What inspired you to write Pieces of Us?
One evening I was watching the movie Peggy Sue Got Married for the thousandth time in my life. As I have done many times before I wondered what it would be like to go back in time knowing what I know now. This got me to thinking about back in junior high school in 1988 with my female best friend. Everyone used to ask us if we were boyfriend and girlfriend and when they found out we weren’t our peers would always ask us why. It wasn’t until after high school that I made the discovery about myself. Although in the back of my mind I think I always knew. Then I got to thinking if I would have known how differently my life would have played out.
There was also an idea on my head about a boy and girl who live on a lake. I was debating about writing a story about them falling in love, yet the female character in my head was my long time best friend. I combined her personality with another close female friend of mine in my head, yet I could not see her falling for the boy. I decided to combine the two ideas and liked where I could see they story going.
My best friend from way back then ended up giving me a call a few days later and I told her about the idea. She of course loved it and thought I should write it. A few weeks later I wrote what would later become chapter 4 in the book as the beginning, yet it wasn’t working for me. In talking with my best friend I realized that although we’d met at school, it was our meeting up and chatting on the phone was what defined our friendship and I knew this was what needed to define Dylan and Jesses friendship. I started at the beginning and wrote until what I already had written fit in and kept on going.
When you sit down to write, do you make an outline for your book or do you just go with what comes to you?
I do it in a variety of ways. It all depends on the book. Most of the time I have a general idea for what I want for a storyline and I will sit down and write it out along with notes (especially if I’m afraid I will forget what it was.) Sometimes I have a complete idea in my head and then I outline most of the book because as I get into writing there are other ideas that pop into my head. These parts (I call them inspirational parts) are often people’s favorite parts of the book. They are scenes that pop into my head and I will incorporate them immediately in the book.
I have a board by my desk, on which at some point during the project, I will jot down notes directly onto it or using Post-It notes. My board has always been too small for me, yet I have never gotten a bigger one! It is typically when it gets overflowing with idea that I buckle down and get these ideas written.
In short, yes, I do outline.
What are you reading now, and why?
Silent by Sara Alva. Over my vacation I recently returned from Silent was one of the books I’d read and I wasn’t able to get the characters out of my head. I love the way the story unfolded and played out. It is the best book I’ve read in quite a while. After being back to my daily life, I found I kept thinking about this book. I decided it would be a good idea to read it again. I am enjoying it immensely.
I have a pile of other books I want to take time and read a few here and there over the next few months. Knowing how important reviews are to book sales, even if it is only twenty words, I plan on writing a review for each book I enjoy.
Do you plan to draw all of the covers for your books?
If it were up to me, there are times I would like to say no. When I went to publish Finding Our Way, my friends were all over me to put one of my drawings on the cover. I thought I would later go back and change the cover to real models, if I could ever find one that looked just right (and not on other covers). My drawing was something I had always kept private, beyond my various cartooning and I was embarrassed about using it. I laugh at that now. I get more fan mail and various compliments about my drawing than I do any of my books.
What writing project are you working on now?
A book with the twins from my Finding Our Way Series, Tyler and Tyson Hensley, back when they were in middle school and before they moved to Chandler, Washington. I started writing this book several years ago and my friends liked the first chapter and hoped I would finish it. When I was writing Finding Our Way I decided to include them as Derrick and Justin’s friends feeling they were great characters. Although I have been fond of the twins and I wanted to finish their book, I have had other books I ‘ve wanted to get written. As I feel inspired, I’ve written more on the book. I have it all outlined and I’ve even started working on the cover. I really think that it will be complete over the next year.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like to draw. Pencil has been my favorite medium to use, but I also enjoy using crayon and oil pastels. Recently a friend introduced me to wet watercolors, which I used to create the cover and background image for Pieces of Us. Also, I like to read a variety of books, with my reading list forever growing. When I am working or relaxing, I enjoy watching movies.
This or that questions.
Pepsi or Coke? Diet Coke
Yellow or Purple? Purple
TV or Movies? Movies
Chicken or Beef? Chicken
Jason or Freddie Kruger? Freddie Kruger
Sunrise or Sunset? Sunset
Sausage or Bacon? Sausage
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
Facial hair or clean shaven? Clean shaven
Truth or dare? Truth
For Jesse Stetson, a boy who knows he is different and Dylan Sterling, Jesse’s best friend, Sander’s Lake has served as a sort of scrapbook for them with sentimental items being dropped into the lake from their dock after significant events in their lives.
Life in 1988 was different from today. A boy and a girl being best friends were uncommon. Not that Jesse or Dylan cared, they had each other and that’s all that mattered. Or so Jesse wished. While Dylan has been meeting and dating guys, Jesse has yet to find the same connection with a girl. The closest he’s come is Dylan, but she’s a girl and a friend not a girlfriend. Jesse is struggling with his feelings and trying his hardest to be normal.
Dylan and Jesse are growing up and possibly growing apart. Dylan has a new boyfriend and is
now splitting her time between him and Jesse. To further complicate things, Jesse meets Orion,
a new boy in town. Jesse knows that his feelings towards Orion must be wrong, yet it feels so
right. Even if Orion feels about Jesse the same way that Jesse feels about him, should they act
on their attraction?
Find PIECES OF US at:
Barnes & Noble
The Artwork of Pieces of Us
Over 100 drawings were created, modified, merged, cropped and manipulated to create the
cover for Pieces of Us. This by and far was the most labor-intensive cover on any of my books
to date. I feel with how it turned out, it made all the work worthwhile.
About the Author
My name is Jayson James. I am an Indy author of several novels and novellas. I was born and have lived most of my life in Washington State. My interests beyond writing include drawing,
reading a variety of books, watching movies and hanging out with his friends, family and dog. Besides an author, I am an artist. The cover art on every one of my published works are one of my own drawings. I take the drawing I do for each cover and then design the rest of the cover around it.
Where to find Jayson
Website: www.jaysonjamesbooks.blogspot.com, Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaysonjamesbooks, Google+ & email: email@example.com, Twitter: @jaysonjamesbook
Other books by Jayson:
T.E.D.: Tim Eric Delsin
Finding Our Way
Tormented Discovery (Finding Our Way, Book 2)
Drifting (Finding Our Way, Book 3)
Finding Our Way Series Collection
This Author's Drawings
Far & Away
* Marie Landry
* Rainy Kaye
* Story Dam
* A to Z Challenge
* Alex J. Cavanaugh
* Larry Kollar
* C. Lee McKenzie
* A Book Lover's Playlist
* Cherie Reich
* M. Pax
* MJ FiField
* Melissa Barker-Simpson
* Christine Rains
* Heather M. Gardner
* George McNeese
* Lexa Cain
* L.G Keltner
* Sarah Foster
* Chrys Fey
* Liana K (Youtube)
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