The next thing I have to say is that Jaime is my idea of the perfect interviewee: she answers all the questions (even when I told her she didn't have to) with flair and good gossip. She definitely has a fun and imagative personality, and we, the readers & fans, reap the benefits from her books.
But enough about what I think. Let's get to what the adorable and sassy Jaime Saare has to say....
S~ Jaime, I recently finished reading your story Dead, Undead and Somewhere In Between and loved it, and especially enjoyed the character of Rhiannon. Is she based on any person, real or fictional, or a combination of many personalities?
Jaime: Rhiannon, for me, is someone who most people would like to be. She cocky, she loud, she’s brash, and depending on who you are, she doesn’t care what you think. She not based off of someone I know, although I have to say that her grasp of vulgarity in the English language comes from me.
I know it’s not attractive, but it’s me.
S~ I see you've written a variety of different stories. Where can fans find them, and which ones are in print? Any connected stories?
Jaime: Currently the only story in print is Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between. I am, for all extents and purposes at this time, an e-pub author. You can only purchase Dead in print from Amazon.com but my newest release, Crimson Moon (releases at The Wild Rose Press on June 25th), will be available in print from their site (and possibly will be an early bird special, meaning print will be available sooner than the e-book). [Yay!]
I have a batch of stories at Amira Press, although they are short stories and novellas. The first, A Kiss Before Dying, is a standalone, but Moon Kissed, Soft As Moonlight, and Lick of Frost are intended to be read in that order.
S~ Why vampires? And how did you set your paranormal world for the majority of those out there right now?
Jaime: To be honest, I chose vampires because I’d written Crimson Moon first and the focus in that series was werewolves. I wanted to change things up, so vampires were the obvious choice. As far as worlds go, mine isn’t that complex. I focused mostly on the characters but fully intend to expand the world build in The Renfield Syndrome.
S~ Your taste in music reminds me a lot of my own, especially since I can never resist cranking up a NIN song. Was there a particular song that inspired your fabulous story Dead, Undead and Somewhere In Between?
Jaime: Strangely enough, I didn’t do too much NIN during the creation of Dead. There were some instances where NIN would fit, like when Rhiannon entered the vampire club, RAZOR, and I couldn’t help but imagine “Closer” pulsing through the speakers. For the most part it was M83, a lot of industrial stuff, and some old eighties classics.
S~ Share with us some of your favorites: what was the first romance you ever read? Did it inspire you to write your own stories?
Jaime: My first romance was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I was thirteen (yes, young for romance, but oh well!) and it rocked my little world.
It didn’t inspire me to write my own stories, but it did expand my horizons and allowed a newfound creativity to flourish. I was always someone who enjoyed dark material (ironically enough, just before I read The Flame and the Flower I’d finished Firestarter by Stephen King) so it allowed me to dream up little scenarios where good and evil battled it out and the guy got the girl. I used to refer to these “scenes” as mini-videos in my head, sort of like a MTV without music, using flashing images.
S~ Name some of your pet peeves when you're reading a book: what's a deal breaker for you?
Jaime: How about a hero or heroine who can walk on water or take a bullet to the eye socket and survive…
Okay that’s a bit harsh, but I have to believe that there is a real danger to the characters in a story to invest in it. It’s that entire “no one is safe” rule in reading that I absolutely must have.
S~ How does writing affect your reading? Do you find yourself breaking down sentences and getting frustrated with grammar?
Jaime: I’ll notice things from time to time but, for the most part, when I enjoy a story I don’t pay attention to the little things. That isn’t to say that if a book has a lot of grammatical problems I won’t notice it, but usually it’s not an issue.
S~ Okay it has to be said: you left the readers breathlessly hanging with the ending to Dead. How has the reader reaction been and when can we see the next installment? (Personally I think it was a gutsy move that made me excited for the next story).
Jaime: The ending to Dead… Yeah, that’s a hot topic. What’s funny is, the original ending of Dead was much, MUCH darker and had my mother-in-law (who reads all my stuff) shaking her head and saying, “I don’t like it.” For the first time, I’m going to reveal (on a blog) what the “big” ending USED to be.
A warning, however. There are spoilers, so if you haven’t read Dead, please skip the rest of this answer, AND if you don’t want what are possible spoilers for future installments, please skip ahead!
All set? Okay, here goes. ***SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!***
In the original conception, I knew Disco had to go. From the moment he arrived on the page, his clock was ticking. As the story developed and a romance along with it, I started to fall for him, but I remained true to the vision. I wrote the original ending with Disco dying at the hands of Kibwe versus Paul, and it was an extremely emotional, draining, and very disturbing scene. The gist of it was that Paine arrives in time to see Disco dying in Rhiannon’s arms, Rhiannon blames Paine for not using his gift to circumvent fate, and it left a hell of a lot of tension for the second book (and took things in an entirely new direction) as I’d always envisioned Paine and Rhiannon as a couple and this created their roadblock, if you will.
In retrospect, the “original” ending did exactly what I wanted. It ripped your heart out, left it on the floor, and took the material to a very dark place that left you wondering what would happen next for Rhiannon. However, if my Mom says, “No way,” it’s usually best to listen to her. So I went back, rewrote the ending, and gave Disco a second lease on life.
If there is one thing I can say about me it’s this:
That “no one is safe” rule will apply to anything I write. I can’t seem to help myself sometimes.
END OF SPOILERS!
Okay folks, I'm going to stop there and whet your appetite a bit *g* But please come back later today for the 2nd installment of my interview with the sweet and talented JA Saare. And stay turned Friday afternoon for my giveaway, where I will be offering up a copy of Dead, Undead or Somewhere In Between.