Interview with Arwen Jayne

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I ever really enjoyed reading was Lord of the Rings. Fresh out of school I was a student nurse at the time and doing my stint of night duty on a quiet ward. I knew my father had some sci-fi stories in his head but making radio programs became his creative outlet. Neither of my parents have an academic background but they are both passionate learners. They instilled in me a belief that if you really wanted to do something then you could find out how, find people who could show you and have a go. I started writing a story on a bit of notepad. I'm not even sure now what happened to it. It never went any further but it was probably for the best. I knew nothing of the craft of writing at the time. It was my partner who encouraged me to follow my dreams. Firstly to do some open learning to make up for the deficiencies in my schooling. Having done his schooling before it got 'modernized' he taught me my first bits of grammar along with mathematics and basic science. He showed me ways of learning abstract stuff that my non-linear mind could make sense of. Writing for a pagan newsletter got me a few short stories published but then life sidetracked me for a bit. My career gave me an opportunity to learn first HTML then the finer points of managing the work's website. I got involved in an initiative to inspire teachers to the possibilities of elearning, including the use of social media. Life took yet another turn when in 2012, instead of the trip around outback Queensland we had planned our vehicle died in a big way before we could leave. Left with time on my hands, in the depths of winter, I thought again of writing. I had a story nagging at me so I thrashed it on to paper, found a couple of friends to help edit it and then went about learning how to publish my first ebook. And yes Lord of the Rings, despite the movie version which I hadn't liked, must have still been influencing me. So I ended up creating a fantasy world of immortals, magic and battles against evil. The other big influence on me has been all the romance and erotic books I've read. I found the books those authors wrote about how they did their craft. They have been my guide and inspiration.
How do you approach cover design?
Both my partner and I worked for a time as cameramen. Photography was in the blood. My partner has a better eye for detail and better ideas about what might work to tell the story of the book in a picture so I usually leave the artwork to him. He's pretty damn good with the software editing too. The final version of the artwork goes through an online cover creator.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Killing Dance by Laurell K Hamilton because of its blend of horror, passion, angst and one gutsy heroine who isn't afraid to shoot up the bad guys. Narcissus in Chains by the same author for that brilliant bit where Anita must plug the holes in her aura with the energies of her vampire and werewolf. Always gives me a thrill to reread that piece and it's so nicely juxtaposed with the horror that follows. Traci Harding's The Ancient Future had me laughing when the heroine breaks down next to an ancient ritual circle and finding herself thrown back into the ancient celtic past. Sandra Hill's the last Viking and many of the series that followed had me in stitches of laughter. It would be hard to pick between Tink's Neverland by S E Smith, Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Allyson James' Aiden and Ki, The Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Moning or Emma Holly's Fairyville for the fifth.
What do you read for pleasure?
That's easy: paranormal romance, erotica and science fiction
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Google Nexus 7, it fits in my bag and goes everywhere with me. And the real beauty of reading on any e-device is nobody can see what you are reading - just don't blush.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Free book promotions including have worked well for me. Before that I struggled to get readers. I do have the whole blog, linked in, twitter, facebook presence thing going and it no doubt helps fans to connect with me but I don't think it drives the bulk of my sales. I think having multiple books out there definitely helps the exposure, especially when you get readers continuing with the series. Printed bookmarks and business cards were pretty much a waste of time but I still think the business cards are useful if you use them to tell people where to find your books. The local bookshops pretty much roll their ideas when you say your and indie author. My friends have been my greatest marketing asset locally. Local markets are also usually worth a couple of sales if you don't have to pay for a site.
Describe your desk
My side of the dining table
What's the story behind your latest book?
The idea behind the Left Hand Adventures series of novels was getting some concepts out there that deserved a broader audience: about unconditional love, transcending individual existence, that love can come in a variety of forms, not all of them conventional and that there were multiple paths to evolving yourself. I wanted to embed all that in a fantasy world that was only slightly removed from reality, play around with the age old conspiracy theories and have a bit of fun. My heroines had to be capable of looking out for themselves and the heros guys the readers could lust after. The cars, weaponry and erotica just helps to juice it up for the readers.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had no illusions about the odds of getting published through the more traditional channels. I knew friends who had paid to get their own books published. They had ended up with a hard time marketing them to local bookshops who generally don't want to know indie authors. I live pretty simply so cost was ultimately the biggest factor. By publishing ebooks and print-on-demand print books I got around the cost issue. What dollars I have spent I have used on inexpensive marketing. I'm reasonably IT savvy so the publishing side of things was just a matter of patience, getting the formatting right and meeting all the other requirements.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This is my first time using Smashwords. I'm hoping to use it to get my books out on to more platforms. Up until now I've only been on Amazon Kindle. It'll be interesting to see how this goes.
