Q & A with author Jaymee Jacobs

Can you be close friends with someone you’ve never met? I think so! Jaymee Jacobs is my good friend and writing buddy. Even though we’ve never met in person, we’ve shared our problems, our triumphs, and most of all, our love of hockey and hockey stories. My novella, Fresh Air, resulted from a bet I had with Jaymee – as well as the inability of the Canucks to defeat the Penguins.

I initially met Jay on Blogger, where she was the reigning queen of a serialized fiction group. Her stories were exciting, realistic, steamy and most of all, literate. I started reading her stories, and one day I emailed her about some issue on her blog and as Humphrey Bogart said, it was “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Because we believe our hockey books would appeal to the same readers, we decided to do a little cross-promotion, and interview each other. Besides, it’s fun to turn the tables and talk about someone else's writing.

Jaymee’s first book, Play The Man, is the story of Jenna, who is torn between two men. Both are extremely hot NHL superstars, so it’s not the worst dilemma a girl ever had to face. The book explores the emotional dynamics of a love triangle in a very believable way. If you havent read it yet, do check it out.

And now, Jaymee has a new book out: Shots on Net. Although I got to read the first version during the editing process, I’m currently reading the book again and I have to say, it’s really different. It’s a romance, yet the characters are completely believable. They are normal people with dreams and aspirations, who have to struggle to achieve their goals. Kevin is an attractive and intelligent hockey player, striving to make his dream of reaching the NHL even when the odds are stacked against him. Shannon is a character many of us could identify with, she’s a romantic idealist who is happiest when she’s reading a good book. Shots on Net explores both the romance and realities of being in your twenties and trying to create a fully-realized life. So without further ado, here's our Q & A session:

Q: Your new book, Shots on Net, is about the AHL. Have you been to a lot of AHL games, and how do they differ from NHL games? And how are AHL players different?

A: Believe it or not, but I've never had the pleasure of going to an AHL game. I can't seem to find anyone to take the road trip with me to see the farm teams. But I've always been curious about the AHL and the development of hockey players. There's something special about a player who grinds it out and works their way up to the NHL. It takes a lot of dedication, ambition, and practice to make the leap from juniors/college/the minors, whereas players with pure talent seem to transition straight into the NHL.

Q: I agree 100% with you on that, players who had a tough road to the NHL seem to appreciate everything more and work hard every single shift. Shots on Net is also about unfulfilled dreams. Which would you say is more important: a fulfilling career or a relationship with Mr. Right?

A: Definitely a more fulfilling career. You see, I don't think it's possible to feel "fulfilled" by a person. A significant other can make you feel loved, special, and important, but he/she can't make you feel purposeful. That only comes from pursing your own interests and dreams. I've learned from personal experience that, while the emotions another person can give you or make you feel are wonderful, those emotions don't last. The feeling of accomplishment, however, sticks with you.

Q: Another important part of the book is the fact that Shannon is a keen reader, and loves to read romances. Who are your favourite writers? What genres of books do you like to read?

A: Oh man. To answer this question succinctly is impossible. Basically, I enjoy most genres. My favorite stories involve ones with memorable characters who grow and learn to adapt, and whether that's classic literature, young adult, or chick lit, then I'll read it. Pride and Prejudice. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Good in Bed. Oh, I love Jennifer Weiner. And Jane Austen. And Dennis Lehane, who does mysteries/psychological thrillers. I'm just a sucker for a great story. 

Q: There seem to be a lot of books about hockey players lately. Why do you think that readers like hockey players as heroes?

A: Hockey players make perfect heroes. Compared to other high-paid athletes, they are humble and down-to-earth. I think it all starts with the early morning skates. They learn from a young age to work hard, and when that's a lesson learned young, it stays with them as they become adults. That attitude's so attractive!
Plus, they're professional athletes. They're hot. Masculine. Strong. What's not to like?!

Q: Jay, I know you’re a Penguins fan, but so far your books have been set in Chicago and Connecticut. Do you think you’ll write a book set in Pittsburgh?

A: I don't know! I'd love to, for obvious reasons. I'm familiar with the city, so I can give lots of details and specifics. The stories that I had written were already set in other cities. The next one that I start from scratch, though, I think will be set here in Pittsburgh. 

Q: What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a book right now?

A: I am! Readers of my blog will know that I'm working on my third title, Game On, which features Audrey Hunt and Nathan Fox. Audrey's a tenacious, smart woman who's ready to take on the world when she accepts her first post-graduation job as a reporter covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. That's all I'll say about that for now!

If youre not already familiar with Jay's writing, you have a real treat in store. Check her books out here:
Play the Man
And heres her blog, where these days she's discussing how a book comes together.