Welcome to the official website of author Jayson James!

Finding Our Way Series Collection

Read the books that have made up this popular series!

Pieces of Us

Jesse is an average teenage boy making his way through living in 1988 with the help of his best friend, a girl named Dylan.

Read My Story…

As I share my experiences in "Tormented Discovery" with my best friend Ryan who continues the story in "Drifting."

T.E.D.

TIM is being bullied. ERIC is frustrated with life. DELSIN is gay and ready to come out.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I'd Say, "It's Been Awhile."

That's quite an understatement.  In an effort to get back into writing, I thought I would start with some baby steps.  Getting back into writing for my blog is one of the those steps.  A steep step at that!  This was more so than I expected, being I've not been on my email in almost a month.  1355 Facebook notifications, 104 emails, 3 items needing immediate attention, 157 promotions and assorted other emails: Are you alive?  Are you ever going to write another book?  Do you draw anymore?  Please do not tell me you've stopped writing because people did not like your last book.  This one made me giggle.  Without doing a blog, I had plenty of writing material for today, simply replying back to emails.

It might be the social butterfly in me or the need for some attention, validation or any other narcissistic label one could put on a writer.  Then there's the artist in me, which I suppose doubles this in me.  Either way, I thought I would blog today.  A mix of sharing my thoughts, as they come in and out of my head, or until I decide to join my snoring girl back in bed.  I thought I'd respond to a few messages...

Are you alive? 
Absent from social media, but very much so.  Just extremely busy.

Are you ever going to write another book? 
Yes, I have a few ideas going through my head.  Two of them are another book with Derrick and Justin; something with them as teenagers and the other I am still deciding on picking up ending college or after college with the pair.

Do you draw anymore? 
Honestly, not really.  A friend of mine bought me a Zentangle book and some pens for my birthday.  I immediately loved the idea of a disciplined drawing and using it to refine my form.  I made it through about 7 of the units and then stopped.  I keep saying I am going to get back into doing one a week, leaving the book and my pen pouch out on my desk, yet this has not happened.  I need to quit thinking and simply draw when an idea strikes.

Please do not tell me you've stopped writing because people did not like your last book. 
As with every book, readers are going to like it and others are not going to like it.  It was an idea I'd had for quite some time and I am glad that I wrote it.  My best friend and I whom the characters are loosely based upon know what is true and what was fiction.  Although Pieces of Us did not have the popularity of my previous books, I am quite proud of the book.

Are you ever going to put your books into audiobooks?
Although I have no current plans to do such, I do hope this will happen in the next few years.  I had a few friends willing to read for Finding Our Way.  I had some audio of the book somewhere.  I know I am reluctant to do so.

How are you and Cooper doing?
We're both very well.  Still walking regularly, her insisting when I'm trying to get out of it.  I've had a cold over the past week and she's been right there to cuddle with me in bed, putting me right to sleep.  She came up to have me pick her up a few minutes ago, thus making typing difficult.

I miss your blog.  Even though I don't comment, I do read your blog.
Although not a question, I have about a dozen emails stating the same message.  I wanted to acknowledge the people who've been inquiring and in their own way encouraging me to find my way back.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Cover Art Process

I've been asked many times to write a blog post about creating the cover art for my books.  Although I am sure I am not the only author who designs their own book covers, I know of no other that creates the images for their covers.  It has been encouraging being I still get more compliments, feedback and praise for my artwork.

The idea of doing this I have always thought was great, however by the time it has been suggested, I'd already completed the artwork.  With Pieces of Us, I intended to stop and take pictures along the way, however I ended up getting into the painting and the idea was lost.  With this cover I used wet watercolors and did the images in layers, thus forcing me to wait for each layer to dry and giving me a few opportunities to take a few pictures along the way.

Knowing they were going to be eventually put into puzzle pieces, I started with the smaller images a few at a time.






They were eventually made into puzzle pieces as was originally planned.





Not being happy with the smaller puzzle images I decided that I was going to go a different direction with the cover and came up with the following idea.  It was not well received by the feedback panel and to my disappointment I was back to the original idea.

