GJ: Jourdyn, thank you for joining me today. Do you want to start by introducing yourself?
JK: Hello, Gareth. Glad to be here. Short introduction, I’m Jourdyn Kelly, author of 9 books that range from young adult urban fantasy, to romance, to lesfic.
GJ: That’s a wide range of genres. You must have ideas trying to bust out of your head all of the time. How do you decide which genre you’re going to work on next and do you ever have to stop your writing from merging into a combination of the genres?
JK: I have tons of ideas trying to come out. The young adult trilogy came from a dream and I just had to get it out. Though, I’m not sure I will write that genre again. I always say I don’t decide what to write. The people in my head do. Whomever is talking the loudest gets their story told. But I also don’t limit myself by adhering to the guidelines of a certain genre. One of my characters from my YA vampire book is in my romance book. I like to connect my characters in some way. If that means combining genres, I’ll do it. Writing is personal and I’m not sure I like being confined by “rules.”
GJ: Can you explain what the difference is between your romance novels and your lesfic novels? It may be as simple as I’m thinking in my head and I’ll look silly, but…
JK: The difference is having a heterosexual couple in romance. And lesfic is geared towards lesbians. Personally, I would call all my books (besides the YA trilogy) romance books. But there’s a need to distinguish the love interests for the readers. Lesfic can be Lesbian Romance. Or mystery, or historic, etc. It’s basically a broader term. At least that’s my understanding. I just recently began writing lesfic, actually. Sometimes real life concerns come into play until you realize you have to write for yourself before you write for others.
GJ: Thanks for clearing that up. I guess it’s a shame on society that you have to give a broad genre to books which contain lesbian protagonists or centre around a lesbian only issue. The protagonist of my work in progress is a lesbian and being a straight, white middle class man I do often wonder how my portrayal of the character will be received, but then I think it wouldn’t work any other way. The story is not about her sexual orientation, it’s just happens to be the case. Do you find you’re ever wary of how you portray your characters for fear of offending or upsetting anyone from your target market?
JK: I am wary of writing stereotypes. Not so much in characters such as lesbians or men or even hetero women. But when it comes to gay men or people of color, I refer to friends I have who live that life to make sure I’m not writing something offensive. My goal is NEVER to offend anyone, but to be as real as I can. I’ll ask what terms I should use, etc. Luckily, I have a rainbow spectrum of friends I can turn to when I need them. Unfortunately, no matter how careful one is, there’s always someone out there who will be offended or won’t like what you’ve written. So, as I said before, I write for me and hope that others will find joy in it. It seems to be a formula that works for me at the moment if the feedback I get is any indication. 🙂
GJ: Sounds like a good perspective to have. Can you tell me about your latest release?
JK: My latest release is called Becoming (An LA Lovers Book). It’s a continuance or prequel/sequel to my Novella Fifty Shades of Pink. FSOP was actually written as a dare. Sex scenes are always the hardest thing for me to write. There’s a fine line you have to balance on. It’s easy to SHOW emotion, but harder to write and hope everyone’s perception is similar to what I have in my head. So a friend dared me to write a full-on lesbian erotic story. I accepted the challenge and came up with the characters Rebecca and Cass. Fell in love with them after that and decided they needed a longer story. Becoming turned out to be a lesson in finding love and believing you deserve it. I deal with some tough issues in this book. There are some harsh scenes depicting domestic abuse and drug use, however, I feel they’re necessary to tell the story. Life is all about overcoming adversity and I never want to skirt around the ugly parts. It’s possibly as hard to read as it was to write, but in the end, I believe, the journey is worth it.
GJ: Yes I agree about the sex scenes, I had a great chat with new author SE White about how to decide the levels of detail to go into during a sex scene and she had some great points of view as she writes both historical romance fiction and erotic romance fiction. Can you tell me about your journey to publishing your first book?
JK: Ooo, my first book. Seems so long ago, yet like yesterday. Something About Eve was my first novel and I allowed an editor to intimidate me into making changes I didn’t particularly want to make. And I let an agent get to me when she said she loved my writing but could not stand behind the content. I admit it gave me pause and contributed to me not writing what I wanted to write out of fear. Ironically, my characters from Something About Eve are my most talked about and beloved characters. In fact, I’m writing a third book on them right now. To get back to your question, I researched how to self-publish because I don’t feel authors should be pressured or shamed about their work. It’s getting much easier now to navigate the world of self-publishing, but back then I was intimidated. The journey is always evolving and you’ll never know everything you possibly need to know, but the learning process is interesting. Now, I do want to iterate that I’m a huge advocate of having a polished book. Edited, formatted, etc. But I now know that as the author of a book, it is my decision as to the content. Live and learn. Then learn some more. 🙂
GJ: I couldn’t agree more. Thank you very much for joining me today and it’s been both a very interesting discussion and great fun talking to you, it seems a great shame to wrap it up. Jourdyn’s nine novels are available to buy from Amazon now and you can keep up to date with Jourdyn via her website, www.jourdynkelly.com.
If you enjoyed this interview then why not follow my blog where I’ll be posting more interviews and conversations soon. I regularly provide an insight into my own experiences as I publish and promote my debut novel, In The End, an apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless and is available to buy now.
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