Today I’d like to introduce you to Jaycee Weaver, my fellow CIR author. Welcome Jaycee! Would you like to tell us about yourself?
Hi! I’m Jaycee Weaver, and I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico with my wonderful husband and three daughters, a shih-tzu named Oscar, and a dwarf lop named Brindle. I have more hobbies than any ten people I know put together—and that’s only a mild exaggeration. But seriously, there are a LOT. My current passions, aside from writing, are floral and landscape photography, singing, reading (way, way too much), cooking and baking fresh, whole foods from scratch, and basically anything having to do with my kids. I also craft pretty much anything except needlepoint or knitting. The only needles I can manage go in my sewing machine.
You sound like one busy lady! As for your books … you have a relatively new book out, and a new release due shortly. We’ll get you to tell us about them, but first, three questions. Firstly, who are your favourite authors, and why?
Oh my goodness, this is a hard question. I love it, though, because I’m an avid reader with a voracious appetite for stories and always have been. For specifics, you can get on my GoodReads profile and see the books I’ve read, though there’s no way that’s complete.
I love a variety of authors in different genres. Mary Higgins Clark for a good murder mystery, Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti for creepy spiritual suspense, and what reader doesn’t appreciate the genius of Rowling, Tolkien, Lewis, Dumas, and Austen? BUT, if I have to list my current favorites, you’ll probably see a lengthy list of independent, lesser-known authors. The first year Amazon unveiled their Kindle Unlimited subscription, I drank the koolaid and haven’t looked back! It’s been a great way to discover authors like Jenn Faulk, Jennifer Rodewald, Brooke St. James, Crystal Walton, and Sarah Monzon, to name just a few. I love these ladies’ writing styles so much that as soon as they drop a book, I’m reading it. I love discovering talented writers and the indie writing community is such an amazing place!
Ha ha ha! You drank the koolaid! I wonder how many people will get that … I say it here in Oz sometimes, but just get blank stares! Anyway, onwards we go. Where are your books set? Have you been there or spent significant time there?
My books are all set in Albuquerque, NM and surrounding areas. I have no plans to set them elsewhere, honestly. Though I was born in Henderson, NV (just outside Vegas) and lived there until I was 14, Albuquerque is the hometown of my heart. I fell in love with this city right after moving here.
I love the culture, the landscape, the weather, the food. I love the people, even if there’s more crime and negativity sometimes than my heart can handle. And despite its reputation (thanks Breaking Bad), this quirky little city is burrowed so deep in my heart it’ll never get out. I love the Sandia Mountains, and you can argue all you want, but there’s nowhere else in the world with prettier skies all year round. They’re magical.
And did I mention the food? Yeah, because it’s awesome. We put green chile on everything around here—even the fast food chains know they’d better offer it! Oh—and that’s chile with an e. Chile is the vegetable that we roast, chop, make sauces with, and pledge our undying adoration for. Chili is the tomato-meat-bean stuff Texans are famous for.
I use a lot of chili too! Love my jalapeños! Last question … do you write from your own experiences, or do you simply sit down and make stuff up?
This is such a great question! Good books should be engaging and feel authentic to the reader. My books are definitely a little bit of me and lot of making stuff up. One of the authors I follow posted something awhile ago that she feels like she’s just a stenographer for the dialogue going on in her head between characters. That made me laugh, but it’s true.
A lot of writers claim to be a plotter or a panster, meaning they plan out their plots and write accordingly, or open a doc and just type by the seat of their pants. I’d have to say I’m somewhere in between. For What Could Be, I had some past memories of kids I used to work with in daycare and I began to think of different characters who might live out random alternate paths my life could have taken. Once I started writing, everything just seemed to come out my fingers on the keyboard. With Whatever Comes Our Way, I felt like I really wanted to tell the story of one of the sub characters from book one, and she started showing up in my head telling me all about herself. I structured a whole outline of what I wanted her story to look like, but then when I sat down to write, everything changed. Several times.
That’s always the way for me too … planning is good, but you’ve also got to go with the flow sometimes. Now–about your books.
What Could Be is my first full length novel and the first in the Everyday Love Series. It’s a sweet Christian romance about a young woman named Brynn. She’s got big goals and lists to help her achieve them. She’s the kind of overachiever who’s always had her life figured out…until she realizes maybe she’s going the wrong direction. Her college major suddenly seems less appealing, she starts noticing her perfect boyfriend isn’t so perfect, and everything is spinning out of her control. Did I mention she runs an after-school program at a local elementary school?
Enter Josh, the single father of the most adorable boy Brynn has ever met. A series of random encounters leads to a friendship of sorts. His past has been redeemed, but he still wonders if someone as innocent as Brynn could ever fall for a guy with his history. Can they move their friendship beyond past choices and pain and figure out what it truly means to walk in God’s will for their lives—especially when finding love and forever doesn’t look like they think it should?