Interview with Jaye A. Jones

What motivated you to become an indie author?
REJECTION! I did the whole query letter thing and got rejected a lot. I have thick skin, so it didn't deter me until one agent showed actual interest...but only if I changed the main characters age to 16. My character was 19. She had 19 year old problems. I changed the book as she asked, didn't like the result, and still got rejected. I didn't like the choice I made to change what I'd written to fit into what this agent thought would be marketable. I want to write what I want. That's when I started to seriously consider self-publishing.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Soulless by Gail Carriger - I couldn't get enough of this book, or this series! Aside from the vampires and the werewolves and all the things I love, it presented a brand new supernatural concept for me, which happens so rarely. The humor and the quirkiness is SO the author. She isn't being any certain way but the way she wants. And it's weird. And It's AWESOME. Plus the main character is so so flawed. I love her. To me she's perfect. Lesson learned: Your main character shouldn't be perfect, and be uncompromising in your strange-ass self as a writer!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - What awkward, stubborn preadolescent wouldn't adore Elizabeth Bennett? Thank you to the teacher who made me read this even though it so didn't sound like my thing. Lesson learned: Things might not take you where you planned. Don't be so rigid, keep an open mind as a writer!

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - The way she writes demands that you read it in one single sitting. HOW do some authors harness such power?! Lesson learned: Keep the stakes high and keep a story moving!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling - All of the Harry Potter series of course, but why specifically PoA? It is the first time time-travel was done correctly, in my opinion, in ANYTHING! It actually makes sense in my over-analyzing brain. Plus Sirius is my favorite HP character. Also, this book got dark. Like for realsies dark. Lesson learned: Readers, no matter their age, aren't fragile!

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs - This book brought me to the genre I should have been writing all along. Sometimes I write other genres, sure, but my heart will always belong to the vampires, and the werewolves, and to magic. When I read Moon Called, I realized I'd been studying for my writing career my whole life. My favorite TV shows, movies, books were all paranormal urban fantasy with heart and humor. Well DUH! That's what I should be writing! Lesson learned: Write what you know!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Recommendations are huge! Recommendations from friends, on Goodreads, and even through Twitter on occasion. I love the fantasy genre, especially Urban/Speculative/Contemporary Fantasy, so often I'll just search my favorite genre for something that sounds original.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Midwest near St. Louis. It influenced my writing by a) showing me different ways of life and introducing me to all sorts of different kinds of people, b) giving me all four weather seasons so I really know what it's like to be uncomfortably hot AND uncomfortably cold AND how nice it is when it's 75 degrees, breezy and sunny. c) Also, it showed me that I do not want to live in the Midwest, and led me to explore our country and other countries for the time when I get to move far far away. And escape into my fantasy life while I'm still stuck here!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The Kindle app on my iPhone.
How do you approach cover design?
I do my own cover design, even though you always read that you should have it professionally done. I've always been a bit artistic and I sure know what book covers look like. I usually start by browsing a site like iStock for pics to purchase, and then a design comes to me. And here's my dirty secret...I use Microsoft Powerpoint. It's just easier to maneuver images and add stuff, then I can save it as a JPEG. Using Photoshop or something similar just complicates things. Powerpoint gets the job done, and my covers may not be perfect, but I'm always proud of them. I like doing things myself. I'm an INDIE author after all!

Update: I've upgraded to Microsoft Publisher! But Powerpoint still works too.
What are you working on next?
I have three series ongoing and want so badly to finish them all, so I have a sequel for each in the works plus a novella begging to be written within the Demon Instinct world. But apparently I have Writer ADD because I've also started a futuristic Sci/Fi story with an assassin as the heroine. Working on focusing on one...
Describe your desk
I have three. One at home in my own personal office. It's surrounded by bookshelves and pictures and other things that inspire me. The second is my work desk, where I do a lot of my editing and outlining on breaks and on Saturdays when we're slow. The last is my lap as I sit on the couch in my living room while some cooking show I've seen a dozen times plays on mute.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing forever. I won 5 out of 6 Golden Pencil awards in my high school freshman written comm class though. I think that was when I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Hm. Define effective? I can say which ones have not worked for me better. Paying to advertise on Facebook or any other site didn't work. Just Tweeting or announcing stuff on Facebook and other such sites didn't work. Just putting my books out there didn't work. Making my books free for a limited time "worked", except it didn't lead to more copies sold AFTER they were free. Not sure I'd call that effective. This marketing stuff is a complicated, time-consuming game. I'm still figuring it out.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The whole process is therapeutic for me. I miss it when I don't have enough time for it. I love every second, from the first inclination of a story to filling out the details to outlining to rewriting the opening scene a billion times to the first horrible draft to the final hopefully less horrible draft. Having that finished product is amazing. So I guess the greatest joy is simply the process. Seeing a story I imagined go through the steps to become real.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I don't have a choice! My dog wants to eat and can be VERY demanding! 8P
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work a full-time job, and write when I can. Besides that, I have a dog (Hank), love musicals, enjoy cooking and reading (of course), and ADORE Netflix, swimming, Marvel comics, and all things Joss Whedon related.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
YES! It was about two dogs but the reader thinks they are kids until the very end.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords makes getting my work distributed to many different sites so much easier! For writers, time is worth everything. Any time taken away from writing is a bad thing. So Smashwords lets me get out there and helps me have more time.
Published 2018-04-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Bleu Blues
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 66,790. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
After a bad breakup and a completely idiotic drunken escapade through her ex-boyfriend’s house, Parker Bleu has found herself in some legal trouble. Her court-ordered therapist assigns her sixty days of a daily vlog, during which Parker very publicly struggles with bad habits, adulting issues, an apartment that’s trying to kill her, and new feelings for her best friend.
Survival Instinct
Series: Demon Instinct, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,620. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
As the first half-caste Scion of the demon Underrealm, making hard choices comes with the territory. But when Rowan leaves to help a female from his past, being responsible is easier said than done. Despite her Royal demon mother, a stalker, the manipulative Division director, and her shifty council, Savannah sets out to find the male she loves—even if he doesn’t want to be found.
Defying Instinct
Series: Demon Instinct, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 98,180. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Savannah learned to deal with annoying customers in her human father’s bookstore and accept the ugly disguise her demon mother cast on her when she was born. Now 20-years-old, her disguise is stripped, bringing a tidal wave of emotions with her true appearance. Before deciding if she should rule demonkind with her mother or stay in the human world, Savannah must discover who she was meant to be.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 97,490. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Five years ago, Magi became celebrities and took positions of power overnight. Since that day, logical culinary student Dani has hated everything magic-related, and that was before suffering some major trauma at the hands of dark witches. When two gorgeous brothers are sent to take her to a safe house for Magi in danger, Dani discovers Destiny has its own plan.
Harsh Light of Day
Price: Free! Words: 74,180. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Lena doesn’t love Declan. He may be a doting, beautiful, blue-eyed vampire, but he was also the creature who murdered her twenty years go. She hasn’t exactly been impressed with her mundane two decades as an immortal either. Running away, she spends one day in the human world away from Declan, and everything she thought she knew about him, her existence, and herself changes.