Creative Colleagues: Jaym Gates

Jaym Gates

Jaym Gates

Each week, I’ll pester one of my creative colleagues with five questions about his or her work and, if I’m feeling wicked, deeply personal issues. Most of these folks are friends, a few are secret enemies, and one has been blackmailing me for years.

Jaym Gates hugs on first meeting. So, you know, brace yourself for that.

We first met in person at Gen Con 2012, but she’d already been attached to my then-latest Pathfinder Tales novel as publicist. She did a terrific job putting me in touch with podcasters and online magazines I’d never before encountered, and the work she did for Queen of Thorns was still helping me when she’d moved on to other ventures and King of Chaos rolled around.

Speaking of King of Chaos, Jaym was the one I consulted to make sure my descriptions of the horses and unicorn seemed reasonable to a woman who’s raised and trained the magnificent beasts.

Jaym is also an accomplished writer and editor, most recently of the anthology War Stories, which is charging toward its Kickstarter goal with about another week left to achieve total victory.
1. Before we met, we “met” when I heard one of the contributors to Rigor Amortis read her story at the Pure Speculation convention here in Edmonton. Something tells me there’s a story behind your first stint as anthology editor. Care to share it?

This is a where the “Jaym’s not allowed to make jokes on the internet” thing started. A couple of friends were talking about how passe zombies were, and I made some comment about how “it’s not over until there’s a zombie erotica anthology.” Even when people started getting excited, I figured I was safe, because no publisher would ever touch it. Then someone introduced me to Erika, who had a publisher who was willing to take a chance. The rest, as they say, is history.

3. While Edge Publishing brought out your first anthology, you’re Kickstarting your latest, War Stories, for publication with another traditional publisher, Apex. What’s easier and what’s harder about taking that route?

The easiest and hardest thing are actually the same, I think: Kickstarter allows the editors or authors more control in the final product. However, that also means that we’re doing a lot more than just choosing the stories. There’s still a safety net, but it’s smaller, and there are more balls to juggle. I mean, it’s great, it’s just more nerve-wracking.

4. Once again as a publicist, do you have a short and sweet summary of advice for authors maintaining their own websites?

CONTACT INFO. I can’t emphasize that enough. I can’t tell you how many times someone’s lost out on an opportunity I wanted to give them because I couldn’t find any way to get in touch with them. It doesn’t have to be a fancy website, just name and email. Seriously. Every author website that doesn’t have an email address makes a publicist weep.

Cover by Galen Dara

Cover by Galen Dara

5. No one spends more than a couple of minutes with you without realizing you’re a warrior at heart, but as a writer what unique perspective are you bringing to the War Stories anthology?

The first part of that statement may have made my day. I think the unique perspective I bring is that of a person between the civilian and military world. I’m not military, but I’m very much influenced by many of my friends and family who are. Since one of the big problems now is that the average civilian doesn’t have any understanding of what a service member goes through, I hope my perspective might help.

6. You’re also a horsewoman. Since they are such a staple of fantasy fiction, can you offer a few helpful tips to writers on capturing horse behavior?

Horses are frequently like big dogs. If they’re raised right, they’re loving, loyal, sweet, and protective. They’re also frequently aggressive, prone to idiotic flip-outs, and goofy as hell. Each horse has a very distinct personality, so they’re an excellent way to add some color and distinction to your story.

Check out the War Stories Kickstarter and Jaym’s website.


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  1. Pingback: November newsletter: Bull Spec turns 4; NC Comicon this weekend; event updates for 2014; Kickstarters; and more | Bull Spec

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