Jaye Wells is the author of several speculative fiction novels. She is best known for writing urban fantasy with her USA Today bestselling Sabina Kane series and the Prospero’s War series. In 2012, she won the Best Urban Fantasy Reviewers’ Choice Award from RT Book Reviews for Blue-Blooded Vamp, and her novels Dirty Magic, Volatile Bonds, and Silver-Tongued Devilwere also nominated for the award.
Before she became an author, Jaye was a magazine editor and freelance writer. She earned her B.A. in Art History from Southern Methodist University, and holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She belongs to International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Horror Writers Association.
In addition to writing, Jaye is also a sought-after speaker and teacher on the topics of writing craft and the writing life. She has served as faculty for the Paradise Lost writing retreat, taught writing at sea for Cruising Writers, ran the writers’ workshop for FenCon, and served as a mentor for Horror Writers Association’s. She also offers writing workshops and seminars through Writing Workshops Dallas.
When Jaye is not writing or teaching, she loves to travel and cook. She lives in Texas.
LOHF: Hi Jaye, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. Congratulations on the release of High Lonesome Sound, it is getting really great reviews on Good Reads and Amazon.
Thanks, I’m excited to be here. Thanks for working to raise awareness of awesome female horror writers.
LOHF: High Lonesome Sound has been classified gothic and Southern gothic horror. What genre of horror is your go to genre when you are reading?
I read a little bit of everything, but I tend to go for horror that is on the more literary end of the spectrum. I want really complex characters and beautiful writing. My gateway drug into the genre was The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I read it in grad school and fell in love.
LOHF: I was reading about the song that inspired High Lonesome Sound does music play heavily into your writing? Do you have a play list you write to?
I have to listen to music while I write. It keeps my monkey mind occupied so I can focus on getting words down. I also create playlists to help me get in the right headspace for my books. The high Lonesome Sound soundtrack was inspired by the John Lee Hooker Song “Decoration Day” and the soundtrack I created features a lot of blues and bluegrass. But for this particular novel, music played a big role in the story. It’s hard to write about Appalachia without music coming into play because it’s such a musical culture. It was really fun to play with that in the story.
LOHF: High Lonesome Sound was a departure from Urban Fantasy; do you feel that the lines blur between the two genres? For example, both Horror and Urban Fantasy consist of demons, witches and vampires. Where do you think that line is exactly?
In urban fantasy the monster gets to be the hero. They’re detectives or assassins or good monsters fighting the evil ones. In stories where a human is the hero, there’s usually an expectation set up from the beginning that the main character has enough power or resources to defeat the enemy (even if that power can only be accessed following a series of trials). That’s not usually the case in horror. However, I believe the best examples of both genres of books consciously understand that monsters are always metaphors.
LOHF: Have you always been a horror fan? If so what was the first book or movie that really snagged you?
I haven’t actually. I had an overactive imagination as a child and I was raised Catholic so I had a very palpable fear of anything related to demons or the devil. I used to believe a vampire was going to break into my room at night and kill me so I began sleeping with a pillow over my head. Not sure how I thought this would stop a vampire, but it made sense at the time.
But I guess as I aged that fear turned into fascination. I started reading Anne Rice in high school and became somewhat of a vampire fiction fan. It was much later, in graduate school, that I took a course on horror and fell in love. It was realizing that I’m very affected by imagery onscreen in movies, but I have more control over the images in my head when I’m reading. I’ve even started watching horror with my husband who is a huge horror film aficionado. Though, I have to admit I still have problems with possession stories and I still sleep with a pillow over my head.
LOHF: Are you going to continue writing horror?
Oh yes. I have several stories clamoring for my attention at the moment. I’m hoping that sites like this will help encourage more publishers and readers to try out horror. It’s such a fun and varied genre with something for everyone.
LOHF: If you could have dinner with any author living or dead who would it be and why?
If I have to choose just one, I’d say Shirley Jackson. She was just such a giant talent and I think we’d get along pretty well. Plus I really want to hear her read the first line of The Haunting of Hill House to me.
LOHF: Are there any up and coming women horror writers that we should keep an eye on?
I’m really loving Stephanie Wytovich’s horror poetry. Of course, she’s already so well-respected in the genre that it’s hard to call her up and coming.
LOHF: The LOHF is comprised of Book reviewers we are pretty nosy about what other people are reading. What is on your night stand?
I don’t just have books on my nightstand—I have stacks and stacks of books on the floor next to my bed. I’ve currently reading Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find and Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I also have The Good House by Tananarive Due, Victoria Helen Stone’s Jane Doe, and Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax waiting for me.
High Lonesome Sound
In the sleepy mountain town of Moon Hollow, Virginia, there is a church with a crooked steeple. No one will say for sure how it got that way, but it’s the reason the whole town gathers every Decoration Day to honor the dead.
This year, there are two fresh graves up on Cemetery Hill, a stranger’s come to town, and the mountain’s song is filled with dark warnings.
The good people of Moon Hollow are about to learn that some secrets are too painful to bear, and some spirits are too restless to stay buried.
The Uncanny Collection
One week after she is bitten by the dog-faced boy at a traveling carnival, a mild-mannered housewife gets a sudden, unrelenting craving for raw meat. She doesn’t remember eating the cat or running naked through the park under the full moon, but her husband’s getting strange calls from concerned neighbors. When he takes her back to the carnival a year later, looking for a cure, it’ll either get better…or a whole lot worse.The Bluest Hour
A journalist travels to New Orleans to track down the mysterious “Soul Singers”–psychopomps who guide spirits into the afterlife. In this city known for music and its connection to death, a man can learn things he’s not ready to know.The Deadline
An ambitious journalist opens an investigation into the decade’s old murder of a priest and a nun at a local Catholic college. She swears she’ll do anything to earn her big break, but the price could be her very soul.
Jaye is also the author of multiple urban fantasy series. If you would like a full listing of her bibliography head on over to her blog by clicking the link in her bio. If you would like to purchase the books listed above click on the photos to be taken to either Better World Books or the publishers site.