Jacqueline Jayne - Richly Crafted Paranormal Romance
Jacqueline Jayne may be a hardworking bookkeeper during the day, but in her off hours is a huge fan of mysteries, anything paranormal, sci-fi and a whole lot of weirdness. Be it a book, TV show or movie, the more suspense and crazier the motivation (of heroes and villains alike) the better. And, of course, a big dose of humor, smokin'-hot romance, and a kick-ass ending are hardcore requirements. Jacqueline caught the writing bug in elementary school, entertaining teachers and classmates alike with her off-the-wall stories. But as growing up entails - she developed a lot of other extracurricular interests, including singing & acting. Broadway wasn't in the cards, but all of these activities trained her in the art of storytelling, her favorite pastime. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Rule Breakers, Soul Takers.
Please give us a short introduction to what Rule Breakers, Soul Takers is about.
In Rule Breakers, Soul Takers, Prudence Luckett desires only two things out of life – to rescue lost souls from Hell’s First Ring and to hook up with uber-sexy Jesse Thorne. She got neither. Jesse wants nothing to do with the Chancellor’s daughter and her father prevents her career advancement to Soul Saver.
But she believes tenacity and patience pay off. Eventually. And eventually arrives sooner than she imagined.
Jesse’s partner mysteriously takes a powder. No longer trusted by the other Soul Savers, he’s demoted until he can obtain a new partner. In steps Prudence with an offer neither the Council nor Jesse can turn down.
As constant partners, their tentative friendship ignites into mutual passion. But one weak moment proves they can never give into temptation. She sweats holy water that burns demons to ash. He’s been cursed with a demon stain. Her kisses burn yet he can’t bear the thought of turning her away. Fueled by an ancient prophecy, they defy the Society and search for Heaven’s secret door located in Hell. Their quest leads to the thin barrier between afterworlds and the narrow line defining hero from man.
What inspired you to write this book?
So many ingredients feed the pot of inspiration. I’m a big fan of the buddy-cop that evolves into romance trope, be it paranormal like RBST or straight up mysteries. Then there’s the influence of movies like the Seventh Sign (a favorite), TV shows like Supernatural and Lucifer and Neil Gaiman novels. Those stories speak to me on a deeper level than just simple entertainment. I also have friends that really dig Rodin. When they came back from a trip to Paris, they shared their adventures and caught my interest with the Rodin Museum. Once I learned there are Gates of Hell at all of the Rodin Museums worldwide, including the one near me in Philly, the inspiration pot boiled furiously, and the story cooked its way into creation. As you can tell, I’m a kitchen witch too.
Tell us more about the Hell Runners Scociety.
The Hell Runners Society is based on the fictional premise that Auguste Rodin was more than an artist but gifted by the Divine. I don’t want to give too much of that away right now, because it is explored in Book Two, Dream Breakers, Oath Takers. But I can tell you the Society has been around a long time and funded by a family by the name of Deschamps. Some of those family members have become corrupted and try to manipulate the gifts of the employees for their own gain. And by gain, I mean power and immortality. The Society will evolve over the course of each book, with old secrets revealed and new blood filtering onto the Council.
How did you come up with the idea of someone sweating holy water?
How did I come up with the idea of someone sweating holy water? This is going to sound ridiculous, but as all writers know, you can’t hook up your H&H took quickly. There must be a logical reason to keep them apart and let’s face it, Paranormal isn’t exactly logical. LOL! I struggled with that for a while because I really loved Prudence and Jesse – having them hook up gave me joy. But I knew that Jesse was exceptional at his job and in order to do that, he needed extra special qualities earned through experience. A rough childhood that lead to being coerced by a demon into possession struck me as a way to create his mystic. Of course, he was strong enough to fight it off, but the effects never leave him. So, what’s the one thing physical thing in an exorcist’s arsenal used to fight demons? Holy water. It was easy then. Prudence was the vessel of his potential demise.
What makes Prudence and Jesse such a great team?
They’re a great team because they’re both willing to fight and sacrifice and be a little sneaky to do what they believe is the right thing. Sometimes they’re not in agreement, but the struggle of wills earns the other’s respect. Although they’re also physically attracted to one another, its what’s under the pretty bodies that forms the relationship. From the first begrudging mission, Prudence notices when Jesse reveals little bits about his values and admires it. This is snippet from Chapter Four.
