Nya Jade is a singer-songwriter and author based in San Francisco. Her music videos have aired on the VH1, BET, and MTV networks. USA Today hailed Nya as a “young female troubadour worth keeping your eyes and ears on,” in an entertainment feature on up-and-coming singer-songwriters. “Her cool singing voice recalls Sade,” said the LA Times.
Between writing and performing new music, Nya took a musical sabbatical to focus on writing a novel—an endeavor she found quite daunting, until she began looking at each chapter as a verse in a very long song. Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is her first novel.
In her free time, Nya enjoys hanging out with family and friends, searching for amazing gluten-free desserts, and bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes.
Nya holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Sociology, both from Stanford University.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four story idea initially came to me as a big screen movie. So, I set out to write the screenplay. I'd written a romantic comedy screenplay and thought it would be fun to try one with teen characters and paranormal elements. It was easier said than done. I couldn't quite figure out how to weave the story's many layers into a vivid screenplay. But I couldn't let the idea go. So, I decided to write the book instead. I figured that with some luck, someone else would write the screenplay one day!
What books have influenced your life the most?
I read for entertainment and escape. Many books have entertained me, but I don't think any one book has influenced my life.
What are your current projects?
I'm also a singer-songwriter and so I'm currently playing around with some new song ideas. And then there's book two of the Phoebe Pope story.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, I would include more illustrations. There are two wonderful illustrations in the book and I wish there were more.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I've been told that I need to let go of the idea of perfection because it slows down my writing process. In other words, I'm a slow writer. I obsess over each draft. And there's no such thing as a perfect draft -- that's why they're drafts! I know that writing a book is not the same as competing in a NASCAR race, but it's still hard to hear that my process is "slow".
What has been the best compliment?
I've been told by readers that they had a clear picture of the movie while reading the book.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Trust that the story you want to write will come. And when it does come, believe in it, and be grateful for it.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I can be impatient.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yes. I am humbled and excited by the enthusiasm I've received from readers. I really appreciate the support. Also, one of my main characters, Colten Chase, is a movie star with his own website. You can check it out at www.coltenchase.com. I thought I'd share that fun fact!
ABOUT PHOEBE POPE AND THE YEAR OF FOUR
The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.
As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.
Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.