This week, I sat down with Jaycee Jarvis who writes stories with a romantic heart set against a magical backdrop. Enjoy!
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself! eg family, hobbies, bucket list,
I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and three children. Our area has lots of opportunities for outdoor adventures so we do a fair amount of hiking and occasionally go camping. I’m not much of one for roughing it, so we don’t go camping as much as my kids would like. I’m just too attached to my modern amenities to go without indoor plumbing for long. I do love a good adventure though, and traveling to see new places. This past year has been hard with travel so limited. I’ve always been a big reader, but never more so than this year. Even when I can’t travel physically, I’m happy read a book and take a vacation of the mind.
What got you started in writing?
I’ve always been attracted to stories and story telling, but I didn’t really start writing until college. I took a few creative writing classes and really fell in love with the art.
What do you like to read?
I read all kinds of books, though fantasy romance is my first love. These days I also depend on the happy ending that romances deliver so I’ve been reading a lot of romance in all different genres. I prefer stories that take me away from the ordinary world so I gravitate to anything speculative and historical romances a lot.
Tell us about your first published book OR your favorite work. How did it get started?
My debut was Taxing Courtship, the first in the Hands of Destin series. It’s an opposites attract romance between a lady thief and a man too honorable for his own good. Quintin is the kind of sweet and honest guy that I find appealing and somewhat rare in romance. I liked exploring some role reversals with the woman as the more jaded one in the relationship. This series is also a long time coming. I toyed with some of the world building elements–like a system of three elements, rather than the more traditional four or five–for years before getting into the story itself. These days I try to do my world building more on the fly, though it is still fun to chase those “what if” questions.
How do you create your characters?
I’m a character first author, so I like to delve into my characters and figure out what makes them tick. I use archetypes as a starting point and then explore the challenges and struggles in their past that shaped them and what drives them now. I try to really dig into my characters to make them as unique and interesting as possible while still keeping their core personality and values intact. Only after I understand my characters as people do I start working on the plot and how best to push them to their limits.
Where do you write? Do you plot extensively or are you a pantser?
As a mom, I’ve written just about everywhere, from the waiting room at the dentist to the sidelines of a wide range of kids’ activities. I prefer coffee shops and other locations with a little noise and bustle, though these days I write mostly at home. I’m a pantser with a few plotting tendencies. I try to identify a few of the high lights and turning points in the story before I start to draft. I don’t draft in order, so it helps to have a few key scenes in mind before I start writing.
What are you working on as we speak?
I’m currently working on the first book in a new trilogy. It’s a totally new world with new characters, and I’m enjoying it a lot. The hero is a Robin Hood type, and a total hoot to write.
What would your advice be for aspiring authors?
The most important thing is to keep at it. Writing, especially fiction writing, is a long game where even “overnight successes” are usually years in the making. If you have the writing bug stick with it! I would also caution anyone just getting into this business to be focused on your own goals and your own success and milestone. It is easy to get trapped into the mentality of comparing yourself to other authors, when really everyone is on their own publishing journey and no two paths look alike. Other writers can be your inspiration, your mentors or your biggest cheerleaders as long as you see them as colleagues, not competition.
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Newsletter signup: https://www.subscribepage.com/blog_post
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jayceejarvis
Other: (BookBub) https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jaycee-jarvis
Newest or upcoming release: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091V3F751
Hands of Destin Book 4
In a world of magic and intrigue, a runaway prince lures a jaded healer into a dangerous scheme, putting her life—and her heart—at risk.
When his father’s funeral calls him home, Han-Advocate Terin is sure his mother will ensnare him in a disastrous marriage to further her own political ambitions. While the sweet-talking prince can usually charm his way out of anything, only another marriage can thwart his mother’s matrimonial plans. He needs a pretend wife, and fast.
Disillusioned Han-Healer Aurelia has had enough of too-charming, too-handsome men to last a lifetime. Still reeling from her divorce, she scorns every flirtatious advance by the attractive younger man, until a mutual friend convinces her to go along with his outrageous deception.
It’s a harrowing trip, filled with jealous courtiers and potential assassins—not to mention the seductive temptation of Terin’s sweet kisses. When his mother enlists a powerful accomplice, Terin and Aurelia turn to allies of their own, but their help won’t be enough if the pretend lovers can’t rely on each other.
Ultimately, Aurelia must choose between protecting her heart and trusting a charming rogue once more in this exciting conclusion to the Hands of Destin series.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Jaycee’s stories and don’t forget to check out her latest release, Crowning Courtship.