Interview with Jaye Wells – Sabina Kane series

*Traduction en Français*

Jaye Wells is the author of the urban fantasy series Sabina Kane. There are five books in this series, released by Orbit. A big thank you to the author for answering all our questions.
Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
HI there! My name is Jaye Wells, and I write urban fantasy novels. I’d like to tell you I live a life full of glamor and adventure, but mostly I sit in front of a computer writing stories. I love to travel, drink wine, and talk about writing and books.  
When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
Hmm. That’s not so easy to answer. I’d always admired writers. My mom and my dad’s mother were both booksellers, so loving books was pretty much required. But I always thought if you were supposed to be a writer, you just knew it. I wrote as a kid, but it was difficult, so I figured I wasn’t very good. Later, I became a magazine editor and I enjoyed the writing, but it lacked something. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I decided to finally get serious about writing fiction.
Was it difficult to write the first book? How long did it take? Did it become easier with the following books?
When I turned 30, I signed up for a writing class. The teacher said writing is difficult for everyone, and learning that freed me somehow. I started my first book in that class, and it was hard, but also very fun. That first one took me about nine months. My third book was the first one that got published.
I wouldn’t say that writing has become easier. My confidence has grown, so I guess it’s easier in that respect. However, as I’ve gained new skills, I’ve also challenged myself to grow with each new work, so it’s still very hard work. 
How do you find your titles? Did you imagine them all when you started the series or do you brainstorm each time?
There’s a lot of brainstorming involved, but I find it hard to work on a book without knowing its name. I knew the title of the first book very early in the process, but after I sold it, I brainstormed with my editor for each new book. 
How did you end up writing Urban Fantasy books? Is there any other genre that appeal to you?
I’m not really sure how I ended up in urban fantasy. That same teacher who told me writing is supposed to be hard also said that we should write what we read. I’d always loved historical fiction, so I thought that’s what I would write. However, when I looked at my bookcases, there were also many vampire books. I’d had an idea for a while that worked better when I made the male love interest a vampire, so I went with it. My first two books were paranormal romance, but something about that genre didn’t work for me. By the time I realized that I’d been reading a lot of Urban Fantasy, so when Sabina started talking to me, I decided to give it a try. I loved it instantly. Urban Fantasy allows me to play with so many genres that it never feels stale. 
Was it difficult to have so many different species in your books?
Not really. That’s part of what keeps it interesting for me. 
How did you end up with the idea of Gighul? Love him!
I knew I wanted a hairless cat demon. Those cats always fascinated me because they’re so strange and I thought one would make a perfect demon. Since Sabina is part-magic user, I figured it made sense to have a demon cat as her familiar. I had no idea when I put him in that first story that he’d be such a major part of the series. I’ve actually had people tell me they don’t care if Sabina survives, but Giguhl better or else! 
Does the inspiration for the characters come from people you know?
Not directly. No characters are specifically based on real people, but I often steal traits from people I know or see on the street to make up a character. I’d also say a lot of my characters have me in them, too. 
Did you know from the start the end of some of the characters? (Mainly about Maisie)
I didn’t have the whole series planned out before I began. I had a character, a world and a situation (races on the brink of war). The rest organically developed as I was writing. 
Is there a character more difficult than the others to write?
They’re all difficult! Maisie was especially tough because she’s not like me at all, and she had such a painful story line.
Who is your favorite character in the series?
Like everyone else, I have a warm spot for Giguhl. He was the easiest character to write for me. But I love them all, really. Even the bad guys. Especially the bad guys. 😉
What is your favorite book in the series?
It’s hard to choose because they’re all one big story, but if pressed, I’d say the either the third or fourth book. The third because it was the most fun to write and I loved writing about New Orleans. But the fourth really was a bombshell of a book in terms of story. It’s also a more complex book emotionally and plot-wise. 
Have you already other plans for future series? Or is it top secret?
I just announced that I’ve sold three books in a new series to my American publisher. The first book will be called DIRTY MAGIC in the States and will come out next year. The series revolves around Kate Prospero, a cop who’s trying bring down the magical crime rings that peddle dirty potions. The only problem is she was raised in one of those crime families, so she’s going after her family, friends, and former-lovers. 
Can you tell us a little something about the novellas?
I’ll be writing at least two Sabina Kane novellas and one Kate Prospero novella over the next couple of years. So many readers have told me they’re sad to leave Sabina’s world now that I’ve completed the series, so we decided to give them a little more. I haven’t written them yet, so I can’t speak to the plot lines, but everyone who’s been missing Giguhl will soon have a fix.
How do you feel now that the series in finished?
Proud. Relieved. A little sad. But also excited about being able to work in a new world.
Did you need to do a lot of researches for your books?
I don’t just need to, I want to. I love research. It’s a form of brainstorming for me, so I do a lot when I’m building the world. While I’m writing, I also am constantly looking things up. Just yesterday I had to research audio surveillance devices, cocaine and search warrants. I love my job. 
Do you have a favorite author? Or a favorite book?
Ah! I can’t answer that. There are too many. I will say I am totally in awe of Anne Rice’s vampire novels, and I think Stephen King is a genius. 
Where is your favorite place to write?
Anyplace that has good coffee. Mostly I write in my office, though.
How was your trip in France? Do you think you’ll come back?
I had the absolute best time there this summer. Epinal was a storybook town, and the festival was amazing. You can’t beat talking about books with other authors and excited readers while drinking good wine and eating delicious food. I loved the experience so much that at one point, I texted my husband and told him to sell the house in Texas and come join me. I sincerely hope I’ll get to return in the near future. 

Thanks so much for having me! 
After several years as a magazine editor and freelance writer, Jaye Wells finally decided to leave the facts behind and make up her own reality. Her overactive imagination and life-long fascination with the arcane and freakish blended nicely with this new career path. Her Sabina Kane urban fantasy series is a blend of dark themes, grave stakes and wicked humor. Jaye lives in Texas with her saintly husband and devilish son. 

10 thoughts on “Interview with Jaye Wells – Sabina Kane series

  1. I love this series – and I was really impressed that Jaye decided to bring the series to a natural conclusion rather continuing books in the series forever – and what an ending! I happy to hear there are some novellas still to come though! 🙂
    Looking forward to the new series – sounds rather tense and exciting already! I’m hopeful for a UK release as well! 🙂

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