I knew what I wanted to the cover image to look like, but I was not sure about the medium I wanted to use, so I messed around with water color pencil, oil pastels, crayon and pencil.  None of them captured the look I had envisioned in my head.

Water Color Pencil Concept

Oil Pastel Concept


Then my art therapist friend introduced me to wet water colors.  I was reluctant to use them at first, because I was not able to control them as I could other mediums I used and this frustrated me.  Within a few weeks, I went out and bought me my own set of wet water colors and set forth on the cover, learning to be patient or end up having to redo the cover.

Here is a progression of my painting.  I was more into creating that I often forgot to snap shots of the process.  This give you an idea of the layers.  The sky, followed by the water came first.






The finished product was finished.  As I was cleaning up the sun disappeared and out of no where it began to rain.

.



Once the cover image was drawn, it is scanned into the computer and manipulated until I have what I had envisioned.  Sometimes I get some crazy ideas as you can see.


Once all the images were created and manipulated, came the time to put them together.  Here are what the layers looked like before they were put all together.


After a few more tweaks (and tears) the cover is complete!




I hope that you enjoy my sharing of the process. 






Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with their loved ones as I am.  Yesterday, I didn't time decorating the gingerbread house my mom bought me at the beginning of the holiday season. I'd committed to getting it decorated before Christmas, which I managed to accomplish in the nick of time. It's been nice to have time off.  So far I've been relaxing and lounging for the most part.
 
Although I have not done any writing over the last couple of months or much drawing either, I am working on striking a balance in my day to day life. This means getting back into doing some writing and drawing, even if it is only an hour a week or so. I also want to get back into reading. I've noticed over the last couple of months that I just keep piling up books. If I guess my big goal for 2015 is to get balance back in my life.
 
I'm happy to be busy and have so much going on. 2014 has really shaped up to be a great year for me I feel truly blessed.
 
My new book,  How It Was Supposed To Be is going through edits.  The cover has been finalized and everything is on track for a release some time in 2015.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Oregon Coast Vacation



Beverly Beach, Pacific Ocean
Since returning from my trip over a week ago, I have both wanted to do a post, sharing the pictures and I keep getting requests to do so.  Being that I finally have had a moment to do so, I thought I would sit down and do a post sharing (only a few of) the pictures I took as well as give a brief recap of the trip.
 
  
Beverly Beach, Oregon

This was our main destination and where we stayed most of our nights.  After only getting to spend one night here last year, I was glad to have several days here to explore and enjoy. As I promised Cooper and myself, we did go for at least one walk a day.

 
Oceanside Houses

Tillamook Cheese Factory & Oceanside Beach


Although Tillamook was crowded and nowhere near fun as it has been in the past, I was happy with the decision to drive out and check out Oceanside.  This place was such a beautiful sandy beach.  It was not crowded at all, even though the weather was warm, with lots of sunbathers, swimmer and surfers using the beach.  I was easily able to get several pictures of the beach and ocean without the obstacles of people.

Oceanside Beach
 

Miniature Golf - Florence

Miniature Golf Course
We were able to get in a round of miniature golf on perhaps my favorite course.  Last year the “green” was blue, which I thought looked much better.  I still favor this course.   There were several groups of six people playing and we spent more time waiting for the two large groups in front of us than playing.  After lunch in town, we were able to get in another round of golf.  I did horribly on both games, but was glad to get a chance to play the course.
 
 

 
 

Sand Dunes - Florence

Dunes
The sand dunes are always so much fun!  It is amazing to see so much sand so near to the Pacific Ocean.  The view the whole way was so magnificent.  I took more pictures on the tour than I had any other day of the trip.  The ride was a blast and I am seriously thinking about taking the faster one next time I go.
 
