Inspired by her young son’s passion and enthusiasm for life, Jessica Cage set out to pursue her dream of being an author. Since launching her career as a Young Adult/Paranormal Fiction author in 2011, she has written six books in a series that follows teenagers as they come of age and grapple with their supernatural abilities.
The books have managed to create a special fan base among Twilight enthusiasts who long to satisfy their lust for Paranormal Fiction. Cage works tirelessly at the series and her passion is admirable.
I was lucky enough to get an interview with her. She spoke candidly to me about who and what inspires her and the lessons she’s learned so far in her career. Interview after the jump.
Tell our readers a little more about the High Arc trilogy.
The High Arc trilogy is my take on the vampire. I stray from the accepted lore in regards to the origin of the vampire. In my version they are not an evolution or genetic deformity of human. They are a species all their own, an alien species to be exact. They were forced to leave their home planet when their life course was tapped out and greed and hunger began to cause their people to turn on each other.
The story focuses on Alexa. Previously unaware of the existence of this species of vampires, she learns that she is to be their queen. It is a story of her struggle to accept her role and also her battle to maintain it. There are a lot of twist and turns included along the way. The weight of the world is on Alexa’s shoulders. She has to find the strength to carry it.
Who are your influences when it comes to writing?
To be honest, I cannot say that I have any direct influences in my writing. I know, writers are supposed to be avid readers, but sometimes it gets to the point where I am so wrapped up in my own characters, well nothing else really exists for me. I do tend to take a bit away from everything I read. I took from Stephenie Meyer and Richelle Mead the courage to step outside of the box. My vampires do not glitter, but they are not your average vampire by far. I took from Omar Tyree the want to connect with my readers. I remember reading his book Flyy Girl over and over because each time I found something new, something that I connected to. As a young girl that book spoke volumes to me and I still carry a bit of it with me.
Who are your favorite kinds of characters?
My favorite characters are powerful women, women who kick ass and don't wait for a man to step in. I think that is a theme in all of my books: women of strength. My mother is the reason I love strong women. She was a single mom of three and she did whatever it took to support us and provide for us. I want to write about strong women so that girls who read my story will be inspired to stand up for themselves and find their inner strength. I want them to realize that we don’t come out of the box as strong women, we have to build up to it. It is years of collecting, stacking, and securing those building blocks to create women of strength. If something I write can help another girl add one more block to her own pillar of strength, I have done what I set out to do.
What book are you presently reading?
Presently I am reading Empyreal Illusions by Jake Bonsignore. I am still in the beginning of the book, as I am finding little time to read, but so far I love it. I will be happy when my schedule frees up so I can dive into a little reading, I have so many books piling up on my shelves and on my Kindle.
Do you have an agent?
I would love to tell the successful story of finding and landing an agent. Unfortunately, I do not have one to tell. Not because I tried and failed, but because I never even thought to look for one. Currently I am doing the footwork myself. Eventually I may seek out an agent, it is the logical thing to do. Right now I have to admit that I am enjoying doing the dirty work myself. It is very tiring, but it is an awesome experience as well.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“Just do it.” I know it is a bit cliché but it is true, I am a horrible procrastinator and I will find just about any reason not to do the things I know I should be. I can write that blog entry later, my toe hurts!
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, whom would you choose and why?
I would say Queen Latifah. I have always loved her, and to be able to pick her brain would be amazing. It’s her versatility, how she crosses over into so many different fields and always seems to shine. I have other talents and dreams that I someday wish to explore and if I could manage to have that steady level of success and maintain a sense of pride as well, I would be thrilled. Queen Latifah is a woman of strength that girls should look up to, I looked up to her for so long and I still do.
What is your favorite word and why?
Banana for two reasons: first because I just love the way my son says it ‘banada’, and second because I always have to sing that song by Gwen Stefani when spelling it. Yes, I tend to forget how many ‘na’s to add, I am not ashamed to admit it.
What brings you joy?
My son, writing and art. I love creating things with my hands, which can mean writing a book or painting a mural. I have always been this way, as long as I can remember I have been eager to explore all different mediums of creation and I was lucky enough to have a mother who didn’t mind investing in that eagerness. One day I was a painter, the next a fashion designer, the next a singer. But it always came back to writing for me so here I am.
Nothing gives me joy like watching my son grow and explore the world. His enthusiasm for life is addictive and contagious, and I want nothing more than to encourage that in him as my mother did with me.
Jessica Cage is a Young Adult/Paranormal Fiction author. Her most recent books include Revitalized, and The High Arc: Guidance of Rasmiyah both self-published in 2012. She lives in Chicago with her son.
Filed under: Interviews