Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
I started writing as an escape from reality. The day-to-day world of bills and work seems pretty drab when you can go inside your head and play with vampires, wizards, and werewolves! My first attempts at stories were the worst kind of comic-book fanboy crap. Luckily for me, I think they’ve long since been lost to the ages (and thank God). I always wanted to try my hand at it, but I never seriously thought I’d see the day I’d be doing it as a profession until about three years ago.
Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer?
There have been so many people over the years, it’s hard to pick one and say “This was my biggest influence.” My mom taught me how to read; my dad taught me the value of hard work and practicing something until you get it right. Dean Koontz showed me that it was possible to put words together into something greater than the sum of their parts. Jim Butcher taught me to never give up and keep going after the dream, even if it seems like an impossibly long shot. And H.C. Brown taught me it was okay to say “pussy!”
What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
A great story should leave the reader with things to think about after it’s over. It should challenge readers’ conceptions and make them want more, but be satisfied with what the writer gives them. It should inspire real emotion; the reader should laugh and cry with the characters, cheer for the good guys and mutter curses at the bad ones. Above all else, it should be memorable, the kind of story a reader will think about three months, a year, or ten years later and want to revisit.
Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
My character development has always been a little haphazard. I like to start with putting a person in a place and seeing what he/she does. As the story moves on, the character reveals more and more to me. Think of it as a sort of mental striptease, except what’s being exposed isn’t naked flesh but the character’s true being.
To date my favorite character has been Yemala, from The Gael and the Goddess. She is completely devoid of pretense and doesn’t understand the modern world’s insistence on covering this, hiding that, and talking in circles around what one really wants. She was a lot of fun to create because of the juxtaposition between who she is and what the world around her tells her she should be, never mind that she’s a freaking deity!
The most challenging characters so far still have to be my gay werewolves from The Wildsworn. (Now out of print, but in preparation for intense editing and adding more material!) It took a surprising amount of time and effort to put myself in a headspace where I could comprehend the attraction a male might feel for another male, and how such an attraction would logically be expressed. I had to make myself feel something completely out of my wheelhouse, and the learning experience it gave me is something I’ll always treasure.
Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
My latest project, called Dusk, has been accepted and serialized by Changeling Press, with the first installment releasing on March 28th. It’s an MFM ménage…and so much more! (See more about Dusk below.)
Right now I’m working on completing added material and substantial reworking of my Angels stories, which have been previously published, in preparation for re-releasing them. After that, I’ll be working on doing the same to my Wildsworn books (MM werewolves), with a view to having the whole thing completed by the end of March. At the same time I’ll be keeping up with school work and writing another novel for my Honors thesis. It’s due April 15th, so I’m going to have to keep a pretty tight schedule to make it all work! There’s always something new going on, so be sure to check out my contact information for the latest.
Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
For the latest, up-to-the-minute news, I invite you to check out my Twitter feed @Author_JSWayne or my Facebook page @js.wayne.5 . You can also visit my blog at http://jswayne.wordpress.com, or even email me at email@example.com. I love receiving letters from readers, so don’t be shy! God knows I’m not!!
Do you have a strict writing schedule? How do you balance your personal and writing time?
My writing schedule has to be fairly fluid, considering I’m working around 16 college credit hours and promoting my work in between bouts of writing. Even so, I try to get about a novel (80-100k words) out every month depending on what else is happening.
The sad truth about my life is that I have very little “personal” time. Just about everything I do ties into my writing somehow or other. Ask the folks at the local watering hole, who see me walk in, order a beer, open my laptop and get to work. I might come up to go have a cigarette or order another beer, but it’s a pretty rare day when I don’t have my computer or am not sitting around thinking about the current or next story.
Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
My favorite stories so far have been my Angels, which are also about to get the editing and reworking treatment just like The Wildsworn. Not only were they my first published stories ever, but I think in a lot of ways they are the ones with the most to say about the human condition and what love can and should be, and what kinds of obstacles love makes it possible to overcome. All my stories do that to some extent, but an angel of death who falls so desperately in love with a human women he’s willing to place the entire cosmos in jeopardy? That’s a pretty damn tough act to follow.
What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
All my characters reflect some aspect of my personality to one degree or another, but I’d say the closest to me personally is Det. Michael “Dutch” Grunhauer, from Sock It To Me. He definitely has the most snark and sarcasm, both of which are personality traits I indulge liberally in real life.
If you could throw a party with any five people (living or dead) who would you pick and why?
Jim Butcher, because…Harry Dresden! I’d love to get some pointers from THE urban fantasy master.
Morgan Freeman, because he’s easily one of the greatest actors in the history of ever.
Kim Harrison, because I love The Hollows series and I have a particular soft spot for redheads.
Nero, because he had that special kind of crazy I really enjoy (even if the story about him fiddling while Rome burned is apocryphal)
Sappho, because I’d love to hear her insights on the various shadings of female love and desire. The Ancient Greek might be an issue, but we can assume if she’s present there’s not likely to be much of a language barrier.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do to just kick back and have fun?
This may seem awfully sophomoric, but I like to hang out with my friends, watch the UFC, and then play beer pong. Alternately, I go over and hang out with my friends in the local Cedar City band Regards From Gotham and listen to them play their original songs. (Every once in a while, I even get to help out with a lyric or two!)
What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?
I don’t know if this is the strangest, but it was certainly the most public! Back at the end of December, I posted a contest inviting readers to tell me what they wanted me to write next. As far as I know, there aren’t many authors out there doing that, so it was something unique and fun. I really enjoyed seeing what different folks wanted to see me do. I was surprised when the contest ended and the winning concept was MFM ménage, set in the future, with magick, aliens, and an evil magician. (I was NOT surprised that the heat level specified was overwhelmingly thermonuclear!) After doing some blinking, a little cussing, and a lot of mental contortions trying to figure out how the hell I was going to roll all these disparate elements together, I came up with Dusk, the first installment of which is coming Thursday, March 17th, 2014 from Changeling Press!
If there was a soundtrack to your latest novel, what genre/songs would be included?
This is probably my favorite song for the Dusk soundtrack:
I can actually see Astaroth (Dusk’s moon) rising over the ocean when I hear it, and it sets up the tension nicely!
This is a good, all-purpose sexy song:
I DARE you to listen to this song and not start feeling a little warmer!
This one just says “Sex on the beach” to me…
Great relaxing music, or something put on while giving your lover a massage…or more!
Aside from these, Daft Punk, Orbital, or other good techno and Within Temptation or Nightwish would be good picks.
About the Author
J.S. Wayne describes himself as "a male romance writer, without apologies!" J.S. can be found on Twitter @Author_JSWayne, maintains a blog at jswayne.wordpress.com, and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He enjoys talking with and hearing from his readers, and he invites you to drop him a line!
The Gael and the Goddess
Paranormal Erotic Romance
Every millennium, the Ocean Goddess Yemala makes a pilgrimage to the shore to continue good relations between land and wave. Leaving her watery realm in the hands of her Chancellor, the nymph Amphichrale, she travels to the surface for the first time in a thousand years. A lot has changed since she last surfaced, and the goddess immediately finds herself in the clutches of the mortal law... and unable to use her oceanic powers.
Liam McGrue is a hard-headed, hard-drinking, hardworking fisherman. He asks nothing of life but an easy catch during the day and a warm fire and a glass of whiskey at night. The fiery redhead who claims to have come from the sea itself intrigues him, and his rash, poetic Gaelic heart jumps to her defense and aid. But when he realizes she's not daft or telling him a tale, that she really is who and what she claims to be, Liam will have to choose between his lonely life on the surface and a completely new existence beneath the waves as the consort of a goddess.