Friday, April 4, 2014
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Jessica Cage
1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
When I was very young, I used words to escape reality. I was an emotional girl and real life often left me unable to face the day. Books became my world; it wasn’t long before I realized that I had so many worlds and characters in my head and I started to allow them to pour out on paper. I never shared my work but that was the time of my life when I really became a writer. I wrote because I enjoyed it and I loved to see what could come from my own mind.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
When I was younger I split my time between reading Harlequin novels and Disney books. (Odd, I know.) The book that really inspired me and stuck with me was Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree. There was a powerful message in that book about all that women went through from childhood to adulthood. It showed the growth of a young girl to a woman, I think that left a major impression on me as I often try to echo the same message in my own books. Now I really enjoy reading paranormal books. Vampires rock! But I can step out of that zone from time to time. It’s nice to have a bit of variety.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novella Last Stop?
A ride on the train, my train pulled into a stop (the image on the cover) and I couldn’t help myself. I took the picture on my cellphone through the dirty train window and by the time I had made it to work, Josephine revealed herself to me. Odd how that happens.
4. Why the paranormal? With all the genres to choose from, what was it about the supernatural that made you write about it?
My youth, I lived in a household that was mostly a celebration of all things paranormal and Sci-fi. My mom had Sci-fi Saturdays. We would have a ton of food and just veg out in front of the television for hours watching movies like Alien and Blade. My love of vampires mixed with my mom’s love of aliens. Also most of my family believes in spirits/ghosts. Halloween was a major holiday at home. I am talking fake dead bodies hanging out of windows! It was great!
5. Josephine is a strong female lead. Was she (or any of the other characters) based on someone in real life?
Josephine from the start reminded me of one of my closest friends. She is fierce and determined and she was my rock so many times. I dedicated this novella to her because as I wrote it I often thought of her and how so many times I pulled from her strength to help me through a tough time.
6. Will we ever see another paranormal novel or novella from you in the future?
Definitely! I have a few planned out for the year, keep an eye out! The next release is slated for April 2014 where I dive into the world of Sirens! So excited…the beta readers loved it!
7. Where did you get your idea for the gateway to the afterlife being a courthouse?
At the time I worked at a law firm. I remember walking through one of the courts in downtown Chicago and watching people stand in line waiting to be served. That image stuck with me and easily crossed over into the book.
8. Demons are a popular but not always well-written species. Did you debate on the demonic plot at all in the beginning?
No, I never know what characters/species are going to appear in my works. One thing I don’t do is plot or create any outlines my works. I like to be surprised as I write it, like reading it for the first time. Sometimes this leads to a book being tossed in the “Never to be seen by human eyes” bin, but it’s the only way I can write freely. I enjoy my process, I don’t want to change it.
9. Do you, personally, believe in ghosts? If yes, have you every had an otherworldly experience?
Yes I do, and as a child I had many (according to my family). I for one never remember them but I do remember one instance vividly of waking up pinned behind a couch. It was one that I moved by myself on a daily basis but for whatever reason I couldn’t move it. It took a few family members to remove it. It went unexplained. How did I get there and why was that featherweight couch suddenly so heavy?
10. I must ask: you reference Miley Cyrus as a Sighted one. Of all the troubled celebrities, why did you choose her and Lady Gaga?
I didn’t want to portray them as being so much as troubled just a bit more out there than the norm. (So far) there aren’t any major problems with either of them except maybe questionable attire and dance moves. Being Sighted can mess with your brain, skew the way you see things, it doesn’t necessarily have to destroy your world entirely.
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
I see myself continuing to write and produce the books and worlds that I love. And I see my career blossoming. I want to do so many things outside of writing and I have already started taking the steps to make sure that happen. At the end of the day, I want to enjoy life, explore new avenues, in ten years I see myself being able to do that…without a time clock.
12. What author, dead or alive, would you love to collaborate with?
Dead I would say LA Banks, I have only recently gotten into her work but I love her style and I wish I had known about her sooner. I would have loved to pick her brain. Alive, there is one person in particular and we are in talks about collaborating on something but I will keep that hush hush for now.
13. Are you a photographer like Josephine?
I love to take photos, I have recently signed up for some photography lessons to see if it is something I could see myself doing professionally as well as to just claim another artistic skill. I love to create and photography is another form of creation.
14. Will we see a sequel to Last Stop?
Definitely, there is so much more happening with Josephine. Her story is already expanding even though I have a few other characters calling for my attention before I can get back to her. I plan to release a short book/novella in between releases of my longer works.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview! May I ask that you leave the reader with three things that may surprise them about you?
1. I lost over 80lbs after having my son, 6 months later I was 255lbs. I said hell no to that and starting moving. I still have 20-30 lbs to go until I reach my target weight.
2. I used to dream of being a lawyer/top fashion designer. Hey, a girl can do it all!
3. When I was younger I was a total Tomboy who loved a good floral dress. It was nothing for me to be playing football in the alley with the boys while sporting Mary Janes and a cute floral print skirt with my lacey socks. My mom hated that.
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