Rummanah Aasi
  Today I'm very excited to introduce you to Jayne Fordham! Jayne is a registered psychologist in Australia as well as a freelance writer. I also run a book review blog at  The Australian Bookshelf  and a writing resource site at Sydney Health Writer. Her debut fantasy/romance novel, A Season of Transformation, was released this year. Help me welcome Jayne to my blog!

Here is the book cover and description:

A Season of Transformation is a young adult fantasy/ romance novel set in the contemporary world. It is the story of five young people drawn together to complete a Quest, to protect their town from destruction. In order to defeat the story’s villain, Maxvale, the five virtual strangers must come together and not only forge a bond of trust but become proficient with the ‘abilities’ temporarily bestowed upon them.

In the midst of the lead up to the battle each of the young people has their own personal struggles they are trying to deal with. Lucas, an adopted and bitter teenager struggles to become the person he wants to be whilst developing feelings for Makenna, a rich kid who doesn’t like his attitude. Bonnie is a ‘gothic’ that is dealing with an alcoholic father, Ben the school nerd and Adam the class clown are trying to break free from their high school stereotypes. Can these five teens put their differences aside to defeat Maxvale and save their town?

Welcome and thank you for stopping by my blog, Jayne. Season of Transformation is a story of five teens, from different walks of life, who are trying to save their town. You’ve described it as a young adult fantasy/ romance novel set in the contemporary world. Can you tell us what inspired to write this story and how you became a writer?

Thank you for having me, Rummanah! Well, I’m not sure when I ‘became a writer’ but I have always been a bit of a bookworm and enjoyed writing. I wrote many short stories as a kid, kept diaries and wrote letters to friends. When I hit my late teens and went off to University I found less time to read and write. In my early 20’s I started writing again. I can’t really recall why, but I got back into reading and thought- I should write something myself. I started writing short stories and drafting a couple of novels but I just couldn’t come up with something that was really interesting. I was writing a lot of chic lit and I just found it a bit boring. Then I read the Twilight series, probably my first encounter with the fantasy genre. Now I am hooked! It inspired me to add something new to my usual romance novels and to bulk up the plot a bit more. I began to think about the characters and then I had the vision of the box that the teens stumble upon where there abilities were evoked. From there I rapidly jotted down my thoughts and completed the first draft in three months! It took two long years to revise the manuscript (with a little procrastination) so it was ready for publication.

Wow, a first draft in three months! It takes me that long just to come up with an idea. Each of your characters has their own struggles to contend with before tackling the big bad. Which character do you relate to the most? 

That’s a good question. I guess I mostly relate to the protagonist Makenna. She is caring, wants to do the right thing and looks for the good in people. She is also curious about people and as a psychologist; I tend to have those qualities too. But I’m probably not as assertive as Makenna. There are parts of her that I would like to see in myself such as her confidence to stand up to the people around her. I am also quite shy when it comes to meeting new people, so I also relate to Bonnie a bit in that respect.

They all sound like great people and I relate to pretty much all of them in one form or the other. I’m curious about Maxvale, the villain of your story. I love to hate a good villain. Without spoiling your book, what can tell you tell us about him? What does he want? 

Well, Brian Maxvale was a wealthy man in the early 18th century who resided in Catherine Vale, where the teens now reside. He was accused of a horrendous crime and when he was executed he vowed to return every one hundred years to seek revenge on the town. The teens learn that their ancestors fought Maxvale in 1911 when he returned and so they were now preparing Makenna and her friends about the mission for 2011. The only problem is they have no idea what form his spirit will take and how to defeat him.

Hmm..he definitely sounds sinister! What made you decide to write “Season of Transformation” for young adults?

The young adult genre was new to me and I thought High School and the individual differences of the teens would be a nice starting point for the plot I had in mind. The underlying message for teenagers is not to judge their peers by what they wear, who they hang out with or what they look like because you could be missing out on a valuable friendship.

That's a great message. I can't tell you how many friends I have that are so different from me. Our differences make us interesting. In addition to being a writer, you are also a registered psychologist in Australia. Has being a psychologist influenced your writing your characters at all? 

Yes, I guess it has in a way. I had an image in my mind of how I wanted the characters to be at the beginning of the story. From there I had to work my way back through their lives to figure out how they got to that point. I suppose psychology came into it then and helped me to work out each of the characters’ conflicts and how they would grow throughout the story. Mostly, writing is a way for me to get away from the seriousness of my everyday work and escape into another (fantasy) world. *Smiles*

That's the hardest part of writing for me: trying to figure out how to write the middle or transformation of the character. I know the beginning and end, but getting to the end is the tricky part. Like me, you are an avid reader and have your own book review blog. What types of books do you enjoy reading? 

I have an eclectic taste in reading and will read pretty much anything except erotica and horror (I am a scaredy cat!) novels. Most recently I have read a lot of paranormal, fantasy, Australian literature, historical romance and even outback romance novels.

I didn't even know there was such books like outback romance novels! Because I'm always curious as to what people are reading, I wanted to know what you have on your TBR pile right now?

Three random books on my shelf are: Tempted by P.C & Kristen Cast, Power Unbound by Nicole Murphy (Australian SciFi author) and Fallen by Lauren Kate.

You weren't kidding about your eclectic taste. *Laughs*  What are some things that you must have in order to write? 

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a granny, but a cup of tea and a bite of chocolate usually gets me motivated to sit down and start typing. I also need a tidy desk or I find ways to procrastinate. On sunny days I like to sit outside with a pen and notebook and seek inspiration that way.

You can't really go wrong with chocolate. I'm convinced it's a cure for anything. So many authors have a playlist of music they listened to while they write. Do you have one?

Nah I can’t listen to music and write. It’s funny, I can read a book whilst watching television and listening to music or cooking dinner but I can’t write with those distractions- it gets me off track.

I can read while listening to music but not watching tv, but I can how distracting it can be. Besides writing, what do you like to do? What are your hobbies and interests?

I play soccer for a local women’s competition, it’s a lot of fun but it’s also quite rough and I tend to walk away with many bruises and grazes!I also love hanging out with my dog Buddy, he’s a lot of fun and makes me laugh everyday.Obviously reading is a hobby of mine too. *Smiles* Oh and I have become hooked on the ‘Words with Friends’ app on my Iphone! A little sad I know…

No, not sad but normal. *Smiles* Thank you again, Jayne, for taking the time to introducing yourself to my readers and to your writing. I had a great time chatting with you.

Thanks Rummanah, it has been a pleasure chatting with you!

To learn more about Jayne and read the first two chapters of A Season of Transformation for free, please visit her website. You also find her on Twitter, and Goodreads.

GIVEAWAY: Readers, Jayne has been very kind in providing ebook for one lucky reader. This giveaway is open internationally. You do not have to follow my blog, but it is appreciated. To enter, please comment on this post with your name/alias along with an email so I can contact you and Jayne if you win. This giveaway will end June 17th at 10 PM EST. The winner will be selected by and announced on my blog on June 18th. Good luck! 
7 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Chocolate is a must at all times. I don't know what I'd do without it:) I love hearing what characters authors relate to the most, I always wonder how much of themselves they put into certain individuals! Fabulous interview Rummanah and Jayne!

  2. Vivien Says:

    Another great contemporary read. I've been missing out on these lately. I'd be very interested :)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  3. It's sounds like a very interesting read and I'd like to try my luck :))

    Farida Mestek

  4. I love the sound of this book :)

    Hannah T

  5. alexandra Says:

    This sounds like a fascinating read. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

  6. Feverish Reader Says:

    This sounds like a great summer read.


  7. Angie Says:

    This looks amazing!

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