September 27, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

The Gilded King Author Josie Jaffrey Interview For Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour Stop

The Gilded King (Sovereign #1) author Josie Jaffrey and I, like many authors and their readers, have a few things in common- a cat that likes to yell at us if we don’t get up when the alarm goes off. Because apparently we are lucky to live with them. Cats- the struggle is real. Also, a love and a connection to the fantasy genre.
However, I surprised to find out there is a vampire murder-mystery book coming and – well – ANGEL?! This is my second time I have had the pleasure to interview a lawyer turned author (Andrew Caldecott). And I think you will find it as interesting as I did.

1)  What is the connection for the reader and author that makes escapism, especially in the fantasy genre, so real and vital?
I think the magic lies in the fact that fantasy is so collaborative. The author puts in a bit of their imagination – setting the scene, describing the characters a little, and getting the magic systems established – but so much of the imaginative work falls on the reader. It’s not like imagining a middle-aged bald man named Jeff. As readers, we can all do that without much work. But imagining a giant dragon with purple scales and a weaponized tail – that’s a bit trickier. The reader has to fill in more of the gaps themselves (What do its wings look like? How does it get off the ground? What do its scales feel like?). That’s a silly example, but my point is that fantasy authors can’t describe magical places and creatures in minute detail because it would be dull, so by necessity the reader has to imagine a lot for themselves. That makes the stories special and vibrant, because when you read them you put more of yourself into them than you might with a contemporary novel.

2) I read somewhere that your cats are what get you out of bed in the morning– with three of my own I greatly relate- do they sing you the song of their people if you don’t get out of bed? How does this work, exactly?
I am hugely fortunate to have an other half who is an early riser, and gets out of bed to feed our two cats. The problem is that one of them – Sparky – likes to crawl into bed with me afterwards for a hug. He’s very well behaved until my alarm goes off, but then he decides (rightly) that it’s time for me to get up, which gives him permission to stamp on my head, rub his wet nose on my face, scratch at my arms until I put them around him for a cuddle and, yes, sing the song of his people mere inches from my nose. I love the snooze button, but Sparky doesn’t like me to use it!

Gilded King Blog Tour Schedule – Gilded King Is Currently Free On Amazon – Please See Links and Synopsis Below

3) Are you still working on the psychological thriller series? I know you don’t want to say too much about it but what made you decide to go in a completely different direction for your writing?
It’s actually a standalone novel, and yes I am! I’m currently spending my writing time on two projects: the first book in a new romance series (title TBC) and the first book in a prequel series to my Solis Invicti series (May Day, book one of the Seekers vampire murder mystery series). Once I’ve finished writing May Day, I’ll be going back to the psychological thriller (provisionally titled Make Yourself). I’m planning to publish draft chapters month by month, probably starting in the middle of next year.
Psychological thriller actually doesn’t feel like a complete departure for me. I think there’s a bleak and psychological aspect to a lot of what I write, and I like including the sorts of twists and turns that characterise psychological thriller. But I think it’s always a good idea to try new things so you avoid getting stuck in a writing rut, and as a self-published author I have the luxury of doing that without scaring my publisher!

4) I read and interviewed another author/writer recently and wondered how the logical mind of a lawyer fit into the creative world of a writer- can you talk about how the two meld together?

Legal writing is all about creating contracts that have perfect logical consistency, despite sometimes being the length of a novel, or longer. Being able to construct and preserve that flow is a really invaluable transferable skill when it comes to writing novels. In the same way that I used to construct complex interdependent legal clauses, I now construct complex plots and subplots. I can see the shape of them in my head and feel where things might be going wrong, which I’m sure is something I learned from legal drafting. But it’s not just the big picture. Good legal documents are economical and clear, so as a lawyer you’re taught how to draft sentences that get your point across in a comprehensible and comprehensive way. That teaches you to be economical with your prose. It’s also given me a keen eye for detail: I’m a spelling and grammar pedant, and I usually manage to avoid continuity errors.
I’m not aiming to go back to the law any time soon, but it certainly helped me a lot with my writing. I think it also speaks volumes that a large proportion of professional authors were lawyers in their previous lives. There just seems to be a confluence between the two that really works.

5) What is your favorite genres to read when you aren’t writing?
I read pretty much everything – fiction and non-fiction – but my favourites are fantasy, sci-fi and romance. I am a complete sucker for a highlander or regency romance. They’re escapist and wonderful and just so relaxing!

About Josie Jaffrey:

I live in Oxford, UK, with my husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for me to wear black, which is largely why I gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, I still miss my old wardrobe.

The Gilded King Synopsis And Links:

The Gilded King (Sovereign, #1)
The Gilded King Synopsis In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well. Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside. But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained. Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight. One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

Amazon (Gilded King is Currently Free)
Amazon UK (Gilded King is Currently Free)

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