Author Interview: Agnes Jayne

Friday, 10 August 2012 11:23 by Avery Olive
Today we have a special treat! Fello CMP Author, Agnes Jayne stopes by for a interview and to spread the word about her awesome novel, The Problem with Power!

Welcome Agnes!
Thank you for having me visit, Avery. I’ve been following your blog and I was delighted by your novel, A Stiff Kiss.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How about in five words or less.
Caffeinated, neurotic, introverted, imaginative, weird

Now why don’t you tell us a bit about The Problem with Power? In five words or less, of course.
Caffeinated, neurotic, introverted, imaginative, weird

So many interviews tend to have the same questions, let’s shake things up a bit, shall we?
Say you wanted a vegetable, right this second (it’s okay if you do) what would it be?
Pumpkin – preferably in pie form. I am so ready for the fall to begin.

You’re craving something from the ocean, what would be your top choice and why?
Give me a grey day after a New England rainstorm. It’s not technically a thing from the ocean, but a cloudy day at the shore is like nothing else in the world.  I am a transplant to West Virginia outside of Washington, D.C. It’s nice and it’s pretty here, but this area is sort of a quasi-Southern states that is, on the whole, too bright and too hot for someone like me. A chilly day with a little rain is good for the soul.

Let’s say you’re going to prison (don’t worry this is just for fun and no real) and you only have room to bring two books with you, what would you bring and why?
You sent me to my book shelves in search of my most dog-eared books. The winners are Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve replaced Neverwhere about three times because I’ve worn it out, so that’s a good sign, and Dr. Watson is my literary crush – if you haven’t read Sherlock Holmes, don’t laugh, read it. You’ll see what I mean.

But wait, you can also take one more important item with you (for fun let’s say it can’t be any bigger than a loaf of bread) what would it be?
Given the loaf of bread limit, that would be my cat, Ginger.  She’s good company and I can’t read without her crawling into my lap.

Where do you get your inspiration for your novels from?  
Everywhere.  I write what I like to read, slightly offbeat, dark stories with a twist at the end.  I am a collector of all manner of folklore, fairy tales, and ghost stories. People always want to know if my husband or other people I know are characters in my novels. The answer to that is an emphatic no. My characters are very much their own people, and while they might possess a trait or two that people might recognize, they are all originals.

How did you name your characters? I’ve heard of a million little tips and tricks people use, so what’s yours?
First, I want something distinctive but not so strange that it’s distracting to the reader. I don’t want my readers wasting time wondering how to pronounce the names of my characters.  You’ll see that almost everyone has a very simple, punchy sort of name in the book. Keep in mind though that  I’m writing in a normal world that has magical elements, and the names of the characters help contribute to my world building, so there are a few twists. The only exception to this is my one completely non-human character, Malphat. I felt like he needed a name that was more exotic than the other characters.

Where do you see yourself as an Author in five years? 
Removes sunglasses) I’m so delighted that you asked this question. In five years, I see myself on a veranda in Spain at sunset, sipping a glass of champagne while my bodyguards deflect the paparazzi anxiously waiting outside the gate of the compound.
Okay, so that’s completely untrue.
Really, I just want to write a better book. I love these characters and feel privileged to have been able to share them. I hope that I can write things that allow people to escape from their lives for a few hours, and I look forward to developing my voice as a writer.

If you could pick one song that represents The Problem with Power, that would be featured on its “soundtrack” what would it be and why?
“Taking Over Me” by Evanescence. It’s one of their lesser known tracks, but it really speaks to me, and Amy Lee reminds me of my main character Emily.

Can you give us a teaser from The Problem with Power? You know something that will hook and send everyone out to go buy the book right this second.
Some of my favorite passages in the book are the conversations between Emily, the lead character, and Steph, her would-be guardian angel. Here, Steph is trying to explain the terms of his existence to her.

                Steph took her by the shoulders and looked meaningfully into her eyes. “Emily, you may not know this about me, but there is more to me than just coffee. I’ve been called to a higher task than mere refreshment. I don’t know if you’d call me a hero, or even a legend, but it’s time you knew that I’m different than I used to be. I’m special.”      

“That’s an understatement,” Emily said, rolling her eyes.

Steph grinned. “That was good, wasn’t it? I’ve been working on my monologue.

What was your biggest struggle you faced with the production of The Problem with Power, and how did you overcome it?
The editing was a hard process for me, especially the first round. I still see things in the finished product that I would have changed. I have worked as a writer in the non-fiction world, but I’ve never tackled a novel.  

Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors? Maybe a lesson that you’ve learned that you’d like to share.
Finish the book is my best advice.  Don’t get caught up halfway through on who you’ll sign with and who’s going to star in the movie.  Focus on writing the book and making it the best that you can. Don’t be the literary equivalent of a guitarist who only knows three chords. By that, I mean pay attention to your craft – character, plot, dialogue, setting, spelling, punctuation, and an original story all matter. Beyond that, say a little prayer that you catch the right editor on a good day.

Thanks so much for stopping by Agnes! For those of you who'd like to find out more about Agnes Jayne and The Problem with Power, you can check out her Website, follower her on Twitter or check out her Facebook!

6 Response to "Author Interview: Agnes Jayne"

  1. Adriana Ryan Says:

    Ha! I love that excerpt. :D It made me laugh. I'm also loving your Spain dream, although writing a better book sounds good to me, too. :D Great interview, ladies!

  2. Pat Lee Says:

    Super interview gals. Spain is nice but I'm leaning toward the Mediterranean.

  3. Louann Carroll Says:

    Great blog post. Loved the book and adore the cover. I think it's the colors. Congratulations!

  4. Katie O'Sullivan Says:

    Nice interview - fun questions! And love the adjectives you choose to describe your new book, Agnes - I mean, who wouldn't want to try a caffeinated book?!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    We have a lot in common. High octane caffination being one of them. **Shrugs** You have to have one vice in life, right?

    Can't wait to read The Problem with Power.


  6. Shannon Says:

    Awesome interview!