It's guest blog Wednesday and Jaye Ford has dropped in to talk to us about her new, about to be launched thriller, Blood Secret.
How did Blood Secret come about – what inspired the story for the book?
Blood Secret had a definite birth moment. About two years ago, my husband and I were caught up in a road rage incident while we driving to a local restaurant. A kid in a four-wheel drive cut us off in a roundabout, followed us to a parking area, yelled abuse and threats before tailgating us in his car as we walked to the restaurant. It shook us both up but when we’d ordered our meals, my husband decided to go out to check on our car. I sat on my own thinking, What if he doesn’t come back? He did and we spent the rest of the meal discussing that question. So the road rage incident became the start of Blood Secret, and when Max Tully goes to check on his car, he doesn’t come back.
What is it about the thriller genre that draws you?
As both a reader and a writer, I love a story that sucks me in, that’s intense and visceral and pulls on a whole bunch of emotions – and the crime genre is such a great vehicle for that. A crime itself creates danger, fear and angst of all sorts, add friends and family or a relationship developing in that highly-charged atmosphere and the dynamics can be powerful – and as a writer, a lot of fun to play around with.
You’re producing a novel a year which is pretty impressive. Talk to me about your writing schedule.
I hate writing under stress and I get stressed at the thought of running late with a deadline so I try to stay ahead of myself as much as I can. Most days I keep office hours, starting around 9am and finishing around 6pm. But life is life and I’m my own boss so if I need to spend time with my mum or have a coffee with a friend or go for a walk, I do. I also aim to get down around 5000 words a week. Mostly it’s more than that, sometimes it’s less but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make it. It just seems to work well as a target that I feel is achievable and will get the manuscript delivered on time. I’m a goal-oriented girl!
Talk to me about your other pseudonym Janette Paul. Do you plan more books as Janette, and does it require a different writing hat?
In February this year, my romantic comedy Just Breathe, written under the pen name Janette Paul, was released as one of the launch titles for the Random Romance digital imprint. I wrote the book before I started writing thrillers and it had some interest from a publisher but was shelved when my first crime novel, Beyond Fear, sold. It was an unexpected surprise to see it published and quite a challenge going back to edit it while I was in the nasty, complicated throes of writing Blood Secret. And yes, Janette definitely needed a different hat to Jaye! Just Breathe is possibly as far from a gritty thriller as you could get, which was a nice change from the blood and guts of my thrillers but for about six weeks, I had to remind myself who I was every day. I’d get into a scene and have to stop and say, ‘Oh right, today I’m meant to be funny!’ Or, ‘Oh no, she can’t be cute when she’d got a knife in her hand!’
As to writing another Janette Paul novel, in an ideal world, it would be great to balance both sides of my personality with grit and humour so I wouldn’t say no to that idea but for the moment, my focus in on my next thriller, which is due out in September next year.
Beyond Fear is being released around the world in different languages and even in Braille – do you feel that your book is taking on its own kind of life.
I started Beyond Fear after about seven years of trying (and failing) to get published, with a blunt message to myself not to get my hopes up because it was possible I might never get published. So now, three years after it was publishes, I feel like I’ve sent my first baby out into the world to make a life for itself. Every so often another version of it arrives at my door and it’s like a postcard – Hey, Mum, still going strong! Remember the days? It’s very, very nice.
Can we have a little hint about the book in the pipeline?
Love to give you a hint! I’m about halfway through my fourth thriller. Titled Already Dead, it centers around Miranda Jack, who is carjacked by a gunman and forced to drive for hours before surviving a bloody end to the drama. She’s told the man was suffering delusions but when she attempts to find out how much of what he talked about was real, she discovers not everything was in his imagination and asking might get her killed.
BLOOD SECRET is Jaye Ford’s third thriller. Her first, Beyond Fear, was Best Debut and Reader’s Choice at the 2012 Sister’s in Crime Davitt Awards and her second, Scared Yet?, was also published to critical acclaim. Jaye is a former news and sport journalist, was the first woman to host a live, national sport show on Australian television and has also run her own public relations business. She now writes fiction full time.
Jaye Ford’s third thriller, BLOOD SECRET, is released in Australia and New Zealand this week.
Find Jaye at www.jayefordauthor.com
Or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JayeFordauthor?ref=hl