Friday, 13 December 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Desprite Measures by Deborah Jay

About the Author:

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

Her debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award, was published in July 2013, with THE PRINCE’S SON due out summer 2014.

Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the opening novel of the five book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES.

She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published in her professional name of Debby Lush.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

A mix of the two. I used to start with an idea and just keep writing to see where it would lead – I wrote probably four novels that way. Nowadays, particularly as I’m writing series, I make a bit more effort to have some sort of a plot structure before I start, with at least a beginning and an end although I may have little idea of how to get from one to the other.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 

All the time! And that’s the trouble with plotting – often they don’t want to go the route I’ve planned, and most of the time they know better! Many a great plot idea has emerged that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own, so I try to give them some freedom whilst not letting them go off at too much of a tangent. When they really insist on doing that, they’ll probably end up with their own novella or short story – I have several waiting to be written.

What is your favourite food?

Chicken, chicken and more chicken – prepared in any and all ways.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Night owl. That pattern was set when I was at University, with late studying followed by writing, then rise in the morning as late as possible to roll into lectures just as they began.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

In the last few years I’ve been to the places I really wanted to visit: the Canadian Rockies and New Zealand. Both were supposed to be my holidays of a lifetime, but I’d really like to go back again….

Do distant places feature in your books?

Distant in the imagination, yes. THE PRINCE’S MAN is set in its own world – part of the fun of writing fantasy is the world building. DESPRITE MEASURES is set in the Scottish Highlands, obviously a distant place for many, but I have a home there. It is a wonderful, glorious and mysterious place, perfect for writing magical fiction!

Do you listen to music while writing?

Yes, I listen to movie soundtracks. I can’t cope with lyrics because they distract me, but soundtracks evoke emotion so I find them ideal. Current favorites are the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and although I haven’t seen the movie, Lost Souls, a horror flick with suitable creepy music.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Sure. It’s an urban fantasy set in the Scottish Highlands, and tells the tale of water sprite Cassie Lake. She’s trying to live unobtrusively in human form with her selkie boyfriend, but someone’s uncovered her secret and wants to use her natural power to fuel his dangerous experiment. When she’s kidnapped, Cassie is smitten by her fellow captive, Gloria – a fire elemental she can never touch for fear of blowing up Scotland.

DESPRITE MEASURES is a story of tangled loves, action adventure and magic, with underlying ecological themes.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

That writing only improves with practice – masses of it.

I’m a traditionally published non-fiction author, and I’ve learned the hard way how little promotion a publisher does for an author, so for me Indie publishing has been a great move. Now I do the same amount of marketing and keep way more of the income!

Is there anything you would do differently?

If I was more techie minded I would do everything myself, but I’m not so I’ve had to come to terms with hiring in the help I need. Perhaps with more time I might be able to learn some of it, but that’s time taken away from writing, so I doubt I’ll go that route.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Almost everyone that I’ve read! I’ve gleaned ideas, techniques and styles from all the books I’ve read in the past, and incorporated them into my own writing. Nowadays I like to think I’m settling into my own style, but I can see those influences in my earlier (unpublished) works.

I’ve also picked up dramatization skills from watching movies, TV series and soaps; there are some highly skilled writers out there working in visual media.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Read good books. And write. Sounds simple, but these two are essential. You must read to understand what makes good writing, and to know what is required in your chosen genre. As for writing, you have to write, write, write to get better – like any other skill, practice is the only way to improve.

What are three words that describe you?

Crazy, obsessive perfectionist.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

This one is always a problem, as there are so many! When forced to choose, I pick the first fantasy I read: A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

Desprite Measures
by Deborah Jay
Urban Fantasy
Cover artist: Alexandria N. Thompson
95,000 words

On the surface she's a cute and feisty blonde, a slender pocket rocket fitness coach. But Cassiopeia Lake has a secret; she's really a force of nature – an elemental.Water sprite, Cassie, has lived undisturbed in her native Scottish loch for eons. Now, one encounter too many with modern plumbing has driven her to live in human guise along with her selkie boyfriend, Euan. It’s all going fine - until a nerdy magician captures Cassie to be an unwilling component in his crazy dangerous experiment.

Escape is only Cassie’s first challenge.

She’s smitten by her fellow prisoner, the scorching hot fire elemental, Gloria. But how do you love someone you can never touch?

And what do you do when your boyfriend starts to hero-worship your persecutor? Not to mention that tricky situation of being the prize in a power contest between two rival covens of witches.

So when Gloria’s temper erupts and she sets out to murder the magician, can Cassie keep her loved ones safe from the cross-fire, or will she be sucked into the maelstrom of deadly desires and sink without trace?

List of previous books if any
THE PRINCE’S MAN - epic fantasy



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