Rebecca Jaycox grew up in the tiny town of Berryman, which borders the Mark Twain National Forest and the Courtois River about 70 miles south of St. Louis. The beautiful landscape fed her imagination, and she began writing stories at age 10 and never stopped. Always seeking adventure, Rebecca moved to France after she graduated college with a journalism degree to teach English at a French high school. Bitten by the travel bug, she has recently visited Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, and finally made it to her bucket-list destination of Istanbul last summer. Rebecca now lives in New York City with her husband, Gregory. She is the curator and program director of the YA Lit Series at the 92nd Street Y—one of New York’s premier cultural centers. She enjoys reading and writing fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction. The Other Inheritance is her first novel.
Blog URL: www.rebeccajaycox.com
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaLJaycox
PJ: Tell me a little about yourself
Rebecca: I grew up in the tiny town of Berryman, Missouri. Basically, my house was in the Mark Twain National Forest. As an only child growing up in the country, I had to find ways to entertain myself. My cats became generals in my armies, and the green acorns in my yard became priceless emeralds on my treasure hunts. My desire for adventure just matured as I got older, and I went to live in France after I graduated college. From there I migrated to NYC, and I’ve been there for 10 years.
PJ: What’s your current guilty pleasure?
Rebecca: Binge watching TV shows! Netflix has really ruined me. I’m impatiently waiting for the final season of Sons of Anarchy, and I’m going to start House of Cards soon.
PJ: Aside from writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Rebecca: Travel! I travel as much as I can. Last year I went to Greece, Italy, and France. This year I’m hoping to go to Prague. The places I visit really help inspire my writing. I think visiting other places and experiencing new cultures is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?
Rebecca: Before my book was released, I went back to my hometown and met with three 7th and 8th grade classes. My former teacher is still teaching and invited me to talk to the kids about following their dreams. I had such a great time, and the students were wonderful. When I had a signing in my hometown, one of the kids I’d met, Hunter, had created a sandwich board with my book cover on it and marched in front of the signing venue I was at inviting people in. It was one of the coolest things anyone has done for me.
PJ: With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?
Rebecca: Hmm, that’s a tough question. My YA fantasy is definitely on the mature end of the spectrum. And I think my work is unique in the way my heroine Reggie deals with her mother who is an alcoholic. A lot of parents are absent in YA fiction, but Reggie’s parents are always present in some way. Her family life has really affected who she is and what she’s capable of.
PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?
Rebecca: Be persistent. It will happen for you. It takes time, a lot of rejection, and a thick skin, but it will happen. And make sure to keep editing your manuscript. “The Other Inheritance” went through six drafts before I shopped it around. Your manuscript must be as polished as humanly possible.
PJ: What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?
Rebecca: Social media is a great tool. I’m very active on FB and Twitter and will soon be moving into the world of Instagram. I also think it’s incredibly helpful to advertise with book services who have a wide reach, like the Fussy Librarian.
PJ: What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?
Rebecca: Finding a way to keep my FB posts and tweets fresh and clever. I want to draw in new readers, and you almost need a degree in marketing to keep the copy fresh.
PJ: Your favorite books and author?
Rebecca: I have several! I have so many series to keep up with, it’s bordering on crazy. For urban fantasy, I go right to Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs. I also love Anne Bishop’s new “Courtyard” series. Maggie Stiefvator, Susan Ee, Marissa Meyer, Laini Taylor, and Sarah J. Maas are auto buy for YA for me. I can’t forget Neil Gaiman or Robin McKinley. There are more, many more, but I’ll stop for now.
PJ: Which genres do you prefer to read?
Rebecca: I read a lot of what I write: YA, fantasy, science fictions, urban fantasy, and steampunk.
PJ: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Rebecca: I love Marissa Meyer’s “Lunar Chronicle” series along with Sarah J. Maas’ “Throne of Glass” series.
PJ: What book is currently on your nightstand?
Rebecca: My Nook is currently on my nightstand, so no actual book, but I am reading “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black.
PJ: Are there any particular books and/or authors that inspired you and continue to do so?
Rebecca: Strangely enough, Colleen McCullough and Catherine Cookson. They taught me that when it comes to what you put your characters through, why go for the kill when you can go for the pain. I also loved the Gothic novel, “Rebecca.” It taught me how to set a mood.
PJ: How many books do you read/month?
Rebecca: I really try for four a month. That’s my goal. Reading helps me write.
PJ: What is the one book that you think everyone should read?
Rebecca: “A Tale of Two Cities.”
PJ: Do you have an all time favorite book?
Rebecca: I really don’t. I know it’s lame, but it’s the truth.
PJ: How important do you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?
Rebecca: I do reply to their messages. I think it’s important to let your readers know that you appreciate them.
PJ: Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?
Rebecca: Depends on my mood. Tweeting is sometimes the easier way to get maximum impact.
PJ: Where can your fans find you?
PJ: Do you have a local independent bookseller you’d like to mention?
Rebecca: I have two! Books of Wonder in NYC and The Book House in St. Louis
PJ: Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:
Rebecca: Seventeen-year-old Reggie has been having a tougher time than usual. As if dealing with her alcoholic mother and fighting school bullies isn’t enough, this biker dude shows up in her dreams, babbling about magic and a world called the Other.
Then, in biology class, her finger brushes a dead frog set out for dissection and it leaps off the table, scaring everyone, including her.
Reggie’s life is changing, and she has no idea why. Or whether she should believe the man in her dreams, who claims she’s in danger and that someone is coming to take her to a safer reality. But if there’s one thing she’s learned, nowhere is safe.
PJ: Are you working on anything new and if so when can we expect to see it?
Rebecca: I’m currently working on the sequel to “The Other Inheritance.” I hope to release it next year. Fingers crossed!
PJ: Is there anything else you’d like to share to your followers and readers?
Rebecca: First, I’d like to thank them for their support and secondly, I’d like to encourage them to leave a review. Reviews help out authors so much!