HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Jemiah Jefferson


Jemiah Jefferson

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I cannot choose. I really can't. Generally speaking, my favorite character is whoever I'm writing about at the moment. Currently, I am writing a novel with three protagonists, so whoever's point of view I'm concentrating on at any given time is my favorite.

2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee or tea WITH milk.

4. What else can you do besides write?
I'm a pretty good cook - I've been cooking since I was a little kid--though I do still sometimes make mistakes. Also I have a pleasing voice that to me seems tailor-made for being a jazz radio DJ; I've been meaning to put together a podcast to prove it, since there's no such thing as a paying job as a jazz terrestrial radio DJ. Also I don't know all that much about jazz, but I do love to talk about it, and I do love radio.

5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Honestly, from the TV, from movies I've seen, from people I've talked to. A lot of it comes from TV and film; I've been studying narrative structure since I was a child, and it's always made a sort of innate sense to me. A lot of the time,getting angry at some form of the status quo makes me need to write something to counteract that, or to provide an opposing voice. That's what inspired me to write vampire novels, anyway.

9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
A little of both--I don't decide to really devote myself to a project longer than a vignette unless I know how it ends, and something major that happens sort of in the middle--if there's not an arc of some kind, I don't work on it; I keep it in the back of my mind. At that point I can start outlining--and that's when I do most of my very free and creative work, just bounding along willy-nilly from point A to point B, writing down everything that comes to me in a sort of flow. When I actually start writing, I end up altering the outline as events show themselves to not really work; since I know how it ends, I never catch up with the outline, but the outline often doubles or triples in length over the course of writing the first draft. But during the outlining process, I just kind of kick back and type out what seems to come logically next. The characters are driving by that point.

13. Celebrity crush.
I have dozens. Literally. The biggest ones right now are Benedict Cumberbatch (how could I not crush on him? It's like he was designed and built from a kit specifically to appeal to me), Chiwetel Ejiofor (one of the most sublime faces ever) and Alex Kingston on the lady side. I've had it bad for Alex Kingston for years now. She's one of the reasons I don't mind getting older.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Jemiah Jefferson is the author of Voice of the Blood, Wounds, Fiend, A Drop of Scarlet, and Mixtape for the Apocalypse. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at http://jemiahjefferson.wordpress.com.


  1. I am completely intrigued by the jazz radio voice now. You'll have to stop back and give us a link if you decide to do that podcast!!

    Thanks for sharing today, Jemiah.

    :) Heidi


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