Dunes
 

Dunes with forest in the distance

Pacific Ocean


Pacific Ocean
 

Food, Delicious Food

Dunes & Pacific Ocean
Dunes
Each and every place we ate at was a great experience.  Ocean Locals I had perhaps the best bacon cheeseburger on a Ciabatta bun along with crispy fries and a tartar sauce with horseradish in it.  When I am going through, I always like to stop at the original Izzy’s in Newport with the best food out of any of the restaurants and the most beautiful view.  We do not have any A&W standalone restaurants and the combo few with KFC are pure crap.  The food was okay, but having a diet A&W root beer in a chilled mug was refreshing.  The hit place we at was called Mo’s, going twice for dinner. Both times, I had clam chowder and the house salad with fish and chips the first evening and chicken strips the second evening. 

 

New Port

For the most part, we ate dinner in Newport.  Yet our time there seemed to go by fast.  We explored parts we never had been before.  We even got to spend time watching a bunch of sea lions on a dock, close up.

 

Devil’s Punch Bowl
Pacific Ocean

We timed our visit to coincide with the high tide, hoping to see the bowl fill up.  The water never ended up rising very high.  The view was beautiful and we had two great spots to watch.

  
Pacific Ocean standing above bowl
 
Devil's Punch Bowl
 
Pacific Ocean & Beach
 


Hikes

At Beverly Beach Park there were a series of trails along the outside of the park.  Cooper  and I explored one during the day with the everyone else.   Cooper and I were at the lead.  One direction of the trailed ended up going through a swamp and ended up at a dead end, while the longer took us in a roundabout way down to the beach. 

Devil's Punch Bowl
Another hike was one I insisted on doing, as it was getting dark our last night.  Cooper kept on stopping and wanted to turn back.  It did not take me long to start thinking about Friday the 13th and getting spooked.  The third time Cooper was quite insistent we head back the direction we came, I decided that it was a good idea.  We high tailed it out of the woods.

 
 

Taidnapam Park, Washington

Riffe Lake at Taidnapam
Riffe Lake at Taidnapam
With our reservation being one day shorter than we had planned, we decided to see if we could find another place to spend one more night.  Fort Stevens Park in Warrington, Oregon was our first choice, however it was completely full, so after stopping for lunch we headed back to Washington state.  We were able to find a few openings at Tainapam, Park on a first-come, first-serve basis.  After several hours in the car I was torn on simply continuing the drive home or getting a place to stay for another night.  Fortunately, when we arrived the spot we wanted was still available.  I wasn’t appreciative of this until we got into the park.  I was glad we made this extra stop.  All of us liked it so much that we decided to stay two nights, extending our trip by one whole day.




 

 

 
Riffe Lake at Taidnapam
 
In short, this was my Oregon vacation down through Tillamook to Florence.  The weather was perfect, not to hot, not too cold. 
All of the pictures I took were with my Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone.

Riffe Lake at Taidnapam

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Welcome Dylan Sterling from PIECES OF US


My name is Dylan Sterling.  I am one of the main characters in Jayson James’ upcoming book Pieces of Us.  With a name like Dylan, you might be inclined to think that I’m a boy, but let me assure you that I am a true 100% girl.  It is also imperative that I share with you, the reader that I am only writing this so Jesse will quit nagging me about doing a promo spot.


Let me share a little bit about myself.  I love books.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to read.  I always have a few books with me at all times.  Nothing is worse than getting through a book and not having something else to read for me.  Books give me a chance to let my mind wander off to another place. I am trying to rub my love of reading off on Jesse, so far, well he’s just not that into it unless I read them to him.  Which leads me to my other favorite past time, hanging out at the lake.  The dock in particular.  Sanders Lake is beautiful.  Whether sitting or lying on the dock, dangling my feet it, it is mine and Jesse’s spot to be.  Three to four months out of the year we spend a lot of time at or in the lake.


Set in the summer of 1988, pop culture is prevalent and life was different than it is today.  Pieces of Us is about two best friends, Jesse Stetson and myself and the summer when our lives both changed.  For me, after a series of dating I finally find a boyfriend, who is sweet, charming and an all-around nice guy.  Yes, and as Jesse wants me to include he has a hot body.  For Jesse, he is dealing with an internal turmoil that he is afraid to admit to himself and furthermore makes it impossible for him to share with anyone else. Lucky for him, he has me. I make sure to be there for him and try to help him as much as I can. We are like two peas in a pod. Being a teenager can suck a lot at times, but friends and boyfriends can make it a little easier.
A few interesting facts about Pieces of Us


·         All of the businesses named in the book were all quite popular and at their heyday during the time this book takes place, yet all of them are out of business or were bought out by another company and the names changed.  The exception to this are the places of business that are used in most of Jayson James’ other books.


