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Adam Interviews...Jude Cocaigne!


Right, time to down keyboards!

That's it. Good. Now, get your favorite beverage. Don't worry, I'll wait.

Got it? Excellent.

We've got another amazing author, and I just realized something - both Jude and my earlier guest, Shannon Blake, write kick-ass heroines. Nice!

Anyway.

Onward!

USA Today Bestselling Author Jude Cocaigne writes all things Fantasy, from family friendly and Young Adult epic adventures set in Ze World, to spicy New Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal romances.

Movie, series and anime addict, RPG gamer and LARPer when she finds the time, Jude draws her inspiration from these activities to write stories she hopes Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams would be proud of.

If you like geeky behind-kicking heroines, emotionally strong heroes and morally grey villains, you’re welcome to join her cheery madness of a journey towards expanding her world where everyone fits and belongs.

 


DCU or MCU?

I used to love the MCU (I’m a huge X-Men nerd), but I’ve become totally underwhelmed with the sheer number of shows and movies that are not even halfway decent anymore. Give me Nolan’s Batman any day. Though I love me some Deadpool, and I’m so fracking stoked Wolverine is back in that last movie even though Jackman swore he’d never come back!!!

Firefly – gone too soon or overrated?

Gone fracking too soon!!! It deserved 15 seasons at least! I’m a humongous fan of Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudik, so you betcha I was mega disappointed… I’m definitely still not over it…




Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity?

Lack of creativity in my opinion. We want new content, we want to see the stories we love on screen, not an umptieth reboot of Spiderman… And don’t get me started on The Crow…

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Not exactly the moment I realized, but the moment I decided I was going to be a writer. I was 25 years old and working at the GAP (this sounds like such a 90’s cliché… except it was in 2009 XD), bored out of my wits and totally questioning my life’s choices. I asked myself where I saw myself in 10 years and up popped that perfectly clear image of me sitting at a desk surrounded by shelves full of books, with a computer showing a Word-like document full of words. In truth, that could have shown me my life as a secretary, but the style and quality of the furniture, the leather-bound copies on the shelves, the view outside the window I was facing (a garden ending in a green forest and a hint of the glittering ocean in the corner), and the overall atmosphere of the picture screamed writer. 6 months later, I was on my way to college to get a degree in English and American Literature and Literary Translation. Still a far cry from writer, but in 2019 (10 years later) I published my first story that I wrote as an essay for my studies, so there’s that!

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Everywhere and everything, but mostly dreams I’ve had, stories I told myself to sleep, personal experiences, movies I’ve watched (for specific themes), stories I’ve read (like fairy tales I want to spin on their head) and general observations of the people around me. Sometimes, I come up with a character and let them tell their story. That gets messy pretty fast, but it’s fun!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I’m a mother of 2 young children and I have ADHD, so my schedule is as hectic as my life! I try to make a daily appointment with my writing, at least two sessions of one hour, but it’s not always possible. I have two days a week where my younger is at daycare and the older is at school for a few hours, so I try to cram as much as possible in those meager slots when I’m alone. In the evening, I might also get a bit of work in if my husband is in the mood to game or paint, but it’ll depend on whether I have a deadline or not. Deadline means I must write no matter what, no deadline means I’m more inclined to get frivolous with my writing time.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

12 years old. It wasn’t a book but a very gruesome and gory short story. I was very much into Edgar Alan Poe and Stephen King at the time, watching horror movies for breakfast (not literally, but almost) and listening to dark metal. I’ve met Terry Pratchett since, so there’s very little of that left in my writing now XD

What does your family think of your writing?

My husband loves it and is fully supportive of my craziness to quit my day job to be an author, my mother “won’t read it” (because she’s not a Fantasy fan…) but the little she has, she was impressed, and she supports my endeavors. I’m lucky and blessed because I am surrounded with people who believe in me and love my stories. That helps tremendously!

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing makes me feel alive. Energized doesn’t even begin to describe it! With my ADHD and my hypersensitivity, the rush I get from writing is pure euphoria. Which also means that the crash can sometimes be painful, but that’s part of the game.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I do, in fact, write under a pseudonym. Jude is not my real first name (it’s Julie ;-P) but my nickname, stemming from the Beatles’ song, because I sang it once and people liked it, so it stuck. I do also have another pseudonym for my Paranormal Cozy Mysteries and that’s Jude C. Maples. I didn’t stray too far as you can see!

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I’m trying to be as original as possible, knowing that I get inspired by everything that’s already been done. I will use the tropes readers love and want and try to give them a unique flavor, or at least a twist they wouldn’t see coming but would still appreciate. I think my uniqueness is in my style, which may be a tad too much for some, but I also know there are people out there who love it, so that’s all that matters!

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?

The Gods of Ze World series is composed of standalones that fit together and introduce my world (Ze World) and its deities and magic systems. I plan to write at least one trilogy after that, and I also have characters that may come back in a series of their own (spoiler alert: they’re Trackers, they’re brothers, their names are Jared and Jensen (Jensen loves pies and Jared is way too tall, even for an elf) and they are gifted a picture box with an imp who can draw ghosts…). But yeah, I like the idea of standalones that work together, with characters hopping from one story to another but not always being the main protagonists. And sidekicks who get their own stories are my jam, too.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Never give up because there are people out there who will love your style! Side note: I did give up for over a decade because I had this way of putting words together that made me laugh but I thought nobody would like it. Until I started reading Terry Pratchett, and I realized that even before I’d ever heard of the man, I was writing in the same style as him (puns and footnotes, anyone?). And he was (still is) pretty loved in the Fantasy world. So why not me, after all? That’s when I started working on my world. It took me over 10 years to feel confident enough to share it, but the more I move forward, the more I realize I’m not a fraud and my stories have worth.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Not that many—I think! Probably less than 10. Definitely 2 unpublished and 4 or 5 unfinished. And there’s a library full of projects living rent-free in my head! To give you an idea, I’m currently rewriting my first two books in my series Gods of Ze World, because they’re novelettes and I’m making them into full-blown novels. Book 3 is already well on its way (but unfinished…) and I have the plot of the next three in the series in my head, plus the trilogy that comes after and an idea for two other series in the same world.

What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

42!!! Fun fact, I have it tattooed on my back and my wedding was H2G2 themed, towels and all!

What do you have coming next?

I am currently rewriting the two novelettes in the Gods of Ze World series into full-blown novels and the third book is also in the works. I just have no idea when they’ll be out yet. I’m taking the time I need to make those stories as awesome as they deserve to be.

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