Player Profile: Jaye Ford, author of Blood Secret

Jaye Ford picJaye Ford, author of Blood Secret

Tell us about your latest creation:

My new book Blood Secret is my third thriller. It is inspired by a road rage incident my husband and I was caught up in about two years ago. A teenager harrassed and threatened us on our way to a restaurant. When we finally got there, my husband decided to go out to check on the car and I sat on my own thinking, What if he doesn’t come back. He did but that question stuck and so in Blood Secret, Max Tully goes to check on his car and doesn’t come back. What follows is a story about families and secrets and nothing being what it seems.

Blood Secret coverWhere are you from / where do you call home?:

I grew up on the North Shore of Sydney and now live at Lake Macquarie in the Hunter Valley, NSW – where Blood Secret is set!

When you were a kid, what did you want to become?  An author?:

I wanted to be lots of things, including a nurse for a long time, a nun very briefly, and a journalist. I was always a story teller – collecting other people’s and making up my own -but the idea of being an author seemed way too clever for me! It took a lot of years to get serious about it, a few more to believe I could actually do it and ten to get published. It’s never too late to realise a dream!

What do you consider to be your best work? Why?:

My family is my best work! It takes time, patience, love and determination to make it work. In terms of writing, choosing one books over another is like asking which child I love the most! Books take time, patience, love and determination too.

Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?:

I work in office under my house with a wrap-around desk, a wall of books and a white board at my back. It’s freezing in winter so I write for six months of the year under layers of clothes and a blanket. I’m both chaotic and ordered – the stuff I need is organised, neat and close to hand but I’m terrible at putting things away so the rest of the desk is cluttered with paper and notes to myself and books and … well, I don’t want to look too closely or I might have to put it away.

When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?:

I read crime when I’m not writing it! I love a good series and I’ve got collections by Lee Child, Stuart MacBride and Sue Grafton. Other favourites include Michael Robotham, Nicci French and Harlan Coban.  I like to keep my head in the genre whenever I can and have a huge to-read pile … another reason my
desk is cluttered.

What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?:

As a kid, I liked reading about strong, defiant girls who were ignoring the traditional roles of my era – the sixties and seventies. Those characters probably had a lasting effect on me and my various career choices. But in terms of story, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest was the first book I read that I didn’t want to end at the last page. It made me hungry for more of that kind of intensity and probably influences the way I write now.

If you were a literary character, who would you be?:

I’d be happy to be Kinsey Milhone, the Chardonnay drinking, VW driving private investigator in Sue Grafton’s alalphabeteries. She’s street savvy, understated, unencumbered by computers and mobile phones, and is stuck in the 1980’s – an era I have a fondness for.

Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?:

I go boating! My husband and I are out most weekends on our boat and we take it away for a couple of weeks every Christmas. I’m chief deckhand and cook, so an expert at tying ropes, hooking onto moorings, yelling at crew and providing big meals in small spaces.

What is your favourite food and favourite drink?:

Food – soup in winter, bbq in summer, a home cooked meal anytime, especially one that someone else cooks for me. Drink – coffee during the day, a good Shiraz at night.

Who is your hero? Why?:

My hero is always the man I’m currently working on. He’s not usually the main character and I don’t like him to be the perfect guy but it’s a lot of fun creating a man who’s perfect for the desperate-to-survive woman I’m writing.

Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?:

The challenge of digital publishing – the speed of it and the massive growth in titles through both traditional publishers and self published – is for authors to continue to produce good stories in less time and for readers not to be overwhelmed by choice or put off by variable standards.

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Jon Page

Jon Page is a bookseller and author of the Bite the Book Blog.