Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Author Spotlight- Jayden Woods

This week in my Author Spotlight... I'd like to welcome Jayden Woods. She has written several awesome books that I have downloaded to my Nook from Barnes and Noble's website.

Most current book: "Godric the Kingslayer," Sons of Mercia Vol. 2, releasing September 27, 2011

Available Book: The First Lost Tale of Merica: Golde the Mother

"The Lost Tales of Mercia" is a series of ten short stories set in England near the end of the Viking Age. These swashbuckling tales, based heavily on true events, educate and entertain simultaneously. The First Tale follows the mother of Eadric Streona. It raises the question of who fathered the boy that would become notorious as one of the most treacherous men in England. 

1. Who are you and what do you do?Jayden Woods is my pen name, and I have been an avid writer ever since I learned to write at all. I also love to draw and compose music, so at an early age I had the additional dream of becoming a filmmaker. I grew up in the hills of rural Tennessee until moving to Los Angeles to study screenwriting at the University of Southern California. I went on to work in Hollywood for a short while before deciding that I wanted to establish myself as a novelist first and foremost. I moved to St Louis where I have focused on publishing the Sons of Mercia trilogy while continuing to write and studying Psychology on the side.

2. What type of books have you written?
I write in several genres. My first few books were science fiction and fantasy, but I moved towards historical fiction as my fantasy stories became more and more realistic. With "Eadric the Grasper" I dove in all the way, immersing myself in Anglo-Saxon history and carefully matching my story to the known facts.
3. What’s your favorite genre to write? Favorite to read?
The answer to that question is once I am constantly exploring. I believe that a great story can be told in any genre, so I like to read and write all sorts. I must say, however, that the thrill of writing historical fiction has gone unmatched for me, even though I've returned to writing fantasy. Something about piecing together characters and stories based on tiny little clues from history is both exhilarating and very fulfilling.
4. Are you a self published author? If so, what made you decide to do self publishing?
Yes. For a long time, I confess, I spurned the idea of self-publishing. Several dozen rejections later, I began to reconsider. These days, agents don't blink an eye at your grandiose novel unless you have some sort of proof to assure them it's good. This became my goal with self-publishing, and it worked. I gathered a lot of great critical reviews before publicly releasing the book. Kirkus Discoveries chose "Eadric the Grasper" as one of the top 12 books of 2010. This finally got me noticed by an agent, and now we are working together to find a major publisher for the series.
5. When and why did you began writing?
I wrote my first storybook when I was five years old. Ever since, I have been addicted to writing and it's hard to explain why. I am a very passionate and emotional person. I think I realized at a young age that I could not afford to express the full extent of my feelings to other people on a daily basis, so I learned to hold in all my rage, all my sorrow, all my joy, and all my desire deep inside myself, then let it loose once I was alone with pen and paper.
6. What do you consider is the hardest part of writing a book?
Starting it, for sure. There is hardly anything as daunting as staring at a blank page and figuring out how to link your first few scribbles to that large, writhing mass of ideas in your head. For me, once the first few pages are done I can see my story coming to life through the words, the rest flows out with relative ease.
7. What is the title of the book you are working on now? What inspired you to use this title?
The book I'm currently writing is called "Ashes of Dearen." It's an epic fantasy, and it's actually a rewrite of a story I wrote years ago. A full explanation of the title would actually give some of the story away, so I'll just let you wonder for now.
8. Do you have any advice for other writers who are beginning to write?
Ask yourself why you write and what you hope to achieve through your writing. Do you do it for yourself, or for others, or for both? Do you want to keep it private, or do you want to share it? And why? I feel like too many people write for the wrong reasons--such as the vague goal of "being a writer"--or they don't know what they hope to achieve with their writing and so, inevitably, they never achieve it. Answering these questions will help motivate you and focus your writing accordingly. In any case, if you plan to share your writing, it is important to think of your audience as you're writing.
9. Do you have any advice for writers for the writing process?
If you sit for an hour in front of a blank page and never write a word, don't feel discouraged. Sitting and thinking is actually an important part of the writing process. People around you may not understand that you are "working" if you haven't yet written something, but a huge part of your work as a writer is to THINK!
10. What book would you suggest others to read? Why?
"The Farseer Trilogy" by Robin Hobb is my favorite book series, ever. So read it, and hopefully you'll love it, too! But my point is to read whatever you love, and always try to read the work of a writer you feel is better than you are. It will give you something to aspire to.
11. What author do you look up to and why?
Robin Hobb, because she's amazing. Also my husband, Malcolm Pierce, because he's also one of the best writers alive and one day the whole world will realize it. But even if they don't, he'd keep writing anyway.
12. Please tell us your main website and any other means of contacting you...
My main website is http://www.jaydenwoods.com.
 You can read my short stories and other pieces of writing at http://talesofmercia.wordpress.com. "Eadric the Grasper" can be purchased in various stores in paperback (http://www.amazon.com/Eadric-Grasper-Sons-Mercia-1/dp/1452862869/) or as an ebook (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Eadric-the-Grasper/Jayden-Woods/e/2940011823541). Vol. 2 releases soon--September 27, 2011--so get reading!

Thank you Jayden for your time and best of luck with all your future plans with your books. Have a wonderful day.

1 comment:

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