Beneath the Covers Past

Jaye Roycraft's Interview
Review of Afterimage
A Name To Commit to Memory 
An Interview with Jaye Roycraft
By Suzie Housley
April 2002

Jaye Roycraft, wasn’t sure what she wanted to be when she grew up. A teacher? Not for long. A salesclerk? Not again! A computer systems analyst? Better! But that career, as good as it was, was a victim of a mid-life crisis. The answer? Start two new careers after the age of forty. Jaye became a big-city police officer at forty-one, shocking friends and family. But as challenging as that job was, something was missing in her life. 

She used to spend most of her free time reading or watching TV, but she became frustrated when her favorite shows were canceled or when characters in a book didn't act the way she wanted them to act.  So she started scripting scenes on her computer, sometimes with her own characters and sometimes with TV characters.  It was fun, but it seemed a little pointless.  One day it occurred to her that if she could write an entire novel, it might be a worthwhile endeavor in addition to being a satisfying pastime.  She came up with characters, a plot, and what was to become RAINSCAPE was born.  Miraculously, even though she didn't know what she was doing, and even though the book went through lots of rewrites, Dina, Rayn, and the story ended up very true to my original ideas. 

RAINSCAPE is a futuristic which combines elements from all my favorite genres-science fiction, romance, and suspense.  Strangely enough, even though she have loved vampires ever since she saw the Bela Lugosi DRACULA movie when she was a kid, she never thought about writing vampire stories.  However, when her publisher asked if she'd consider it, she jumped at the chance. 

Jaye belongs to RWA and WisRWA. She lives in Wisconsin with her two dogs and two cats, half of which were rescued from her former job.

Suzie Housley:With your first vampire novel DOUBLE IMAGE were you aware at the time there would be more books to follow?

Jaye:  No, when I wrote DOUBLE IMAGE, I had none of the other books planned.  It wasn't until I was halfway through writing DI that my publisher said to make sure I inserted a character I could use as a future spin-off hero.  That's when Drago was created.  Once I had such a compelling new character, I had to write his story!

Suzie Housley: How does an author such as yourself go about researching a vampire novel?

Jaye:  There are a number of excellent reference books on vampires available.  There are so many different myths and legends on vampires, dating back hundreds and hundreds of years.  Just about every country has some sort of legend of the undead.  I did a lot of reading and latched on to those particular legends or concepts that interested me.  In DOUBLE IMAGE, it was the idea of the vampire being a mirror for humanity that interested me, and this concept was one of the main themes running through the book.  In AFTERIMAGE, it was the legend of the dhampir that interested me.  What I like to do is take a legend and then expand on it in my own way.  I took the dhampir idea and went one step further, creating the "aberration," which is my own concept.  When I visited New Orleans last year and took the famous vampire tour, I had to smile when the tour guide mentioned dhampirs.  I wanted to wave my hand and say, "I know what a dhampir is!" 

Suzie Housley: Having read several vampire romances, I found a new concept in yours – the existence of a day vampire.  Could you reveal where such a fascinating concept came from?

Jaye:  In DOUBLE IMAGE, the hero Dallas is your typical vampire who can only come out at night.  I found it very limiting to work on plotting with a character who couldn't come out during the day.  So beginning with Drago, all my heroes are day vampires.  It just allows more freedom for writing.  I'm not the first author, though, by any means to have day vampires. 

Suzie Housley: In AFTERIMAGE, you exhibited a high knowledge of Russian history.  Where did this knowledge stem from?

Jaye:  Russia as a country has lots and lots of vampire legends.  The country also has a very fascinating history, full of hardship, persecution, and all the things that make a great tortured hero.  I read a lot of books, but most 
of what I found came off the Internet, the greatest research tool there is.  I particularly looked for insights into the character of the Russian people as a whole, and found that Drago amazingly fit the profile already.  I did a 
little tweaking, and hopefully I was able to capture a little true Russian feeling.  What I try to do in all my books is to use as much real history and real details as possible and to weave these elements with the "fantasy" 
portions as seamlessly as possible, so that the entire world I've created feels real. 

Suzie Housley: In AFTERIMAGE you mentioned of a ‘lucky’ coin of Drago’s.  It was later revealed the coin was one of the last produced before the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I was curious if your promotional coins had this same bit of history?

Jaye:  Russian coins have the same fascinating and varied history as the country itself.  The kopecks I have been giving away as promotional items were minted between 1961 and 1991.  These are Soviet coins, all with the 
infamous hammer and sickle and the initials "CCCP" which stands for USSR.  In 1991 the USSR broke up and the Commonwealth of Independent States was born.  With the break up also came monetary reform.  New coins minted after 1991 no longer show the symbols of the old Soviet Union.  So yes, the coin that Drago 
arrogantly flips at his enemy was one of the Soviet coins, the same coins as I am giving away.

Suzie Housley: Do you find your career creeping into your novels?  If so, are they based on events that you have seen on your job?

Jaye:  Yes, my experiences as a police officer have influenced my writing tremendously.  Most of my books have a cop or an ex-cop as either the hero or heroine.  In RAINSCAPE, Dina's anguish over the death of her partner was based on a real event in my life.  In DOUBLE IMAGE, Tia's nightmares are my own.  I think that the things I've witnessed have definitely contributed to the dark edge that my books have.

Suzie Housley: Your were featured in February’s edition of Wisconsin Woman Magazine.  Could you tell me more about this experience?

