Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Interview: Jami Gray and Marked By Obsession

So today is kinda special. It's been a long time since I've had an interview on the blog, and there's a bit of karmic justice at work here for this one. See, I've known Jami Gray since we both published with Black Opal Books, and she's one of the first writers I got to be friends with. I love both her series - The Kyn Kronicles and PSY-IV Teams - and I'm so excited to be able to help her celebrate her newest release. With that in mind, join me in welcoming Jami to the blog!

LR: What’s the most compelling thing about Marked by Obsession, the thing that’s kept your butt in the chair through hours of writing and revising?

JG: For me this is a two part answer—from a professional standpoint and a creative one. Professionally what keeps me writing are: contractual deadlines and my readers. Having a signed contract, complete with a nifty deadline, means that my editors expect a full fledge story in their precious hands by an agreed upon date. If I fail to deliver, I not only renege on my promise to deliver, but I fail my promise to be an author-partner in this business relationship. And then there is the next important group, my readers, who I try very, very hard not to disappoint. I’m a series writer, and I also happen to be an avid reader, so I get how frustrating it is to have to wait for an eternity (okay, a year or more) for the next fix in your reading addiction. I don’t like to leave my readers hanging, but I’m getting ready to juggle three series (one not yet released) so I have to do this nifty dance between my writing projects, editing cycles and release dates to ensure I get at least two books out a year. It ain’t easy, but it’s my thing.  

     That same inability to not finish what I started, keeps me going creatively as well. Again, series writer here, so once I start a series, I want to write the whole shebang. Since the PSY-IV Teams focuses on each team member, I have at least seven books planned, maybe eight if I decide to brave Col. Delacourt.

LR: Oooh! Col. Delacourt would be a handful! ;)  Now, I think each book is a little like a child, with their own personalities and quirks. How does Marked by Obsession compare with the other books in your PSY-IV series?

JG: I so agree with you on that, and like our kiddos, each as a distinct personality. Part of that personality originates with whatever personal challenge I set for myself. For example, the first book, HUNTED BY THE PAST, came about because I wanted to try my hand at weaving paranormal romance with romantic suspense, with a sprinkling of military, and a dash of first person POV. Then Tag’s book, TOUCHED BY FATE, came into fruition because I wanted to explore just how flexible is a person’s moral line when something intrinsic to their lives is at stake. For MARKED BY OBSESSION, my goal was to find out how a normal, introverted woman with no psychic abilities, no military training, could handle being thrown into the chaotic mix of espionage while trying to handle a male of the highest alpha order. And to make it just a bit more fun, she can’t cuss. At. All. 

LR: You wrote a character who didn't cuss? Not sure I could do saw on your website that one of your goals for 2017 is to do a series of blog posts on your favorite authors and series. Care to give us a preview? Who will you be starting with?

JG: I’d love to. Every year I try something different with my blog, just to keep it interesting. Back in 2012 I decided to pull up my big girl panties and reach out to all those fantastically wonderful authors (big names, small names, mid names) I was devouring at an atomic pace, and see if I could lure them to my website to answer a few questions. I kept it up for just over a year and loved every minute of it. (I’ll let you in on a secret, those authors you fan-girl or boy over, they’re really nice and won’t snarl and snap to come visit.) This year, I was trying to figure out how to share my excitement over various books as a reader, because there’s some baggage tied to authors reviewing other authors. I had updated my newsletter to include picks from my Goodreads shelves, but figured my blog would be a great place to get into more detail. So I decided it was time to go back to all those interviews, and update my followers with the latest—am I still reading the series? Why do I like it so much? Any new news on the horizon for this author? And then link back to the original interview so my followers could get a peek at the personality behind the books. The first post goes live Jan. 19th and I’m going to try to follow the order of the interviews. First up is C.E. Murphy who’s the master mind behind a number of awesome series including, URBAN SHAMEN, the first in the Walker Papers. She’s starting a new contemporary romance under Murphy Lawless and RAVEN HEART is the first in her Alaskan Totems Billionaire Shifters series. One of the best things a reader can do for an author is spread the word about their books, so I’m trying to do my part. (And yes, Liv, you’re on the list too!)

LR: Whee! I'm looking forward to it. So - next question - if Hollywood calls and asks for the rights to Marked by Obsession, who would you cast in the lead roles?

JG: Oh these types of questions are the hardest. Hang on…um…okay, as a writer I do use photos for character inspiration. I’ll admit that Wolf’s physical character is drawn from Vin Diesel, and Meli’s is from Ophelia Lovibond (she played Kitty in ELEMENTARY a few years back). But acting wise, I’d have to go with Jeremy Reiner or Tom Hardy for Wolf and yeah, I think Ophelia would have to stay as Meli.

LR: Clutter or quiet? Describe your perfect writing situation.

JG: (giggling) Um, I’m a tad OCD (CDO for those of us in the know), so no clutter can threaten my writing kingdom. Which is much more difficult that you’d expect since I share my office with my Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor who tends to attract chaos. I can do quiet, but I tend to write to music, mainly soundtracks lately. My Mac would have to be there, coffee would be on the sidelines awaiting its cue, and the view…I would love to have a view of forests, but I’m relegated to the cul-de-sac I live in. But my Scrivener background is a beautiful pic of a creek in the mountains.

LR: How to you juggle all your hats (spouse, parent, worker-bee, housekeeper, writer)?

JG: Juggle is a great way to put it. Here’s the thing, as I continue to split my time between a day job, trying to finish raising two teen boys, be a wife to a gamer addict, herder of two fluffy labs, and write, some things tend to have to take a backseat for a bit. I treat my writing like a second job, so time management becomes key for me. Reading will slide to the back when I’m in the midst of a project. Cooking never makes it to the front, so Knight picks up the slack there (thankfully!). The good thing about teens is they’re in the midst of creating their own worlds and when they emerge, I try and jump in to remind them I’m still alive.

LR: What’s your favorite non-writing activity? Like, are you a closet marathon runner? Could you crochet a house-cozy if you had to? Maybe you secretly want to appear on Antiques Roadshow?

JG: If I could squeeze in one more thing, I’d be hitting the pavement and haunting antique shops, especially old bookstores. If I was really courageous and had the time and finances, I’d be trekking my way through all the modern day ruins that dot our country. There’s something about seeing bits and pieces of history that does it for me. I’m a huge history buff. I was so bummed when I finally made it to New Orleans one year for a writing conference, but didn’t have time to do the plantation or swamp tours.

LR: What’s next on your horizon? Describe your current WIP(s) or other upcoming project.

JG: Well, I’m currently doing the last of my writer edits on the fifth Kyn book, SHADOW’S DREAMS, so I can turn it over to my editor by end of January. Once that’s off my desk, I’m diving into my next project, the second book in a planned four book romantic suspense set against a post-apocalyptic background. It centers around four nomadic vigilantes who are determine to hold what’s left of their piece of civilization together against the circling predators focused on tearing it all apart. The first book is currently making its’ way through the submission rounds and facing down editorial reviews, so I’m hoping responses will be forthcoming in the next few months. Book 2 should take up the next four or five months, and then I shall amble around Dublin, Edinburgh, and London for a few weeks with my clan before coming back and starting the next project. If the writing/publishing schedule holds true, the next Kyn book should be out at the end of the year. 

Marked by Obsession, PSY-IV Team #3

Some betrayals hide behind love, others obsession...
The loss of her beloved brother and a series of unexplained events plunges Meli Dwyer into a dangerously unfamiliar reality. Alone and floundering, she turns to the sexy and unsettling Wolf Kincaid, PSY-IV Team’s skilled telepath, for help even as her battered heart whispers to steer clear of a man more dangerous than what hunts her.
Will Meli find the answers to her personal nightmare before one man’s obsession costs her the heart of another?

Available in paperback or e-book at:
Or anywhere books are sold!

Muse It Publishing     -     Amazon     -     B&N     -     Kobo

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothedwith coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head. 

Hunt her down at:      -       Twitter     -     Facebook     -     Goodreads


  1. (huge hugs) Thank you, Liv for letting me come over. I loved your questions and had a blast with the answers!

    1. Any time! I hope your release is going well. :)

  2. Oh BOY another Jami Gray series!
    Hi Liv, glad to touch base again.

    1. Hi Mona! Thanks for checking in. Doesn't Jami's new one look good?

    2. Hey Mona! Yep, I'm throwing another book out there. I'm so glad you came by!

  3. Great interview ladies. You don't have to convince me, I'm a huge Jami Gray fan. HUGE.

    1. I agree, Nana. I love her books!

    2. Aww, Nana, you always make me blush. You guys are the freakin' best!