MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JAY WILLOWBAY!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi, I’m Jay Willowbay, and I write erotic fiction under this name.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
It’s brand new out and the title is Shagnasty. It’s an erotic black comedy about two office workers that strike up a bet to have sex with every female member of staff between them. What starts off as relatively innocuous Jack-the-Laddery takes a turn for the darker as one of them goes to ever more extreme lengths to make it happen.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I don’t really tend to attach any genre tag to anything I write, or at least until I’m quite a long way into the process. This was always thought of as being a black comedy, with the fact that there was sex in every chapter merely coincidental. But I’ve since come to reconcile myself with this being in the erotica category, and future releases will reflect this.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
It didn’t require a lot of research, actually. It’s set domestically in England, but future sequels go to Australasia and the USA, so I’ll have to look into the geography of those places when the time comes.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The first one closely follows one of two office workers trying to seduce every woman who works at the same company, and who is willing to resort to various nefarious deeds to make it happen. In subsequent books he will find fame as a confessional author, but also go through a transformative experience.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
The third and fourth in the series aren’t written yet, but those will be my favourites. They’re where the character will become the man I want him to be, deep down the man he wants to be, and also where his experiences will align most closely with my own fantasies and fetishes.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
It was when I myself started a new job and was given a tour of the office on my first day, including a meet and greet of all the staff. I noticed there a lot of attractive women there, and one of the many possible scenarios that came to my mind evolved to become the book’s storyline.
Was it always meant to become a series?
No, it was intended as a one off, but as soon as it was written I started asking myself, what now, what happens next? And I found the answers that occurred to me were really exciting, and I wanted to explore them, so from there it was always going to be the start of a series.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I’m good at setting goals, less so at meeting them. I work part-time and try to write solidly on my days off, and sporadically at other times. And from next week onwards, I will. I will.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I do, it will be a collection of short female domination stories, titled The Femdom Factory. Half of the stories are already written, the rest are planned out, and it should only be a few months away from publication.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
It varies – many are never given names at all, especially in first person or shorter works. But when I do, some are random and mundane, some are variations of real people, some utilise cunning wordplay, and others are just because they sound cool and memorable. My current star character is named Cleopatra Banshee, make of that what you will.
Where do your ideas come from?
Under this name, my own fetishes and fantasies are a fertile breeding ground for themes, scenes and storylines. Beyond that, I take inspiration wherever I can find it, whether it springs from the ether or stems from anything I see, hear or read.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
This is it, to be honest. I write most other genres under my own name, but even though I’m not sure men are always welcome in erotic fiction, I thought I had something to offer and really wanted to try.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The absence of fame and fortune is a slight disappointment, I must admit. There can be no other profession where you can do something so well for such modest rewards.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I’ve never used them, and wouldn’t know where to start if I wanted one. But i.f you have the skill set, or the friends, or the budget to make it happen, then great, all advertising is good.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Hopefully it’s just around the corner. This is my debut release under this name, in this genre, and I really do feel like an underdog here. If I can get sales and reviews on this, it would make me so proud.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The freedom to chose what to write, when to write it, how to write it … although it is so important to have a strong work ethic too.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
It’s probably unlikely that I’ll still be writing under this name; I’d think this would have run its course one way or another. Real name Jay would love to be a full time author, or a Creative Writing professor.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, it’s been a part of me for as long as I remember, writing haunted house stories as a child, then choose your own adventure books and poetry. Even when I was playing guitar in a band, the performing was, to me, a secondary activity to the writing.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Enjoy it, above all else, and be proud of what you do. Write as often as you can, as much as you can, as well as you can, in that order. Don’t be discouraged by critics, naysayers, or not being an overnight success. And never stop aspiring, even after you do become successful.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Ouch, the second part of that question strikes a nerve, which doesn’t bode well for the next one. I’m a clever guy, but a spectacularly low achiever when it comes to my career, so I’d probably be working in a betting shop somewhere, at best.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
It hurts, I won’t pretend that it doesn’t, and this book has had a bit of criticism already, from friends and family alike. That really shakes me, because if these people don’t like it, what is a complete stranger going to say?
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Everything that isn’t creating the story. I’m not a graphic designer, I’m not a formatter, I’m not an advertising guru, I’m not a business strategist, I’m not a marketing analyst, I’m not an accountant, I’m not a prolific blogger and I’m not affiliated with any kind of support group; all things which will count against me. So I have to at least do the part I can do to the best of my ability and hope everything else falls into place.
What are you working on now?
A short story called ‘It Started with a Gif’ from the forthcoming Femdom Factory collection.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
“With each new ping! on my computer, I found more and more that my thoughts were no longer my own. My physical reactions were no longer my own. And even as I sat there shaking, sweating, aching, longing, I knew that all I had to do – what I needed to do – was not look. To not play her games anymore, to not let myself be manipulated and controlled. But I looked. Every single time, damn it! Whenever she pinged me, I always looked.”
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I write in most genres, and often will straddle more than one within the same book. I don’t worry too much about the balance, it seems to occur naturally, thankfully, and as long as I’m writing, I’m happy.
Where did your love of books come from?
It’s always been there, as long as I can remember, but it’s difficult to pin down a source. There were always books on the shelves at home in my childhood, mostly 70s and 80s British horror: James Herbert, Shaun Hutson, and Graham Masterton (who I’m reading again right now, all these years later). I don’t if they belonged to my mum, or my older brother or sister (both ten years my senior), but I picked them up and loved them, and subsequently branched out into other genres.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
For a list of names in the erotic genre: C A Bell, L N Bey, Emmanuelle Du Maupassant, Kivutar Amy Koski … new authors to watch are Piper St. James and Avery Duncan. Adrea Kore does absolutely mesmerising poetry and short fiction – even more so if you are fortunate enough to hear it read in her own voice. And I can’t do this without mentioning Esther Harshom, even though she seems to have stopped writing now. Her femdom work, especially the hypnosis based erotica, quite literally takes my brain to another dimension, and is a big influence on what I write.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I would have to say the first person narrator of Shagnasty. He’s not a good person, at all, but he’s my most deceptively deeply realised creation. He’s handsome, wealthy, successful, and irresistible, but there’s a disconnect in him, a loneliness, a void in his soul that he is trying to fill. Does that justify his behaviour? No, but it makes it fun to explore, in this and in future books.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It can do either, or both. When it’s flowing, when the words are pouring out of you, when you feel everything taking shape and coming together, there’s nothing better. But then there’s the other times …
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Yeah, that would be those other times …
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I am steadfastly true to my creative vision, possibly to a fault. Sometimes it seems like I’m my own biggest and only fan, but I couldn’t put something out that I didn’t 100% believe in myself
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
There are so many – pretty much all of my Facebook friends for this identity are other authors. It’s great to have them to talk to, to raise my spirits and allay any self-doubts. In terms of practical support, I have to thank C A Bell for doing the cover of Shagnasty, Leigh Stone for creating my social media banner and cover for a short story, Kay Jaybee and Janine Ashbless for hosting me on their websites, Ashley Lister for giving me my first publishing credit as an anthology editor, and yourself, Emmanuelle Du Maupassant, and Fiona McVie for giving ne a voice through interviews.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
I already am, and at the risk of giving away clues to my real life identity, the working title is ‘Social Retard’.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Voulez vous couchez avec moi, ce soir? The answer being, Oui, merci beaucoup!
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you for having me, I really enjoyed it.