Today, Coffee Time Romance has the pleasure of speaking to writer/novelist/poet, Jess C Scott. Thanks so much for granting us this interview, Jess. Just relax in our cozy recliner and put on the fuzzy bunny slippers while I pour you a cup of hot coffee.
Your alarm goes off and you climb out of bed, how does your day begin Jess?
I grab my hairbrush and toothbrush. I keep my toothbrush in my room (long ago, I read an article which stated there are fewer germs in your bedroom than in the restroom…).
Now, why not tell us about your latest, The Devilin Fey? The readers are anxious to hear about this exciting story.
No problem. It’s a novella of two stories, featuring an incubus and succubus.
Story #1 features a demure young woman unleashing the “devil in” her, through the intimacy with an incubus. Story #2 features a voyeuristic succubus driven by jealousy and a dangerous fixation.
P.S. There’s been quite a lot of interest in a blog post I wrote, over at Ex Libris, regarding the cover art (and the concept of flowers) for The Devilin Fey.
Where did you get the inspiration to pen this story?
I’ve always been more fascinated with incubi/succubi, than vampires/werewolves/etc (though things may change, one day!)...I was writing an erotic short story collection, and wanted to cross multiple genres with all the stories. I thought those two creatures (incubus and succubus; the male and female version) would be a good fit in the collection. Erotic fiction to me is an art form, not porn—they are two VERY different categories.
Jess, I notice that you like to write in many different genres. Growing up, did you ever keep a journal and write notes about the various stories you would love to compose?
I was either very disciplined, or had a boring social life (probably a mixture of the two, at some points)—I think I mostly got “straight to it,” if I felt like it. In my later teen years, I had a big green spiral notebook which I used to record my thoughts in. I have hoards of journal entries also—I’m sure I scribbled many ideas down. The hard part now is locating what I wrote down, where, and when…
Which would you say is your favorite genre to compose? And which is your favorite genre to read?
This might sound strange, but I think my favorite genre to compose might be poetry. It’s very demanding and challenging, and I never know “what’s going to appear on paper,” when I’m in a poetic mood (sometimes it’s out of an intense need to distil my thoughts via the form of a neat column of lines). A well-written poem is a delicate yet dynamic combination of sensitivity and intensity, style and substance, creativity and precision, reason and passion. I liked the poems I wrote when I was 17; I think of what I wrote then, if I start to get too comfortable/lazy with whatever I’m working on at present.
This too, might sound strange (as my fiction writing tends to be contemporary), but I mostly enjoy reading classic books. They have the qualities of timelessness and excellence, which is the type of art I enjoy the most.
How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?
If I work very fast, 2-3 months (quality is likely to be compromised). If I have a good outline, I can take 3 months to write/complete a novel. I might set it aside for maybe a month (or several months), so that I can look at the manuscript again with “fresh eyes.” I’m a one-person operation, so I handle the book cover art, interior file formatting, and distribution. Those could easily take a full month (all things taken into consideration). So on average—6 months per book / 2 books per year (this is my speed as a full-time college student).
I may try to go faster, if circumstances allow—but not if it compromises on the quality of the end result.
Do you 'lose' your track of thought, story thread or whatever emotional pitch you happen to be at when you do leave your story for a bit? If so, what do you do to get that leave of emotion back?
I normally just keep going (I can be a real workaholic). I went through the second last chapter of The Intern (see next question below) four times before I was satisfied with it. The first draft was bland…the second was slightly better (but still boring)…the third clean-up added a little bit more detail…and the fourth resulted in a good “enhancement” and polishing-up of the whole chapter.
Please tell us about your future release, The Intern.
It’s the first installment in a contemporary “seven deadly sins” series. I’m thinking of doing an adult “alternative” version sometime in the future (where I’ll have more freedom to really go anywhere I wish, both in terms of content as well as writing style). Half of my mind right now is actually focused on the book after The Intern—it’s going to be featuring cyberpunk elves. I think the story could do with some polishing though, so I’ll be spending some time with my proof copy to see what needs to be tweaked.
If you could be on an island for thirty days with Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stephen King, whom do you think you would spend the most time brain-storming?
I’d like to think Edgar Allan Poe—but I’d probably be spending most of the time telling him how awesome-tastic he is, and how he is “THE MAN” to my writerly self. I don’t know if he’d tire of my repeated proclamations of his genius/greatness.
After once living in Singapore, for such a long period, what would you say was the best experience you learned, you could teach to others?
Talk to everyone, mix around, smile, travel—this tends to cultivate an appreciation for various cultures, and allow one to be both knowledgeable/accepting of others, as well as adaptive to different environments (I am in Maine at the moment, which is quite, quite different from Singapore!).
If you were to plan a wedding, and honeymoon, tell us what it would consist of?
It would be according to the bride and groom’s wishes—I’d organize the best “package” according to their budget and specifications (I’d place a priority on location, aesthetics, and the food).
You have planned for a lovely night out with your loved ones but when your order arrives; your meal is a disappointment. Do you complain to the waitress/waiter, ask to see the manager, or just let it slide?
I’ll just let it slide [but I am very likely to: (a) not be a repeat customer at the restaurant/eatery, and (b) let my friends know of my disappointment, if the name of the establishment comes up during a conversation]. It’s usually the company that matters to me, more so than the place/activity—but I enjoy good food too, especially when I’m expecting a certain level of quality if I’m paying higher than average.
Congrats, you have the choice to either go skydiving for the day, or either spend the day river rafting down the Grand Canyon which would you choose?
Rafting down the Grand Canyon—I’ve always liked water (I’m a Lunar Pisean / Venus Scorpio). I love kayaking and swimming too, so the Grand Canyon it is!
Jess, I cannot thank you enough for this interview. I had fun today and enjoyed our chat. I wish you the best in your writing. I’ve got some coffee to go, if you would like to take a cup with you, along with some fresh baked brownies and chocolate chip cookies. The fuzzy slippers are yours to keep. Everyone, be sure to check out Jess’s website, where you can learn all about her wonderful books. She has garnered some excellent reviews from her works.
* Jess thanks Coffee Time Romance for the interview, and graciously accepts the brownies and chocolate chip cookies (energy food for writing), before dashing off (on the fuzzy bunny slippers)—one of her proof copies just arrived.