·         The font that is used on the front cover of the book is named Cooper.  The name of the font wasn’t noticed until after it was determined to be used.


·         All the movies and songs that are mentioned in this book were actual ones the author was interested in at the time.  They were also cross-referenced to make sure the timing, dates and popularity were remembered correctly.


Be sure to keep a watch out for Pieces of Us, which will release on September 20, 2014, which also  is Jayson James’ birthday!

Pieces of Us is available for preorder now from both Amazon and Smashwords.




  


Sunday, August 17, 2014

What’s Next? Fabulous Five Blog Hop


I was invited to the Fabulous Five Bog Hop by the oh-so- tantalizing Gillian St. Kevern, who is an author of mystery, vampire and paranormal romance.  These are a few topics I would like to attempt with my own writing.
What am I working on?
I am getting ready to start back to work on a book that features the twins, Tyler and Tyson Hensley from the Finding Our Way series.  The book actually takes place before the books in my series.  Tyler and Tyson are middle school age and have not moved to Chandler, Washington yet.  However they are the double trouble duo with a different set of friends.  The story starts out in their hometown of Ashville, Oregon and follows them until they move to Chandler, Washington where they connect with some familiar characters from a few of my previous books.  The book itself I started a few years back and never finished.  The characters, Tyler and Tyson I liked so much that I included them in my first three books.  The few people who read the one chapter I wrote of this book have been asking me to finish it for quite some time.
 
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
As with all my previous books, I write a story, not giving any thought to what genre it fits into.  My only concern ever, has been to write the book I have in my head.  This will definitely be a young adult book, however I am not going to pander to what to deemed social norms are as in regards to content.  Working with this age of kids, I am more apt to keep it real, connecting my readers to believable kids in believable situations.  Currently, I am trying to decide if I want to keep the content geared towards young adults or do my own thing.
 
Why do I write what I do?
Because these seem to be the stories that pop into my head and I am able to put into a book.  As I get my ideas out of my head and published, I am finding others ae popping into it.  It is always an adventure to see where my inspiration lies.
 
How does my writing process work?
These stories pop into my head and I get thinking and putting them together.  As I am thinking of them, I end up talking with a friend or two about them.  It is interesting, some people I know will simply listen, while others (for better or worse) will have suggestions for me on what I should include.  In both situations, I work out the details further in my mind until I have a book I want to write or it becomes an idea I jot down and file away.
I will sit down and start writing for a bit (an undetermined amount of time) and then when I reach a stopping point, I will reflect.  During this reflection time, I decide whether I am going to continue writing the story I’d begun or if I am going to save what I’ve written and wait.  If I’m going to wait I will type in whatever notes I have in my head or written down at the end of the document, close it and think about what big f—king waste of time that was.  I either will fume over it or immediately move onto something else.
If what I started writing is going to be something I am going to turn into a book, I will write out the characters on my board.  This is when I spend too much time fretting over each character’s name, debating if I like how they sound and if the name will match the personality, as well as making sure no one I cannot stand comes to mind having the same name.

Continuing with the board, I outline the chapters in my head.  This always seems to be the first four chapters, a gap proceeded by what will end up being chapters eight and nine, several more gaps, a chapter, several more gaps, a chapter, several more gaps, and then the final four to five chapters.  If I play it smart, I type these into my document, so I can easily move them around about every third time I sit down to write.  Otherwise, I put them onto Post-It Notes, so that I can move them around on my board or at least think about it as I write.
 
 Who’s Next on the Blog Hop?
Jenna Galicki - The ever popular author of adult contemporary romances and someone I am proud to call a friend.
Jennivie Wirries - A talented writer, reader and reviewer.
Lily Lamb - A fan, a friend and fairly new author.
J. Scott Coatsworth - Sci-fi and paranormal author who has welcomed me to take part with his group of authors although I have yet to publish anything in the genre. 
Alina Popescu - A wonderful person, great author and someone I can always count on when I'm in need.

