Author Phoebe Wray on Jemma7729

Phoebe Wray was born in Franklin, Pennsylvania and raised in near-by Cochranton (a “Brigadoon” kind of village of 1000 souls), then went to Santa Rosa, California, with her parents for high school. She lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City before settling in the Boston area. She currently live in Ayer, Massachusetts, in an 1860 farmhouse with three cats, Max, Mouse and Jenny.

Many writers, including myself, don’t remember where their ideas for stories originate. In the case of my novel “Jemma7729,” I do know and remember it vividly. I was sitting on my couch having lunch and watching the noon news from Boston. It was the usual stuff: a bank robbery on the South Shore, a shooting in Roxbury, a bad car accident on Route 495.

I thought, WHAT IF there were a government so oppressive that it lumped all crimes and misdemeanors into one category: Inappropriate Behavior. That was the original title of the book. It started out as a short story, a longish short story. I had an agent at the time, the very encouraging Don Congdon, and I sent it to him. The first place he sent it was (to my great surprise) Playboy. The editor there liked it but said she thought it was actually a novel. Over the next year, I wrote it as a novel, still called “Inappropriate Behavior.” Don sent it to Warners. The editor there said: “There’s a market for this, but it really is two novels.” So,back I went to the computer…and the second novel was born. It took me two years to find a home for “Inappropriate Behavior,” finally at EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing in Canada. They changed the name to “Jemma7729,” I suppose because it’s a better SF title.

I don’t want to tempt fate and I do want to keep the branding, so the sequel is called “J2.” It was just released by Dark Quest Books.

Jemma7729 is now available from Books. J2 will be available on October 17, 2012.

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