Today we are talking with Jayde Scott, author of “A Job From Hell.” Thank you Jayde for taking the time to stop in and talk with us. So let’s get started!
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How was “A Job From Hell” born?
Thanks so much for having me here, Tom. It's such an honour.
Well, how was A Job From Hell born? It's said everyone has that one particular story of a lifetime to tell. This is mine. It all started with Anne Rice's The Queen of the Damned. I loved that book so much and thought it'd be fun to write my own vampire novel. I finished the first draft at eighteen and put it aside for a few years, went back to it at twenty-four, put it aside again. Last year, I tossed it all out and started from scratch because there were no Shadows, no legends, or otherworld in the first two drafts and I wanted more paranormal elements. I changed the title, the storyline, the characters, the genre, my style – everything, actually. After about twenty-five rounds of editing, A Job From Hell was complete and bared absolutely no resemblance to the first draft.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I've always known I wanted to be a writer. As a kid, I used to read my mother's romance novels (think Sandra Brown and Jude Deveraux) and rewrite the ending to mix the stories up a little because I was fed up with all the happy endings and the successful guys getting the pretty girls. When I reached my teenage years and started reading Anne Rice and every single piece of gothic and dark literature I could get my hands on, I used to believe I'd be a great poet one day. That wish turned into aspirations to become a novelist when I started uni, but it took me a few years to actually establish a writing schedule, find the genre that suited my writing style the most, and work hard to actually finish writing a book.
Did any of your characters exist before the story?
Oh, yes, they all exist before the actual story's born. I tend to imagine people and then brainstorm what could happen to them. Sometimes it doesn't work and I chuck them all out of my head and invent someone new, but most of the time they stay around until I find a suitable story for them. I hope I don't come across like a schizophrenic or someone suffering from a multiple personality disorder.
What was your most satisfying moment with this book?
Writing 'The End'. Just joking. Actually, I love rereading a story when it's completely edited and a few months have passed. It's so gratifying to read something after a while because all the tension has passed and one can finally enjoy the work without thinking of sentence structure, character development and world building. It feels alien and scary, as though someone else wrote it, but also fulfilling.
Are your characters all completely fictional? Is there any of you in them?
Aidan's actually a very famous rock star. I won't say who it is, but the first time I saw him I knew he was worthy of 'being' Aidan. So it was only a matter of time until I came up with the right story and the other characters to suit him. I don't really see myself in any of my characters, maybe in their hopes and dreams, but not in their personalities.
How did you choose your title?
That's a funny story actually. I had been trying to come up with a title for ages, changing it back and forth between 'On the threshold of death' and 'The book of the vampire' when I entered a really difficult phase in the writing process. Over morning coffee, I started to moan and complain about having a hard time and the story being 'the job from hell'. That instant, I knew I had my title.
Which character would you bring home to mother? Which one would be secretly involved with?
I'd love to say Aidan since he's such a gentleman and so responsible. He's probably the one who'd end up buying a house, get a car and live happily ever after. But I'd probably end up falling for Kieran or Thrain. There's something exciting about dangerous bad boys and the constant uncertainty of will he/won't he break my heart.
Cass is the one to bring home though. Imagine having dinner with someone who has the attention span of a two-year-old and who can hear your thoughts and those of the neighbours across the street. That must make for awesome dinner conversation.
Where do you write and when?
I write at night because my neighbours are irritatingly noisy and I need perfect silence. At times, when I'm really into a character or scene, I can write during the day while listening to music. I wish I could say I can write anywhere. Unfortunately, it has to be a dark room, no windows, no clutter. There has to be a bed and a wall because I tend to write sitting on a bed or sofa, leaning against the wall with my MacBook cradled on my thighs. I also prefer cold, rainy days, but my room needs to be warm. I'm very particular about my writing environment.
Do you have a playlist? If so what was “A Job From Hell’s?” If you could choose a theme song for this book what would it be?
A playlist's a must for any fantasy writer. The songs change depending on what I write. As the official A Job From Hell anthem I'd probably choose You Don't Know Love by the Editors because I must've listened to it a million times while writing A Job From Hell. It's just so mysterious and gothic, and the voice suits the paranormal romance genre perfectly. The 'One look and I saw inside every little thing you'd die to hide' part probably inspired half of the book. Other favourite songs were:
OneRepublic – All the right moves (the video's so beautiful and inspired Amber and Aidan's stroll in the woods and Aidan giving Amber his mother's locket)
Dishwalla – Find your way back home/Until I wake up
Florence and the Machine – Cosmic Love/Between Two Lungs
Robert Francis – Junebug
Linkin Park – Headstrong
What have you learned being an indie author?
Marketing and social networking are your best friends. They should always accompany you when you're having breakfast, lunch and dinner, and should be part of your evening routine, because they're almost as important as brushing your teeth. Apart from that, I've also learned that searching for cover and book trailer art is a fun yet addictive activity.
Dogs or Cats?
Coke or Pepsi?
Tough one. I love Coke's advertising campaigns, particularly the Christmas ones. But I prefer the taste of Pepsi because it's not so sweet.
Socks or barefoot?
Coffee or Tea?
Harry Potter or Twilight?
Tough one again. I'll go with Twilight but only because I like vampire stories.
Who are you on L O S T?
Juliet Burke – she's composed and always so loyal and helpful.
What is your approach to resolve writer’s block?
What is writer's block? - Simply pretend it doesn't exist and keep on writing.
Traditional or ebook?
Ebook because I'm an environmentalist and don’t want our trees chopped down for the sake of paper.
Who should star in “A Job From Hell?”
I haven't really thought about this. Maybe Chace Crawford if he put on a few pounds, or Chris Pine. To play Amber, I'd go for someone who has Gemma Arterton's curves because being a bit chubby and having curves is what Amber's all about.
If you didn’t write what else would you do?
I can't imagine myself doing anything else for longer than a few months. Since I'm a psychologist, I'd probably be doing that.
Tell us a bit about Alex Gonzo, Royal Spy.
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Alex Gonzo, Royal Spy was an experiment. I'm a fantasy writer at heart but felt a bit low after finishing A Job From Hell. Writing 94,000 words was a torture I didn't want to repeat straight away, so I decided to try my hand at a middle grade adventure. A month later I had this funny story about a boy, Thom, whose dad disappears and now Thom's forced to steal his dad's identity as a spy in order to save him. It was so much fun, not least because I decided to make the kids naughty and confident. I can actually see myself in Hilly, the fifteen-year-old with a bit of an attitude and a love for shopping and spending money. I still adore that story, not least because some of the lines are just hilarious. If you like a bit of James Bond and Sherlock Holmes with lots of humour, check out Alex Gonzo, Royal Spy.
Final question: What is next for Jayde Scott?
Well, I have my women's fiction novel The Divorce Club out with publishers. Let's see what happens there. Now that Beelzebub Girl, the second book in the Ancient Legends series, is out, I'm currently focusing on writing the third installment, tentatively titled Voodoo Kiss, which will feature Cass, Amber and Clare as well as a new character, Sofia.
I'm also working on the first book in the Warlock series, which is dark, gothic YA fiction inspired by mythology and ancient cultures. There's still a lot to tell in the Ancient Legends series, so there shall be a few more books, but I'm also ready to step in a new, more mythological direction to see where it takes me, hence the Warlock series. I'm very excited at the outlook of retreating into my dark abode and focusing on writing again.