Today I’d like to welcome Jade Kerrion to Reading Reality. Jade is the author of the Double Helix series. I’ve already finished the first book in this science fiction series, Perfection Unleashed (review here) and let me tell you, it is a thrill-a-minute ride!
Marlene: Hi Jade! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Jade: In no particular order, I’m an author, a business executive, a wife, and a mother. All those roles demand impossible amounts of time that far exceed twenty four hours in a day, so on any day, I just juggle them, trying to keep all the balls up in the air. For the most part, it works.
Marlene: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Jade: Prime writing time takes place early in the morning or late at night when the family is asleep. That said, I’ll sneak in whatever time I can find during the day as well. For the most part, I am a planner. I tend to have notes as well as a sense of where the story is going to go. The plots, however, have been occasionally hijacked by uncooperative characters, and oddly, it tends to work out better that way.
Marlene: What made you choose to write science fiction? And why this particular branch of science fiction related to genetic manipulation and people’s reactions to it?
Jade: I grew up on science fiction. My first crush ever was on Luke Skywalker—I was only three at that time. In addition to Star Wars, I was a huge fan of the X-Men. The Double Helix series reflects much of that influence and leverages my own interest in the topic; at college I majored in biology and philosophy. Science is quietly making progress on the genetic front while we focus on far more distracting news, like the economy, a budget deficit, and wars. The genetic revolution will be upon us, faster than we know, and I don’t think we, as a country, or humanity as a whole, are prepared to address it.
Marlene: Where did your inspiration for the Double Helix series come from?
Jade: The X-Men, certainly, but I didn’t want the story to be just about mutants with super powers. Discrimination is frequently more subtle, and I think many of us have dealt with discrimination in one form or another. I wanted to write a story where almost everything is wreathed in shades of grey, and it’s really up to the reader to ask the questions, and find their own answers.
Marlene: What can we expect of the Double Helix series?
Jade: Many more roller-coaster twists and turns! The first three books of the series— Perfection Unleashed, Perfect Betrayal, and Perfect Weapon—are now available, as is the YA spin-off, When the Silence Ends. The focus of the story will start to shift from Danyael, the alpha empath and Galahad’s physical template, to Galahad himself as he defines his own humanity.
Jade: Michelangelo once described his work as a sculptor as freeing the statue that exists within the block of marble. It’s less about creating than it is revealing the art that already exists. Writing is like that for me. The story exists in my head, and the process of writing isn’t about creating, it about revealing the story and sharing it with others.
Marlene: Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn’t know to ask.
Jade: I’m a dancer! I spent years in ballet class, and then in college, joined the modern dance company and spent 40+ hours dancing in preparation for our annual spring concert. Later in life, I switched to salsa (my husband is an incredible dancer.)
Jade: David Eddings’ Belgariad series. Yes, I know it’s standard high fantasy, loaded with stereotypical characters, but darn, it was so much fun. I fell in love with the series immediately, and it would be amazing to read it again for the first time and recapture the sense of wonder.
Marlene: What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Jade: Be committed to excellence. This is true regardless of whether you’re going down the traditional route or self-publishing route. You want to put out something you’d be proud to stick your name (or pseudonym) on. Writing well takes time. You wouldn’t call someone an expert until he/she has put in thousands of hours of work (the typical range is 10,000 hours towards expertise.) Likewise, just publishing a book doesn’t make you a truly good writer. It takes time, practice, and dedication to the art.
Marlene: What projects do you have planned for the future? What is next on your schedule?
Jade: In February 2013, I’m releasing Earth-Sim. Let me share the blurb with you:
Have you ever wondered who’s really in charge of the world? If there’s a God, He seems accident-prone. How else can you explain the mass extinctions, global floods, and worldwide plagues? Are there days when you want to shout out to the uncaring sky, “Is there an intelligent, well-executed plan behind this mess?
Wonder no more. From Jade Kerrion, author of the award-winning Double Helix series, comes an occasionally whimsical, frequently irreverent romp through the history of Earth, as seen through the eyes of the two students and the android assigned to shape the future of the planet in Earth-Sim.
Seamlessly blending popular culture with history, science, and religion, this crash course in planetary management will charm and entertain as you attempt to decipher just how much is fact and what else is fiction. Either way, you finally have someone to blame for the shape our world is in.
I’m currently working on a new science fiction novel, tentatively titled City of Eternal Night. Yes, it is science fiction. It started out as a paranormal romance in my head, and as the plot expanded, it very clearly became science fiction. I can’t seem to get away from the genre…
Marlene: Now, can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Jade: A. My books are compelling and my characters addictive. My goal, as an author, is to wreck other people’s time management skills, and according to my readers, I’ve succeeded fairly well on that front.
B. My books have universal appeal. I’ve had lots of readers tell me, “I didn’t even like science fiction before I read your books, but I love them.” Well, that’s because I don’t write hard science fiction. You won’t have to know how a hyperdrive works. In most cases, you don’t even have to leave Earth behind. It’s about the characters and the challenges they face in defining themselves and defining their world.
C. Conflict and tension, physical and emotional. My books are loaded with them. 🙂
Marlene: Coffee or Tea?
Jade: Neither. Hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Jade Kerrion, author of the award-winning science-fiction/dystopian series, Double Helix, first developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too? So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren’t their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they’re not.)Places to find Jade: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+
When you choose your friends, you also choose your enemies.
Seventeen-year-old Dee wants nothing more than to help her twin brother, Dum, break free from the trauma in their childhood and speak again, but the only person who can help Dum is the alpha empath, Danyael Sabre, whom the U.S. government considers a terrorist and traitor.
The search for Danyael will lead Dee and Dum from the sheltered protection of the Mutant Affairs Council and into the violent, gang-controlled heart of Anacostia. Ensnared by Danyael’s complicated network of friends and enemies, Dee makes her stand in a political and social war that she is ill equipped to fight. What can one human, armed only with her wits and pepper spray, do against the super-powered mutants who dominate the Genetic Revolution?
America, nevertheless, is ripe for change. Exhausted by decades of belligerence between humans and their genetic derivatives, the clones, in vitros, and mutants, society is on the verge of falling apart or growing up. Which path will it choose, and can a mere human, her sassy attitude and smart mouth notwithstanding, light the way to a better future?
In her quest to help her brother become normal, Dee will learn what it means to be extraordinary. When the silence ends, the celebration of life, love, joy, and hope will inspire feet to dance and hearts to sing.