Jay Wright II is a 41 year old lover of horror and fantasy. He loves writing about his home state of Alabama and spends his time between his writing and his family.
Right now he’s working on editing his first formal novel Talon: Jester’s Game.
You can check out the prologue here for free:
and go to his author’s page(s) which are listed under his contacts to get updates.
How would you describe your story in one sentence?
An R-rated Buffy the Vampire Slayer told from a Vampire’s perspective.
What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?
I always loved Vampire movies, novels, etc but I noticed this terrible trend (especially lately). Vampires have turned into good boyfriend material and lost a lot of their edge. Either that or they’re terribly broody. I wanted to present them in a different way. While yes my Vampire protagonist does have a romance interest and yes he does to through some deep regretting of things he’s done you can’t define him just by that. He’s very complex. Sometimes witty and sarcastic, sometimes compassionate, and sometimes he gives in to “old habits” and can be as monstrous as they come. I wanted my Vampire lead to be three dimensional and a bit unlike other Vampires out there.
Also, I was tired of female mortal leads being such whiny helpless damsels who seemed always on the verge of slitting their wrists. My female protagonist Sadie is a bit different from the norm. For one (and I’m not sure on this) she may be the first plus size female protagonist in Vampire literature (she’s 5’2″ and about 140 lbs). She’s by no means obese but she’s also not this petite skinny delicate thing. Add on top of that she’s a former preacher’s daughter with a wild side and a sailor’s mouth and I think she’ll stand out against her counterparts in many ways. She doesn’t just counterbalance Talon as a character she blends with him as well. She’s not afraid of a fight and she most certainly doesn’t shy away from blood.
Which authors have influenced you?
These aren’t exactly authors but I truly feel like Joss Whedon and his blend of serious topics with a touch of humor can be seen in my work along with Quentin Tarrantino influencing a lot of my conversations and some of the action sequences. (there’s a heavy criminal element in my first book and I definitely think you can see some Tarrantino in the gangsters I write about)
Which are your favorite literary genres?
definitely horror, fantasy, and a little bit of sci-fi. (my dad worked for NASA, if I didn’t have sci-fi on there the old man would kill me)
What makes a book/story special for you?
the book has to feel real, no matter how crazy things may be or the setting, the characters have to feel like real people and act as such. if the characters feel like living breathing entities it’s going to be a good read.
Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?
I live near Birmingham, Alabama and absolutely yes! I think Stephen King said “To write what you know about” and that’s why he always wrote about Maine. (It’s also why I never plan to visit there, Cujo, Pet Semetaries, Tommyknockers, sounds like a bad place to visit.) I use lots of local landmarks people from the area are going to recognize. There’s a lot more to Alabama than people think and I wanted to show off some of the unique features we have to offer in my book. I touch on racism, the civil rights movement, and even have some good ole fashioned Alabama vs Auburn fan banter because in this state it happens so much if i didn’t use it the book wouldn’t feel real.
How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?
This process has been going on a while. It started off (I kid you not) as a very crappy blog entry type thing and slowly evolved into what it is today. I had to take a break b/c of my vision but thank you cataract surgery and I’m back at it full swing!
Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?
actually looking for a cover artist as we speak but I’m lucky to have a good friend who’s been head editor at a newspaper for the other jobs. It’s good to have friends. 🙂
What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happened?
I’ve learned the first rule to writing is keep at it. Your voice grows the more you write and compared to where I was even a few years ago I’m nowhere near the same writer.
What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles along the writing of your book?
I had an amazing group of friends who read each draft, each alternate version, and kept encouraging me as they saw the writing improve. Sometimes I kid with them and tell them what horrible liars they were to tell me “Draft 1 was great” when I look at what I currently have written. But they kept me going and helped me get my voice to a place I truly like.
What would you do differently on a next project?
Well definitely not starting it as a blog that’s for sure. I think next project I’m just going to jump in write a start to finish and then go back and polish (my first time through I reworked as I went and it took me forever to get a complete novel ready for editing)
Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?
KEEP WRITING! Even if you think what you’re putting out is garbage keep going. Go back later and you may find a gem hidden in that work, a gem that might become a key feature of your book. First time through write whatever comes to you. Get the outline of your story first (the skeleton) then as you go back and edit you’ll fill in all the pieces you need to make the work all it needs to be. It might take a few rewrites but as you get to know the story and the characters the easier it will become. You should know your characters well enough that someone could go “Your character sees or hears this….. what’s their reaction?” and you should know it. They should be living breathing creatures living in your mind and you’re just the one letting them out on paper for the rest of the world to see.
Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?
I have a few:
What are you planning to write/publish next?
I’m starting a series of prequels to my novel which I’m going to shop around as short stories to different publications to get the character and brand name out there. After that I hope to start my second Talon book (I have three planned in my head