Sunday, May 2, 2010

Interview @ Interracial eBooks

This Q&A was originally posted on Interracial eBooks (they have taken down their blog, and are focusing on their estore at the moment).

1) When you first started writing, was it your intent to write interracial romance?

Jess: When I first started writing professionally, yes. Maybe it's because I'm of mixed heritage -- I've always liked diversity, which includes anything that's "multicultural". I also felt (still feel) that the concept of interracial romance would be good on a social level (a person is a person, regardless of race/religion/sexual orientation).

2) What do you think of the growing popularity of interracial romance? What is the appeal?

Jess: It's great! I think the Internet has opened up the world on a truly massive, global scale. When it comes to mass media, I think people of different cultures/races appreciate seeing their respective ethnic group being represented. Some readers may also enjoy discovering "something new", which one is likely to, when it comes to interracial romance. Perhaps the appeal lies in the underlying message that love is not determined by skin color; it's something that happens from within.

3) Tell us about your first exposure to interracial romance? Was it a book or movie? What was your initial reaction?

Jess: My first exposure to interracial romance was definitely in real life -- my mother is Eurasian, and my father is Singaporean Chinese. I noticed the various cultural differences from a very young age. I guess this helped me foster an awareness and keen interest in culture + social anthropology as well (though I didn't know those exact words, or what they meant, at the time).

4) Do you feel there is a specific sub-genre best suited to interracial romance (contemporary, paranormal, etc.)? Why?

Jess: I don't think so, actually. I think a good writer would be able to fit the right elements into a story -- the interracial aspect could work equally well in any/all genres, depending on the author's intention(s) with the writing project. This is giving me a bunch of ideas right now, to be honest...

Depeche Mode, see point #9 below ;)
Photo from George Velez

5) Will interracial romance become more or less mainstream in the future?

Jess: More -- too much of the same thing gets boring after a while. There has to be more choices on the shelf. It'll also be a reflection of cross-cultural relationships becoming more of a mainstream thing, in society.

6) Do you have any plans for book signings or conference appearances?

Jess: Once I am very famous/notorious, yes. I'm currently focused on getting my name/work out there. I don't know about conference appearances though. I could just record whatever I wanted to say, and upload it onto YouTube. It'd be more convenient and economical for everyone.

7) What are you working on now?

Jess: I am working on a young adult series. There are characters of different races in the book(s), because I'm tired of seeing the same old stereotypical names, looks, and characters, in YA fiction. Young people deserve more challenging, stimulating works to peruse. I got a bit sidetracked with my sophomore novel, 4:Play. It was supposed to be finished "before I turned 25" -- I ended up finishing it at 22.5 years old...

8) Do you have any particular rituals when writing (a special place or time, specific music you listen to, etc.)?

Jess: I have to stretch! -- I don't like for the body to start cramping or stiffening up, due to long hours at the computer. I usually listen to energizing music. Head-banging rock and/or electronica/dance tracks are favorites. I like to do initial draft planning (and as much of the actual writing) by hand too -- it's just more...intimate.

9) Who inspires you?

Jess: Everybody from classic authors (Poe, Oscar Wilde, Anais Nin, D. H Lawrence, etc!), to musicians (Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, K-pop artistes, Chopin, Bach, Vivaldi), and people like you and me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Paranormal Romance Interview

An “all things paranormal” interview with Jess C Scott, writer of edgy/contemporary fiction.

"Incubus" painting, by Sarah R. Braun.
Check out the draconic wings ;)

1) When did you start writing romance? Which author inspired you to start writing paranormal romance?

Jess: The funny thing is that I never really set out to write romance stories (it kind of just happened along the way). With regards to the inspiration with writing paranormal romance—I really enjoyed several sections of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Hot damn!

2) What is it about the paranormal romance genre that captures your imagination?

Jess: I love the world of paranormal, as the paranormal dimension allows for one to delve into another realm altogether. One has whole new worlds, concepts, values, and perspectives to explore. I like to challenge myself to come up with something new/fresh/original too, even amidst the current commerciality of the paranormal romance genre.

3) How would you describe the sensuality level of your books; do you find it challenging to write the hot love/sex scenes that readers demand?

Jess: It ranges from sensuous to explicit. I will never write a love/sex scene where it’s “just about the sex (the physical act)”. I like including psychological and emotional elements in my work (and looking at ALL the details, when the writing is more alternative/non-mainstream/experimental). I feel it lends a certain amount of depth and authenticity to both the storyline + the characters.

4) What do you feel are the essential elements of a great story?

Jess: Great characters and a great storyline. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

5) What inspired you to write The Devilin Fey?

Jess: I’d been wanting to write a story with an incubus for quite some time (since 2006 / The Devilin Fey was written about two years later). Dreams are another realm which is a whole new world to meander about in. I thought it’d be cool to combine that, with the sensual/erotic elements associated with a creature like an incubus/succubus.

6) What real life love lessons are there to be learned from paranormal romances?

Jess: To be true/honest with oneself (before one can be that way, with others). To explore/accept/delve into the “darker aspects” of one’s self/psyche. To attain some form of transformation/transcendence via love/sex (where it’s one combined element, not two separate entities).

Excuse the amount of /slashes/ — I use those a lot when I think fast, and/or process complex thoughts.

7) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next?

Jess: I am working on 2-3 series (a “seven deadly sins” series, an urban fantasy series, and a paranormal romance/dark urban fantasy series). I want the latter to be something unique, yet relatable. I’d like the characters/story to show a reader things they might already know (in a general sense)—just in a different/deeper perspective, that rings true. I like seeking out truth and purity (for the astrologically-inclined, I’m a Virgo Sun/Pisces Moon/Venus Scorpio), and I aim to share what I find/discover with the world.

I’d like to try many new things (in multiple departments)—I won’t say what, until I’ve something to show/tell ;)