Friday, April 20, 2012

Guest Post by Jami Gray

I am extremely excited to introduce my guest today.  Please welcome author Jami Gray!!!

The Chaotic World of a Writer’s Mind…

One of the most asked question any writer tends to field is “Where did you get your story idea?”  Bet you never knew how those seven little words can strike terror in the heart of the writer.  When I’m cornered by this inquiry, I tend to panic. 

Do I give the sane answer? You know, the one that ensures I won’t be darting around a white room, while doctors with black framed glasses herd me towards the behemoth holding my new fashion statement, you know which one I’m talking about—the white one with multiple buckles.
Since you have the option to continue on or not, I guess I can be honest and share the frightening chaotic world that lives inside me on a daily basis.  You were warned.

Ideas spark anywhere, at anytime.  The song lyric that hits you while you’re taking your kids home from school and almost blinds you with its spark, until you give the poor family in the van ahead of you a heart attack as your grill fills their rearview mirror.  The news story on TV that has you wondering, “what if they had done this instead?”  The overheard conversation that makes you go “hmmm…” 

My characters tend to rant and rave until I give them the attention they demand.  It’s not an easy world to live in, ask any creative soul—artist, writer, songwriter, poet, etc.) and they’ll agree.  Last August,  I found a very cool post about what it was like to be a writer (What It's Like Being A Writer: An Examination and Explanation) and I made my knight in slightly muddy armor sit down and read it.

Okay, so I basically stood over him with a blunt object until he complied, but still…  I waited on pins and needles for him to be swept away with the genius evident in the post.  He laughed, which was good—nice to know the warped sense of humor I married him for all those eons ago was still there—and then he looked at me with *gasp* pity?!!! What the heck?  No, no, no, no he was suppose to respond with “Oh honey, now I understand why the Prankster Duo and I must exist on unidentifiable left overs and delivery, while you sit in a dark office illuminated only by the flicker of a computer screen and why you sometimes resemble Gollum from Lord of the Rings (that’s the weird little dude who glows in the dark, for you non-geeks out there).  It all makes sense!”

Did he say that? Um, nope.  Instead his response was, “It’s okay baby, I knew that when I married you and I still said ‘I do’.”

Seriously?? Did he not see the mad genius that exists in each writer’s mind? The mad babble of voices that fight for supremacy while leaving things like groceries, doctor appointments, eating, basic hygiene in their frenzied wake?  There’s a reason a writer will stare at you with a bemused smile while their eyes keep darting off to the side in the midst of your conversation.  Really, they’d love to listen to you but it’s a bit hard when the voices in your head start to get pushy and demand exclusive attention.  I know, it sounds a bit psychotic, but it’s not our fault.  It’s why we write!

I read something once which really resounded with me. It said to make great art, you had to expose your soul and some things are better left safely in the dark. Those that fear exposing such darkness are constantly tormented by the fact they can almost touch the creative beast, while those who grit their teeth and reach out may burn, but the beauty of such exposure ensnares those around them.  Much like music, playing or creating, writing demands a price from its creator.  Every writer uses their own experiences in some way or fashion to help put life into their words, but it’s one of the scariest things they’ll ever do.

The next time you run across one of us, be gentle and understand, regardless of the genre (poetry, children’s books, songwriting, screen writing, mystery, romance, etc.) published or unpublished, we are writers and it’s not as simple as sitting down and typing out a string of words.  We’re sharing with you something infinitely precious, so if you damage it, expect repercussions.  We may not all be Stephen King, but we are all story tellers.

Shadow’s Edge:

Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters…

It takes a monster to hunt one, and for Raine McCord, forged in the maelstrom of magic and science, she’s the one for the job. In a world where the supernatural live in a shadowy existence with the mundane, a series of disappearances and deaths threatens the secrecy of her kind and indicates someone knows the monsters are alive and kicking.  Partnering up with the sexy and tantalizing Gavin Durand proves to be a challenge as dangerous as the prey she hunts.

When the trail points back to the foundation which warped Raine’s magic as a child, her torturous past raises its ugly head.  Gavin and Raine sift through a maze of lies, murder and betrayal to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.

Shadow’s Soul:

Some nightmares are born of love…

Raine McCord has no problem taking down the monsters of the world, it’s one of the reasons she’s so good at her job.  So playing bodyguard to Cheveyo, head Magi of the Northwest, as he consults with the Southwest Kyn should be an easy assignment. Unfortunately, simple task turns into a nightmare when Cheveyo is kidnapped and Raine is left for dead by one of the Kyn’s most feared beings, a Soul Stealer.

The Stealer’s attack leaves lasting wounds, undermining Raine’s confidence as a warrior and damaging her unruly magic. Her ability to heal her mind and spirit hinges on the one man who can touch her soul, Gavin Durand.  Compelled to face the emotions raging between them, they must embrace not only their stormy relationship but their evolving magic to escape the twisted threads of murder and betrayal to find Cheveyo.

As Raine and Gavin come together and begin to unravel the complex web of secrets and hidden vendettas haunting the Southwest Kyn, they discover unsettling new truths that threaten their very existence.


Growing up on the Arizona-Mexico border, Jami Gray was adopted at the age of 14 and suddenly became the fifth eldest of 37 children. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and three minors-History, English, and Theater.  Shortly after marrying her techie-geek hubby (who moonlighted as her best friend in high school) she completed a Masters in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix Oregon.

Now, years later, she’s back in the Southwest where she’s outnumbered in her own home by two Star Wars obsessed boys, one Star Wars obsessed husband, and an overly-friendly, 105-pound male lab.  Writing is what saves her sanity.

Shadow’s Edge: Book 1 of the Kyn Kronicles is out now and Shadow’s Soul: Book 2 of the Kyn Kronicles hits shelves Summer 2012.

You can find me at:
Buy Link:   Black Opal Books 
Blogs:        The World of the 7 Evil Dwarves  or  Jami Gray's Blog
Facebook:  Jami Gray
Twitter:      @JamiGrayAuthor
Thank you so much for stopping by Jami, I am sure that my readers enjoyed you as much as I did!


Debbie Christiana said...

Good morning, Jami - That was an awesome post. I had a smile on my face the whole time I read it.

Chuck's Examination and Explanation was priceless. I've read a couple other things from him, he's great.

It helps when you have a supportive spouse, which I'm lucky enough to have. Your husband sounds sweet and understanding, too.

Great job.

L. R. Wright said...

Love this post! Every word. And it's so true. I dread that question because my answer may not be something someone wants to hear. lol.

Writers definitely march to a different tune. But that's true of all artists. I always notice the look of concern on people's (including my hubby) face when I start talking about my characters ike they are in the room with me. Or in the middle of a conversation, I pull out a notebook and jot something down. Or I run screaming from the room looking for my laptop because I had a "lightbulb" moment.

Jami Gray said...

Aw thanks, guys! This was a blast to read, but I laughed so hard reading that article because Chuck's explaination hit so close to home. It's a fun, mad world and I enjoy every minute of it!

Jami Gray said...

Huge thanks and hugs to Stacey for hosting me! This was a blast!

Firetulip said...

Hey Jami,

Great post. I too get that question but not as much as when do I find the time to write. And as you said, the inspiration is everywhere if you open you look hard enough.

Jester Queen said...

I absolutely love the illustrations in the post, and the books look like something I will really enjoy reading!

Jami Gray said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm so glad you all enjoyed the post. And Jester Queen, I really hope you enjoy Raine's adventures!

Bev Irwin / Kendra James said...

Enjoyed the post, Jamie. Glad I'm not the only one hearing voices!

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