Interview with Nya Jade, author of 'Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four'


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.

To find out more, please visit
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Nya. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: Hello! Thank you for hosting me on The Writer's life. I'm a soul/pop singer-songwriter as well as a debut author. A few years ago, I decided to take a break from my hectic music career. But after years of writing songs and performing live shows, my brain and soul needed another creative outlet. I turned to writing. The process of writing a novel didn't come easy for me, but it felt like an extension of my creative self. And as much as I enjoyed writing, I didn't want to leave music far behind. So when the time came to publish Phoebe and the Year of Four, I decided to include music with it! There's a link at the end of the book that will take readers to where they can download a free copy of my album, The Road To Adam. It's a small way of saying thank you to readers.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: The book is about a sixteen-year-old girl, Phoebe, who splits her life between two worlds on the same campus. Above ground she’s an ordinary sophomore, but Below, she’s a shape-shifter and spy in training. Danger escalates when a cryptic prophecy threatens Phoebe’s existence, while attention from the biggest teen movie star, Colten Chase, adds a thrilling dimension to her already chaotic life. When other Shifter students start to be kidnapped and her own life is endangered, Phoebe soon learns that romance and death threats are hard to balance.

I wrote the book because the idea of a secret school, within a regular school, grabbed me and refused to let go. And when I needed inspiration for the book's setting, I drew from my own boarding school experience. That said, I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of shape-shifters at my high school!

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: I think starting the writing process was one of the biggest challenges. I stared at a blank Word document for a very long time. I had a lot of ideas, but I obsessed over how to turn them into a book. A lot of that had to do with fear. So I had to get to the point where I believed in my story and my characters enough to type the first sentence. I'm quite sure that sentence doesn't exist anywhere in the book, but it was an essential start.

The revision process was also a challenge. The very first daft of this book is nothing like the finished product. It's not even close to the same story. I'd say about 90% of it got scrapped. I wrote two more drafts (about 300 pages each) that got stripped down to 30 usable pages. It's really hard to let go of all of that material. My characters didn't really change. They were always there in spirit. I think they were just asking me to give them a better story. 

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: My press kit is under construction and is not available online.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: Not yet. Event appearances and radio and TV interviews will be part of a 2013 plan.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: Yes, Jaimee Garbacik at Footnote Editorial.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: I began with a Cover Reveal blitz in October to announce the book. The response to the book's cover has been amazing and has helped to create some buzz. I'm currently on a two month blog tour with Pump Up Your Book, of which this is my third stop. And there are other online promotions in the pipeline.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes, a few more.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Nya.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Thank you so much for having me. This was fun! Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is available in both paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon. It will appear on other online retailers at the end of the month.

Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is available at:
Amazon -

Readers can visit me at:

Web -
Facebook -
Twitter - @TheNyaJade
Goodreads -

And last but not least, one of my characters, Colten Chase, is a movie star with his own website that readers can visit for fun! It is:

Large- Nya Jade Cover- Phoebe Pope and the Year of FourABOUT 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.

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