Jaye:  It was very exciting to receive a phone call from a reporter telling me that she was doing an article on romance writers in the Milwaukee area and wanted to interview me!  I spent about an hour talking with her on the phone, and then I had the honor to be photographed for the magazine cover along with fellow WisRWA  (Wisconsin Romance Writers of America) authors Isabel Sharpe, Shari Anton, Nikki Rivers, and Lori Handeland.  The February issue of the magazine should just be hitting the stands as I write this.

Suzie Housley: What do you want your readers to feel after they finish a Jaye Roycraft novel?

Jaye:  I want readers to feel that they've read something different from what they've read in the past, and that they've read about characters that are memorable and will stick in their minds.

Suzie Housley: Your writing style is one of the most captivating I have ever experienced.  Have you given any thought to submitting your work to larger publishers?

Jaye:  ImaJinn Books is a wonderful publisher, but I would love to write for a larger publisher as well!  I do have a contemporary romantic suspense that I've completed, but unfortunately I don't have an agent, and I have found it hard to get the large publishing houses to look at my work.

Suzie Housley: In future work will you be sticking to the stories that you specialize writing in or is there another different gene you would like to dive in and explore?

Jaye:  I love romantic suspense, whether it is in a futuristic setting, a vampire world, or just the real world.  I love writing the vampire books, but I would love to write more regular romantic suspense as well.

Suzie Housley:  Drago and Marya were very memorable characters.  Will we get the opportunity to visit them in future works?

Jaye:  I would love to do another Drago and Marya book, and I have thought about it, but if I do it, it will probably be a couple books down the line.

Suzie Housley: Were there any obstacles that prevented you from becoming a writer?  If so, please explain.

Jaye:  The main obstacle in the beginning was writing in isolation, without belonging to any organizations or knowing any other writers.  I had no feedback on what I was doing, so I didn't know if I was on the right track or not.  My biggest obstacle now is time.  Right now I'm working two outside jobs seven days a week, in addition to trying to write and do promotion.  It's near to impossible.

Suzie Housley: Besides telling inspiring writers to write what feels right, what other helpful advice would you provide them?

Jaye:  The only other advice I have is to be persistent.  There are a lot of obstacles out there, whether family, time, rejection, or a lack of confidence.  If you really love what you're doing, you have to find a way around the obstacles and not give up.

Suzie Housley: What is the hardest part of being an author?  What is the easiest?

Jaye:  The hardest part is probably the rejection.  All authors, even long-published authors, have manuscripts rejected.  The easiest part is doing things like this-sharing with other people what is most important in my life.

Suzie Housley: Of all your books, was there one that was more difficult to write?  If so, which one?

Jaye:  RAINSCAPE, my futuristic debut novel, was by far the hardest to write.  Firstly, because as a new writer I had a lot to learn, so I made a lot of mistakes that had to be later corrected, and secondly, because the 
world-building for a futuristic is such an involved process.  I tried to simplify things by setting the entire story on one world to avoid the problems of space travel, but even so, there were lots and lots of details to work out regarding both the setting (climate, buildings, level of technology, etc.) and the values and customs of the alien societies.

Suzie Housley: I am very impressed with your web page.  Could you tell me more about it?

Jaye:  I'm very proud of my website.  The painting "In The Beginning" that appears on the opening page is by my father Roland Roycraft, who is an internationally known award winning watercolor artist.  The site itself was 
designed by a friend of mine, Carrie Rasberry.  I wanted a bold, striking look that reflected the tone of my books.  I think that the red and black accomplishes that very well.

Suzie Housley: How can fans contact you?

Jaye:  My email address is, but it's probably easier to just visit my website and go to the page "Contact Me."


By Jaye Roycraft
Imajinn Books - January 2002
ISBN: 1893896749 - Paperback
US $13.75

Reviewed by: Suzie Housley, MyShelf.Com
Buy a Copy

He had the power to grant her life or death . . .

Alek 'Drago' Dragovich was known as the l'enforcier, the Anti-God for the Undead. His darkened reputation characterized him as an unmerciful ruler that was the epitome of beauty and unlimited strength. His word alone would be the final deciding factor of whether aberration Marya Jaks lived or died. Upon meeting Marya, he immediately senses the threat she poses to him and the brotherhood. Tradition would have him terminate her existence immediately, but a deeper feeling is able to convince him she deserves life. Would he live to regret his decision?

She is an endangerment to his society . . .

Gypsy Marya Jaks's entire life had been put on hold in anticipation of the final day when she would learn if she were to have a future. Having been the daughter of a dhampir, she has the cunning ability to detect vampires. Such a skill as this would allow her to become a very successful vampire hunter. When she wakes from a deep slumber and finds the infamous Drago in her bedroom, she fears the end is certainly near. She is stunned when Drago unexpectedly gives her the gift of life. Upon gazing into his blank soulless eyes, she is drawn in by a sadness that is locked deep inside a bottomless depth. What they offer and suggest is both frightening and tantalizing. She knows before her is a man who will either be the death of her body or the salvation of her soul.

Jaye Roycraft writes with bone chilling hypnotic words that ultimately demand the reader's full attention. I feel with such writing skills as she so effortlessly exhibits, paranormal writers worldwide should be aware of the magnitude of competition they are to soon face. I feel honored and privilege to have been selected to read and review such a memorable novel. I predict the name Jaye Roycraft will one day become an every day household name.

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