Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Pippa Jay, author of the Redemption series. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today.
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Welcome to PNRLovers, Pippa.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Pippa Jay, and I write scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. I have three little redhaired monsters with my husband of 22 years, and we live in the historical town of Colchester - Britain’s oldest recorded market town and once the Roman capitol of our country. I’m a life-long fan of Doctor Who, a Scaper, and Sith-in-Training. My hobbies include freestyle street dance to keep fit, sewing cosplay, customizing dolls to look like my book characters, taking care of our small menagerie of bantam chickens, a leopard gecko and a tank of tropical fish, and collecting geek memorabilia and perfume bottles.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as an author?
Making readers happy. Writing books makes me happy, but I only keep on publishing because people have liked my books and told me so. As long as they keep on enjoying my work, I’ll keep right on putting my stories out there.
Have you always wanted to write? How old were you when you wrote your first romance?
I’ve always been writing, for as long as I can remember, and I simply cannot imagine not As for my first romance - I started writing a trilogy of Star Wars-esque scifi stories which involved the central characters ending up together, though I never had them kissing (I was only eleven at the time...). Back then I wouldn’t have called it a romance because I didn’t even know what that meant!
Who, or what, not including other authors or industry professionals has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Well, my family has a big impact on my writing, as does where I live. I’m lucky that we’re not right in the heart of town but it’s close enough for convenience. Go five minutes the other way and you’re out in the country. A bit further and you’re at our local zoo, with lots of interesting animals and environments for inspiration. Take a half hour drive and you’ll be at any one of several different beaches, from thick estuary mud banks to stony shores covered in fossils like sharks teeth, to tropical-looking sandy stretches. Settings like that influence the settings on my book a LOT. Really, I use pretty much everything in my life as inspiration for what I write in some way or another.
Generally I will start off with one or more scenes in my head, usually involving the character who will be central to the story, though not always. Once I have those written down, they usually give me a very faint storyline to work from. I don’t plot, and I don’t write linearly, so my story construction is pretty chaotic and builds up organically over time from that initial handful of scenes. I have drawn maps—a castle layout for one story, for example—so that as I’m writing something like a chase scene I can reference where each character will be and where they can hide or escape to, so I can be sure I’ve not suddenly moved where a certain room is or magically created new corridors mid-scene or anything stupid like that. Somewhat belatedly I’m making character profiles and glossaries to I can keep all the details consistent for my worlds, and especially for my series. That’s a problem with pantsing - I didn’t create these things beforehand and I’m now having to work on them in retrospect!
What scenes are the most difficult ones for you to write? Love? Action? Racy? How come?
Racy is a bit tricky because I still get embarrassed about strongly sensual or sexual scenes, even now. I feel like I’m invading my characters’ privacy, lol. But the hardest ever scene I had to write was one involving the death of a main character’s mother. My critique partner threw it back twice, saying it needed more emotion and she knew I could do much better. I found it incredibly difficult because it meant facing and remembering a tragedy from my own life, which was very painful to do. But it really did make the scene work better and I’m very proud of it. I just wouldn’t like to do that again.
Is there a subject you would never write about? Why?
I was reminded about one very specific thing I would never write about by a tweet yesterday, and that’s a spanking story. I got spanked by my parents way too many times to find that in any way sexy or desirable. >.<
What happens to your deleted scenes? Do you squirrel them away for future use, or are they gone forever?
I never throw anything away! If I can’t recycle the scene for the future, I keep them to use for blog posts and tours as bonus material, usually with reasons why they never made the final cut. I have over fifty versions of my debut novel stored away on disks and memory sticks, every round of editing that was done on it and every cut scene. I can’t bear to delete any of them.
What new and exciting thing is coming from you in the next little while?
Can you share a short excerpt of your newest release?
My latest paranormal is a re-release after my publisher closed—Restless In Peaceville—a YA zombie story that my editor called adorable. Here my two teen zombies have just had a narrow escape from a hunter called the Peacemaker, who likes to dispose of the supernatural for fun:
"You saved my life, Luke."
I shrug my good shoulder. "Not really."
"Yes, really. I mean, I know we're dead already, but I remember what Ma Robbins said. He would have blown my head off and sent me straight to hell. You stopped him. You took the bullet for me."
I shrug again. Yeah, I did do that but I couldn't have stood there and let him shoot her. I look into her eyes again. Never to see her? To know what kind of place I'd let her get sent to? And the grin the Peacemaker would have had on his face at sending her to hell? No. I ain't gonna let that happen to her.
She's still smiling at me. Hell, girls have never smiled at me, except when they were laughing at me. Maybe this being dead ain't so bad.
I lean forward. I don't know what I'm doing, but I want to try this. What's the worst that can happen?
So I kiss her. I don't know what it's meant to be like, but I've imagined it often enough. Dreamed about it sometimes. Her lips are cold, but they're soft and she doesn't pull away. Instead her arms go round my neck and she pulls me closer. And for a few minutes I forget that we're both dead and there's a big black shadow and a madman after us, and that we've no idea how to get out of this. Because Annabelle is kissing me, and suddenly that's all that matters for the next five minutes of my death.
Where can our readers find you online? Do you have a newsletter they could sign up for?
You can find me at my blog http://pippajay.blogspot.com or my website http://pippajay.co.uk, but my favourite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen (http://twitter.com/pippajaygreen). You could also follow me on my Amazon author page here http://author.to/PippaJay to just get notified of my latest release, or sign up to my newsletter at http://eepurl.com/IKX7b which not only tells you instantly when I have a new book out, but also of any sales, freebies and giveaways. It generally only goes out once a month at most unless something super special comes up that I want to tell my readers about.
Thank you so much for hanging out and chatting with us today, Pippa. Good luck with your upcoming releases.