Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Art of Jax

I'm sure readers are wondering: Who is Jax Cassidy?

Let me introduce myself. I write erotic contemporary romance for Parker Publishing's the Lotus Blossom imprint. In fact, I help launched the Lotus Blossom imprint with my anthology, with the help of the AWESOME Simone Harlowe. The feedback has been amazing since Parker Publishing opened their African American line to include Multi-Ethnic romances and I am proud that I was asked to write for them. This gave me a chance to write characters outside of what I had been writing.

Before I wrote under my own name, I was writing as Cassidy Kent with a co-writer. We wrote a total of eight novellas for Phaze and Amber Quill Press (Amber Heat line) before I went onto my solo writing career. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to write for E-publishers and will most likely continue to write for them in the future. My experiences have been a fulfilling one and I learned a lot about promotions and getting myself out there for my readers. It also prepared me for when I signed with a print publisher and landing me an AWESOME agent, Roberta Brown of the Brown Literary Agency, so I'm most grateful for the opportunity!

On writing...

My current release is ART OF SENSUALITY and it's available now. I'm going to take this opportunity to tell you why I wrote this book and what it means to me...

Blurb...

Art was not only a passion of Machiko Barrett, but also a destiny…a way of life she has known since her talent was discovered at three years old. Caught in a turbulent storm of celebrity, scandal and corruption, she disappeared from the art world only to re-emerge fifteen years later. Her sheltered existence is disrupted when she is lured back to her one true passion: painting.

While she struggles to discover her own identity through her art, she encounters a man who opens her eyes to the art of sensuality, and awakens the woman buried deep inside the broken girl.


First off, it's my debut single title with Parker Publishing and it's a story that's been in my head for a long time. It's more complex than it appears and it's a story of personal journey for my heroine Machiko aka Mac Barrett. I'm delving into the world of a child prodigy and how she would react to breaking free after years of living in a mental box and what it would take for her to open up when she falls in love. It's an emotional book and her internal turmoil is very evident in her personality. Most readers will either get it or they won't. This is a story I took chances with and it's a tear-jerker if you become involved in the progress of the story.

When I write, I'm not focusing on the ethnicity of the hero or heroine. I'm focusing on the love story and trying to tell one in a way that shows exactly what I see it in my head. Being an artist, a painter, I have tackled a lot of issues in regards to my creative side. Often it's hard to imagine my life without being immersed in art, whether it's writing or painting. I'm lucky I am given the opportunity to do it. I'm not in any way a prodigy, but this character is one I actually can relate to in a strange way. Growing up in the States, my beliefs are very Westernized and yet I still hold on to Eastern traditions and values. In my writing, I reflect both parts of myself and I am trying to cross those barriers. I chose not to write novels that focus on being 'Asian' because that's not what I know. What I know is that I am creating characters more like me, with my mixture of Eastern/Western backgrounds. It's a tough fight because although I am getting out into the Eastern market, I don't get the nice warm reception...frankly, because I don't fit into the standard Eastern profile. I am very independent, very open about sensuality and sexuality, and I'm not trying to fit into any one profile. Not long ago I discovered a scathing review about my book by an Asian weekly newspaper. This was the first negative press I've seen and when I should be hurt and upset, I wasn't. The reason is that I made an impact on this reviewer. Certainly her review showed that she was passionate about bashing the story. I stirred her up so much that she had to find everything and anything that was wrong just to make her feel better. But from my standpoint, she read the book, but she really didn't 'read' the book. In the satisfaction of knowing that I made her this upset meant that I did touch her on some level. So why would an author tell you about her not-so-good review? Well, it's because I will always write a story of my heart and I'm not going to settle to conform to what is the 'trend'. I think a writer has to carve that career for themselves even when people are whispering in her ears to go with what might sell. I'm not out for the instant gratification, I'm out to find a long lasting readership. One in which will follow me no matter which direction I go because I will always write that story that is from my heart.

On Jax...

I'd like to take the opportunity to divulge 9 things about myself that I haven't to other interview sites...

1. I have three tattoos. An Ohm symbol on my neck, a kanji text for "soul" on my wrist, and a lotus blossom with hidden kanji text I incorporated into the design for "heart"
2. I had Tequila poisoning the night before flying to Paris and, to this day, the smell of Tequila makes me sick
3. My mother thinks I write chaste romantic comedies and tried to promote my books to her friends every chance she gets...**shivers**
4. I worked for an architectural firm in LA and some of the employees discovered I wrote romance and passed my book around and soon after I was known as the office 'erotic lolita'. Let me tell you, your boss will never see you the same way again if he's read your book!
5. I see dead people
6. I am number 7 of 8 children
7. I modeled for French comic book artists and have been included in quite a number of books when I lived in Paris for three years
8. I worked more jobs in the last twenty years than most people will ever in their lifetime: i.e. freelance journalist, music reviewer, fashion design assistant, music manager, public relations director, personal assistant to high profile individuals, bartender, sushi waitress, actress, drummer....chances are, if you ask me, I've dabbled in it
9. I write YA and currently working with an artist in San Francisco on a children's book

Now that I've given you some facts about myself, I'm opening the floor to readers with your own questions...I'm not shy and I'll answer as many questions as I can...

Thanks for stopping in.

To learn more about me, go to:
Website - http://www.jaxcassidy.com
Blog - http://www.jaxadora.blogspot.com

Author Bio...

Jax Cassidy is a multi-published author and has written under the pen name Cassidy Kent. She is Co-Founder of Romance Divas, an award winning romance writer's website and discussion forum. In between skydiving for charity and campaigning against human trafficking, she enjoys the company of close friends and indulges her caffeine fix at the nearest cafe. An avid traveler and an adventurous spirit, Jax has drawn inspiration from her experiences and often blends the exotic mix of Eastern and Western lifestyles into her writing. When she isn't locked up in her office penning her latest manuscript, Jax can be found creating abstract paintings for future art shows, or dividing her time between California, Texas, and Florida.

6 comments:

Angeleque said...

Hi Jax. *waving*

Great spotlight.

I liked when you mentioned not focusing on the ethnicity of your hero and heroine when you write. I find that I do that too. I have had critiques cause I don't explain my characters appearance enough. And have had feedback that my characters aren't ethnic enough. Which confuses me a bit but that is just one person's opinion.

I don't write to fit into molds. I write what my heart and head put together. My stories often feature multicultural characters but they are about the romance and love journey of the characters.

And I love your reaction to the not so great review.

Abigail McKenley said...

Hey Jax!

This was a great post. I love your view on writing...your passion shows in your work.

Congrats on everything you've accomplished. Can't wait to see more!

Adelle said...

It's nice to get to know you just a little better. I admire your decision to stay true to yourself and not conforming to the latest trends. Kudo's to you. Best of luck in all future endeavors.

oh...and... Diva's Rule! lol

Crystal Jordan said...

That was a great spotlight, Jax!

Jax Cassidy said...

Shucks, thanks everyone for stopping in and reading my long-winded interview. Sometimes it's hard for readers to understand that writers, for the most part, DO write what they love. I hope this does give my readers insight on who I am!

~tivi jones said...

What a great article! It was very inspiring and deep.

Sometimes I pause when I'm writing and think "will this really sell?" but because I love the characters and the craft so much, it doesn't matter.

I love to read passionate articles from established authors, they get me excited about the career I'm working to have.