan’s perspective. Ryan is a shy guy who is single and hoping to find love. I was tired one morning and had this scene stuck in my head. I can remember how easily it flowed and how pleased I was with it after I wrote it.
“Wakey wakey eggs and bacey!”
I opened my eyes to my father’s hand on my shoulder, shaking me as he towered over me in bed. I groaned and stretched. He’d grown up on a farm after immigrating from Mexico, where every morning they had to get up a 3AM to take care of chores before heading off to school. Although he hasn’t had to be up that early in over two decades, he still wakes up before dawn each and every morning. Unlike my mother, he had learned English at a young age. Whereas my mother hadn’t learned English until she was an adult
Moments later my father was shaking me again, “Wakey wakey eggs and bacey!”
It was too damn early to be up. “Thirty more minutes.”
“No Ry! You’ve got to shower and brush your teeth.” He walked towards the door, “I go get the cold water.” I could hear him walk down the hall. From past experiences, I knew he wasn’t joking.
“I’m up!” I hollered as I sat up in bed rubbing my eyes and stretching.
He shouted back, “Good! Get showered and dressed! And don’t yell. You’ll wake the rest of the house.” He was humming a song as he walked down the hall.
Once I was showered, teeth brushed and dressed, I walked into the kitchen where my dad was reading the paper. There were a couple boxes of cereal, milk, a bowl and a spoon sitting out. He glanced at me and grinned, “Look I even made you breakfast. You so slow, I am sure it’s gotten cold.”
“Thanks dad.” He was always a comedian early in the morning. I did not sit down, but I walked over and poured myself a cup of coffee, adding six tablespoons of sugar. Then I sat down at the table and waited for Hayden to pick me up. My father would periodically try and talk with me, but the coffee was working slowly at waking me up.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jayson-James/e/B009FQAR44/
Anything else, Jayson, you would like to share with the readers?
Thanks again to everyone who has supported me. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Drifting.
Thank you Jayson, for taking the time to answer our questions.