Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!
This Saturday Night we welcome Jay E. Tria. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.
Jay, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?
Hi, my name is Jay E. Tria. I’m an author born and bred and living in the Philippines. I like walking and flying (via plane, no wings), so I try to do those as often as I can. I am a proud and grateful member of #romanceclass, a community of Filipino authors and readers. I write contemporary romance, these days mostly about Pinoy indie rock boys and girls and a Japanese idol. I’ve written YA too, a Japanese high school romance where I poured out all my J-dorama/manga dork feels. Also YA urban fantasy, about a beautiful ghost haunting the best friend she left behind.
I think 70s music is funky and bright and edgy and is the perfect soundtrack to get people up and dancing. My parents are fans of this music era, so I have fond memories of waking up every Sunday hating that the radio is so loud and that the songs are so big but eventually getting into the vibe and learning all the lyrics.
When did you feel like this is it, I’m an author whose words are going to be read by, and have an impact on, others?
The feeling that my words were going to be read hit me the hardest when it actually happened. I published a book and people started reading it, and telling me they’ve read it, which is this strange, complex mixture of dread and excitement and fear and joy and panicky anticipation. The thought of having an impact on others is something I don’t like to dwell on, at least while in the process of creating the thing. It will just crowd and mess up my already messy headspace. But I realize it is true, to a certain extent, to a wider extent than I want to think too much about, and in different ways. Because words are powerful, and I have a responsibility to them.
What do you want your readers to take with them after having read your books?
If they’re not from where I am, I hope they get to see a glimpse of life in the Philippines as I know it, as I’ve seen and lived it, and as I idealize parts and pieces of it to be. I love where I come from, grit and history and present woes included, and it’s great when someone from elsewhere reads and appreciates a few hundred pages of stories set here.
Generally though I just want readers to feel all the things, and maybe talk to me about these characters. Because that is essentially the first motivation. There are these characters talking and living inside my head and telling me things and making me look closely into issues I need to dive into and try and make sense of—personal ones or bigger—and I need to let them out and maybe discuss them with others lest I go crazy haha.
What does the future look like for you, Jay? Future projects, releases etc.?
I have two completed manuscripts. One is younger boy in his 20s-older girl in her 30s, I-just-met-you, travel-themed romance. They cross Philippine cities and walk around the colorful streets of Seoul. I wrote it for a #romanceclass workshop and I’m waiting for what happens next. Hopefully I’ll have news to share soon.
The other is set in the universe I am continually building, and this one is mine, and it is important to me in a different way than the other books. Which is probably why I’m having trouble letting it go haha. But I will really really soon. In the meantime, maybe read what I have so far of the Playlist series? Thank you.
If one (or several) of your characters got invited to a 70s-themed party, what would they wear and what song and/or person would bring them to the dance floor?
Kim is a character in my Playlist series. He is the de facto leader of indie rock band Trainman, so he’s the big brother of the group and therefore is a bit serious and sometimes grumpy because he keeps the music and his bandmates and all their crazy grounded. He likes to dance though, especially when drunk. He’d come to the party in dressed low key like 70s era George Harrison, a suit jacket over a turtleneck with properly fitting pants. Then he’d make a party of everything from Stayin’ Alive to Bohemian Rhapsody to You’re So Vain to Killing Me Softly. He’d rock all those hits out, shifts in tempo and sing-alongs included. You’d want to be part of that party, I promise you.
You can easily look back at the 70s and see how the times have changed. If you look at the book community and publishing world today, what changes would you like to see for the future?
We say this a lot, but more representation, definitely. There are still so, so many stories to write and from so many different perspectives. It’s overwhelming and outstanding and just really amazing. Given that, I hope these diverse reads will get a wider reach, which is very possible given e-books and how the world is interconnected though the barriers to entry are still there, the gate keepers still stand guard. But I think we’re getting there. We’re just not going to stop writing and reading and talking about these books, and we’re going to keep watching out for people like you, and blogs like yours that support what we do.
Jay, can you recommend two already published diverse books you’ve read and loved and one you can’t wait to read?
Feels Like Summer by Six delos Reyes and Before I Lose My Nerve—a poetry book—by Layla Tanjutco. I can’t wait to finally finally read Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas. It was live read by three talented, beautiful theater actors just recently in one of our #romanceclass events, and well, sharing the links here so I can share the feels.
Lastly, to end this interview, do you have a favorite 70s song to recommend your readers?
I can never pick just the one song. I got it down to three, okay? Hotel California by Eagles, for when you want to karaoke rock out. My Sharona by the Knack, for when you want to dance like you don’t care who sees (and you really shouldn’t). How Deep is Your Love by the BeeGees, for everything else, because that song feels like a summer sunset or a hug or a molten lava cake; it’s just some kind of perfect.
Thank you so much, Jay, for answering my questions. I hope you readers enjoyed this interview, I know I did! Eager to find out more about Jay E. Tria? All information about her and her books can be found on her website. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads and buy her books on Amazon.
About The Author
Jay E. Tria is inspired by daydreams, celebrity crushes, a childhood fascination of Japanese drama and manga, and an incessant itch to travel. She writes contemporary young adult and new adult romance. Sometimes, paranormal fantasy too. Visit her website at www.jayetria.com.
Since I promised a very 70s music-themed interview series, I have one last surprise, a favorite 70s song of mine (and there will be a new one every week yay). Now let’s get those dance moves on, here’s He’s The Greatest Dancer by Sister Sledge.
Do you want to listen to all of the songs from my Saturday Night Author Fever interview series?
To make things easier I have created a Spotify playlist that features all of the songs mentioned in my Saturday Night Author Fever posts. You can check out the playlist below or go here. Every time a new interview is published new songs will be added to it.