Today we bring you an interview with exciting new Ylva author JD Glass, who just last week published with us the novel, Red Light.
Red Light is the story of Victoria Scotts: “Tori” to her family but “Scotty” to her brothers and sisters of the red light – the siren atop the ambulances she and her siblings-in-arms ride on New York City’s toughest streets.
JD Glass, an accomplished lesbian fiction novelist and a new author to Ylva Publishing, recently had a chat with fellow new Ylva author Gill McKnight, who as it happens, also just released a book with us last week, the time-traveling, steampunk novel, The Tea Machine. The two recently published authors talked about the characters in Red Light, JD’s history as an EMT, and the music that inspired her while writing.
1. How would you describe Red Light? What is it about?
Red Light tells the tale of Tori (Victoria) Scotts, a compassionate and intelligent young woman who doesn’t know the deck is stacked against her, and how she manages to discover and define her life, her passion, and the truth of her heart, even and especially after deep betrayal.
2. What sparked the idea for this book? What inspired you to write a novel about EMTs?
I was a New York City emergency medical technician (in both the private and the public sectors) with an active license for over 20 years. One day, I was driving and listening to music, and this particular piece came on. In the duration of that piece, the entire story rapid-played in my head and I knew, I knew that as soon as I got home, I had to start writing this story.
3. Why is it a must-read?
Tori is a little bit like all of us, like we are, like we’ve been, like we’d like to be. The joys and hurts she goes through are things that if we’ve not all experienced, then we know someone who has. And…Tori is a warrior, a warrior with a tender heart.
4. How did you come up with the title?
Some people refer to the red light on top of the ambulance as many things, and one of them is simply The Red Light. And like moths to a flame, some people are attracted to it, for good or ill.
5. Who’s your favorite character in Red Light?
Of course, I love the main character, Tori, but I can’t pretend I don’t equally love the supporting cast as well. And I think I may be a bit in love with all of them—I guess if I have a favorite “character” it’s not so much a person as it is the personalization of the love that exists between various characters, in whatever flavor it presents itself in.
6. What do you like about your main characters?
Everything! I love that Tori’s so good hearted, so willing to help anyone out. I love that Jean’s the same, and so funny and wise. I love the bravery and honesty they both have.
7. Did you plot out the entire book before you started writing, or did you explore where the story would take you?
It literally came to me in its entirety—a rapid flash movie in my head—while hearing that piece.
8. What was your favorite part about writing Red Light?
There’s no single part that I can say was a favorite, per se. No, I take that back—I really loved exploring the primal core reality of love between Tori and Jean, as much as I enjoyed the sister relationships, the mother-daughter relationships, and then…there was the all the “stuff” that goes into first becoming, then being an EMT. So, I guess my favorite part of writing Red Light was writing it!
9. Do you write to music? If yes, do you have a song that you associate with Red Light?
Sometimes I do – but this was the first book I wrote without a “soundtrack” as I typed—possibly because it was completely inspired by Ronan Hardiman’s “Warriors.”
10. Where do you write, and what is your writing process like?
I honestly write wherever/whenever I can, when the inspiration hits, but more generally, I have a space in the studio that’s my own little corner of the world – and I build even more worlds there. But before any of that happens, there must be caffeine!
11. How long have you been writing?
Honestly, for as long as I remember knowing how to actually write words! My first story I penned during kindergarten, called “A Mouse In The House.” Since it was based on “real life,” my mom didn’t like it so much!
12. Are you working on a new novel? What can your readers expect next from you?
I am – something completely unrelated to my other work. It’s called Pygmalion 2.0, and the premise is that sometimes, just sometimes, the perfect mate is something you create.
13. How can your readers stay in touch with you?
Thank you for talking with us JD!