Interview Questions for Jocelynn Drake
You are a prolific writer, I enjoyed looking at your site and seeing all you have written. Thank you for your willingness to be interviewed. I noticed links for other interviews on your site and have included a link to the site here.
With the other interviews in mind, I will keep this brief but feel free to expound to your hearts content. BTW I really enjoy the way you provide a back story for the major players such Trixie and Bronx.
1.) What sparked the Asylum Tales?
Asylum Tales started while I was sitting in a tattoo parlor, talking to the artists while getting a little ink. I was nearing the end of the Dark Days series and I needed to start turning my mind to what I would work on next. The suggestion came up that my next hero needed to be a tattoo artist. We joked and laughed about it, but something about the suggestion stuck in my head, eventually leading to the birth of Gage Powell, warlock-turned-tattoo artist.
The series was also formed with the notion that I wanted to write something drastically different from the Dark Days series. I had spent several years working with paranormal creatures that were hiding from humanity. I now wanted to work on something where everything was out in the open so I could deal with other issues, like what does an incubus do when he’s struggling to make his monogamous relationship work?
2.) Does your story line develop organically or is it a gestalt before you begin?
It’s a mix for me. For some stories, it’s a matter of who I want to be the focus. For The Asylum Interviews: Bronx, I knew Bronx had to figure heavy in the story so that I could show off some of his best qualities. As a result, the story developed around the character. In other stories, there are specific questions that I want to answer about Gage, the world, or just something larger that I want to tackle, and the story grows from there. Largely, plotting out a story is a lot of me staring at the wall and wondering “what if?”
3.) Do you have any tattoos yourself and if so of what and ignore this if it is too personal.
Yes, I currently have four tattoos; three on my back and one on my leg. The first is an hourglass. The second is a design that covers most of my back. The third is the sun and moon forming a circle on my leg. The fourth is the main symbol from the video game Final Fantasy X. Each has a special meaning to me.
4.) Do you have a favorite character in the series and if so why?
Outside of the main three (Gage, Bronx, and Trixie), I think my favorite is probably Chang, though there are several other characters who are running a very close second. Chang is so much fun to write because I’m never quite sure what’s going to come out of his mouth. He’s very smart and very cunning, which make him a dangerous man, but it definitely helps that he’s also fond of Gage. Even so, I wouldn’t put it past him to try to sneak something by the tattoo artist. As a dealer in black market goods, he has his hands on everything and I love learning what interesting items he has in his massive warehouse. Chang also has a very big secret that I’m hoping to tackle one day.
5.) What do you like the most about writing?
I love exploring new worlds with interesting characters. I like watching my characters find ways to escape bad situations and beating the bad guys when the odds are against it. I like watching their sacrifices and knowing all their inner thoughts. I love watching the words fall onto the page, breathing life into a world I’ve created in my mind.
6.) Where do your new story ideas come from?
I have no idea most of the time. I’m a daydreamer. I wander about the world, soaking in experiences and new ideas. The result tends to be new and strange story ideas about tattoo artists, gargoyles, trolls, and vampires. I’ve been writing since I was twelve years old and the stories just stockpile in my brain until I have time to get them down on paper.
7.) What advice has helped the most in your writing?
Butt in chair.
You can dream, hope, and wish to write books all you want, but it’s never going to happen until you get your butt in the chair and put the words down. In that process you have to write a lot of words, most of them being wrong, before you get the right ones down in the right order.
8.) What advice would you give for the want to be an author?
See my answer to the previous question. Wanting something is a nice start, but you need to start getting the words down and finishing projects before you can ever get close to publication.