This week, I am pleased to welcome Jade Kerrion to the blog to chat about her books.
Jade unites cutting-edge science and bioethics with fast-paced action in her award-winning Double Helix series. Drawing rave reviews for its originality and vision, and described as “a breakout piece of science fiction,” Perfection Unleashed, and its sequels, Perfect Betrayal and Perfect Weapon, are available in print and e-book through Amazon and other major retailers.
Welcome, Jade! Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I started at the age of thirteen when my school essays were returned to me with a bunch of “A”s scrawled over the top. Teenagers are impressionable. Being much more impressionable than most, and believing that my teachers knew what they were doing, I figured I was destined to be a writer. It’s only taken me tens of thousands of hours of work since then to be halfway decent at writing (and I’m still learning each day), but one has to start somewhere.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My undergraduate major from the Johns Hopkins University was in Biology and Philosophy, and I thought it was finally time to make some money off my college degree! On a more serious note, I wanted to write a novel that challenges our definitions of perfection and of humanity (without once mentioning the word “vampire.”) Science has been making one breakthrough after another in the area of genetic engineering, and the future depicted in Perfection Unleashed is more likely than most of us would believe.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned so much, especially from editing. I worked with a professional editor, and she helped improve my writing style, fixing bad writing habits, large and small. More importantly, I was able to apply what I’d learned from her to the next manuscript. When she returned my edited third manuscript, I was hugely gratified to see a note from her saying, “I give direct, honest, helpful opinions and advice, rather than praise. Praise does not improve a manuscript. Nevertheless, I am most impressed with the quality of this manuscript and story. The series keeps getting better and better.” I did a happy Snoopy dance after reading that note.
What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
A comfortable chair, dedication, and patience. Good writing is a craft, and craft takes time to hone. Many research studies have cited the fact that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to become an expert. Writing is no different. Anybody can write, but to write well requires training (e.g., working with a teacher or editor, attending classes, reading self-help books, etc) and practice. It will take years to become an overnight success, so set your expectations straight.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Certainly. Let me tell you about the main character. Danyael Sabre has many facets. On the one hand, he is a doctor who works insane hours for little pay at a charity clinic in Brooklyn, New York. On the other hand, he is an alpha empath. He controls emotions and channels pain. Physical and emotional pain fuels his deadly mutant powers; with a touch, he can heal or kill. Craving privacy and solitude, he shields both his mind and emotions, but we catch tantalizing glimpses of his courage and compassion.
Even among the alpha mutants who redefine the boundaries of power in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, Danyael is rare and coveted by many who desire to control him and his power. His hard-won normal life is upended when Zara Itani, a mercenary whose abrasive attitude exceeds even her beauty, frees Galahad, the lab-created perfect human being from his laboratory prison. Danyael learns that his genetic code was used as Galahad’s physical template; that kind of news is enough to wreck even the best day…
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Perfection Unleashed raises many questions and offers perspectives of the people living in those tumultuous times, but it leaves readers to find their own answers. The Genetic Revolution has transformed the world, giving rise to human derivatives—clones, in-vitros, and mutants—that are arguably better than humans. Toss the “perfect” human being into the mix, and the volatile environment explodes. Perfection Unleashed is loaded with fast-paced action, but underlying the novel are questions that society has wrestled with for centuries. What does equality mean in the face of unequal talents? How does society deal with people who are different from the norm? What does “perfection” in a human being really mean?
What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing? Why?
I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and his Sandman series. Gaiman tells stories of unparalleled scope and beauty, weaving in the realities of the world, with the myths of the ancient world, and fantasies of his own making.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love reading, naturally. I typically write speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction) but I read widely across all genres. I also enjoy dancing. I started out many years ago in ballet and then branched out into modern dance. These days, you’ll find me dancing salsa.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family has been incredibly supportive. My parents and sister who live in Singapore are always on the look out for opportunities for me to market my book abroad. My father-in-law gave me a substantial financial gift, which paid for the editing, covers, and marketing for the first three books. Of course, I couldn’t do this without my husband who has been my biggest supporter. He listens to my ideas and refines them, gives me time and space to write, and is always first in line as a beta reader for all my books.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you enjoy science fiction, urban fantasy, dystopia, or just a great action-adventure, I hope you’ll consider reading Perfection Unleashed and its sequels, Perfect Betrayal and Perfect Weapon. I love to hear from readers, so feel free to drop me a note via any of my social media links.
Thank you, Michele, for hosting my interview. I really appreciated this opportunity to connect with your readers.
Thank you, Jade. It’s been a pleasure.
About The Double Helix series:
His genetic code sourced from the best that humanity offers, Galahad embodies the pinnacle of perfection. When Zara Itani, a mercenary whose abrasive arrogance exceeds her beauty, frees him from his laboratory prison, she offers him the chance to claim everything that had ever been denied him, beginning with his humanity.
Perfection cannot be unleashed without repercussions, and Galahad’s freedom shatters Danyael Sabre’s life.
An alpha empath, Danyael is rare and coveted, even among the alpha mutants who dominate the Genetic Revolution. He wields the power to heal or kill with a touch, but craves only privacy and solitude—both impossible dreams for the man who was used as Galahad’s physical template.
Galahad and Danyael, two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, and the other to escape it.
The award-winning Double Helix series, consisting of Perfection Unleashed, Perfect Betrayal, and Perfect Weapon, will challenge your notions of perfection and humanity, and lead you in a celebration of courage and compassion. Science fiction, urban fantasy, and action-adventure readers will enjoy this thrilling roller-coaster ride as it twists and turns through a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution.
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