Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Jaye Ford

Today we welcome author Jaye Ford to the Author Spotlight. Jaye’s thriller BEYOND FEAR was published last year, and her new novel, SCARED YET? will be released on March 1st. Read on to see how you could win a copy…

 

1.      Can you tell us a little about your new release, SCARED YET?

Thanks so much for having me at the Author Spotlight. In Scared Yet?, Livia Prescott fights off an assailant and survives a terrifying assault – but it’s just the beginning of her nightmare. Menacing notes start to arrive and as police widen their search for her attacker, Liv feels watched and vulnerable and scared. When her family and friends are drawn into her stalker’s focus, she starts to wonder if it’s a stranger or someone much closer to home. And whether there is anyone she can trust.

 

2.      What do you love most about writing thrillers, and how important do you think it is for books in this genre to have an element of romance in the story?

I love that a story can go anywhere in a thriller. It can be as wild and crazy and intense as my imagination likes and I can have as many or as few characters as I want (and kill them off or not) – so long as I tell the story well, of course.

A romantic element isn’t essential but I like what it does for my stories. I write about ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances and what’s going on in their head and heart will affect what decisions they make in a crisis. Also, I love to put my characters through the wringer so if they can survive all that, they deserve to get the guy – one way or another!

 

3.      Do you write detailed character profiles, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?

I don’t write down anything in detail, apart from the story itself. I find if I make too many decisions before I start writing, the story gets bound up and won’t move ahead. I usually start with a fairly clear idea of what the main characters are like, a kind of mental pencil-sketch that gets coloured in along the way. For the secondary characters, I have an idea of the role they need to play as friend or foe then wait to see how they develop in the writing process. A lot of the characterisation for the secondaries – physical details and back stories – gets filled in after the story is complete.

 

4.      How long does it usually take you to write the first draft of a novel?

A long time. I write the first draft as though it’s the finished product or as though I’m reading the story myself, seeing how the events turn out. I try to keep moving forward, only rewriting if something isn’t coming together – or if everyone turns right to Disneyland when they should’ve gone left to Oz. When it’s finished, I can see what needs to be ditched or embellished or what just seems stupid once the ending is written.

Having said all that, I can spend months cursing myself over the slowness of the process and wishing I could do it another way. The up side is that the rewriting seems like a breeze when I finally get there.

 

5.      Since becoming a published author, have you had to spend a lot of time with marketing and promotion? Have you learned any tips that could help other authors?

I was a journalist and public relations consultant before a writer so I’ve plenty of experience in the media side of promotion but when Beyond Fear came out, I was surprised at how much of my writing time was eaten into. Speaking events can take up big chunks of time, although I really enjoy meeting readers and people enthusiastic about books. I’ve also had the chance to speak at some fabulous events which makes the time away from work more than worthwhile.

The social networking side of things was a whole new world and I still feel inept. After years of editing to death anything I sent out, I’m hopeless at whipping up a few lines and posting them, so it all takes up a lot of head space as well as time.

As to tips – the PR consultant in me says: make contact with local journalists, network with people who know lots of people and have the story of yourself ready to go. The writer in me says: relax, don’t panic, be yourself and have fun with it – you’ve earned it!

 

6.      What is a typical day like for you?

I write full-time now and after running a business from home for several years, I got in the good habit of working in business hours. I like to get any non-writing jobs out of the way in the morning and as early as possible, then take a coffee to my office and work until lunch, have a quick break and go again until 5 or 6pm. I don’t like to break the flow once I’ve started working on a story, so I do any other writing bits and pieces – emails, blogs, publicity etc – first then get stuck in. I also have a half day off every week for a yoga class and to catch up with friends – all work and no play can make a writer and her imaginary friends go a little nuts!

 

7.      Since everybody needs a break, even when doing something they love, how do you like to spend your time away from writing?

Because writing equals lots of sitting, I like to do things that get me moving – nothing too ambitious but enough to get the blood flowing, the wind in my hair and me out of my head. My husband and I have a boat and we spend a lot of weekends on the water with family and friends. I also try to walk most days (I admit, sometimes it’s only because my two dogs are looking daggers at me) and I take a couple of yoga classes each week.

 

8.      Describe yourself in three words:

Determined, goofy, storyteller.

 

9.      What are you working on next?

Scared Yet? is out on March 1 and I’ll be focusing on publicity for a little while. I’ve also just been signed up to write  another two novels for Random House, which I’m really excited about and already  sorting through the pencil sketches for my next book, a thriller called Blood Secret.

