Author Interview: Jayme Bean

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Follow Jayme Bean on Twitter!

Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

I’m a sucker for a hardcover! I will always get the hardcover if it’s available and affordable. Paperback is easier to travel with and manhandle, so that’s easily a close second. I have a really difficult time listening to audiobooks, so I don’t tend to do those at all.

Pick a genre, any genre!

ADVENTURE! Or horror … or queer YA contemporary, or … Basically I will read just about anything, though I am not a romance reader. I just can’t get into them. But I will try any genre at least once.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I remember reading Goosebumps as a kid as well as Christopher Pike’s Spooksville series. I am pretty sure I had every single Goosebumps book that ever came out.

What book shaped your childhood most?

I didn’t read for a long time (stopped before middle grade age) until She Who Must Not Be Named came out with Shmary Plotter, and then I was hooked and reading everything. It shaped my childhood in that it got me reading, but also in that it brought me to bookstores at midnight to wait for releases with friends. But I still hold that Stine and Pike were my first foray into independent reading and probably impacted me on a more cellular level.

When did you first start writing?

I’ve always dabbled, but never took writing too seriously. I was big into writing poetry in high school and was published in a community college journal for creative writing. I didn’t sit down to write a book until 2020.

What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

Honest answer? Hyperfixation. I set out to write a book and then that became my life for nine months. As a whole, though, I enjoy being able to just throw my feelings and bits and pieces of myself onto the page. It’s therapeutic.

What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

I am super proud of my debut novel, Untouched, though the short story ‘An Airship Built for Two’ in SkullgateMedia’s In The Wake of the Kraken may be my favorite.

Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

I did! I wrote my first book in nine months and then published it a little over a year after starting it. I have zero chill.

How many books/collections have you published so far?

One book, three published short stories in various anthologies.

What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

I have written adventure, sci-fi, and horror. I would like to write in as many as I can that strike my fancy. I am definitely a genre-hopper. Why write in just one when you read in so many?

Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

I do research where it’s necessary. With my novel, Untouched, I spent more time researching than I probably did writing. I learned so much peripheral information about botany and plants and don’t ever care to do that again. That said, I’m a pantser through and through, so it’s research on a whim and writing on a whim.

To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I would love to say I know how to plot things. But I do not. So, seat of my pants it is. I am one giant bundle of whimsical chaotic writing energy.

What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

I self-pubbed my first book and hope to continue to do so with other ventures. I would like to query if I ever wrote something that I thought stood a chance to be picked out. Outside of that, I am perfectly content to keep churning out my own things, marketing them, and watching them pop up around the world.

If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

Rory Michaelson’s Lesser Known Monsters series. Despite the end of the world nearly happening all the time, I would love to be the fifth/sixth wheel in that crew of characters. I love the world (it’s modern dark urban fantasy) and would love to meet the monsters and people.

Do you currently have a WIP?

I do … kinda. I don’t have much mental bandwidth to write nowadays. I am a mom to a three-year-old and my life is utter chaos. I write in small spurts when I can, but I hardly have the same go-get-em motivation I had when he was one and I was writing Untouched. My WIP, when it gets worked on, is a biological sci-fi thriller.

Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

I don’t know if I have one, honestly. I want to say I love them all equally, even the short story characters. Every character I write is one or more aspects of myself, so do you choose the you that you want to be, or the you who was the victim of your anxiety, or the you who wants to go sailing the skies in an airship with steampunk pirates? It’s impossible to choose.

What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

I don’t think I have one! I am extremely critical of my work and am constantly finding myself dissatisfied. I do really love my short story, ‘An Airship Built for Two’. I think it has the perfect mix of humor, adventure, and romance.

Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

My favorite romance is in Untouched. I’d give spoilers by mentioning who it’s between. But my favorite friendship is also in Untouched with David and Marisol. I wanted a really strong platonic m/f friendship and was quite happy to get that on paper.

Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

I do sometimes. I wrote the majority of Untouched to Logan Lynn’s My Movie Star album, and then slowly added more songs in for different moods and characters. I have a Spotify playlist if anyone ever wants to listen to it. I don’t have a favorite writing song, though, because it changes depending on what I’m writing.

Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

I do! I have commissioned three pieces of character art. Two of them were done by Charly at @_cherrybombXD on Twitter and Instagram and one by tblkobka on Fiverr. I’m still waiting for the day I get some fan art. I would be absolutely verklempt.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Let yourself write and don’t take anyone’s advice too close to heart. Everyone has their own unique journey and their own opinions … and not all of them (or even half of them) will work for you. Trust your judgement.

Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I was honored to win Best Debut Novel and Best Friendship in the Queer Indie Book awards on Twitter! I am still blown away that people even nominated me, let alone that I won.

Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

Michael Crichton, James Rollins, Rory Michaelson, Steven Salvatore, and Astrid Knight.

Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

I am @JaymeBeanAuthor everywhere (twitter, facebook, insta, tiktok). My books can be found anywhere books are sold and for free with KindleUnlimited. If you’d like a list of places to purchase Untouched, or would like to purchase a signed copy, you can visit my website or my Linktree. My website also has links on where to read more and buy the anthologies I am in.

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