JL Clayton’s Chosen Saga comprises A Spark of Magic, A Blaze of Magic and A Ghost of Magic. A planned fourth book and a number of short stories will round out the series. She has a strong – and frequently funny – social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. In keeping with her generosity in supporting colleagues, she recently held an interesting Facebook event for the third book in her series, A Ghost of Magic, book-ending the launch of The Chosen Saga between a number of other authors, who also promoted their work via the live social media event over a number of hours.
First, some biography: Tell us about yourself.
I love my family, my husband Robert and my daughter Shyla: They are my rock. I love the color blue: I have ever since I saw my eyes, I don’t think that’s conceited it’s just the truth… I was like five years old, so I’m sure you can’t really be considered conceited that young. I love to read: Any and all books except nonfiction, but there are always exceptions. I love to laugh and make people smile: Laughter is good for the soul, plus I laugh very easily. I love to be silly and do random things: All the time, especially around my daughter. I love embarrassing people: It’s fun and funny, but I can get embarrassed easily too. I love tattoos: I have some, but I wouldn’t go crazy. I love piercings: I have some; again I wouldn’t go too crazy. I love life and doing new things: I’m always up for a challenge.I love to hug and be hugged:Hugs make me feel good, but it has to be a good one…not a pat on the back. Those I do not love.
1. You’re very sweet to your fans and followers. You’re one of the few writers on social media who seems to pay-it-forward and give back in a big way in terms of engagement. Does promotion take up a lot of your time?
JL: It can, that’s why I haven’t been on Twitter as much, but I love all my fans, friends and followers I’ve made since becoming an author.
2. Is the Chosen Saga a trilogy? Is Ghost of Magic the last book?
JL: It is not a trilogy, it’s a series. There will be 4 full novels and depending on if I am good at it, 3 to 4 short stories in the Chosen Saga series.
JL: Short and sweet: Dynamic, powerful and sexy.
4. Do you find the stories are self-contained enough for your readers, with The Chosen Saga? Is there an element of having to weave in backstory from the previous novel? And can they be read as standalone books?
JL: My series is not self-contained, you have to read the first book in-order to understand the next. However, my short stories in the series ( I’m currently working on one now) I believe my readers will be able to read them as a stand alone.
5. Your heroine Charlie is funny and sarcastic. A typical cynical teen in some respects, but she’s got enough insight to know it. How much of you is in her? And what of the other characters? What inspires you to write a character such as Crispin?
JL: I think Charlie is her own person, in my head she has her own life. Yes, I know how that line reads – crazy, but that’s how I feel. I love my characters (even though they have a mind of their own, and sometimes I want to kill them ) but I put my heart and soul into everything I do, and I just hope you can read it in my novels. Everyone has and needs a little dark in their life: Crispin is the bad guy that I feel needs love…I’ll leave it at that.
6. You’ve established your protagonist and antagonists in a wonderful way so that there are good guys, and then not-so-bad,
misinformed characters, and then a full-on bad guy. Is this kind of shading important?
JL: I think maybe to some writers it is. To me yes! I love a book that can make you cry, laugh, be afraid and want to kill someone. Haha. That makes for a wonderful book! Shading in the good, kinda bad and down right evil I think makes for an amazing read.
7. In Star Trek. physicists were complaining that Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle ruled out the possibility of transporters. So the writers started adding in the “Heisenberg compensators” as a piece of technology to obviate the problem. I see you have “leyline transport” in the novel – I want to ask about your world-building, and the science or folklore basis for all that. Talk to me about leylines! How much of your novel is JL, and how much has a grounding in research about myths, ancient belief or science?
JL: Well believe it or not, everything in my book I pretty much made up, except about leylines. I read about leyline jumping in Kim Harrison series, The Hollows. If you haven’t read them, you should. I did a little research on that, but that’s about it on the researching.
8. Did your own background inform your choice of mythos and world-building? Are you a werewolf fan? Any Native American connection? Do you study ancient history or paganism? Are you “New Age” at all? Are you in fact a very beautiful hippy? 🙂
JL: Wow that’s a lot. Haha. No on my background in mythos and world-building, I contribute that to reading books. I love werewolves, it would be amazing if I was one. Ha. I have been told by my pawpaw that I have some Native American blood. I do not study ancient history or paganism, everything in my books comes directly from my brilliant mind. Ha. I’m sure watching movies helped. I love New Age, but no I don’t believe in it or study magic. Yet, it would be awesome if I could spark up a little magic sometimes. I’ve never been told I was a beautiful-hippy, maybe I’m beautifully-happy! I love to laugh and smile.
9. Your writing process: Are you a plotter or a pantser? How long does it take to complete a novel?
JL: I’m a plotter! On writing it all depends on what groove I’m in on the length of time it would take me, sometimes I am feeling it and sometimes not so much.
10. Finally, what are you working on now?
JL: I am working on one short story: A Darkening of Magic Crispin’s story. I’m also working on an adult novel.