 

Jaye is published by Random House (Bantam), you can visit her on Facebook (Jaye Ford) or at her website.

Thank you for taking part in our Author Spotlight!

*To WIN a copy of SCARED YET? comment below and answer the following question:

‘In a few words, what scares you most?’

The winner will be drawn on Monday 5th March.

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29 Comments

  1. I loved Jaye’s first book! It was one of my favorite reads of 2011. What scares me the most? Mmm. Maybe loosing my sight. My dad has macular degeneration and it can be hereditary. Not a great thing for a reader. 😦

    Reply
  2. Sue Rees

     /  February 27, 2012

    What scares me most would be losing my husband or my children. They are too much a part of me. I’d rather lose a limb than lose them. On a different level of fear – sharks – they’ve been around since pre-history. Entering their element is scary enough for me. Hitchcock was the master of scary though – just enough suggestion that his audience then draws on what is most scary to each individual – brrr! OMG – what was that sound?…
    Best wishes for your new release.

    Reply
  3. I cannot wait to read Scared Yet? I loved, loved, loved Beyond Fear. Brilliant page-turner. The sort of book that made my heart race and my skin turn clammy because I was so involved in the story and invested in the characters. Like Keziah, Beyond Fear was one of my best reads of 2011.

    As for what scares me most…hmm…it used to be anything man-eating – crocodiles, sharks etc. But that’s just irrational fear, whereas the fear of losing my other half is real, the event unbearable. That’s so horrible I don’t even want to think about it in case it comes true.

    Wishing you all the best with Scared Yet? I look to another great read.

    Reply
  4. Carmen

     /  February 27, 2012

    Great post. Thank you, Jaye and Juliet.

    What scares me most? I think, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve tended to make peace or at least reach a kind of truce with the scary, inevitable things I can’t control like losing my loved ones, aging and dying. If I don’t dwell on them, they don’t scare me. But creatures that jump me in the garden? I can’t ever imagine being reconciled with slugs and grubs, spiders and their clinging, tenacious webs. They make me shriek and wave about like a child. =]

    Reply
  5. Natasha D

     /  February 27, 2012

    Hi Jaye and Juliet,

    I have one major fear…cancer. Having lost my husband, both parents, my mother-in-law, a bro-in-law and a friend to this horror, as well as having another bro-in-law and my late friends bro in remission at the moment, I will always be waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’. Strangely I don’t fear for myself, but for my children and their children.

    My kids have finally decided that selecting Christmas and birthday presents for me is a no-go. Instead I have to give them a list of books I want to read (always expanding) and they randomly select which books I am getting. I’ve added your books to the list so…hopefully it will be one book shorter.

    Reply
  6. Hey, great post Jaye! Can’t wait to jump into Scared Yet? Like everyone else I LOVED Beyond Fear and I’m thrilled it has been such a huge success.
    Lou

    Reply
  7. It feels as though I’ve been looking forward to Scared Yet for ages! Loved Beyond Fear and know this book will be a great read too.

    I have to agree with Keziah. My Dad had macular degeneration as well and watching his world shrink was horrible. I have an amsler grid on my fridge and I regularly check there are no wavy lines….

    I’d really rather be scared by Jaye’s books!!

    Reply
  8. What scares me the most…………MAN.
    I can kill spiders, and snakes, I can even kill an attacking animal… but man, is a different story. I freeze, but if in the right frame of mind I could put up a pretty good fight. At least I hope so. lol… 🙂

    Reply
  9. I’m not crazy about small, enclosed spaces, but if you want what makes me shriek and jump around, it’s scuttly things that jump out at me when I’m not expecting them. I can bring the family at a run from next door if an earwig lands on me!

    Reply
  10. Thanks everyone for your comments! It’s so nice that people have been waiting for Scared Yet? – and that I’m on someone’s gift list, thanks Natasha. The idea of being stalked gives me the chills – I hope you feel some of that when you read Scared Yet?

    Reply
  11. Natasha D

     /  February 27, 2012

    Can’t wait to read it Jaye. Its a terrifying feeling to be stalked. I know ‘cos I had a phone stalker in 2006. The police and Telstra were great but the freakiest part about it was that I lived in WA and the creep was in an outback town in NSW.- calling from a pay phone at 2am his time. He must have spent bundles on STD calls (5 months worth). And he knew what to say and when to say it to freak me (and the cops) out. Total sociopath! It will be great to have the adrenaline rush without the actuallity.

    Reply
  12. Can’t wait to get my hands on Scared Yet. Really enjoyed Beyond Fear and hope to see the same strong characters and scenarios that are scary because they ring true.

