You know what’s been cool about these 3Q’s? Not only seeing so many people discover new-to-them authors, but I’ve also been fortunate to have a few publicists reach out to me and get some of their clients involved – which means some new-to-me authors as well! Jay Hartlove is one such author. His track record looks fantastic and the synopsis’ of the books all sound really amazing. I sadly haven’t yet got to reading any of his work – but I will be rectifying that here at some point!
Do, please welcome, Jay!
Steve What does your writing time look like? Do you try and write at the same time each day? Do you have a word count you attempt to hit?
Jay: I joke that my muse is called “Eleven.” After I finish the evening’s affairs, and my family have all retreated to their own corners to wind down, I sit down to write, usually around eleven o’clock. If she doesn’t show up, and I can’t get into the flow, then I go to bed and get some sleep. If Eleven does show up, and I get into the zone, I will write obliviously until I pass out on the keyboard around 2 or 3 am. So if I have a good night writing, I have a bad day at work the next day.
I don’t have any rituals other than getting back into my characters’ headspace. If I have done my job, I the writer disappear when the reader reads the words. It really is the characters’ story. It’s told through their eyes, their emotions, their reactions. I know where I want the story to go, but to put words to paper, I need to let the characters speak. I know I’m in the zone once I can hear them. In theatrical terms, I “method act”. I get inside their heads and let them speak.
I do most of my writing in my home office, surrounded by my favorite bits of inspiration. There are awards, sculptures, paintings, and theatrical props (I am also a playwright and director). My window faces my back deck and garden, which is very green and calming. I collect ideas all the time, so I often have a notebook with me. I am a firm believer that thinking about your writing is writing. You write what you know, and any decisions you make about a story add to the knowledge you will draw from to write the story. I don’t use word count targets, but I do find the time to work on my current project every day, whether it is actual writing or research (which includes making decisions).
Steve: If you could write a story for another author’s fictional world/series, which would it be and why?
Jay: I’m going to go old school here: Larry Niven’s Known Space series. I write with a lot of big ideas. I love to take stories places that the reader does not expect, with sympathetic villains, heroes with very dark pasts, and lots of plot twists. I tend to turn victims into heroes. Larry Niven has a knack for combining big ideas with a wry sense of humor, and an eye to the absurd. I’d love the chance to poke fun at human nature while also playing with big ideas, especially in that fascinating universe.
Steve: Tell me about your newest release (novel/story/poem/novella) and why someone should read it!
Jay: The Insane God is a Young Adult LGBTQ science fiction thriller about a transgender girl who finds herself in the middle of a war caused by meteorites that transform people into followers of two ancient enemy gods. One fills you with blind hate and the other with blind love. Kirkus Reviews called it “Nightmare on Elm Street meets The Stand.” The story hinges on radical acceptance of unwanted change, and our heroine, who has been through significant changes, turns out to be the only one, among her elders, who can keep up with the rapid and terrifying changes the meteorites bring. Why should people read it? David Brin endorsed it. Cosmic horror, mental illness, civil war, and LGBTQ representation. You do like rollercoasters, right?
Steve: Bonus Question! Do you have a cherished book?
Jay: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. He showed me how to write science fiction thrillers, and I’m still at it!
Such an amazing book! Thank you so much Jay!
To find more of his work – check the links!
One thought on “3Q’s – Jay Hartlove introduces us to an Insane God!”
“You do like roller coasters, right?” Heh-heh, The Insane God sounds great!