He looked at Prudence, not through her, for the first time—ever. “Being alone is a hell unto itself. A person might as well not have a pulse if they can’t connect with like-minded folks.”
A little lump formed in her throat. He spoke with profound emotion and understanding of the human spirit. She wasn’t surprised, only that he’d shared it with her. Innate decency was more irresistible than a washboard stomach.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secrets I have? Hmm. I’m worse than Prudence at keeping secrets at least about myself. For someone else, I’ll go to the grave with their personal info. Like me, Prudence pretty much puts herself out there all the time. Even her mom points out “You always give a pound when a penny would do.”
That said, I used to want to be an actor. Did lots of plays when I was a teen and in my twenties. In this life, I’m tackling all the careers that start with “A,” acting, accounting (day job), and author. Next life I gotta hit the “B’s” and I’m open for suggestions to plant now.
Readers say the book contain a lot of twists and turns. Did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did some of it just "happen" along the way?
This is sacrilege to say, but I don’t always plan out the twists and turns. I’m a writer and a reader. I plan/plot some, but a lot happens along the way. I think, what would surprise me at this point if I was simply reading the story and that’s what I write.
Was there a particular character whose voice you found it easiest to write in?
Prudence was pretty easy, because I use her as my vessel to share thoughts I believe are important. Not just for the story, but for life. But Jesse filled that space as well. Harder for me with the Deschamps. I have to get in a deceptive frame of mind so I watch shows on IDTV to help.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
Yes, there’s always an underlying message I like to relay. Probably the most important one in RBST is that we’re all human and humans make mistakes. The key to mistakes is not that we make them, but how we deal – how we become stronger and more compassionate because of them. That growth is part of the glue for love. I believe you have to accept your mistakes, own them and do better so you can do accept them same in someone else. I sure as hell enjoy the romance, but love is the long haul and I want my characters experience everything.
If you could transport yourself into one of your series or stand-alone books, which one would you choose and why? What would your story be?
I would absolutely transport myself into RBST, probably right into the shoes of Prudence. She’s soft and sweet and a total badass, too. I want to feel like a badass and kick the butt of a demon. You don’t get excitement like that in accounting, that’s for sure.
Do you have a favorite line from the book, and can you explain what that line means to you?
To go with the underlying theme I’d have to choose this one spoke by Jesse to a reluctant soul he’s trying to retrieve.
“There are more mistakes in us than water or blood. But that doesn’t mean we’re unworthy. It means we have to work harder."
Sometimes, I feel there are too many ways for all of us to feel unworthy. Plenty of times, I’ve felt less than just unworthy. For a while, every time I made a mistake, no matter how small, I thought I was losing ground in the race of life. It took a while for me to realize there is no race. There is no comparison from one person to the next. Being yourself, doing your best, fixing your mistakes, is the reward.
Boy – I’m damn preachy today.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Can’t say I have interesting writing habits. I don’t keep creepy doll heads by my desk, or pictures of devils (unless its Tom Ellis) or a magic talisman. I like quiet and to be left alone with my thoughts. I tack a note to the door of my writing room asking to be left alone. BTW – no one heads it. LOL. I get up early – around 5:30 AM and write before the day job and on weekends. I keep a notebook in my car so I can write by hand if I’m stuck waiting somewhere. I write by hand if I’m sitting by the pool in the summer so I get some Vitamin D, but mostly I write sitting at my computer. It takes hours and days and months - time away from friends and family, but I still work those folks in so I don’t lose those relationships. To me, relationships are vital and the reason I’m here on earth.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working on a romantic suspense that was requested by an agent. I should be done by the end of August then back to finishing the third installment for the Hell Runners. The romantic suspense is also part of a series and has a great deal in common with Hell Runners though no devils, no angels and no girlfriends with deadly kisses.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I can be found at my website www.jacquelinejayneauthor.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (be patient with me on this one) and email at [email protected]. I’m already booked for the Rockin’Romance Readers in Gettysburg for May 2020 and would love to meet readers and talk kooky paranormal.