    Reply
  13. I’m scared right now. Scared I’m too late to comment and win 🙂 Jaye, you speak of ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances. How about an extraordinary woman writing extraordinary novels. You have been such an inspiration for me.

    Reply
  14. Can’t wait to read Scared Yet. What makes me scared is getting dementia like my father. Eleven years on a bed. No thanks. Brain, please keep working.
    Well done and congratulations. You must be pleased with your cover.
    Best
    Cathleen

    Reply
  15. That sounds like a horrible experience, Natasha! A voice in your ear is so personal and the lack of any kind of reason makes it seem worse. I’m glad it didn’t get any worse. Jen, you’re too nice!! And you’re an inspiration to others now you’ve got your fab publishing contract! I hope you enjoy Scared Yet? And definitely not too late to make a scary comment.

    Reply
  16. Cath Evans

     /  February 28, 2012

    I’m another who love Beyond Fear and will be looking for Scared Yet? on March 1st.

    I’m scared of finding a dead body. It’s a crazy fear but one that’s been with me since I was a kid. I don’t know why I have it. The closest I came was when I was learning to scuba dive and when we were going on our first swim, there was this huge, bloated white corpse beneath me. I totally freaked thinking it was a long-dead man…but when the instructor found me spluttering at the surface, he explained it was just a fat man snorkelling who’d dived down. I so nearly gave up diving. Who cares about sharks when there are sights like that!?

    Good luck with your release, Jaye, and congrats on your new 2 book deal 🙂

    Cath

    Reply
  17. Thanks to everyone for dropping by the blog, we’ll announce the winner on Monday.

    I’m getting scared just reading all these comments!!

    I bought a copy of Scared Yet? the other day and am looking forward to reading it (in the daytime) 😉

    Reply
  18. Thanks everyone for your scary thoughts! You’ve given me plenty to think about as I start my next thriller. And thanks for your best wishes for Scared Yet? I hope you enjoy it – lock the doors before you start!
    Happy reading – Jaye

    Reply
  19. What scares me most? Being in a strange place and losing my way, especially when crowds dwindle the further I go. Turning down a street in an unfamiliar part of a city, buildings with blank windows towering above, but no one else in sight… I don’t want to think about that!

    Reply
  20. I hate the thought of dying and leaving my disabled daughter to survive without my support.
    …and big hairy spiders.

    Reply
  21. Trish Wasina

     /  February 29, 2012

    I can’t wait to read ‘Scared yet’?

    The thing that scares me the most is losing my loved ones.
    My Husband had a heart attack 14 months ago and he was very lucky to have tell tale symptoms – not everyone gets them. We’ve been married for 28 years, soon to be 29 years in June.
    My mother is once again fighting cancer, I’m scared for her.
    My children are all over 18 years now – they’re adults, but I’m scared for them too.

    Spiders, creepy crawlers etc….I can live with them but I can’t live without my family.

    Reply
  22. karen

     /  February 29, 2012

    ghost

    Reply
  23. Rebecca Sierp

     /  February 29, 2012

    Jellyfish! They’re squishy and freaky looking! They’ve always scared me.

    Reply
  24. What scares me the most is the idea of losing my wits,intelligence,memory as I age. so to stave this off I am doing a Psychology Degree at 51yrs old. Its a lot of work but I love it and my brain has improved…use it or lose it..as they say

    Reply
  25. This is the first time that I have heard of Jaye Ford but already i am wanting to read one of her books and get caught up in her story, what scares me the most, in one simple but gut wrenching, guillotine dropping, stoned at the wall word… failure!

    Reply
  26. Renae Ward

     /  March 1, 2012

    What scares me most is the idea of being scared. Sometimes my imagination is worse than the reality of the situation.

    Reply
  27. Suzanne

     /  March 3, 2012

    What scares me the most is being buried alive by mistake. Fingernails scratching at the inside of my coffin and there is no one to rescue me. Therefore I’m not sinking into the ground nor fired to ashes. So its an Indian burial for me.lol

    Reply
  28. A BIG thank you to everyone for sharing your greatest fear.

    The winner (drawn through random.org) is Margaret Storey! Congratulations Margaret, please check your email inbox for a message from me.

    And for those that missed out, make sure you go out and buy a copy of Scared Yet? at your local bookstore or online retailer 🙂

    Thanks Jaye, it was a (scary) pleasure having you on the blog! 😉

    Reply
  29. We have had to draw an alternate winner, and that winner is… Rebecca Sierp! Congrats Rebecca 🙂

    Reply

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