Jeyn Roberts

Jeyn PhotoInterviewed by Heather Farrell

Jeyn Roberts is prolific Canadian author who currently has published five novels in the young adult genre. She has a degree in creative writing and psychology from UBC, and received her MA from Bath Spa University in London. She is arguably best known for her Dark Inside trilogy, which follows a group of teens as they struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic Vancouver. She is also the author of When They Fade (2016) and The Bodies We Wear (2014). Her sixth book, a young adult horror novel, titled Wendigo, is set to be released on October 31st.

Beyond writing Jeyn is also invested playing music, traveling and volunteering her time to help abandoned animals. Her fun and laid back attitude came through online, where she agreed to answer a few questions.

I had actually met you several years back at a local author’s event in the now-closed Chapters in Richmond. At the time you were marketing the first instalment in your young adult series, Dark Inside, which was published back in 2011. The third and final book of the series, Fury Rising, was released late last year. How does it feel to be finished up this chapter of your writing career?

Who says it’s done? Yes, the Dark Inside series is technically done, but I do still get requests from readers who want more. I’ve been toying with a short novella idea on Daniel’s backstory, mostly because people keep asking and I keep thinking about it. Overall, I’m very pleased with this series. It was my first and hopefully not my last. I feel like I’ve grown so much as an author for having written it and the characters will always have a very important part in my heart.

Outside of your Dark Inside series you currently have two other Young Adult novels out, When They Fade and The Bodies We Wear. You seem to have been bitten by something of a YA-bug: what is it about writing for the genre that keeps you coming back for more?

I’ve got one more – Wendigo –a YA horror coming out October 31th. I love writing YA and I always will. There is something special about the teenage years and it’s almost like getting to go back to my own teens… minus the hormones and crazy emotions…haha. That said, I’m currently finishing up my first non-YA novel, a paranormal thriller. There are a lot of stories to tell, it’s never been my intention to just stick to one genre.

Where (or to whom) do you turn to for inspiration?

I find nature is probably the best place to be when I’m trying to figure out plots. Luckily I have a dog who loves to walk so we go on long adventures together where I work out ideas and she chases squirrels.

You’ve published five novels of your own in the past six years, which is pretty darn impressive. What writing processes do you employ to maintain such a productive schedule?

I try to write about 2,000 words every day. Being a writer is a job, just as any other, and sometimes you have to really make yourself sit down and work. I always find the first 30 pages to be the most difficult.

If you were able to deliver a single writing-related piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Learn to take criticism, you idiot. It’s not negative, people aren’t saying you suck, it’s actually going to help you in the long run.

What is your go to writing snack?

Coffee. Always coffee. And roasted seaweed snacks.

Heather Farrell is Vancouver based writer and student of UBC’s Creative Writing program. Her main genres are speculative fiction and young adult. In spring of 2016 her short play, “Whine!” was featured in the staged reading portion of the Brave New Playwright’s Festival. She can be found on social media @heatheriswriting.


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