Tuesday, May 27, 2014




1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I've always enjoyed writing because of the 'mental freedom' it entails. For the longest time, I found my imagination more interesting than my reality. Writing was a way to continually explore and/or push some boundaries within the context of fiction.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

I loved the fantasy novels of Jane Yolen and Vivian Vande Velde. I was very much into the King Arthur and Robin Hood legends as well.

In my mid-teens I chanced upon Edgar Allan Poe, and grew to like many classic books thereafter. Nowadays I still enjoy reading the classics, along with contemporary books by authors like Agatha Christie, Caroline Graham, Jackie Collins, Jake Needham, Darcia Helle, Maria Savva, and many more. My preference for contemporary books are those with a crime-related or suspense element.

On the non-fiction side, I like socio-political and business books.

3. What inspired your novel Playmates?

The concept of "evil twins" has always fascinated me, because of the close relations of the siblings. I had been wanting to write a story featuring twins for quite some time, but I eventually expanded the material so that the story could be developed across several books in a series. In some ways, it is the absolutely worst case scenario I envisioned if I had a twin sibling and we grew up under the circumstances as described in the novel.

4. Were the twins based at all on real people (if I may say so, I hope not haha) ?

They're fictitious characters with some traits that are based on real people. I did watch several documentaries and peruse several books on serial killers to get a better idea of their inner landscape. I noticed that many of them came from abusive homes--I definitely wanted to include that as a foundational aspect of the twins' background.

5. Why decide to set the story around two preteen kids as opposed to adults?

I structured the series such that each book in the Wilde Twins trilogy centers around the twins at different stages of their lives (preteens; teens; and early adulthood). That way I thought I could offer a more interesting and layered/complex portrayal to readers. You get to see the formation of their lives and experiences over time.

6. Were you ever concerned about the reception of such a dark story?

I was not super concerned because I knew I wanted to write a psychological / crime fiction book about serial killers. That in itself is a dark theme, so I felt I should deliver on that aspect.

7. Things like what happens to Tania go on every day in real life. Would you like for this book to raise awareness of the terrible acts committed?

I think I wanted the book to show the connection between nature versus nurture--it is not just the terrible acts committed, but what society is or is not doing about it. I believe there is an intricate connection between the individual, the family, culture, the mass media and society. There is no quick or easy solution.

8. Addiction is also a common disease. What would you say to a mother like the one in Playmates?

I would ask her if this is how she envisioned herself as a mother, and see how she responds.

9. Are you working on anything that you can share with KSR?

I recently completed a short story collection titled Owned. It's available for free on my website (http://www.jessink.com/owned.htm). The last story in the collection was inspired by the cover image.

I have two YA series I've put on the back burner for some time. Those are not as dark as my psychological thrillers. But I need to re-work the plots because the first drafts could honestly be a lot better!

10. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

I would like to develop more projects in this genre (psychological thrillers / crime fiction). It is a genre that allows for the exploration of a lot of themes that I have a deep interest in. My writing life is certainly influenced by what goes on in my personal life--to an extent--so I look forward to seeing how that continues to go...

11. Will you ever or have you written something outside of the "dark" genre?

I have a YA novel that is more humorous than dark (http://www.jessink.com/sins07_lust.htm)

Sooner or later I usually return to working on a dark project. My mind enjoys being in both places (exploring the very good and the very bad aspects of human nature).

12. Real life is often more frightening than fiction. Is that why you chose to write about a very real situation as opposed to killer werewolves or the like?

I do like horror stories like Bram Stoker's Dracula, and I generally do find psychological horror/suspense a lot eerier than the stories which typically feature creatures such as killer werewolves. As a writer I think I am more convincing with writing about real situations too.

13. What author (dead or alive) would you love to collaborate with and why?

It would have to be Edgar Allan Poe. I know I would learn a lot just from being in the same room as him, even if we were both technically doing nothing in particular.

14. Would you like to see Playmates or any of your other work as a TV show or film one day?

Sure--the competition is tough, but I'd jump at the opportunity if something like that came my way some day. I try to be ambitious without being too delusional or greedy.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

Thanks for having me!

1. I drink a lot more tea than coffee.
2. Hard rock and classical music are equally appealing to me.
3. I loathed Twitter with a vengeance when I first signed up for an account in 2009.

Find Jess online via:

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  1. […] Interview at Bookie Monster May 22 — Author Page and Interview at IndieView May — Interview + Review at Kelly Smith June — Book Spotlight at […]

  2. Great interview! :D I really enjoyed reading Playmates and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.