For my next Author Spotlight I’m joined by the wonderful Jax Stuart. We chatted about discovering a love for paranormal stories, being inspired by a milestone, and perfectly imperfect characters.
Take it away Jax…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hey, I’m Jax Stuart and I’m incredibly nervous. Really, it’s strange to be doing things like interviews. A year ago I’d just published my first book and I don’t think it’s really properly sunk in yet.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
It’s pretty direct, so I’ve been told, with perfectly imperfect characters. I like to focus on the characters and the situations that they are in rather than the scenery. I’d love to be more descriptive, and perhaps that will come as I grow and develop as a writer.
Describe your books in only three words.
Complicated. Steamy. Emotional. Maybe. This one stumped me.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release?
My newest book, His Rejected Alpha Mate, is the second in the Sweetwater Pack series. It’s PNR, omegaverse with mpreg. Each book focuses on a different pairing, and this one is Kade’s papa and his best friend, Dakota. Jasper initially rejects Dakota and they have a rocky road to their HEA. I don’t want to give much away, but there is an ongoing storyline that I briefly mentioned in book 1 that becomes important in book 2 and beyond.
Dakota is a bit of a reader favourite so I hope that I’ve done his story justice. He and Jasper were a lot of fun to write. Jasper is in his head a lot. He’s got a lot of baggage that affects how he behaves when he first comes to Sweetwater.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
His Reluctant Omega Mate. That book just flowed out of me. I had the best time writing it and I feel like that comes across in the pages. It helped me decide that paranormal and fantasy is where my writing strength lies. I love my contemporary books, but I just enjoy writing PNR much more.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and wanted to be a writer. I’ve written since I was a child, but felt like it was out of reach until the last few years. Seeing all these self-published authors inspired me to take the risk and do it myself. I’ve found the MM author community to be very welcoming.
What inspired you to start writing?
Turning 40. That milestone made me look at my life and I made some big changes. I knew that if I didn’t start it, I’d never get a book out there. So Worth More was published the day before I turned 40.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
My writing days vary. I have to work around my job and my family. I try to get a couple of hours in the morning and then again after dinner. Setting word targets and a deadline helps motivate me.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
I think they go hand in hand. If the plot is really interesting and the characters insufferable, it can be difficult to connect with them and root for them. If the characters are great and the reader loves them, they might overlook a weaker plot, but they may get bored. That said, I probably focus more on my characters and then put them in situations.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
Jennifer Cody’s The Trouble With Trying to Date a Murderer. That imagination – just wow!
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Fated mates. I love the idea of it and there is so much scope with it.
What would be your three desert island books?
The Forbidden Game trilogy (the bind up so it only counts as 1!)
Maybe Sarah J Mass’ A Court of Silver Flames – maybe I’d finally read it since I’ve had it since it was released and it’s still gathering dust. Same for Jay Kristoff’s vampire book – I’m the worst for preordering all these traditionally published books and they just sit on a shelf. All my MM gets read pretty quickly.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
His Reluctant Omega Mate – how cool would it be to see pregnant men and shifters on screen? I have no idea who I would cast because I have no clue about actors outside the MCU. I don’t really watch much TV.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I read. A lot. Probably too much. I also love to do jigsaw puzzles and adult colouring. I like to go on walks with my friends and family.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
Velociraptor. Fast and clever, but deadly.
Jax Stuart is a Scottish-born author, mum of two, and owner of a menagerie (two cats, a tortoise, and 3 fish tanks of fish!).
She started writing her first book at age eleven but gave writing up for years. A big birthday last year prompted her to finally go after that publishing dream.
When she isn’t writing, Jax is an avid reader and likes to spend time with friends and family.
For more information on Jax and her work you can visit her website, sign up for her newsletter, and also follow her on Instagram, Twitter, BookBub, Amazon, and TikTok. You can also join her Facebook Group, Stuart’s Syndicate, for more news and updates.