Interview with Jesse Nolan Bailey, Author of The Jealousy of Jalice
30 Jun 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, The Jealousy of Jalice?
This debut novel features anti-heroines, demons, and deformed monsters of the forest. I wanted a story that wasn’t set in the typical Eurocentric medieval backdrop, and this resulted in unique cultures that support a diverse cast. The story delves into the themes of betrayal and atonement, and explores how a selfish decision can have lasting effects on the world. It is the first in a series titled A Disaster of Dokojin.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid. With every book I finished, I felt more compelled to join the ranks of my favorite authors on the bookself. Fantasy in particular has always been a favorite genre to read, and among my favorite authors are Robert Jordan and Patrick Rothfuss. The way those authors weave complex plots together over the course of several epic books in a series both mystifies and inspires me.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask
Probably Brandon Sanderson. For Sanderson, I’d want to know what the experience was like to finish The Wheel of Time series after the death of Robert Jordan, and what that has meant for his career.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The fact that anything can happen within a story, and that words have such power. Stories are a way of teaching ourselves what we value or find interesting, and writing offers me that route of exploring my own questions about life.
What is a typical day like for you?
Oh goodness, I’m quite boring. If it’s not a week day (which means I’m working), and it’s instead the weekend, I’m probably writing at Barnes & Noble (prior to 2020 that is…) or out taking a stroll at the park. Nature and casual exercise are wonderful sources of inspiration sometimes. If it IS a week day, I listen to Youtube videos on aliens or the Let’s Read podcast as I work my day job.
What scene from The Jealousy of Jalice was your favorite to write?
I don’t want to give away spoilers, but the scene where Jalice enters and explores the Black House for the first time as a young girl. When you read the book, you’ll understand the context. That scene involves a different type of environment anywhere else in the book.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Not really, but a quote from Alan Watts probably summarizes how I feel and look at life: “I am absolutely amazed to discover myself on this rock ball, rotating around this spherical fire … it’s a very odd situation! And the more I look at things, I cannot get rid of the feeling that existence is quite weird.”
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