Interview with Jade M Phillips

We have all sorts of fun planned today. We're celebrating the release of MER, the highly anticipated young adult fantasy novel by Jade M. Phillips. Not only are we talking with the author about her new book, but we're also inviting you to hop over to Jade M Phillips' website for a HUGE giveaway contest.  

Click here to read the official contest rules
ATW: Welcome, Jade. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Jade: I grew up in the Arizona sun where I still reside. As long as I can remember I’ve always loved diving into a good book and coming up with stories of my own. But alongside my obsession with reading and writing books, I have also been an actress, a stunt woman (trained to fall off of tall buildings and do other scary things,) a dance teacher, bartender, the lead singer and back-up guitarist in a rock band, amongst a plethora of other fun and low-paying jobs. I now have my degree in interior design and own a small business. I love my friends and family dearly and enjoy spending time with them. I am well known for setting off the smoke detector in our house weekly by cooking/burning dinner. I also have two adorable children, an extremely wonderful husband, who is very supportive of my writing and chokes down his “dinner” without complaint, and a crazy cat named Willian Wallace Braveheart Fuzzy MacFarland the Third.

ATW: When did you begin writing?

Jade: I've been writing short stories, poetry, and songs since grade school and I just now (ok about a year ago) decided to take the plunge and write a novel, and a pretty darn cool one, if I may boast.

ATW: Can you tell us about your book?

Jade: My debut novel is a young adult fantasy titled MER: tome 1 in the MER series. Here is the blurb straight from the back of the book.

In a land where the sea grows restless, the summer breeze turns to ice and sleet, and Mother Nature has plans of another sort, dark and supernatural forces begin to unfold, fighting to unite the broken prophecy. In the midst of a tangled web lie the Castlecrays, a family with deep tragedy and mysterious secrets, who are torn apart and forced on a treacherous journey. Coming from a time when kings rule the realm, knights fight for honor, and eminence is power, the children of Castlecray are thrown into an unknown magical ambiance where nothing is as it seems, and bedtime stories come alive right before their eyes. Sweeping from a land of severe and savage seas to the sparkling underwater spires of a magical unknown world, this is a tale of lords and ladies, knights and nobility, traitors and trolls, who are all intertwined in a weaving maze of conspiracy and deception. Amidst gallantry and guilt, love and loss, the Castlecrays find their fate to be in the hands of their enemies, of each other, and of their new mysterious allies, the Wavekeepers—all vying to keep the balance between good and evil, land and sea, in a fight for the ultimate desire; the power of MER. 

ATW: How did you get the idea for the book?

Jade: This book has a secret. And I am going to give you some VIP information by telling you this… but if you couldn’t already tell by the title, its secret is Merpeople. The idea came from a couple different sources. First of all, my five year old daughter is obsessed with Mermaids, so I guess there is always a Mermaid floating around in the back of my brain. LOL!

Second, my husband and I were up late one night discussing the current trends in young adult fantasy books (my fave of course). We were talking about Vampires and Werewolves, Zombies, and Faeries, when I was like, “Wait! What about Mermaids?” And thus: MER was born! 

ATW: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?

Jade: Doubting myself. Like I said earlier, I have been writing a long time, but never a novel. I eventually pushed through and gained confidence with the help of family, friends, and critiques (and many revisions.) And also editing was very challenging and time consuming. Even though I hired an editor, who was incredibly wonderful, I still DO NOT enjoy editing. LOL!

ATW: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Jade: Ooooh, that’s a hard one. I have so many that I love. I’d have to say Quin. She’s a feisty, tomboyish ten year old girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind; quite the contrary to the lady of nobility that she is expected to be. She cracks me up by always getting into trouble!

ATW: Which character was the most challenging to write?

Jade: Price Tolan was a bit challenging, although I love him dearly. He is an awkward young prince of 15 years old, and he has a st…st…stutter.

ATW: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Jade: This is hard because I like to think of my writing as unique in itself, but I will say that I read a lot of J.K.Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Diana Gabeldon, and Laini Taylor.

ATW: What projects are you currently working on?

Jade: I am currently writing the next book in the MER series, MER: tome 2. It’s going to be fantastic! I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

ATW: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?

Jade: That’s hard to answer, since I have had no bad reviews yet. But this is how I see it: Everyone's tastes are different. There could be an academy award winning movie out there and there will still be people that don’t like it.

ATW: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?

Jade: I don’t have a specific playlist, although to keep that sort of renaissance/medieval feeling of my book while I’m writing, I put on the Celtic music station on Pandora radio, which is calming and helps the words flow. But when I need an energy boost I will put on some hip hop or dance music. 

ATW: Do you have any special skills, education, or hobbies that enhance your writing abilities?

Jade: I have my degree in interior design, which led me to take a lot of furniture and art history classes. This definitely helps me paint a picture of the scene for the reader.

ATW: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Jade: Persistence! Being an author means being on a rollercoaster of emotions. You will have days where you believe your work to be brilliant, and others, it’s garbage. Don’t give up. Just push through, believe in yourself, and write the best book you can!

ATW: For readers interested in learning more about MER, please visit the following links:

Buy MER on Amazon (paperback) 
Buy MER on Amazon (Kindle) 
Jade's Blog Contest going on now! 1/13/13- 1/17/13
MER’s fan page.
Follow Jade on Twitter
Jade on Goodreads
Amazon author page
MER Book Trailer now released!