Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday - Jamie Gray - Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #Urbanfantasy

1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?

Much like my reading choice, I tend to write in more than one genre, although romance will play a part no matter the story. My first series, The Kyn Kronicles, is Urban Fantasy, while my second series, PSY-IV Teams is Paranormal Romantic Suspense. I’m in the midst of planning a third series which won’t have magic, but is set in a post-apocalyptic timeframe and yep, there’s romance.

My reading choices are all over the fiction board. I grew up on high fantasy (nope, won’t ever try my hand at that one), sci-fi, mystery, thriller, romance (of all kinds), and urban fantasy. Lately I’ve been in a romantic suspense with military overtones, plus my normal UF fare. I try not to read in the genre I’m currently working it, just because…no sense in tempting the writing gods.

Other than high fantasy, I don’t think I’ll ever venture into erotica or horror. Those genres require a uniquely artistic touch I’m not blessed with.

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?

Wow, this is a tough question. Is it a cop out to say all three? Let me explain. The relationship between your hero/heroine and your villain is symbiotic. If one side is weak, so is the other. Developing strong heroes/heroines means you, the writer, need to know what drives them to face down insurmountable odds, despite high costs. You villain should be worth of that type of passion, so you, the writer, need to develop your antagonists as intricately as you do your protagonists. I started out with heroines, strong, kick-butt type, who face down equally determined and strong villain/villainess. On SHADOW’S MOON, the third book in the Kyn, I decided to venture into a hero’s mind, and alternated between a male and female protagonist. I’ve discovered that certain stories make it easier to connect to one or the other. While heroines tend to stay close to my heart, I found it easier to relate to my hero in the second PSY-IV book, TOUCHED BY FATE (out in Spring 2016).

3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

I’m a character driven writer, so most of my story ideas come after a character emerges in my head. I start with personality traits, strengths, weaknesses, then move on to motivation. Once those start to come together, I’ll haunt the internet for some visual aids for physical descriptions. My story tends to develop around my characters. My heroes have to help balance my heroines. In SHADOW’S EDGE, Gavin’s ruthless practicality offsets Raine’s temperamental reactions, and together they’re a very lethal duo.

4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

Same deal as my heroes. Most of the time my heroines come to life before my heroes. It makes it easier to craft my heroes if I know what type of man will stand best beside the woman. In SHADOW’S CURSE I faced a daunting task of telling Natasha Bertoi’s story. As queen of the demons, she can an extremely intimidating woman, so forging a connection with my readers meant delving into her motivations behind her decisions/actions.

5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?

Your villains/villainesses have to be as motivated as your protagonists, and a reader has to be able to connect to the reasons behind those motivations. Any one can be a villain, because it comes down to perspective. You believe you’re outnumbered by a race of beings who can do things no human can, how do you even the odds? What would you do to ensure your survival? Understanding why your antagonists have chosen their paths, also helps me, as a writer, create conflict for my protagonists. Like I said before, it’s a very symbiotic relationship for protagonists and antagonists.

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?

My latest release was SHADOW’S CURSE, the fourth book in the Kyn Kronicles. Our heroine is Natasha Bertoi, head of the Amanusa House, and she’s joined by Darius Abazi, our hero. Together they take on an unknown traitor who’s working for the Council.

In Spring 2016, TOUCHED BY FATE, the second book of my PSY-IV Teams series, follows Tag and Risia as they face down a ruthless businessman with very little scruples or patriotic loyalty.

7. What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a collection of short stories from the Kyn worlds to come out in Fall 2015. I’m also in the midst of planning a new series, and the next Kyn novel.

8. How can people find you?


stanalei said...

Pretty cool how you create your characters, Jamie. Best of luck with the series and the new short stories!

Jami Gray said...

Thanks, Stanalei! And thank you to Barbara for letting me come share my creative process on character development. Have to admit, I could go on and on about it forever, so I appreciate being given a chance to be an author nerd.

Janet Walters said...

Jamie, Thanks for stopping by. It's really Janet. Have been called Barbara before. It's the last name