When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
I’ve been writing stories all my life, but it wasn’t until I had written the first book in the Solis Invicti series in 2014 that I started to think about writing seriously. Even then, I didn’t really think of myself as a writer until I was on the third book of the series.
I strongly believe that writing is not something you choose; it chooses you. I have books in my head that want to escape, and I feel as though I don’t have much choice now but to let them out onto the page.
Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
A Bargain in Silver is the first of four books that together form the Solis Invicti paranormal romance series (all now published and available on Amazon). The series is set in London, in a world in which the human population has been decimated by a blood-borne virus. In the wake of the zombie apocalypse that follows, a vampiric race called the Silver seizes control. Without the protection of the Silver, humanity will soon cease to exist, and without uninfected human blood, the Silver will perish. A necessary symbiosis is the result, but the power of the two races could not be more unevenly balanced.
The protagonist of the series is Emilia, a twenty-something barmaid with an insubordinate and reckless approach to the new order. In the first days following the collapse, she struggles to accept that her life has changed irrevocably and that she is powerless to reclaim it. That recalcitrance brings her face to face with the highest ranks of the Silver, resulting in danger, intrigue and a dash of romance.
I’m a big fan of paranormal romance, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for in the genre. I wanted something grittier, with more fluid relationships, and something that wasn’t set in the USA (I live in England). My imagination plugged the gap for me, and that was the genesis of the series.
Can you tell me more about the series?
All four books follow the same protagonist as she struggles against the zombie apocalypse and, primarily, the incarceration that is pushed onto humanity by the vampires who now protect her. There is a strong romance element to the novels (there is some sexual content), but I didn’t want it to be linear. I’ve taken the opportunity afforded by a four-book series and have played with a few common tropes that irritate me (primarily instalove), together with a few that I really enjoy (like scent-marking and bonding). There are love triangles, aggression and drama, but there is also an eventual HEA (promise!).
What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
There isn’t a moral to the series as such. Instead, the books examine issues of power and control, and how they affect the dynamics in human relationships. Vampires are a great medium through which to explore those sorts of questions, for obvious reasons. But more than anything, I just hope that readers will enjoy the story.
What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
This is such a difficult question to answer! There are lots of authors I could name, but if I have to choose one I’ll say Michael Marshall Smith. He writes intensely thought-provoking and often twisted stories. My favourite is More Tomorrow, a harrowing and bleak short story with an ending so full of understated horror that I’ll remember it till the end of my days. I aspire one day to write something as powerful.
Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
Keep reading, and keep writing. I think it’s easy for new authors to get so caught up in the business of writing that they never actually write. How many people do you know who say ‘I have this idea for a book…’, but then never do anything about it, or start but don’t finish? The naked truth is that you’ll never be a writer unless you can complete a piece of work, so just do it. Worry about everything else later.
Beside your series, are there any other books you would recommend reading this winter?
I have a huge stack of books awaiting my attention over Christmas, and I can’t wait to get going on them. Top on my list are a couple of Gail Carriger novellas. My recommendation for anyone who hasn’t read any Gail Carriger would be: read Soulless, and do it immediately. I love her books, and will automatically buy anything she writes.
Published: January 3, 2015
Series: Solis Invicti
Where to Buy:
If the price of safety is slavery, would you bargain your life?
A Bargain in Silver is book one of Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London.
A deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience. It’s not a deal that Emmy’s willing to make, but as her world burns around her she finds herself in the arms of the enemy and the line between oppressor and saviour begins to blur.
After an attack by the infected, Emmy is rescued by the handsome Drew who introduces her to the world of the Silver. Desperate to escape subjugation and confused by her attraction to him, she gathers what remains of her surrogate family and plans to make a break for freedom.
But despite her efforts to resist, she is drawn further into the intrigues of the mysterious Silver through the agency of their ruler, the Primus: Solomon. Emmy refuses to submit to the cold and detached Primus and an attempt on her life makes it clear that he is unable to protect her from the political machinations of his race.
As the connection between them deepens she must choose between her desire and her will to rebel, but can she trust his intentions when everyone is after her blood?
His beautiful blue eyes bored into mine.
“What would you have me do?” he challenged. “Would you rather I lied? That I use clever arguments to convince you this is something you want? That I manipulate you into believing the reality of this arrangement to be other than it is?”
I looked down at the table.
“We have to drink blood to live,” he continued, “and it has to be human. There’s no way I can make that concept more palatable to you, if you’ll excuse the pun. Life as you knew it has changed, Emilia. We have always been here, moving amongst you, it was just that you weren’t conscious of our presence. Now, with the Weepers multiplying, consuming and replacing your kind, we can no longer hide.”
“Isn’t that a little disingenuous?” I said, remembering Jeff’s theory about the lead time that would have been required for the level of organisation the vampires had displayed. “Aren’t the Weepers just an excuse for you to act?”
“We have been waiting for an opportunity for some time,” he acknowledged with a tilt of his head. “I know you want things to return to how they were,” he continued, “but that is not in my power to give. Your world is gone. You’re fighting for a life that no longer exists. There are difficult decisions to make, sacrifices, simply to save what little remains to us. I am trying to salvage an existence for your race, a new world for both of our races. There could be a place in that world for you, if you’re willing to look for it.”
Josie lives in Oxford, England, with her husband and two cats. When she’s not writing, she works as a lawyer, specialising in intellectual property and commercial law. She also runs a video book review club, The Gin Book Club, through her website.
The first book in the Solis Invicti series (A Bargain in Silver) is Josie’s debut novel.
Hope you are able to check out the first book in this series. Comment below if you have read any of the books from this series. I can’t wait to hear what you think! Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