Jess Faraday and I met in a writing community on LiveJournal in 2004, and did our first Nanowrimo together in October that year. Along with several others, we formed our own writing and critique group, which has been going since January 2005. Jess was one of the first of us to get published, and she’s certainly one of our most prolific members. She has too many published books to be considered “emerging” any more, but it has been my pleasure and privilege to be part of her journey to publication — to see her emerge — and I’m thrilled that she agreed to do an author interview.
JESS FARADAY is the author of the Ira Adler series (including the Lambda-shortlisted Affair of the Porcelain Dog), the steampunk thriller The Left Hand of Justice, the Stein & Vincent adventures, and numerous articles, short stories, and translations. She teaches a short fiction course at Pasadena City College, and moonlights as the mystery editor for Elm Books.
You have so many books! Let’s talk about the 2015 releases.
Fool’s Gold (April 2015, Bold Strokes Books) is the third Ira Adler mystery, set in 1895 London and the American west. It ties up a romantic subplot (and might start a new thread), and took about a year and a half to write.
The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor (June 2015, Bold Strokes Books) is a humorous novella set in central California in 1894, and featuring a pair of unlikely paranormal investigators. I wanted to write something light and frothy after finishing Fool’s Gold, which was pretty emotionally intense. This took about six months to write.
Death and a Cup of Tea (August 2015, Elm Books) is an anthology of some of the finest short mysteries ever written! Elm Books puts out several mystery anthologies per year. I’m privileged to edit them. This has been a work in progress for a long time. I’m so happy it’s finally being released!
What is your favourite part of each book, and why?
There’s a part in Fool’s Gold where Ira almost buys it three times in about fifteen minutes, in different stereotypically wild-west ways. That was a lot of fun to write.
My favorite part of Big Sur Benefactor was writing the banter between the three main characters. They’re all pretty irrepressible, and they had me in stitches the entire time.
Each of our anthologies issues a challenge. This one was “write a short story with a female protagonist and tea.” The results are a lot more diverse and interesting than you might think!
Where do you write from?
The kitchen counter or the special “corner office”—a standing desk platform my hubby built for me on the back porch.
What is one essential part of your writing process?
The single most important part of the process is forcing myself to complete a first draft, no matter how faulty it is. After that, editing it to perfection is easy. But if I edit as I go, I’ll never finish.
Where can people find you and your work on the web?
My website (http://www.jessfaraday.com) has all the up-to-the-minute relevant information. But you can also find my work at Bold Strokes Books (http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com), Mischief Corner Books (http://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com) and Elm Books (http://www.elm-books.com).
I’m @jessfaraday on Twitter, and I’m also on Facebook as Jess Faraday
What about in real life (appearances, tours, conventions)?
I have no real life. But from time to time I teach a short fiction writing workshop at Pasadena City College. I also enjoyed the California Crime Writers Conference this year, and am going to make that a regular thing. There’s also a possibility of Left Coast Crime in February.
What is your favourite movie?
Ghostbusters! Very excited about the all-female reboot coming this year.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Write the synopsis first. Read it at least once a week to make sure you’re still on track.
Name one person who has influenced your writing.
What’s something personal about you that people might be surprised to know?
I have a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do
What are you working on now?
A couple of different things: an anthology of historical fiction for Blind Eye Books; a spooky little novella set in 1890s London; and a full-length mystery in the same era, featuring an inventor, a down-on-his-luck police inspector, and a dog who is a witness to a crime.
What are one or two of your big learning experiences or surprises in establishing yourself as an author?
- Publishing your first book is the beginning of the hard work, not the end.
- FINISH IT.
Finally: is there anything I haven’t asked, that you’d like to tell our readers?
Thanks for reading!
Many thanks to Jess for agreeing to be interviewed. Please check our her blog and her books.
If you know an emerging author or you are one, especially one with a book or other project to promote, let me know and let’s see if we can’t spread that word of mouth a little further!