Published 2014-03-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

An Open Connection of the Heart
Series: The Martian Vampire Chronicles. Price: Free! Words: 73,380. Language: English. Published: December 29, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
For the first time since his separation from Alys he realised he was free. All the legal bills were paid. He had nothing and nobody he owed or indeed owned, except for some clothes. He could simply up and walk away from it all. The infinite potential of that thought excited him, enlivened him. He closed his eyes again and asked the space within the question. “Where to from here?” “How about Mars?”
Rewriting the Dream
Series: Left Hand Adventures, Book 8. Price: Free! Words: 75,210. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Mysticism, menage and paranormal mayhem in this final of the series. As the world hurtles towards apocalypse twins Astra and Brenin are asked to enter the cursed space-time anomaly that is Atlantis. They will have to use everything at their disposal: courage, love and friendship if they are to undo the curse that is pulling down the whole planet.
My Inner Alien
Series: Left Hand Adventures, Book 7. Price: Free! Words: 65,420. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Phoenix O'Halloran, Red to her friends, is a brash, in your face journalist who always gets her story. Having long ago lost touch with her emotions, except righteous indignation, she now has a very strange problem. Her subconscious has acquired a voice of its own. It's insisting it’s an extraterrestrial alien who needs her help. Not only that, he's her mate.
The Vampire President and the Headmistress
Series: Left Hand Adventures, Book 6. Price: Free! Words: 68,490. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Can the new vampire president of the remote and secretive Republic of Translavia be trusted? That is the question Adelaide must answer. The enemy is watching. Already messing with the new regime they will do anything to bring it down including killing anyone who stands in their way. An ancient prophecy, assassination attempts, channeled healing, dream yoga and plenty of kinky sex.
Don't Label Me!
Series: Left Hand Adventures, Book 5. Price: Free! Words: 73,440. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Some people are destroyed by life’s events. Some survive. Others stare fate in the face and make their own lives anyway. George, Sathi and Hideo are such people, refugees and survivors of the unexpected. This is the story of their journey towards destiny and their mates. Boswell must sort out where it stands with its various allies and plan to survive a global threat that's headed the planet's way
Guardians of the Rasselas
Series: Left Hand Adventures. Price: Free! Words: 32,510. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Eleni opts to avoid the dubious pleasure of a retail afflicted Christmas with the family by camping out at her favorite lake only to be faced with a shocking discovery that will change all their lives. More than just the parched landscape will be reawakened by Eleni's affinity with stone. An off-the-grid paranormal romance. It contains adult references, diverse sexual relationships and some slang.
A Short Introduction to the Sattvic Diet
Price: Free! Words: 16,650. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Nutrition, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Health & Healing / General
A Short Introduction to the Sattvic Diet. A diet for the mind, body and soul. A way of life. Based an ancient Indian ayurvedic wisdom as well as the author's own experiences. The author is a yoga practitioner who has found the diet useful in living with her allergies and achieving peace of mind. The booklet aims to demystify and explain this ancient diet.
Don't Call Me Kitten!
Series: Left Hand Adventures, Book 4. Price: Free! Words: 60,790. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Zex is an interdimensional diplomat who specializes in delicate war zone negotiations. He is pulled out of his current assignment to be part of an emergency response team heading out to deal with a new foe. In Moscow Helena is in debt to the Russian Mafia and shadowed by a condor that's not really there. She must forge a life for herself and her sister, trying to make the best of bad lot.
A Simple Nuts and Bolts Guide to Yogic Meditation and Relaxation
Price: Free! Words: 13,650. Language: English. Published: April 23, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Yoga, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Meditation
Ever wanted to learn meditation and relaxation but didn't want to get caught in following some guru, joining a cult or drowning in mumbo jumbo. I wrote this book principally for some of my massage clients who needed a simple guide on how to relax. It gives enough, in as plain English as possible, that people with little time can pick from it and use what works for them.
Trust and Destiny
Series: Left Hand Adventures, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 54,340. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
One minute he's Michael Williams, six foot four, short cut brown hair and unassuming brown eyes. The next minute he finds himself in a vast boundless void of light and space with no point of reference. Then he's spat out the other side, confronted by a woman who both takes his breath away and horrifies him with the destiny she must face.
Heart of Stone
Series: Left Hand Adventures, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 39,590. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Romance » Adult
A sci-fi intergalactic, pan-dimensional adventure and a menage love story. Tyra, a quiet city librarian, is called in to view the remains of her uncle who seems to have been slaughtered by a wild beast. She must learn enough about tantra to free her destined mate and enough of martial arts to survive until she does, crossing more than a few taboo boundaries along the way.
A Lick of Immortality
Series: Left Hand Adventures, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 51,360. Language: English. Published: December 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » General
A metaphysical sci-fi romance. A rugged retired army major. A small town veterinarian who's started acting like a cat. A goodly dose of Tibetan mysticism. Sexy pan dimensional immortals. Evil demonic lizard like aliens bent on global domination. And a shapeshifting cat.