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Guilty Pleasure Movies

Anyone who has ever been around me or read my books knows I love movies (and music).  They are both perhaps as equally represented in my writing as they are in my daily life.  A friend of mine has been asking me for a few months now to do a post about some of my favorite guilty pleasure movies.  After them inquiring about them again, I found myself thinking of what movies I would put on my list.  I’ve decided that I am not going to go look at the movies I own, but instead putting together a list from what I could think of in my head.

The ‘Burbs
This was the first movie that came to mind when I thought about creating this list.  Although this is one of my most favorite movies, it is a movie I’ve seen the beginning of much more often than I’ve seen the end, being when I cannot fall asleep I will play the movie and end up eventually crashing out to the comfort of the plot unfolding.


Go
Told from three different points of view, the events after a drug deal are played out.  I ordered this movie by mistake and arrived home late one evening unable to unwind.  I liked the stars that were in it and decided that I would check it out.  Whenever I am trying to get into working on a project and cannot free my mind to get focused, this movie always seems to put my head into a better place.  The Adam and Zack scenes are my favorite, with the others a very close second.




Foul Play
In this 1978 movie, a shy San Francisco librarian and a bumbling cop fall in love as they solve a crime involving albinos, dwarves, and the Catholic Church.  From the beginning with Goldie Hawn driving down the coast back into San Francisco to the old ladies playing scrabble this movie hooks me every time.  If I could live anywhere in the world, I would live in her apartment and know exactly how I would decorate it.  The story is great and the movie does a great job of capturing the time.  It also has a few songs that stick in my head for days later!


Jurassic Park
The premise of the movie makes the idea of dinosaurs roaming the earth a reality.  A theme park suffers a major power breakdown during a preview tour, which allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.  This is also one of my all-time favorite books and although the movie only includes about a third of the book, it is a wonderful movie. 







Fargo
The top of my list for a movie to stay home on a cold day and watch list.  Another movie where I imagine myself being in the position of the various characters and think about what I would do.  A pregnant police chief is investigating a series of homicides across the frozen tundra. Against a sprawling Minnesota landscape, a car sales man hires two criminals to kidnap his wife. But when the scheme goes sour, and wood chippers get involved, the haphazard kidnapping plot turns deadly serious.


Gran Torino
A racist Korean War veteran living in a crime-ridden Detroit neighborhood is forced to confront his own lingering prejudice when a troubled Hmong teen from his neighborhood attempts to steal his prized Gran Torino.  I love how the message of overcoming diversity is presented in this movie.  Walt is a flawed, but well likeable character.









The Covenant
These four young guys who belong to a supernatural legacy are forced to battle a fifth power that was long thought to have died out. Another great force they must contend with is the jealousy and suspicion that threatens to tear them apart.  Witches have never been something to interest me.  Put together some hot looking guys who are witches with a great storyline and I’m hooked.


Fight Club
Although the book was great, I think the movie is way better!   I don’t even know how to describe this movie.  Something for those of you have watched the movie may have noticed there is a Starbucks cup visible in almost every scene of the movie.  This was not something I noticed on my own, but ever since it was pointed out to me, I have been looking for the Starbucks cups anytime I’m tired and watching the movie.






White Frog
High-school freshman, Nick is a neglected teen with mild Asperger's syndrome whose life is challenged and ultimately changed forever when tragedy hits his family.  A friend suggested this movie to me by back when it came out, but when I checked it out I had no interest in watching it.  Then they brought up again.  One evening I was working on some stuff and needed something to occupy my mind so I went to look for something on Netflix and there it was.  I turned the movie on and thought I would watch it and have it out of the way for checking out.  Immediately I was sucked into the storyline and adored the characters.  When the movie ended I had gotten so into it that I completely stopped what I was working on.  Then I put the movie on again, intending to have it play in the background, instead I watched the whole movie. 


