Talia Jager - YA Books With Lots of Magic and Firsts
When Talia Jager isn't writing her latest Young Adult bestseller, you will find her hiking, relaxing on the beach or hiding from her six kids while munching on a chocolate bar. Today she chats with us about human faeries, her fascination with the teen mind and gives us a look behind the scenes of her book, Dark Promise.
Please give us a short introduction to Dark Promise
Dark Promise is the first book in a series about a girl who learns she¹s a faery the night before her sixteenth birthday. Torn between the only world she's ever known and the Faery Realm that is anxiously awaiting her return, Rylie must choose between the ordinary life she knows and loves or the extraordinary life where her destiny awaits.
Why do you enjoy writing young adult books? Why this audience?
I love the teen mind. It's so raw and passionate. One of the reasons I enjoy writing YA is it's filled with firsts. First love, first high school experience, first kiss, first experimentation with (any number of things).
How on earth do you find time to write with six kids in the house?
Having a big family is a blessing. I love it. There is never a dull moment in our house. Finding time to write is hard. If something comes to me during the day, I will write it down. Sometimes I schedule an hour or two to write just after lunch, but most of my writing gets done at night. I don¹t mind. I¹m more a night owl anyway. When other people are getting sleepy, my mind is just waking up. I could easily stay up until 4am writing, but usually I try to get to bed by 2 so I can be somewhat awake the next day.
How does the next Between Worlds book tie in with this one?
There are now five books in the Between World series. They all tie in together, but book five, Unexpected Promise, gives everyone closure.
What inspired you to make your main character, Rylie, a faery?
I had dabbled a little with the paranormal world: vampires,gifted teens, and then I decided to try fantasy. My great-great-grandmother was considered fey. From the stories I hear she foretold certain events and she was able to heal others. I started brainstorming. The idea of a faery realm enticed me. I daydreamed about the idea of going to sleep "human" one day and waking up the next with wings. Big wings! Not something you could pretend didn't exist.
Then there is the magic. Not just powers, but the ability to make things grow or heal. The connection to nature that faeries have. It all just came together.
Is Dark Promise also a bit of a coming of age story?
Yes, it is a coming of age story as well. The series starts off just days before Rylie's sixteenth birthday and continues until she¹s an adult. Readers watch her go through hard lessons, grow up, make mistakes, learn how not to be so whiny, and become mature.
Your book is a bit of a departure from the typical depictions of the fairy world. Why did you take this approach?
I haven¹t read a lot of faery books. I know many faery books have "courts" and have faeries that are tricky or mean or maybe they¹re small and can fly. I just decided not to go that way. That¹s the beauty of fiction. You can do whatever you want.
Which character did you find the most challenging to create?
Evil characters are harder to write for me because it¹s not something I can relate to. I really have to work on those characters.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secret skills? Hmmm. I homeschool four of our kids. Does that count? :)
Do you believe in magic? That there is more to the world than we can see?
I absolutely believe in magic. Stories come from somewhere,so I think there¹s much more out there that us "normal" humans don't know about.
If you lived in the world of your series, who do you think would you be?
Growing up, I would have been similar to Rylie, but now I¹d have to say now I¹m more like Azura, without the cooking skill. I'm a mama bear when it comes to my kids. I'd do anything to protect them.
You worked a bit of a love triangle into the series - did you know right from the start which boy would be with Rylie?
No. When I started the book, I didn¹t know which boy would win out. For a while, I was going to have Rylie choose Adam, but then Kallan won over my heart just as he won Rylie's.
Where do you write?
Usually it's on my bed with my laptop. Once I get into editing status, I spread out in the dining room/schoolroom.
What are you working on now?
I¹m currently working on a number of books. My characters often act like children and insist on getting some attention, so I have to switch books and write about whoever is loudest that day. I am working on a spin-off of the Between Worlds series, the fourth Gifted Teens book, a NA alien book, a sequel to Falling For Fire, and two YA real life dramas.
Where can our readers find more of your work or interact with you?
My books are on all the major sites: Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. I often pin things on Pinterest that remind me of characters and I have playlists on my blog.
I love hearing from fans. They can contact me at