Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Interview with Jaime Lee Moyer, author of Delia's Shadow - September 17, 2013

Please welcome Jaime Lee Moyer to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Delia's Shadow will be published on September 17th. You may read Jaime's Guest Blog - The Importance of Heroic Heroines - here.

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Jaime:  Thank you. I'm really pleased to be here.

TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Jaime:  I remember making up stories and acting them out from the time I was five years old. That was before I actually knew how to write words on paper. My first official story was written when I was about ten or eleven. I've written ever since. Getting super serious and writing toward publication began about twelve years ago.

As to why I write? I have to write. It's not just a compulsion, it's a huge part of who I am.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Jaime:  I'm not sure. What others see as an interesting quirk might just be a normal part of the process for me. Writing is easier for me when I have music that fits the character or the story, but lots of other writers listen to music too.

Maybe it's that I immerse myself in the characters and the story so deeply that it's as if I'm living it with them. I jokingly called it "method writing". Or maybe it's that a character's entire personality and life history just sort of falls into my head in one big chunk. When a character grows a personality they upgrade from just being a walk on. Those have turned out to be some of the best characters.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jaime:  A little of both. I don't sit down and outline, but I do know where I'm going when I start. I know the beginning, points in the middle, and the end. Novel plots and stories tend to reveal themselves to me a few chapters at a time.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jaime:  The biggest challenge is realizing that no matter how hard I try, the story I write will never match the one in my head. My vision always exceeds my grasp. That in turn means I have to reach farther and try harder, which is a huge part of the challenge.

I'm not the first writer to feel that way and I won't be the last.

TQ:  Describe Delia's Shadow in 140 characters or less.

Jaime:  Delia Martin & Lt. Gabe Ryan hunt for a serial killer in a city haunted by the ghosts of his victims. Along the way they fall in love.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Delia's Shadow?

Jaime:  Believe it or not, a dream. I had a dream about this young woman standing next to a steam locomotive and looking back over her shoulder to see who was following her. The next day I couldn't stop thinking about this dream, who this young woman was and who was following her. Once I knew she was being followed by a ghost it all fell into place.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Delia's Shadow?

Jaime:  The book is set in 1915 so the research was pretty intense. I researched current events for that year, the Pan Pacific Exposition that was held in San Francisco that year, clothing styles, slang, cars, furniture—everything I could think of that had changed in almost 100 years. I looked at thousands of photographs to set details and styles in my mind.

That was the fun research. Less fun was learning about serial killers. Reading FBI files, all online via the freedom of information act, was pretty gruesome.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Jaime:  Dora is the easiest character to write. She is not only Delia's teacher and friend, but she is the free spirit. Dora is sarcastic, unconventional and gives off the air of really not giving two figs what the world thinks. I love writing her because almost anything might pop out of her mouth and often does. Writing Dora is a great deal of fun.

I'd have to say the killer was hardest to write. There was a level of cold, detached insanity there that was difficult to tap into. It wasn't a pleasant state of mine to be in.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Delia's Shadow?

Jaime:  There is a scene where Gabe, Delia and Dora visit Gabe's parents to go through old case files from Matthew Ryan's days as a detective. I love the relationship between Gabe and his father, the sparring between Dora and Matt Ryan, and the grudging slow acceptance by Matt that there might be more to the world than he wants to admit.

But probably one of my very favorite scenes is one that was very difficult to write, the aftermath of the 4th of July at the Pan Pacific and what those events do to Gabe.

TQ:  What's next?

Jaime:  There are two more books coming that star Gabe and Delia, Dora, Sadie and Jack. A Barricade In Hell is set in 1917, and I'm writing the third book, Against A Brightening Sky, right now. I'm really excited about all of these books and my hope is that people who fall in love with Gabe and Delia will be excited too.

TQ:   Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jaime:  Thank you for having me! This was fun.

About Delia's Shadow

Delia's Shadow
Tor Books, September 17, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.

About Jaime Lee Moyer

Jaime Lee Moyer lives in San Antonio with writer Marshall Payne, two cats, three guitars and a growing collection of books and music. Her first novel, DELIA’S SHADOW, will be published by TOR Books in September 2013. Her novels are represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.

Jaime has sold short fiction to Lone Star Stories, Daily Science Fiction, and to the Triangulations: End of the Rainbow, and Triangulations: Last Contact anthologies. She was poetry editor for Ideomancer Speculative Fiction for five years and edited the 2010 Rhysling Award Anthology for the Science Fiction Poetry Association. A poet in her own right, she’s sold more than her share of poetry.

She writes a lot. She reads as much as she can.

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