Author: J.A. George
Genre: YA Romance / Fantasy / Dystopian
“Why do birds fly? Why do lions hunt deer? Why does the sun shine and the moon glow? Because it must. I wish I could tell you why, I truly do. It mustn’t be easy, such pressure weighted on such young shoulders, but we do not always choose the lives we must lead.”
Avery Gray had no choice but to be different. She was not born that way; she was chosen.
After having met a special, silver-haired woman, and the handsome and enigmatic Theodore-James Connors, Ava finds herself in Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. With Theo, his friends, Hayven, her gift, and the ability to ‘travel’ in different colours, Ava must now accept that she can no longer classify herself as normal. As friendships develop, and Theo and Ava become closer than she anticipated, it turns out her new gifted life comes with a catch. With no choice or say on the matter, Ava must save a city she is starting to fall in love with; a city that has almost begun to feel like home.
J.A. George is the author of the four-part series, GIFTED: THE HAYVEN SERIES. Jessica spent years of her life reading book after book before sitting on her bed one morning, opening her laptop and typing Chapter One into her word document. Now, not only does she read book after book, she now writes book after book too. When she's not writing, she's trying to break her record of finishing a tub of Oreo ice cream in less than forty-five minutes.
You can contact her at Jess.firstname.lastname@example.org
This is going to sound odd but strangely enough, no, I didn’t. I think almost every author interview I've read, the authors say they've wanted to be authors ever since they could write, but that wasn't the case for me! I’ve always loved to read and write but I never thought it would be possible to do that as a career because for so long I’ve had the mind-set that a job isn't meant to be enjoyed, it's meant to pay the bills. Now that I'm an author, I like to believe it can do both.
2. How many hours a day do you write?
I honestly couldn't tell you! I write during my spare time and until my brain can't function properly anymore, then I call it a night.
3. Do you have a soundtrack to your book?
Haha! I wish! How cool would that be though? I should look into it…
4. What inspires your writing?
The thought that one day, a lot of people will read my book and enjoy it; honestly, that is what keeps me going. Motivationally speaking, a big bar of milk chocolate, white chocolate if my tooth is feeling particularly sweet that day.
5. Do you have a favourite author?
I always end up having favourite authorS. It just seems to depend on whoever I’m reading at that moment in time. Although, come to think of it, there is one author that has never moved from my list of favourite authors, and that's Roald Dahl – I love that creative genius.
I’m J.A. George, the author of Gifted – The Hayven Series, and I’ve been asked to write a guest blog post. I could write about anything but the proposed topic is, ‘Is it difficult to write female main characters?’ after reading this question and giving it some thought, I decided I'd rather write about this because before now, it was a question I hadn't considered before, because to me, I find that it's easier to write female main characters! I've always believed in writing about what you know, and being a female myself, I feel I know more about females than I do about males. My main character is Avery Gray (Ava) and when I first got the idea about Gifted and before I started plotting or planning anything, I knew my main character would be female.
My book revolves around a group of seven friends, four of which are female. I do enjoy writing about the males in my book and I have fun with their storylines and dialogue, but I do find it easier to write about females because I can sort of base my female characters around myself or my friends (all of which are 99% female).
None of my female characters are based solely on me (mainly because my life isn't that interesting!) but each character has one or a few traits and characteristics borrowed from me or one or two of my close friends. None of my characters are a replica of anyone I know because it is a lot more fun, interesting and challenging to make up my own characters from scratch.
I would say Ava is like me when it comes to her reactions. I try to make all of my characters as realistic as possible so readers can imagine seeing these extra-ordinary people walking down their streets on a regular Wednesday, so when it came to revealing life-changing news, I had Ava react in a way I believe I would have if I were in the same situation.
Baleigh, a female character in the group of seven, is like me in the way that sometimes I can be quite straight-forward. However, unlike Baleigh, I’m a lot softer and only speak the softened version of a harsh truth to those I'm really close with. Baleigh is a favourite of mine because she is so straight talking and prefers getting right to the point which really pushes the plot forward and in the process, often makes me chuckle.
Faye is an exaggerated version of me on a shy day. She is the typical shy girl, with glasses and freckles and is one of my absolute favourites! She’s adorable, kind-natured, with a big heart, and she is such a lovely character to build.
Peyton-Jane is also an exaggerated version of me but when it comes to day-dreaming because I am one heck of a daydreamer. If I had given her another gift, it would be control over other people's emotions because her soothing personality often puts people in a calming state, but I do believe her gift of elemental manipulation is more suited. (If you've read the book, you'll know why!)
I loved writing my female characters but I also enjoyed writing about my male characters. Writing from a male point of view is not something I've tried but is perhaps a challenge I will accept in the future.