When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.
Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.
In honor of the release of the 3rd installment of The Ilyon Chronicles, Samara's Peril, I have the pleasure of sharing a little author interview I did with Jaye. I wanted to ask a few questions that gave us a truly behind-the-scenes peek into the life and mind of this talented woman. Enjoy!
What was the very first moment that the idea for Ilyon was born? Was it a character, an image, a line?
(Jaye) It was on page 206 of DragonQuest by Donita K. Paul. Yes, I did just go and hunt it up. What a rush of memories! It was the moment where it’s discovered the my favorite character in the series is half-blooded. It’s odd that it jumped out at me the way it did. It’s not like I had never written about half-blooded characters before. But something about the moment made me pause and idea for Jace began forming in my mind. Within about 24 hours, I started writing Resistance. It all happened that fast.
(Grace) That's wonderful, sometimes great journeys are begun at a moment's notice. But then you look back and realize a lot of little moments and experiences were leading up to this point of creating something beautiful. Ilyon was a seed in your heart that was just waiting for the right time to bloom. And your fans are so glad that it did!
Who is your favorite book character that you have ever written? This includes characters from your previous two series Pirates of Faith and Makilien Trilogy.
(Jaye) Jace. Definitely Jace. While I do adore many of my other characters, such as almost everyone in Ilyon Chronicles, Sirion from Makilien, and Justin and Kyle from my Pirates books, I don’t think any character will ever top Jace. There’s something special about him and how I relate to him. Probably because so much of him came from difficult periods of my life. I think he will always mean more to me personally than any other character.
(Grace) I have read all of your series and I would have picked Jace as your favorite. There is an emotional depth to him that is unlike any of your other characters. No one makes me feel as much as Jace does, I have literally felt painful and sick over him. But he also brings me great joy. I, along with many of your other fans love him so much.
If a character from one of your favorite TV shows could make a guest appearance in Ilyon, who would it be and why? What would they do?
(Jaye) Oh my, so many choices. I think Daryl from The Walking Dead (yes, I am a Walking Dead fan) would fit in well with the Resistance group. He’s a lot like Jace, actually. A broken individual with a great heart. They would probably get along really well. He would definitely be a good asset to them. Another part of me gets positively gleeful at the thought of Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist going up against Emperor Daican. I think he would drive Daican insane. For all Blacklist fans, would that not be delightful to see?
(Grace) *heads to google to look up shows that she has never seen* Awesome!
What's your go-to writing snack?
(Jaye) Sadly, I haven’t discovered one yet since I went gluten free. It’s not as easy to find quick snacks like that. But, before I had to go GF, my favorite writing snack was cheddar Combos pretzels. I miss them SO MUCH.
(Grace) You have my sympathy, food is one of the best things in the world.
What's the hardest experience in your personal life that you in turn put into your writing?
(Jaye) I come from a special needs family. My youngest brother has Asperger’s syndrome and OCD. It has led to some very difficult times for us as a family. This is along with a lot of medical problems I’ve had to deal with over the last several years (which I’ve thankfully figured out now). I’ve had times where I’ve really struggled with depression and feeling hopeless. A lot of that has gone into writing Jace’s character because I can more fully understand and feel his emotions because of what I’ve experienced.
(Grace) I can sympathize with you a bit on that note. I will say though, sometimes the greatest trials and hard moments can be turned into a gift that upholds and uplifts a lot of other people. I have personally been deeply touched by your characters and your stories, and I know others have as well. Praise God that He gives us the gift of turning our dark moments into treasures of truth and hope. We, your fans, thank you so much for sharing what is truly part of your soul. Thank you so much for the hours upon hours of time you spend in creating this world of Ilyon. We appreciate your stories, and we appreciate you, Jaye. Congratulations on the release of Samara's Peril, it is a magnificent book and I cannot wait for the next one!