Interview With Authors E.M. Jeanmougin and Jay Wright

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

We are E.M. Jeanmougin and Jay Wright, an American/Canadian writing duo who are currently working on our Urban Fantasy Gay Romance series The Hunter and The Spider.

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

We’ve both been long time lovers of stories of every kind– books, movies, television, theater, music. That love made us want to tell stories of our own.

# How do you deal with creative block?

As co-writers we have the unique experience of having someone intimately familiar with the workings of the story to bounce ideas off of. Sometimes you just have a block and you have to take time to recharge and it’s nice having someone else who can pick up the slack or inspire you.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Thinking you can release a book without having an editor. We know! Editors cost money! But they are so worth it. Readers will pick up on your mistakes, even if you are sure you got it all. We just finished our third book, Only The Good Die Young, and we edited the heck out of that baby. It was as good as we could get it and we wondered, did we really need to pay an editor? But we sent it to our editor and it returned with more than four thousand corrections, mostly grammar, and it’s better for it. Get an editor!

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

Look at covers of other similar books and model it after that. As long time lovers of urban fantasy and urban fantasy covers, we knew exactly what we were looking for and were so lucky to find our current artist.

For titles, we took inspiration from classic rock, which has a lot of influence in the story itself.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

No one likes to see a bad review or receive negative feedback but we try to take it in stride and not let it bring us down. There is value in criticism and we try to pay attention to what readers like and don’t like and take that information forward into our next books. Sometimes you get a negative review and you know that your story simply wasn’t for that reader and that’s fine.

# How has your creation process improved over time?

It used to be that we would write without any sort of plan, which is a great way to get creative and let the characters take the lead. Now we’re better at hammering out plot points and having a plan as we’re writing. Sometimes the characters still take that initiative and take us down a road we weren’t expecting but that just leads to more authentic writing.

# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

As the series continues, the readers’ opinions are in our mind. From reviews we’ve received we’ve learned what people like and don’t like and while the story is primarily ours and it follows the targeted path we’ve planned, we want to give our audience what they want while telling our story.

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

We both suffer from mental illness and sometimes that means that we’re too emotionally drained to have energy to write. We both understand that sometimes you have to take a break and wait for the creativity to come back. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

Ingest stories of any kind. Inspiration is all around and it’s okay and even good to draw from stories you consume. That doesn’t mean rip them off, but if you consume other people’s creative projects you will find inspiration for your own.

# What are your plans for future books?

The Hunter and The Spider series is (hopefully) going to be a thirteen book series, but we also want to explore other stories within that world. Outside of that world, we both have some other ideas we’d like to get out there but so far it’s The Hunter and The Spider all the way down.

# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

We met when we were fourteen on a Canadian neopets rip off site, bonded over terrible horror movies, and started writing together then. The Hunter and The Spider series started as a private role play between the two of us and a lot of the beats and plot points are actually from those old threads.