We would like to thank Jules Jones for stopping by to talk with us today. Check out Adriana’s review of And If I Offer Thee a Bargain. Also stay tuned for a giveaway. You can buy And If I Offer Thee a Bargain today from the publisher for 30% off.
What prompted you to write this book about these magical creatures?
I’ve been interested in myths and legends pretty much since I could first read, and as a child I read my way through my local library’s large collection of books on the subject. So when I started writing my own stories, it was an obvious source to draw on for inspiration.
I ended up writing several stories using a specific concept — that they be British and Irish myths and legends, just like the ones I’d read as a child, but set in the present day. And not presented as fiction, but framed as if they had been collected as true folktales about things the tellers at least half-believed. I imagined a world where the things of fairy had been real, but had died out or withdrawn into another world as the magic they depended on slowly dwindled away. Here and there, there might still be odd pockets of magic, or occasional gate contact with another world, that would allow a few people to still encounter them as real rather than pure myth.
One of those tales was a story about the sidhe, the people of the hills. Not just any myth, but the one closest to home for me. Very literally close to home, because I’m from Northern Ireland, and I’ve walked those hills.
Will you ever write a sequel so we can see Jack & Fergal again?
I don’t see myself ever writing a direct sequel. With a lot of my stories, I know there’s more story out there after the last page, even if I never write it. But this one was complete in itself, with nothing more to be said. Though I’d never rule out something pricking me to see more of their story in years to come.
Have you always wanted to write? If so is science fiction erotica your favorite genre?
The other thing I’ve been reading as long as I’ve been able to read is science fiction. I didn’t really feel an urge to write fiction until I stumbled over fanfiction, and specifically fanfiction for Blake’s 7, a very dystopian science fiction series from the BBC. The show tackled some fairly meaty political/philosophical problems in amongst the pretty spaceships and explosions, and so did its fanfiction. That included the X-rated fanfiction. Something about it clicked, and I decided I wanted to play too. Talking about sex lets you talk about a lot of other things, often without people noticing that you’re doing it. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
All over the place. Conversations with friends that spark an idea. Reading a science article that makes me consider “what if”. Sometimes a submissions call that gets me thinking about how to write something with that theme. And often a single scene turns up in my head without so much as a by-your-leave, and I need to know how the characters got into that situation and what happens next. The traditional “it came to me in a dream” fits in there somewhere as well.
Often it’s not so much finding an idea, as having to take a machete to the blasted things to keep them from taking over your brain. It’s a common complaint amongst my writer friends that the muse is either out on vacation somewhere, or comes home bringing all their disreputable friends for a party, leaving you to clean up the mess. No such thing as a happy medium…
Spindrift was another story that came out of the modern myths concept. I knew I wanted to write something about the silkies, the seal people. I thought I’d just write a short story, my version of the silkie mythos of stolen skins and stolen wives. It got away from me, and became a novel and a sequel novella. T^here’s more about this in one of my old blog posts at http://julesjones.livejournal.
For a different source of inspiration, First Footer came directly out of my publisher’s request for a New Year’s Eve themed science fiction or fantasy novella. I simply took the first footing tradition I was familiar with from Northern Ireland, asked “what if the dark man with a lump of coal was a First Contact Team member?” and watched what my characters did from there.
Mindscan was one of the “single scene” contingent. You can see what the scene was, because it’s on the publisher’s website as the excerpt. The website manager chose the excerpt without any prompting from me, so it must have made as vivid an impression on other people when they read the book as it did when it arrived uninvited in my head.
If you could co-author a book with any author out there who would it be and why?
There are a lot of possible answers to that one. But I think perhaps Lois McMaster Bujold, because of the many authors I admire, she’s the one who most often makes me think “I wish I could write like that.”
Out of all of your books, which was your favorite to write and why?
I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that one before. 🙂 Favourite book or character, yes, but not favourite one to write. The honest answer is probably “the one I’m writing now”. Those are the characters and the story in my head right now, the ones who are taking all my love and care and attention. At least until the next story comes along and insists that I need to write it.
Who is your favorite author? Who do you read?
Too many favourites to pick one, or even a dozen. But if I had to narrow it down to one – the great, and greatly missed, Andre Norton. She built worlds for me, and for so many of my generation of science fiction fans.
What advice do you have for other aspiring authors out there?
The three most useful bits of advice that I was given when I first started the profic game:
Bum on seat, fingers on keyboard, even if it feels like you’re getting nowhere fast. If you write 300 words a day, that’s 100,000 words in a year, and that’s a novel. Bear in mind that some people need to write every day, other folk are burst writers who sit down for one weekend a month and emit 10,000 words in two days. But whatever way works for you, you need to do it.
“There are nine and sixty ways
of writing tribal lays
and every single one of them is right”
– a Kipling quote much loved by the sf writing group I was in for many years, which makes the point that there is no one true way and what works for one writer isn’t necessarily the right way for another.
It doesn’t matter how good your book is, 20% of the readers will hate it. If you don’t believe that, go and look at some well-known books on Amazon. You could never have pleased that 20%, so don’t let a bad review get you down, and don’t give in to the temptation to answer back.
What is next on the horizon for you as a writer?
Getting back to it. I was inactive for several years because of health problems, but I’m writing again and have a brand new novel due out in a few weeks. I’m working on another one right now that I’m hoping to have finished this year, and another partly-written one in the queue. And a few ideas for revisiting old favourites after that, because readers ask “what happened next” and I’d like to know the answer to that too.
About the Author
Jules Jones is a British author of science fiction and erotic romance, mostly with m/m themes. Much of her work is cross-genre, being science fiction or fantasy with a strong romance element. Some is written in collaboration with writing partner Alex Woolgrave. Her day job is materials science, and it tends to show — many of her characters are scientists, engineers, and sundry other geeks.
MUSA has kindly offered 1 lucky commenter their very own copy of And If I Offer Thee a Bargain. MUSA is also offering 30% off of this title today and providing a $10 voucher for MUSA publishing to one commenter from the two MUSA interviews conducted today!
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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