Please welcome Jamie Wyman to The Qwillery! Uninvited, the 3rd novel in the Etudes in C# series, is out now! (Note: I backed Uninvited on Kickstarter.)
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?
Jamie: Hi! Thanks for having me.
I started telling stories when I was in single digits. My grandma used to give me notebooks to scribble in, or record me telling my own stories that I would make up on the fly. I started writing regularly in junior high. I was on the school paper, and I wrote poetry and terrible fiction in notebooks that I carried with me everywhere I went. It was therapy for me. Dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts, writing was a way for me to deal with things I couldn't face head on. Poetry helped with emotional bloodletting. After taking a break from fiction and poetry during college, I came back to it and wrote my first novel. I haven't looked back.
TQ: Are you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?
Jamie: I'm a bit of a hybrid. I prefer plotting. If I know where I'm going, I can put my head down and just fly through with no excuses to stop. If I'm pantsing, my brain locks up and I can procrastinate. What ends up happening (and working) for me is that I will outline the major beats of a story and let the pantsing happen between those beats. It keeps me interested, keeps my brain engaged, and allows for organic surprises to happen.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Jamie: Pushing through blocks. There are days where I can barely eke out 250 words, and getting through those days without beating myself up is really difficult for me right now. I also deal with chronic illness, so days where my body just says, "Nope!" ... it becomes all the more tempting to call myself names.
TQ: What has influenced / influences your writing?
Jamie: I draw from a lot of different sources. I am a big movie fan. I love a well-written movie, but learn a lot from the ones that fall short. I read sci-fi/fantasy--Jim Butcher, Steven Brust, Delilah S. Dawson, just to name a few--and I love reading Christopher Moore's books. The first paragraph of a Moore book makes me sigh like I'm slipping into a hot tub. This is what I love about writing. This is what I want to be able to do with words.
TQ: Describe Uninvited in 140 characters or less.
Jamie: When frenemy Marius becomes a target of angry gods, technomancer Cat Sharp must put her feelings aside and help him earn freedom.
TQ: Tell us something about Uninvited that is not found in the book description.
Jamie: This book is deeper than the others in the series to this point. It's the story I've been waiting for years to tell, and I couldn't be more thrilled that it's out in the world.
TQ: What inspired you to write the Etudes in C# series? Is there a particular Etudes in C# that you are fond of?
Jamie: I had an idea for a picture of the trickster gods--Eris, Loki, Puck, Maui, Coyote and Anansi--playing poker. It wasn't enough to see an image of it, though, I wanted to know what that game would look like. That idea evolved into the first book of Etudes in C#, Wild Card.
Uninvited is my favorite thus far. When I was outlining the series 5 years ago, I knew that this was one of the stories that would come up and I could not wait for it. Writing it was an electric experience. It was finished before Unveiled (Book 2) was published, and I've been sitting on it for years. Now that it's out, I couldn't be happier.
TQ: What appeals to you about writing Urban Fantasy?
Jamie: I like stories that are in our world, our cities with our technology. I think it's fun to play with our reality and blend it with magic and the supernatural. It is an effective tool to use to update existing mythologies, and to explore our current social issues. More than anything, though, it's important to me to help people believe that there is more to our world than we see. We can look deeper and find our own kinds of magic even when things look dark. And while we might not all be wizards or technomages, we all have our own power.
TQ: In the Etudes in C# series so far who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Has any character surprised you?
Jamie: Marius is probably the easiest and the most difficult to write. He is a complex character who puts on this facade of being an aloof, lecherous wastrel, but he's a very deep creature. He's easy to write because he loves to talk about himself and has no problem extolling his virtues, but the flip side of that is that Marius NEVER SHUTS UP!
Loki surprised me. When I started writing Wild Card, Loki was pretty quiet until he just popped up with a twist of his own. He's also turned into a very warm character. I didn't expect that of him.
TQ: Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Uninvited.
"Has it never occurred to you to wonder why Hope was in Pandora's Box to begin with? It would be like putting a virgin in a prison full of rapists and thugs. Why include Hope in the same chest as all the vileness the word had yet to inherit? Because of all the blades a man can use upon himself, Hope is the sharpest."
