Today, we welcome Jami Gray to our blog. She is the author of numerous novels in the genres of urban fantasy and paranormal suspense and lives with her husband, two sons and a couple of female labs in the Southwest United States. Yes, the Southwest is a big area, but certainly no bigger than Jami’s imagination. Here is a little introduction from her web site:
“Welcome to my world where the women can be more dangerous than the men who love them, the monsters can hide behind your best friend’s face, a normal life becomes a fleeting dream and the dead are just as annoying as they were when they were alive.”
Okay! So now we are seriously worried that it is not in fact Jamie Gray answering our questions, but some monster hiding just behind her face! So, hoping that none of our questions are likely to get a monster angry, we shall begin. Ahem…Jamie?
Please share with us a memory of visiting the library or of reading, preferably as a young child.
Before I was old enough to legally hold a job, Saturdays would arrive and I would bike five miles to my local library to shelve books all day long. I would spend hours lost in the quiet aisles, arranging books by the Dewey Decimal system, and loving every minute of it. The library held the books that allowed me to roam through worlds of magic and adventure ad nauseam.
Which book have you inherited from the generation above; that is, which book have you read and has stayed with you and made you reread it in whole or in part? What about the book created this attraction?
Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series was the final flare that had me pulling out a typewriter and spending every waking moment creating a world where magic lived and breathed. This series had it all, the reluctant hero, destined paths, magic, bonds of friendship, and the fate of the world resting in uncertain hands. It was Urban Fantasy before Urban Fantasy was considered a genre.
(Being somewhat ignorant, we had to look Susan Cooper up and found this description on Wikipedia: “The Dark Is Rising is a series of five contemporary fantasy novels for older children and young adults, written by the English author Susan Cooper and published 1965 to 1977. The Dark is Rising, the second novel in the series, was published in 1973.” Sounds like great stuff.)
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? (NOT one of the books you’ve written).
Oh wow, this isn’t an easy question because there are so many great books out there. Hmmm, let’s go with Anne McCaffrey’s The White Dragon. I think Anne managed to combine a beautiful tale of redemption, magic, science-fiction, and romance into one package.
(Another for our TBR file).
Take a photograph of one of your bookshelves. If a stranger were to enter your room and see it, what would it tell that person about you?
Since it’s one of seven through out my house, they’d realize pretty quick I’m an avid reader. So are the males I live with (1 hubby and 2 sons). We’re geeks of the highest order—books, comics, and games abound. My tastes run from high fantasy, mystery, romance, and urban fantasy. I’m all over the place, so long as it’s a great story, I’m there.
On your website, you mention that you were adopted at age 14 and had thirty-seven siblings. How did your family situation affect your writing?
After being adopted at the age of fourteen, my state mandated therapist suggested I keep a journal. Funny thing, it got boring so instead, I started creating stories and characters that were much more interesting than reality at the time. I started writing fiction in earnest as a freshman in high school. Back in the dark ages, typing on an actual typewriter was a required class. My parents had invested in an electric typewriter so the six of us in high school could practice our typing skills. Needless to say, I would hover over siblings until they finished then I would commandeer the typewriter for my own nefarious purposes. By the time I began to pack for college at eighteen, I had almost 200 pages of YA fantasy novel done. And no, it will never, ever, see the light of day again. After that, writing was something I had to do.
(Ah yes, we remember typewriters. We preferred a manual. Light, portable, and not likely to be stolen).
You write Urban Fantasy and Paranormal suspense. In what ways are these genres different and the same in your view.
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Suspense share some key elements: unexplainable skills, a heart-pounding plot, and strong characters with serious flaws. Where UF will introduce you to the fantastical creatures (vamps, shifters, fairies, demons, psychic slugs) and tend to keep their heroes/heroines on the gray side of morality, Paranormal Suspense characters will utilize incorporeal aspects into their already messed up lives (psychic abilities, unexplainable hunches, humans with unexplainable abilities or skillsets), as they try to work in a world where they don’t fit. My PSY-IV Teams is Paranormal Suspense, so my characters won’t be running into an actual bloodsucker any time soon. However, they have enough to worry about with power drunk individuals intent on their private agendas. In the Kyn Kronicles, you’ll find the same attitude, but it’s paired with claws and teeth since it’s Urban Fantasy. Not sure which would be more dangerous, but it will definitely get your blood pumping.
Are there any genres that you have never written in that you would like to try? Why or why not?
There are two genres I enjoy but wouldn’t dabble in, because both require unique talents I’m not so sure I could pull off. One is Horror, and the other is Erotica.
Attach a photo of you (preferably one that we have not seen before, perhaps in some activity that you enjoy!)
I love this pic. It was taken in New Orleans at the RT 2014 convention. I was enjoying my BFF and Café Du Monde’s beignets and coffee. Great combo!
(We love it also.)
Please let us read an excerpt from one of your books.
They were passing two darkened buildings when the hushed sound of metal against cloth whispered through the air. It was followed by the soft sound of water squelching under a foot.
She didn’t falter, and neither did Gavin. A couple of steps more and she had both wrist blades in her hands. The black coated blades blended into her own dark garments, their silver runes turned in toward her body so no light would reflect off them. She shot a look at Gavin and saw his hand down by his thigh, a long darkened blade tucked close to his leg. She’d have to remember to ask where he kept that thing.
His free hand made a series of short motions. She gave a tiny nod to let him know she understood. At the next dark opening, they would turn a corner, and she would fade into the shadows to wait. The plan was to let the mystery stalker turn the corner and continue to follow them before he realized one of them had disappeared. They were banking on the fact most people wouldn’t be able to see clearly in the inky darkness.
As they turned the corner, she made her move toward the shadows. Gavin continued forward. In just steps, both realized they weren’t alone in the alleyway. It seemed the bad guys were a bit more prepared than usual. Three more figures spread out from inside the alley. She spun around, putting her back to Gavin’s. She was slightly miffed when she saw that instead of one person, two individuals blocked the opening.
Damn, how had she missed the second one?
Here is the cover for Shadow’s Edge.
And here is where you can buy it!
Amazon: Shadow’s Edge
You can find Jami and her books at all of these places as well: at:
Black Opal Books: www.BlackOpalBooks.com
Muse It Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JamiGrayUFWriter
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI
You can find all the buy links for Jami’s books, including The Kyn Kronicles and PSY-IV Teams, in all formats at: