30 Days of Vampires, Interview with Urban Fantasy Author, Jaye Wells

November 18, 2008 | Author Interviews | 38 comments

30 Days of Vampires Schedule
Jaye Wells, urban fantasy authorBasic Facts: Urban fantasy author. Texan but without the big hair. Hobbies include sleep, gluttony, sloth and excessive pride.
Author of: Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane)
Favorite Candy: Anything chocolate
Favorite Cartoon Character: She-Ra
Favorite Vampire: Count Chocula

Q.) First can you tell us about Red-Headed Stepchild?

J.W.) Red-Headed Stepchild is the first book in a series about a half-vampire, half-mage assassin named Sabina Kane. In the first book, Sabina is sent on a mission to assassinate a rival vampire who’s threatening the Dominae, Sabina’s bosses. The mission reveals secrets about the Dominae’s activities that threaten all the dark races. In addition, facts come to light about Sabina’s past that will change the course of her life forever.

Q.) Red-Headed Step Child, urban fantasyWhat about your take on vampires, do you stick with tradition or tweak it a bit?

J.W.) Major tweakage. I decided to keep the blood lust and the immortality. The rest I punted out the window. My vamps are not made or undead. They’re a race create by Lilith through a liaison with Cain Their biggest weakness is apples. It sounds strange, but there’s a whole Garden of Eden connection. Plus, all vampires have red hair, which they inherited from Cain.

Q.) Which group would you want to be a member of vampire or mage?

J.W.) That’s a great question.I’ll go with mages. Vamps are immortal, but mages live extremely long lives due to their ability to use magic to repair damage. Plus mages have the advantage of being able to attack from a distance. I think it’d be fun to zap people.

Q.) Why vampires? Didn’t people tell you they had been done?

J.W.) They’d been done, but not by me. I’m not sure why I’m drawn to them. My mom says it started early with a fascination for the Count on Sesame Street, so it obviously started at an early age. I write about them now because they’re such rich sources for metaphor and symbolism. Plus, it’s fun to write about creatures that are strong and immortal. My favorite thing is to put a character like that in an embarrassing situation and watch them squirm.

Q.) What would you do if you met a “real” vampire? Would you be a vamp groupie or would you dash for the nearest stake?

J.W.) Depends on which kind we’re talking here. If it’s the undead, creepy kind then bring on the stake. If they’re the misunderstood hunky hero type then sign me up.

Q.) Ultimate fighting challenge, you have a choice of a vampire, a werewolf or a mage as an opponent. Who do you choose?

J.W.) I think I’d prefer to fight a werewolf. They’re easily distracted by meat products. Just toss a rump roast at them and run like hell.

Q.) Are you a plotter or a pantser? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?

J.W.) I’m a plantster. I plot some beforehand but leave lots of room for spontenaity. After the first draft is done, I disect the plot extensively before I tackle rewrites. To me character and plot aren’t mutually exclusive. They feed off each other.

When I start a book I spend a lot of time trying to figure out the world.This involves alot of research and brainstorming. I kew a few things about Sabina before I started writing Red-Headed Stepchild, but until I understood her world I couldn’t tell her story. Once I have a grasp on the world-building, I write several drafts of the first scene until I find the right starting point. Once I have that everything falls into place.

Q.) What is the smartest thing you’ve done so far as advancing either your writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?

J.W.) The smartest thing I did was start a blog. Back when I was just starting to write with the intent to publish, it served as my testing grounds. It helped me find my voice. And now that I have a contract, it helps me network and get the word out about my work. I don’t think blogging is for everyone, but it can be helpful if you’re willing to put in the effort.

I’ve made mistakes, but I can’t say I wish I’d do anything differently. Instead, I wish I’d trusted myself more. It would have saved me a lot of stress.

Q.) Can you describe three things you keep in your writing area that tell us something about you?

J.W.) Sign on Jaye Wells', urban fantasy author, desk.-This sign inspires me. It says, “She was armed with intuition and the fearless courage to act.” It’s especially helpful when I’m mired down in the story and start to lose faith.
-A friend gave me the bobble head monkey. I love his fez. His name is Jasper. All this says about me is I like monkeys wearing fezes.
-Candles. One of these is a sandalwood scent, which plays an important role in my books. They’re also pretty, which makes me happy.

Q.) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next? And where can readers find you on the web?

J.W.) I just finished book two of Sabina’s series, The Mage in Black . Now it’s on to the third book, tentatively titled Green-Eyed Demon. After that, I have a few ideas simmering. I’m sticking with urban fantasy for a while though. It’s so fun to write. Readers can find me at www.jayewells.com

Preorder Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane)


  1. Deidre

    The whole Garden of Eden connection is interesting as well as their weakness to apples. This sounds like a great series. How much will we learn of Sabina’s past and heritage?


  2. Brooke

    These vampires sound really cool. I love that they all have red hair. :) I’m a sucker for redheads.

  3. crystal adkins

    I love that the sign inspires you! What is are the most hours that you have spent writing non-stop?

  4. Diana Cosby

    I love your major tweakage. *G* Excellent. Red-Headed Stepchild sounds like a fascinating story. I wish you ever success!

    Diana Cosby
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/December 08/Duncan MacGruder – 4 star Romantic Times review!