"I don't know if you've noticed, Marius, but we're in the Slytherin common room of the Playboy mansion."
TQ: What's next?
Jamie: I'm working on a new book outside of the C# series that involves necromancers and the assassins who spoil their fun. I'm also hoping to add a new story to my alternate universe Sherlock series from Abaddon - alt. Sherlock Holmes: New Visions of the Great Detective. Putting the Great Detective into a Depression Era American circus is a good time. I love writing that world. And there will be two more books in the C# series.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Jamie: Thank you very much for having me!
Etudes in C# 3
Pajamazon Wordworks, October 18, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 325 pages
On her 30th birthday, Catherine Sharp has a lot to celebrate: a great IT job in Las Vegas, a growing mastery of technomancy, and a deity or two on speed dial. She’s barely had a chance to blow out her candles when she finds a half-dead body on her doorstep.
For centuries, the satyr has lied, cheated and swindled the upper crust of several pantheons in service to Eris, the Greek goddess of Discord. However, he has angered his mistress and found himself vulnerable. With bloodthirsty gods and monsters after him, Marius runs to the only person he hopes he can trust: Cat.
Despite his previous betrayal, Cat still harbors a soft spot for Marius. Helping her means taking on demons and deities, but telling him to fend for himself leaves Cat wrestling with feelings she’d rather not think about. The birthday girl has a choice to make, and it isn’t a simple one. She must weigh the sins of his checkered past against their strange chemistry. Matters of the heart clash with the politics of divinity and family business. Everything hinges on the answer to one question: can she trust him?
Etudes in C# 1
Pajamazon Wordworks, April 26, 2015 (2nd edition)
Trade Paperback and eBook
It was bad enough working a dead-end tech support job, but for Catherine Sharp, the real hell is being owned by Eris, the Greek Goddess of Discord. Since that fateful day almost 10 years ago, Cat has performed random tasks--most of them quasi-legal--for the goddess in her free time in hopes that she'll earn her soul back.
When Coyote, the Native American trickster himself, claims to have won her own soul in Mayhem’s weekly poker game, Cat decides to get in on the action. With five sneaky gods upping the ante, Cat will need to find a way to collect the winning chips that could save her soul.
Marius, a snarky satyr with his own debt to Eris, might finally come in handy for something. If they play their cards right and work together, Cat and Marius may just get their freedom back. Assuming they don’t kill each other first.
Etudes in C# 2
Pajamazon Wordworks, October 3, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 268 pages
Technomancer Catherine Sharp has an extensive resume. Rewiring celebrity panic rooms. Doing IT work for the best casinos in Las Vegas. Completing server repair. But nowhere in her job description does it say she’ll be investigating grisly murders. However, a girl is dead, and the gods are calling for the head of her killer. And the deity who owns Cat’s soul has demanded that she lead the hunt.
Adding to the fun, a team of ruthless mages is scouring Sin City searching for a magical veil that they think Cat possesses. By hook or by crook, they will get the relic, no matter how many bodies they must leave in their wake. One little problem, though…Cat doesn’t know what or where the veil is.
With two mysteries to solve, and the gods growing impatient, Cat knows she has little time to piece together the flimsy clues. Now, she must enlist the help of her best friend and his new girlfriend, put her trust in one who has betrayed her, and wade through some murky family secrets, before she winds up worm food herself…
Place your bets, for the truth is about to be unveiled.
After a misspent adulthood pursuing a Music Education degree, Jamie Wyman fostered several interests before discovering that being an author means never having to get out of pajamas. (However, she can eat/spin fire, tell you a lot about auditioning to be a Blue Man, and read/write in Circular Gallifreyan.)
Jamie also works as an editor. In addition to freelance work, she works with sci-fi/fantasy publisher Dragon Moon Press.
As an author, Jamie’s favorite playgrounds are urban fantasy, horror and creepy carnival settings. You can find novels, novellas, short stories and flash fiction by Jamie in a variety of places. Start looking here. Jamie also writes articles for Cracked.com.
When she’s not traipsing about with her imaginary friends, she lives in Phoenix with two hobbits and two cats. She is proud to say she has a deeply disturbed following at her blog. Send chai.