KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
I hit the earth at an Air Force base in Florida, then bounced over to vegetation encrusted vistas of Oregon, before sliding into the desert climes of Arizona. As much as I loved Oregon, I didn’t realize how much I’d miss the sky until the trees took over. There’s just something about wide open skies and streets laid out in a logical manner (not being diverted because of an old growth tree) that says home to me. As for the heat, eh, that’s why I have central AC.
As much as I’d love to write full time, there are these little things called bills that require I punch a clock, which I do for my alma mater, Arizona State University. I work in one of their Executive Education units with a focus on public administration. When not working, I manage a husband affectionately known as Geek Lord, my two mini-adults referred to as the Prankster Duo (Son 1 and Son 2), while being herded by my black and white rescue labs, who answer to the Fur Minxes. All together, they manage to keep me quite busy.
1. How did you get started writing?
I was eight and had just returned from watching Star Wars at the drive-in theater (yes, the one where you park the car and the clumsy speaker hangs on your window). When I went to bed that night, I spent a couple of hours re-writing the story so Han Solo would have a kick ass female to be with instead of the whiny Princess Leia. Years later, my parents got an electric typewriter so the six teenagers who were in typing class could practice their emerging skills. Needless to say, I took it over and we became inseparable.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
My stories tend to fall under Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Romantic Suspense. Think of it as a mix of magic, love and mayhem. As an avid reader I would gorge on fantasy and murder-mysteries from my school and local libraries, but when I hit high school I started sneaking my mom’s romance novels out of the house.
After stumbling through life and entering the big bad world as an adult, both my writing and reading tastes evolved. Now my characters (magical and non) suddenly became harder to hurt (emotionally and physically) while their relationships became crucial to my stories. A therapist would have a field day with this, but my stories shifted to heroines who didn’t need a hero to ride to her rescue. Sometimes it was more satisfying if she rumbled up to rescue him from a psycho on her Harley, only to discover that together they could take on the shuffling zombie horde or band of psychos.
3. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Well, once I get my tunes on my hour and fifteen minute commute becomes a writer’s brain storming session. Generally if I’m in the midst of a book, I’m honing character motivation or plot twists or planning out a conversation filled with witty repartee (which is a lot harder than you think). If there’s no book in progress, I’m pondering ideas for the next one. Most of the time it keeps me from creating chaos on the roads or turning the ride home into a battle scene from Mad Max.
4. What is your favorite part of writing?
Best thing—readers who take time out of their lives to pick up your stories, fall in love with them, and then actually share that experience with you. Writing is a solo endeavor, so when a reader tells me how much they enjoyed a story, it makes my entire week!
5. What is your least favorite part of writing?
My least favorite thing, is finally getting a solution to that scene/character motivation/plot line you’ve been hung up for EVER while you’re in the shower—with shampoo in your hair and knowing you have to jump out and write it down before you FORGET IT. This happens more than you want to know.
6. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who would they be and why?
Helen Mirren, mainly because she comes across as a great mix of compassion and tough love. She has no problem telling you exactly what you need to hear, whether you like it or not. Not to mention her sense of humor is freakin’ fantastic.
Gary Sinese—something about all that quiet dignity and his continual example of serving your fellow human, and that smile that tells you, yeah you got this, but if you stumble, I’ll be there to help.
7. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Most of my ideas begin with a character type and as I get to know that character, the situation they’re facing starts to come into focus, then the challenges raise their ugly heads and we’re off with a story. I’m a big believer in asking, “What if?” and you’d be surprised at how often that simple question will send you off into a fabulous new world with the most interesting characters.
8. Tell me about your ideal reader.
Basically if you enjoyed Romancing the Stone, binge watching Supernatural or NCIS, or like the thrill of Criminal Minds or Mindhunter, I’m guessing you’re someone who enjoys non-stop adventure, complex characters, intriguing romance, and otherworldly settings. With that being said, have I got books for you.
9. What is your “go to” routine that helps you get in the mood to write? Special beverage? Music? Etc.
I’m a fairly structured person, so when it comes to writing, I have to stick to my routine. This means I have to write almost every day to a specific word count. I’ve found I have to get the daily things that hover around of my plate so I can focus, then it’s just me, my keyboard & screen, music, and coffee.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
Out in January 2018 my most recent release is BEG FOR MERCY, the second in my romance suspense series, Fate’s Vultures. Set in a future where civilization is crawling back from near ruin and humanity fights to hold on to their new reality, the series focuses on a band of vigilantes who think the future is worth fighting for, so they stands as shields for those without, warriors born and bred.
It all starts with LYING IN RUINS, which follows Ruin and Charity:
On a mission to retrieve a kidnapped child, a woman skilled in secrecy crosses paths with a nomadic vigilante bent on revenge. Despite their mutual distrust, the unlikely pair joins forces to hunt a common enemy. Together they must survive the predators picking through the desiccated remains of civilization. What will tear them apart first—their suspicions or their enemies?
BEG FOR MERCY follows with Havoc and Mercy’s story:
To trap a cunning and illusive predator, a protector forged in a blood soaked history must partner with the cynical heart of a betrayed assassin. Can the wary pair forge a bond of loyalty before suspicions and betrayals tear them apart?
EXPOSING VEX (late 2018) and FEAR THE REAPER (2019) will complete the series.
Be sure to come back on Wednesday’s Book Bench blog to learn more about Jami Gray’s Fate’s Vulture’s series books, LYING IN RUINS and BEG FOR MERCY!
Links to Jami’s website, blog, books, etc.
- • Website: http://www.JamiGray.com
- • Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/LvoZn
- • Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI
- • Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/JamiGray
- • Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JamiGrayWriter
- • Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamiGrayAuthor
- • Google+: https://google.com/+JamiGray
- Black Opal Books: BlackOpalBooks.com
- Muse It Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com
- Escape Publishing: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/
Lying in Ruins – Fate’s Vultures #1
- • Escape Publishing: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9781489245656
- • Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lying-Ruins-Jami-Gray-ebook/dp/B06XS9BSVF
- • Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lying-in-ruins-jami-gray/1126450833
- • iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/shadows-edge-kyn-kronicles/id482595056?mt=11 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lying-in-ruins/id1239412414?mt=11
- • Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lying-in-ruins
Beg for Mercy – Fate’s Vultures #2
- • Escape Publishing: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9781489255198
- • Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mercy-Fates-Vultures-Jami-Gray-ebook/dp/B076C9JX8X
- • Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beg-for-mercy-jami-gray/1127273688
- • iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beg-for-mercy/id1301645100?mt=11
My other series can be found: http://jamigray.com/books/
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and two giveaways!
The author is hosting an Amazon Giveaway for a kindle copy of Lying in Ruins (3 winners)!
Also, enter to win a $25 Gift Card to either Amazon or B&N!
Thanks, Jami, for sharing your books with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read these books!