16 Mar 2018

Author Interview & Book Feature / A Bargain in Silver by Josie Jaffrey

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?

Praise for A Bargain in Silver:

✭✭✭✭✭  Dystopian, post-apocalyptic and dark, very dark… Josie Jaffrey takes on the world of the paranormal with bold strokes and a personal touch. – Tome Tender
✭✭✭✭✭  I absolutely loved this book. I had the hardest time putting it down. I think I may have even growled at my family when they interrupted me. – Baroness Book Trove
✭✭✭✭  This is a powerful start to what I am sure will be an amazing series! – One Book Two
✭✭✭✭  This book had me hooked right from the very first page. A slightly different twist on the usual vampire romance, this is a well written and intriguing start to the series. – A British Bookworm’s Blog


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.”

Author Interview:
1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
For me, writing is actually a solitary pursuit (at least until I’ve finished that essential first draft), so I don’t think I would be very good at collaborating with other authors on a single piece of work. However, I’d love to do a short story collection with authors like Nalini Singh and JR Ward, because they write in the same genre and I really enjoy their work.

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

I work part-time as a self-employed lawyer, so my day usually includes a few hours of legal drafting or research. I like to get that finished before I start writing, because I can often find myself writing into the early hours of the morning and I don’t like to stop once I get into the flow.

My writing routine itself is quite boring, I’m afraid. I need quiet and isolation to immerse myself fully in the story I’m crafting, so writing in a public place is definitely out for me. I write from home, curled up on the sofa or in bed, where there’s nothing to get between me and the screen. I try to write 2,000 words a day, so it takes me about two months to write a book (after many months of planning and plotting), but I’ve been known to finish a book in a month when the legal work is light.

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

The blocks. For me, the traditional representation of writer’s block isn’t accurate. Instead, I sometimes find myself stuck on a certain bit of a story, unable to progress further and so unable to force myself to write. In every case (and I mean every single one), this has been because there’s something deficient in my plotting or characterisation that I need to identify and sort out first.

For example, I’ve found myself stuck when:

I didn’t know a character well enough to predict what they’d do next, so I had to go away and think hard about their backstory and motivations before coming back to the scene;
I’d just written a scene where a character was behaving in a way that they wouldn’t. It took me a while to work that one out, but when I did I needed to go back and rewrite; and
frequently, at the dreaded 30% mark, I realised that I had plotted tightly up until the first crush point, but hadn’t properly sorted out the intricacies of what was going to happen after it.

4. When and why did you first start writing?

I’ve always written stories, but nascent novels were often abandoned halfway through when I lost interest or started to think they were rubbish. I didn’t finish my first full novel until A Bargain in Silver in 2014. I’ve been writing solidly since, and am now working on my sixth.

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

It actually came from a story I had started writing in 2003, which morphed into a graphic novel I half-wrote and drew in 2009, before finally turning into the Solis Invicti series. I’ve always loved vampires, and I’ve always known I wanted to write a story set in London, where vampires had taken over, but it took me a few attempts to design the world I wanted.

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?

I read all the time; every author should. I actually run an online book club (The Gin Book Club) through my website. We do written reviews, video reviews and UK author interviews, and we're currently open to new members.

I’m reading Richard Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs series at the moment, a cyberpunk noir that was recommended to me by the author Jodi Taylor. It’s really gritty in a way that appeals to me, but is also beautifully written. His dialogue is a lesson in good characterisation.

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Read! Read critically, and read widely, but particularly make sure you’re reading in the genre in which you’re writing. If you’re submitting your work to agents, then they don’t want to hear that your work is the next Twilight because it’s OLD (and overdone). They want to know that you keep up with current releases, so you know what’s popular now and where your work sits within it. The Gin Book Club really helps me to do this, because we review advance review copies as well as published novels.

Also, don’t sell yourself short by calling yourself an ‘aspiring author’. If you write, then regardless of whether or not your work is published, you’re an author.


By Josie Jaffrey

The Solis Invicti 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.

The series is targeted at adults and mature young adults.  The books contain horror, profanity and sexual content.  This isn't erotica, but there are some steamy scenes (only one or two per book).  There are love triangles, aggression and drama, but there is also an eventual HEA.

Series Info:

Books in series: 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Adult, Dystopian, Urban Fantasy