Q&A With Jay R. Crimson

Jay is a literary and dystopian fiction writer. Her story "Fate of A Sideline," featured in our anthology, Miscellany III, is her first romance story.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a child I wanted to be a veterinarian because I loved animals and wanted to help them. It was my dream for a very long time. So my babysitter when I was younger would tell us these funny and creative stories before our bedtime. I loved the stories so much that I wanted to create my own. I started writing for days until I finally got something that turned this tiny hobby into my passion. That moment is when I realized I wanted to be a writer.

When did you write your first story and how old were you?

I wrote my first story or a draft of one, in 2nd grade when I was 7 or 8 years old.

How long does it take you to write a short story?

For me writing a short story is super hard because I am used to writing books or series so this was definitely a challenge. So after planning the plot it usually takes me around 1-2 weeks to write a good short story.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Let’s just say it is very complicated and packed full. I have school, homework, and then I also have work as well so there is a lot going on and it's hard to find time to write a lot.

Is it different working on an anthology than writing on your own?

Working on the anthology is something quite different. With this anthology, you are working with other people and also trying to write a short story that falls within the guidelines which at times is a big challenge. My own writing is less rushed and you can take your time and usually, it's way longer than a short story.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I think mine would be I always like to put a twist on everything or how I really like plot twist, sometimes too much.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

Honestly, anything really gives me inspiration and it comes very randomly but the biggest ones are either being in a peaceful place like a lake or listening to music. Music gives me a lot of inspiration. Each genre gives me different kinds of ideas and inspires me in many different ways.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I really love anything outdoors. So paddle boarding, Longboarding, and hiking. I also enjoy drawing or painting, I think it is really calming to me. Lastly, I love cooking and baking. Sweets are one of my specialties.

What does your family think of your writing?

My family thinks that my writing is really cool and they love hearing my stories and ideas. They are some of my biggest fans and have been by my side through every up and down. They believe in me and my writing.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

I learned that writing short stories is a true art and is way harder than I thought. I found that you really have to think about how to create a whole story from a beginning, middle, and end in such a short amount of words and pages.

Do you have any advice on how to be a better short story writer?

I think my best advice would be to really take your time and think about what you want to tell through your limited amount of pages. I think it's also important to create characters who are complex yet simple at the same time.

How many stories/books have you written? Which is your favorite?

So far I have 5 big stories or series that I have been planning and working on since I was little and can’t wait until I finish them and can bring them into the writing world. My favorite, so far, is my main series called The Gifted. I have been working on this for many, many years and it is one of the best plots and worlds I have ever created. I haven’t finished any books yet but I plan on making a lot.

What do you think makes a good story?

To me what makes a good story is something that will bring imagination to its readers. Something that wants and deserves to be told. A story with a lesson to be learned and characters to be heard.