Today I’m interviewing Paper Angel Press author L. A. Jacob. L. A. Jacob (also writing as Jake Logan) has been writing fiction for over 30 years. She has been involved with Ceremonial Magic, Wicca and Paganism, and now considers herself Unitarian.
She’s published four books in the Grimaulkin series and, as Jake Logan, the first volume in the War Mage series.
Today, she’s talking about the Grimaulkin series. So far, there are four books in the series:
Grimaulkin, Book One, 142 pages, was published in February 2017.
Grimaulkin Tempted, Book Two, came out in December 2017 and is 202 pages long.
Grimaulkin Redeemed, Book Three, published in February 2018, is 180 pages long.
Grimaulkin Tales, published on May 1, 2019, is a collection of short stories and is 202 pages long.
Now, the interview:
Why did you decide to write this series?
I have always been interested in using magic in the real world. I am a practicing magician and believe that magic does really work.
I first created Grimaulkin in an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game. I wanted to play a man because it was known at the time that if I played a female in this game, I was either looking for a relationship or the male players would not take me seriously.
I decided on a gay man because there weren’t enough gay players in the game. By role-playing a character who happened to like men and could be taken seriously as a gamer, I could explore the male dominated world of gaming.
I really liked Grimaulkin’s attitude and found that he was a “love him or hate him” kind of guy. I took him out of the gaming universe and put him in my own, to try and solve some of my own problems and issues.
What genre is your series?
It’s young adult fantasy, not necessarily urban fantasy because it’s not as dark and gritty as urban fantasy. It can also fall under young adult LBGTQ fantasy.
Do you consider your books character-driven or plot-driven?
Mostly character-driven. If I am not pressed for time, I will set the characters up and let them duke it out on their own. However, I often will end up down rabbit holes or I will write myself into a corner.
What makes your series unique?
Other than possibly Dumbledore, there aren’t too many serious gay magicians. Grim has been through a dark past and is a stronger man for it, even if he is somewhat amoral at times.
Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?
If I’m pressed for time, or have a deadline, I try to loosely plot out my stories. When I want to feel old fashioned, I set up index cards—when I’m new-fangled, I use the index card feature in Scrivener, where I usually write my first drafts.
Regardless, I always at least have an end-point in mind before I write.
How do you develop the names for your characters?
Grimaulkin is a misspelling of Grimalkin, which is the cat that belongs to the three witches in Macbeth. It’s also a word that means “old female gray cat”. I have three books of names, and also use the Beyond the Name websites for first names and surnames.
As an aside, I named my first petite gray cat Grimalkin, but my husband misheard it and thought it was “Grey Mountain.” The name stuck.
How do you decide on the setting?
I write what I know. I grew up in the area that the book takes place in. I even pass by “Scott’s store”. It used to be a place called the Curly Caterpillar, where I bought my first deck of tarot cards at 15. It is now a coffee shop.
Do you have a writing mentor?
No, I never did. I have a degree in English and Communications, with the idea that I was going to be a journalist. I have a minor in Cultural Anthropology, because I decided I wanted to have that under my belt to write science-fiction and develop other fantastic cultures. When I got out of college, I ended up working as an admin at a newspaper until it closed, and found myself in different administrative jobs instead of my chosen field. I had no place, no other writers to involve myself with.
What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?
I try to write nightly, but I am a news junkie who listens to news from the time I get home until 7 pm, and by then, I’m too tired. Most of my writing is done on the weekends now. My favorite place to write is in my cellar, on my iMac using Scrivener. I don’t have any distractions but mail and the internet. I also have Scrivener on my Windows computer located in my official “office”, but I have a game that can distract me on that computer. If I have to get something done, I do it on the Mac.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Writing is a magical experience. When you’re in that zone, that place where your world has fallen away and you’re typing or writing something that seems to be coming from on high, then that is magic. But before you get there, you have to work and write earthy stuff.
Where can readers find you?
A few places. There’s my author page on the Paper Angel Press website.
And my websites: