Before I get to the amazing interview answers of Josie Jaffrey, I had. readan ARC of her book, May Day, earlier and I’ll post my rating and the info about the book first!
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.Body bags on standby.May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Title: May Day [Seekers #1]
By: Josie Jaffrey
Publication Date: July 9, 2020
Published By: Silver Sun Books
Page Count: 312 [My copy was 382]
Format: Kindle, Paperback
Where to Buy
1. I always like to start off by asking if you’ve read any good books lately? Or written anything you’re excited about?
The best book I’ve read recently was probably Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, an M/M contemporary romance set in London. I think the author must be about the same age as me, because the cultural references lined up with mine exactly. I loved the relationships between the characters, and the jokes were incredible. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much at a book. It’s one I’ll be rereading and enjoying again soon.
It’s difficult to choose something I’ve written that I’m excited about, because that excitement comes laced with self-doubt and anxiety. I’m actually working on a new project at the moment about which I am quite excited, but can’t yet talk about (annoying, sorry!). More information is coming early next year, so watch this space!
2. May Day was such a fun read, was it a different writing process to your other [amazing] vampire books?
It was very different. With the books in the Solis Invicti and Sovereign series, I wrote in a more-or-less linear way. With the Seekers series, serious planning was required to make the murder mystery work, and I ended up writing the books in non-linear chunks that then had to be stitched back together. I now have a huge whiteboard in my office that I use to plot out all the clues (and red herrings), plus the overall arcs and reversals. The next book in the series (In Camera, which I’m writing at the moment) is even more complicated because it’s carrying through plot threads that have been set up in May Day. It’s definitely one of the most complicated books I’ve ever written.
3. Do you ever do a fancast of your characters?
I don’t, because I can never get them quite right. My characters exist as real people inside my head. I can see what they look like already, so I find it difficult to map them onto famous people an a satisfying way. I would be a rubbish casting director!
4. You’re in lockdown with your characters from May Day, which one will you get along best with?
Definitely Cam. I think this would be everyone’s answer, wouldn’t it? Jack would be annoying me by getting drunk and rowdy every night. Naia would be wandering off to parties to get laid, in clear breach of the lockdown rules. Boyd would be arguing with both of them in a hopeless attempt to get them to behave themselves, but Cam would be the one standing in the middle, mediating. He’d make dinner and do the washing up, even when it wasn’t his turn, and generally be his wonderful, peace-keeping self. Plus, he’d hug me when lockdown made me blue.
5. Was there any element in May Day that just completely went off road from what you intended? [I know characters tend to have a mind of their own!]
Jack and Drake, big time. There was always supposed to be tension between them, but I wasn’t expecting things to escalate so quickly. They are both completely out of control at this point, and I’ve given up trying to rein them in. I feel like more of a commentator than a writer when their joint scenes roll around, because I’m not actively imagining their interactions, I’m just watching and recording what they do.
6. When can us fans expect the next book? Is it too soon to ask that? lol
In Camera is due out in May 2021
7. Is there anything you take inspiration from when you’re writing? Music? Nature sounds? The cars whizzing by on the motorway?
I like to write in silence, because I find anything else intrusive. I do sometimes call up songs in my head, but I don’t listen to them in real life because they never have quite the same vibe that I’ve remembered. For me, by the time I get to the writing itself, it’s mostly too late to be inspired. The inspiration comes at the planning stage, not the grunt-work writing stage. In the planning stage, I take my inspiration in great gulps. I spend days on end reading piles of books and watching tons of television that evokes the feelings I’m aiming for, then I let it mull for a while before pouring it all back out in a new shape. That’s usually enough inspiration to get me through the first 10,000 words of writing and most of the plotting. After that, it’s a matter of sitting my bum down in the chair and writing the rest of the words.
8. Jack Valentine three hours to teleport and stay/travel anywhere in the world, where would she go?
She’d pretend that she wanted to go somewhere she could be left alone with a lot of alcohol, like a beach paradise or a quiet pub. But if she were being honest with herself (not a forte of hers), then she wouldn’t care where she was, as long as she was with a certain someone…
9. Did you have a favorite character to write in this book or anyone that was particularly difficult to write for?
Jack was my favourite, which is good since she’s the first person narrator. I love writing her. She’s so surly and snarky and spiky, but also completely hopeless and deluded. It’s easy to write interesting scenes when she’s my copilot.
10. What’s been your favorite Vampire movie you’ve watched so far? [I’ve been keeping up on Twitter lol]
If I had to choose my favourite vampire film of all time, it would probably be Underworld or one of the Blade films. But I’ve recently been watching a new vampire film every Friday night and live tweeting it under the hashtag #VenioVideoVampiro, choosing just the films I haven’t seen yet. So far, I’ve enjoyed all the films I’ve watched, but my favourite is a tie between Let The Right One In (the Swedish original) and Only Lovers Left Alive. They’re totally different, and yet both darkly comedic and contemplative in their own ways. I found them both really refreshing.