Jocelynn Drake is the author of the Dark Days urban fantasy series, and her brand new Asylum series includes ANGEL’S INK and DEAD MAN’S DEAL (out tomorrow!). Jocelynn was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and we’ve also got a copy of ANGEL’S INK up for grabs, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!
The 2nd book in your new Asylum Tales series, DEAD MAN’S DEAL, is out tomorrow! Will you give us a bit of a teaser as to what Gage is up to in this installment?
Poor Gage is in way over his head in DEAD MAN’S DEAL. The new book picks up a few months after ANGEL’S INK, and Gage is struggling to find a way to free himself and his friend Bronx from the grip of the local mafia without risking his friend’s life. Unfortunately, Reave, the mafia boss, has angered the Ivory Towers (home to the warlocks and witches) and they’re using Gage for target practice until they get what they want – namely Reave’s head. To add to the fun, the Summer Court is back in town and Gage is afraid that the king is going to make another grab for Gage’s girlfriend Trixie. So Gage is trying to protect Trixie while dodging the Ivory Towers as they rain down chaos. You know, just another average day in Low Town.
In addition to The Asylum Tales, you’re also the author of the Dark Days series. Did you always want to be an author? Will you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I was twelve years old when I started spinning stories and putting them down on paper. I’ve always been an avid reader, devouring whatever books I could get my hands on. I think part of the reason my parents were eager for me to get my driver’s license was so I could drive myself to the library. For years, I thought authors were these amazing, super-human creatures that lived far off in these almost magical houses where they poured all their energy into a keyboard. (I still think some authors actually are like this.) I dreamed of being an author and seeing my name on a book cover for the first time, but never thought it would happen. I was always just a scribbler of little stories in notebooks, napkins, envelopes, and other sundry bits of paper. Seven years after the sale of my first book, I’m still amazed that I have books on the shelves and readers who love my characters.
I went to college and got my degree in English and journalism. I spent more than a decade working in the financial industry, writing about the stock market. Writing books was always a dream for me, and I very glad that it’s a dream that came true.
What do you love most about writing urban fantasy?
I think it’s the idea that anything could happen in these worlds. I love drawing up strict rules for a world I create just so I can see how many ways I can surprise myself and my readers by coming up with new strange things without breaking those rules. I like that the next creature you meet could be something you’ve never heard of before. I love that in the midst of all the chaos, violence, and death, things like love and hope are still possible.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a plotter. Before any full-length novel, I create a rough outline that lists all the main points that I need to cover in the book and in what order. It’s my way of keeping myself on track while I’m writing, but still gives me enough wiggle room to have a number of surprises along the way as I am working. The outline also helps me avoid writer’s block as I always know what needs to happen next. The only problem is that I don’t always know how that’s going to happen.
Have there been any writers or novels that have particularly influenced your writing?
For the Asylum Tales, I think one big influence has been Simon R. Green’s Nightside series. Mr. Green has taught me that there should be no limitations to the imagination. When you are working in the fantastical, anything and everything is possible.
What book(s) are you reading now?
I am hard at work on several projects at the moment and haven’t read anything new for a long time. On my nightstand at the moment are Vicki Pettersson’s The Taken, Rinda Elliot’s Dwellers on the Threshold, and Lynsay Sands’ Immortal Ever After. Once I get caught up, I hope to dive into those books.
When you manage to find some free time, how do you like to spend it?
I love to read when I can get some down time. I am also a big fan of video games. I am currently balancing between the new Sim City, replaying Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and I’ll start Final Fantasy XIII-2 when I finish replaying Final Fantasy X-2.
What’s next for you?
I am working on a number of projects at the moment, but none that I can freely talk about at the moment. I am playing around in a few new genres while also working on my next urban fantasy novel. I hope to have more news that I can announce later this year.
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of ANGEL’S INK by Jocelynn Drake to 1 winner
3. Giveaway is open to US addresses only
4. You must enter on or before 5/13/13
5. Giveaway book courtesy of Harper Voyager
6. Please see my Giveaway Policy.