  5. Jaye Wells

    Hi Deidre, Sabina’s heritage plays a large role in the plot of the entire series. There’s lots of surprises in store for Sabina.

    Brooke, the red-head element was really fun. The older the vamp, the darker the shade.

    Crystal, hmm, the most hours? I pulled an all-nighter recently to finish book two in the series. But for the most part I write in two- to four-hour chunks before I have to take a break.

    Thanks, Diana!

  6. CrystalGB

    Hi Jaye. Your series sounds wonderful. I love how your characters are half vampire and half mage.

  7. Jaye Wells

    Thanks, Crystal. The mixed blood causes Sabina a lot of problems since interracial mating is forbidden in her world. But it also offers lots of interesting opportunities. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Sidhe Vicious

    I found your blog back in Feb. or March, so it feels like I’ve been waiting forever for Red-Headed Stepchild to be released! You are on my wishlist. I love your wicked sense of humor and the interview was fun to read. :D

  9. Jaye Wells

    Sidhe, the good news is Orbit has me on a six-month release schedule so people won’t have to wait as long for the next installments.

  10. Colleen

    I was a huge She-Ra fan! :D I like the sound of your heroine! Look forward to adding your books to my list!

  11. Jaye Wells

    Oooh, another She-Ra fan. Awesome. Thanks, Colleen.

  12. flip

    I am looking forward to Red Headed Stepchild….It seems like it is taking forever to be published.

  13. Kimberly B.

    Sounds like a terrific book! I think I remember reading in my Vampire Encyclopedia that in some cultures people with red hair were considered more likely to become vampires, in some those with blue eyes, and in others people born on Christmas Eve, interestingly enough.
    And I think you’re right about the usefulness of blogging; I’ve stopped by yours several times, and it really has gotten me interested in your novel!

  14. Jaye Wells

    Flip, it’s not too much longer, but believe me no one has felt the wait more than me.

    Kimberly, the red-headed vampire legends helped shape that idea. That and the fact some have theorized that the Mark of Cain was red hair. I just put the two together. Thanks!

  15. Cathy M

    Hi Jaye, I’ve been reading good things about this series and have added it to my wish list.

  16. Danielle

    i have to say i love the cover… the hair is awesome! :D

    Jaye, your books tempt me so! so many books so little time (and money)! seriously people you should see my wishlist :???: lol

  17. Pam P

    I like vamps, but mages even more, definitely will have to read your series, Jaye.

  18. blackroze37

    LOL love the title, as kids, me and my cousins, would call each other that, you just put a huge smile on my face , remembering our fun , well beside name calling lol :mad:

    im looking forward to reading that

  19. Jennifer A. Ray

    I like the apple fetish angle! Quirky little details like that can really make a story come alive for me… :-)

  20. Jaye Wells

    Thanks, everyone. I can’t wait for it to come out either.

  21. Debbie

    Hi Jaye! Great interview! I love the Garden of Eden connection and the red hair! LOL! I’m putting this book on my wish list.

  22. Kay Thomas

    Hey Jaye,
    Can’t wait to read Red-Headed Step Child. I loved hearing about your writing process—your world-building especially. The apple connection is fascinating to me too—this is gonna be so fun!

  23. Jaye Wells

    Thanks, Debbie and Kay!

  24. Karin

    I loved the interview. Now I need to pick up the book so I can see the ‘major tweakage’. From what you say, it sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to read it.

  25. Pamk

    i love the cover and this was a great interview. Btw my youngest son has hair the same color as model on your book.

  26. Stacie McClellan

    I like the Green-eyed Demon title. Hopefully you can keep it. Congrats on the delivery of your books today.

  27. Debby

    Wow, I have never read your books and need to go out and find them

  28. Jaye Wells

    Hi, Karin. I think you’ll like the tweakage.

    Pamk, that’s so cool. There’s no way I could pull off that look. But I think it looks awesome on Sabina.

    Debby, unfortunately I don’t have any print books out now. I do have a story out in an an ebook anthology called Weirdly Two: A Collection of Strange Tales. Text to be displayedYou can find it here. Otherwise, the Sabina Kane series debuts in March.

  29. annalisa

    I love the cover and your series sounds great!

  30. Carmen R

    yay another book to add to my wish list.

  31. Caffey

    Jaye, its great meeting you!! I like how this is unique with the character as a half-vampire and half-mage assassin. I’m learning alot already from reading your blog about Mages that I didn’t know! I bet that cover made it fitting for the series, especially with the hair? I’m fascinated by this series! Great interview!

  32. Jaye Wells

    Thanks, Annalisa and Carmen.

    Hi, Caffey. I remember you from Writerspace chats. Hope you’re doing well.

  33. Pan Zareta

    Wonderful interview! Your book sounds fascinating!

  34. Liviania

    Apples, eh?

    I really love your blog so I can’t wait for this series to come out – I know I’ll like the voice.

  35. Margie

    This sounds like a great series! Looking forward to adding your books to my reading list!

  36. Lori T

    Hi Jaye~

    I am really looking forward to Red Headed Stepchild…I think that it sounds great. I like the connection to the Garden of Eden.

  37. Michelle B.

    I just love a good series…you can really delve into the characters & storyline with a good one…