Several weeks ago, I promised to do a Q & A. You’ve been great with sharing your questions via social media, direct messages, and personal contact.
CAUTION: If you haven’t yet read Black Wolf, this post does contain some spoilery bits. You’ve been warned.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I’ve dabbled with writing for as long as I can remember. I wrote little things for school and won an award for some of that. I’d always dreamed of writing a book but wrote only for myself until I decided to work seriously on Black Wolf.
Q: How did you come up with the names in Black Wolf?
A: I get this question all the time–I hope that means you like the names! All of the standard names (like Grace and Emmeline) have specific meanings. I knew there was a particular feeling or connotation I wanted for each name, so I started with that and then searched for names that matched those meanings. I made up Aveleiyn and I saw the last name Hawthorn on a billboard–I added the “e” because it felt right for Thorne. Diesel isn’t exactly made up, but it’s not a standard name. He needed a tougher feel, and that name came to me right away for him. Of course, it’s not his real name, but don’t tell him I told you.
Q: Did you come up with the Bound Wolf legend?
A: Yep. There are plenty of stories out there you could draw this kind of human/spirit/animal/mystical power relationship from, but the Bound Wolf thing is all mine.
Q: Grace and Blaze can become one creature?
A: Yes. They can blend into the same unit which makes it appear as though Grace can kinda shift, but they’re two separate individuals. This will come up again.
Q: Is Fairview based on a real place?
A: Kind of. Fairview is a mixture of a few places I’ve lived, but it’s not any one place in particular. Most of my settings–the locations and the buildings/homes/businesses have aspects of places I know and love. Or hate. There are some places I don’t like that show up, too.
Q: Why do you write under the name J. E. Martin?
A: That one’s easy! Jane Martin is already taken by a playwright. Plus, my initials make me JEM. As in Jem and the Holograms, which was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I have a handful of pen names I intend to work under when I have time, but those are secret 🙂
Q: Can we have more Aveleiyn? And how do you say that name?
A: Aveleiyn is one of my favorites to write. Strangely enough, I wasn’t always aware that she was acquainted with the Black pack. She’d been in my brain for another series in the UNITY universe, but she showed up in the opening scene with Lathan and Diesel and I couldn’t make her go away. She knew better than I did, I guess. So, yes. I’m hoping to give you more Aveleiyn in the future! (Side note: the opening scene of Black Wolf was written in the final revision stage of my first beta draft. The previous drafts had a different intro.)
I personally pronounce her name “A (like apple) vuh lain” in my mind, which you would think is the proper pronunciation, since I created her, right? But when I talk about her in person, my slightly southern accent quickly turns it into “A (like apple) vuh lynn”. So…pick what you like.
Q: Are all the books from the same point of view? If not, whose book is next?
A: Most of the books in the Black Wolf series will feature a different couple, so you’ll get their points of view. Vague enough for you? Good. And as for whose book is next, well…there are hints in Black Wolf to answer that one. In fact, almost the whole series order is hinted there. But the final order? That’s for me to know and for you to figure out. Hopefully it’s more fun that way!
Q: How many books are there in the series?
A: I’m hesitant to answer this one. You can guess a general number based on the number of siblings in the pack, but there are some factors that might change the answer. I can’t give anything else away without spoilers.
Q: Do you know how the series ends?
A: I do! I’ve got notes that outline the rest of the series. I leave room for each of the books to open up in front of me, but I know the basic points I want to hit and what happens in the end.
Q: What’s up with Avery?
A: I think this one is second only to the question about the names. Everyone who has asked me about Avery has had interesting theories, and several have come close. In fact, if I combine the theories I’ve heard from you, you have almost the whole story figured out–now if you could all just put your theories together, you’d be pretty close to a full picture! I didn’t expect her to get the reception she has. She has definitely gripped your interest, though, and I love that! I can tell you this much: you will learn more.
Q: Are any of the characters based on real people?
A: Not intentionally. My friends and family have drawn parallels between real people and characters in the series, but no one is a direct, or purposeful, knock-off of anyone I know in real life. Now, I do use visual inspiration (see Pinterest) but those are just rough ideas to help me visual as I’m getting started. The characters take on their own appearances and mannerisms for me–hopefully for you, too, when you’re reading!
Q: Was it weird to write the sex parts? Was it weird knowing your family/friends would read them?
A: So…the writing process wasn’t as weird as I expected. First of all, remember: Black Wolf started as an erotic short. Let’s say that cherry popped a long time before the book took shape as you know it. Plus, I’ve read plenty of books (naughty and not-as-naughty) with sex scenes. I once had someone tell me I’d be scandalized by Fifty Shade of Grey. Maybe, but I highly doubt it (and I’ll be honest. I was a little offended that she thought I was that much of a prude, haha!) By the way: no. I haven’t yet read that series (it’s been on my TBR forever, and I’ll read it at some point, because I feel like I kinda have to, you know?)
It was only a little weird to think about my parents reading the sex scenes, but they never censored my reading material when I was growing up. I figured if it weirded them out, I’d just blame it on the broad range of books I’ve experienced. And, you know, being an adult who can write what she wants 😛
It was weirder to consider strangers reading the sex scenes than it was to think about my friends reading them.
My greatest concern, honestly, was my husband’s paternal grandmother. Turns out, I didn’t need to worry, haha!
Q: Are you going to do an audiobook?
A: I would LOVE to! It’s not at the top of my priorities right now, but it is a long-term goal. I’ve had some people recommend that I record it myself, because of my theatre and radio background. That would be fun to try, but I don’t know that it’s something I’d seriously pursue. I’m more than familiar with the amount of time it can take to get a 30-second radio spot in good shape between recording and editing. I’m not sure I could tackle a 600+ page book along with keeping up my steady writing schedule.
If an audiobook ever comes about, I’ll be sure to spread the word–so if that’s something you’re interested in, stay tuned!
Q: When is Book Two coming out?
A: Soon, my dears. Soon.
Did I answer your question? Still need to know more? Feel free to ask below!