Author Spotlight – Jae
Meet European Lesbian Fiction Author Jae (YLVA Publishing)
Our reviewer Valden had this to say about Jae’s books:
Squee! I have been given the opportunity to fangirl Jae officially!
Jae has been at the top of the lesfic charts for a number of years, and writes books that cover several genres, including historical events, Hollywood, the police and shape-shifting. She has also published numerous contemporary romances that are written with a superb sense of detail, timing and atmosphere, be they about a hospital or a vineyard. In addition, her characters are beautifully observed, ensuring your buy-in to the story she is telling. One of the high spots of the year is the next Jae release!
We spoke to Jae about her latest book and her writing plans for the year.
(a) Tell us something interesting about your last published book.
My last published book is Perfect Rhythm, a romance novel about a burned-out pop star who returns to her small hometown and slowly falls in love with her father’s nurse. What’s different about this book is that Holly, the nurse, is asexual. She’s romantically attracted to women, but doesn’t experience sexual attraction. Even though people on the asexual spectrum make out at least 1% of the population, a lot of people have never heard of asexuality. Since I believe in diversity and in the importance of representation, I think it was an important book to write.
My new book, Just for Show, will actually become available in a few days. It’s the story of Claire, a psychologist with OCD tendencies who hires an impulsive, out-of-work actress to play her fiancée. As you can imagine, they get into some hilarious situations while pretending to be a couple.
(b) What got you into writing?
I’ve been writing since I was 10 or 11. I grew up in a household where no one was reading, so there weren’t many books around and I maxed out my library card every week. When I ran out of things to read, I started making up my own stories, and I never stopped.
(c) Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?
Everything starts with the characters. They are at the core of my stories. Once I know who they are, what goals they have, and what flaws they struggle with, the plot of the story is obvious to me. I’m somewhere in between a plotter (someone who plans out each scene of the story before the writing starts) and a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants). I plan out the major scenes and turning points of the story, but I don’t always know all the scenes in between. I like to leave some room for the story to breathe and grow organically.
(d) If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
Since everything I did brought me to where I am today—living my dream of writing lesbian fiction for a living—I don’t think I’d do anything differently. I’m one of the lucky few who can make a living with their writing, so I don’t have any regrets.
(e) What is next for you? What is your next project?
Right now, I’m working on two new projects: I’m co-writing a romance titled Paper Love, which is a workplace romance set in a stationery store. It’s my first novel that is set in Germany or, to be more precise, in Freiburg, the lovely city where I live, so I get to combine my love for all things pen & paper and my love for my city.
I’m also doing research for the third book in the Portland Police Bureau series, a series of romantic suspense novels.
I’m also translating my historical romance Backwards to Oregon into German, and I’m proofreading a collection of short stories that will come out later this year. So, as you might imagine, I’m not getting bored anytime soon!
VALDEN’s TOP PICKS
This is a wonderful fake relationship story, written as only Jae could!
Dr Claire Renshaw is abandoned by her fiancee just as her engagement party is about to start. She is still struggling to recover emotionally, when she has the offer of a publishing deal for her book on relationships that requires her to have a fiancee. She finds an out of work actress, Lana Henderson, who for $50,000 agrees to be her girlfriend for two months until the publishing deal is sealed.
It is Jae’s characterisation of Claire who has OCD, and Lana who is an actress with a ‘full figure’ and is physically scarred, that give this story its depth; in addition, both women are emotionally scarred. It has all the ingredients of a great story and uses them beautifully. Jill and Crash from ‘Just Physical’ appear as Lana’s friends – a superb tie-in.
It is the story of Leontyne Blake, a jaded pop star returning to her small hometown following the illness of her father. She has been estranged from the town and her family for fourteen years after coming out as a lesbian. Holly Drummond is the private nurse looking after her father and is asexual. The two women embark on their respective emotional journeys, with us along for the ride.
Just for Show is out 21 February 2018 on the YLVA website.