The Goonies
No matter how many times I’ve seen this movie, which is too numerous to count, when it comes on I am immediately sucked into it.  About a group of teens who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon.  They are attempting to save their homes from demolition, and in doing so, discover an old Spanish map that leads them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willie, a legendary 17th-century pirate.  This is perhaps the one movie I will stop and watch each and every time I come across it and always makes me feel like a kid again.  Every time I visit Astoria I feel like I am coming to a familiar place, being most of the settings in the movie still can be visited.


Easy A
This one definitely tops my list.  so much so that I have a copy in my DVD player in my car (the only movie I have in it) as well as a copy at home.  Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is re-imagined as a contemporary high school comedy in this tale of a scheming student who plots to give her popularity a boost by painting herself the easiest lay in school.


Now that I’ve finished writing my list I know I will see several movies that I will have wished I would have included.  I am sure of this because I’ve spent about as much time as I had writing this post debating on whether to take a quick peak at my movies.  With that in mind, keep an eye out for a follow up post.

What are some of your guilty pleasure movies?  Are some of mine, some of yours?  Please leave a comment below!
 

Monday, August 4, 2014

All Covered


My intentions this summer was to have guest blogger’s in order to give my author friends a chance to lure my reader’s into reading their books and to give myself a break while having new content on my blog.  The guest blogger’s did a wonderful job of getting their stuff to me and I was glad to have the posts all set up for them.  I've dropped the ball when it comes to posting myself.  This time of year is typically quite crazy for me and this year has been especially so.  I feel as if I am going constantly.  Being there is so much I have to catch up on, I suppose I’d better get to it.

Finding Our Way, Tormented Discover, Drifting and the Finding Our Way Series Collection all finally have their new covers.  This has been a change I’ve wanted to make for too long.  As promised to my friends and readers, I kept my artwork on the cover.  I’m delighted with how they turned out.  If you have not seen them, please check them out!  They look sharp.  They can be found at most major retailers, as well as my website.  Almost daily when I’m in the car I’ve been thinking about the characters from the books, where the storyline left off and where I want the story to go.  As is the process for most of my works in progress, the next book in the series has been on my mind. 

Speaking of cover art, I’ve been quite creative of getting the ideas for my covers out of my head and created.  I’m happy to have all of my covers done!  Currently, I have two new books going through editing.  Pieces of Us is on track for the end of summer release as planned.  Now I need to get organized and start setting up a blog tour.  Promoting my books has never been one of my strong points.  Slowly, but surely I’ve been seeking out help to get the ball rolling on this.  Especially with the release of Pieces of Us being mere weeks away!

The other new book is titled How It Was Supposed To Be will most likely be out around early October.  When I started on this, I’d planned on writing down some ideas that were in my head.  Then I found myself writing the ideas out.  More ideas came and I wrote them out.  As the book progressed along and got to the halfway point, I thought about stopping work on it, but decided it was important for me to finish writing it.

The final cover was for my free story Awakenings that now has a cover of its own now.  The idea for it has been in my head since I finished the book, but I just recently got around to putting it together.  As I was lounging around the other night, I had intended on relaxing and not doing much of anything.  With having this completed.  Awakenings is now available through most major book retailers.   I’m hoping people will report the story being free elsewhere so that Amazon will make it free as well.  I’ve been trying to get a available for free ever since I published my first book.  That being said, I am not holding my breath.

After much prompting and pushing from my friends, I have finally put together a collection of drawings into a book to sale called This Author’s Drawings.  The cover is one of my early watercolors I’ve modified and brightened up the colors for the cover.  I do not think I’ve been as nervous about a book as I have been with this one. This is funny because I’ve never had anyone be mean about my drawings.  Even critics who’ve hated my writing have liked my drawings.  We’ll see how it goes.  As it stands right now, I’ve quietly published it.

My little 40-pound four-legged personal trainer has been assuring I’m getting out and getting exercise.  Most days we are out walking.  When it’s really hot, I try and get her to swim.  Typically she will swim and then insist on us going for a walk. That’s fine by me.  I need a  push to get out and exercise.  It gives us time together.

That’s about all I have the time right now to share.