Jae is here today!
Take a deep breath, TB.
Okay, I think I have my fangirling under control.
Jae recently published Perfect Rhythm. When I pinged her on Facebook to ask if she would like to appear on I Heart Lesfic, I have to admit, I was slightly nervous. I’ve been a fan for ages.
As it turned out, she’d sent me an email about Perfect Rhythm on the same day I contacted her. Life is funny.
Now for the good stuff. Here’s Jae!
Before we begin, thanks so much for stopping by today for a chat.
Thanks for inviting me over to chat!
You live in Germany, near the French and Swiss borders. Tell us a bit about the atmosphere and do you speak more than one language?
The city in which I live, Freiburg, is very diverse. It’s an old city with a charming medieval center. But it also has a modern, international flair because its university attracts students from all over the world. It’s big enough to have culture and entertainment, but it also offers beautiful lakes and nature.
I grew up speaking Alemannic, which is a dialect similar to Swiss German. Some people even consider it a language of its own. I also speak standard German, of course, and English.
I learned a bit of French in school, but unfortunately have forgotten most of it. I’m also trying to find enough time to learn Spanish, but I’m still at the ¿Cómo estás? stage.
You used to be a psychologist. How does your training influence your writing?
I think it influences my character development most of all. I try to create real people with strengths, flaws, fears, hopes, and dreams, and I give each character a rich backstory that influences how they react to events in the present.
I also try to create characters who grow during the course of the story by facing their fears and overcoming—or, in some cases, embracing—their flaws. It’s a process not unlike therapy: it can be hard and challenging while you’re going through it, but in the end, it will enable you to live a more fulfilling life.
How old were you when you realized you wanted to tell stories?
It’s been a part of me for as long as I remember. I wrote my first story when I was 10 or 11, but even before then, I told myself stories to help me fall asleep. I think it runs in the family because my oldest niece is a writer too, and she started at about the same age.
In your bio, it claims you have an office supply addiction. Care to elaborate?
I actually think that many writers suffer from the same affliction. Well, maybe suffer is the wrong word because I certainly don’t want to be cured. I can never resist a beautiful notebook or a nice pen, even though I have a lot of them at home already.
What’s your favorite crime show?
That’s almost as hard to answer as naming a favorite book. At the moment, I’m watching The Fall, which is a British show featuring Gillian Anderson. I also like Orphan Black, Person of Interest, and of course classics such a Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds.
What’s your latest release about?
Perfect Rhythm is a lesbian romance about a burned-out pop star named Leontyne (Leo), who left her tiny hometown in Missouri years ago. Now she reluctantly returns because she finds out her father is sick. Once back, she meets her father’s nurse, a woman who isn’t like any other.
Holly is completely unimpressed by Leo’s fame or her money. She’s also asexual, so she has shied away from relationships and the expectations that come with them for the past few years.
They start out not even liking each other. Holly thinks Leo is a spoiled celebrity, and for Leo, Holly represents her hometown that she had wanted to leave behind. But the more time they spend with each other, the more they realize that there’s something special growing between them…if they’re willing to give it a chance.
One of the main characters in Perfect Rhythm is asexual. What influenced you to write her story, and have you read many novels with asexual characters?
Well, I would have read a lot of them—if there were that many novels with characters on the asexual spectrum. By the time I started doing research for Perfect Rhythm, I couldn’t find even one romance novel with a homoromantic asexual woman like Holly as a main character. Asexual representation in fiction is where lesbian representation was decades ago: either nonexistent or misrepresented or relegated to stereotypical minor characters.
That’s why I decided to write a novel with an asexual main character. I hope it will enable my asexual readers to find themselves reflected in a romance with a happy ending and my non-asexual readers to find out more about this little-known sexual orientation.
As an editor, what’s the most common mistake you come across that drives you bonkers?
That’s a long list, but the worst offenders would be head hopping (switching back and forth between different point of views within the same scene) and telling where a scene should be shown—giving readers abstract conclusions such as “the house was beautiful” instead of describing the details in a way that puts the reader into the story and lets them experience it along with the main character.
These two things are the most important aspects of the writing craft. That’s why I wrote books on point of view and show, don’t tell.
What story are you working on now?
I’m halfway through a fun contemporary romance about a fake relationship between a slightly OCD psychologist and an impulsive, messy actress. I swear it’s not autobiographical 🙂
What’s one of your quirkiest traits?
That would definitely be my geographical dyslexia. That’s a thing, really! I have the worst sense of direction you can imagine. I can get lost in places where I’ve been a hundred times before.
Finally, if you were planning the perfect date, what would it entail?
Hmmm…. So many options. Since I love the ocean and I love good food, maybe a picnic on a secluded beach. A little like Annie and Drew in Something in the Wine.
Release Date: September 20, 2017
Pop star Leontyne Blake might sing about love, but she stopped believing in it a long time ago. What women want is her image, not the real her. When her father has a stroke, she flees the spotlight and returns to her tiny Missouri hometown. In her childhood home, she meets small-town nurse Holly Drummond, who isn’t impressed by Leo’s fame at all. That isn’t the only thing that makes Holly different from other women. She’s also asexual. For her, dating is a minefield of expectations that she has decided to avoid.
Can the tentative friendship between a burned-out pop star and a woman not interested in sex develop into something more despite their diverse expectations?
A lesbian romance about seeking the perfect rhythm between two very different people—and finding happiness where they least expect it.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jae is the author of sixteen award-winning lesbian romances. She lives in the sunniest city in Germany, near the French and Swiss borders. The writing bug bit her at the age of eleven.
She used to work as a psychologist but gave up her day job in 2013 to become a full-time writer and a part-time editor. As far as she’s concerned, it’s the best job in the world.
When she’s not writing, she is an avid reader of lesbian books, indulges her ice cream and office supply addictions, and watches way too many crime shows.
Thanks for stopping by today.