The BL Xpress Talks To Popular Thai BL Author Jamie and her official Translator Roni Roykam

Interview Questions for Jamie

1. Your novels seem to have a central theme of accidental meetings or clandestine affairs that bring the two characters closer. How do you normally visualize your main lead characters?

I normally like to write the stories that two people who have different background who came from different places, have different characters and point of views and can fall in love at anytime, anywhere and any circumstances.

2. In “Art Eat Eng”, the two main characters Llyod and Ray are completely opposite in nature. What was in your mind when you wrote this story? Is it steampunk or a breezy romance?

I just want to write about two people who are completely opposite in every way come to live together and then what can happen. It’s a breezy romance.

3. In “Naked London”, the backdrop for this romance is London. You are currently based in this city. How much of this storyline originated from your personal experiences. What makes Lionel and Harris different from the other BL characters?

I can say around 50% of this novel I wrote from my personal experience living in London, UK. In terms of places and little tidbits are real, but the characters, the plot, the storyline, and the love story are all fictional.

I will not say what is the difference between them and other BL characters, but I will say that I intend to let the two of them slowly develop and find their way into the relationship. I want the readers to feel that they are real people who live their lives somewhere in London and grow old with them.

4. Your novellete “Amber Moon and Star” has an intriguing premise that describes two lonely souls getting together for a short period of time. Talk to us about these characters and their lives!

They really are two lonely souls that happened to bump into each other. They are very different from all of my novels. Most of my novels (except Hot Bamee lol) main characters often develop their relationship slowly, they met, learn about each other, fall in love before making love. But in this novel, they met, have sex and start to fall for each other afterwards.

Well, I actually cannot say more about them because they are in one of my new novel projects. Amber Moon and Star will become a full-length novel soon.

5. “Secret Admirer The Series” is probably one of your most popular novels. It is also being adapted into a drama series? How excited are you with this development?

Actually, Secret Admirer is not my most popular novels will you believe that? Lol

My most popular novels are Art Eat Eng and Love Letters. Their paperback books are Best Sellers from the very first week of its released date. Love Letters sold out from the first two weeks of its released date.

Naked London is my very first novels that international readers know about my existence. It’s my first novel that ever have an English translation and it has started since 2018.

About Secret Admirer novel, it’s great to see one of my novels adapted into a drama series. It’s like I see my kid grows up, no matter what.

6. Talk to us about the novel’s main character Kimhan and Singto? How did you breathe life into these characters?

I wrote this novel from my own experience. It’s about my junior who secretly in love with me back in my university time. In the novel Kimhan secretly in love with Singto for the past 5 years before he confessed and before they started dating. But in reality, my junior confessed to me more than 10 years after we graduated, and when the time I told him I was getting married. I never think of him more than a junior in my university and cannot return his feelings. So, in this novel I want to fulfill his love. The characteristics of two main characters are not the same with me and my junior though.

7. Earth Teerapat and Fluk Chatchawan have been roped in to play these main characters? We have seen you follow them ardently on your social media handle? What is your personal opinion about these two actors?

Earth is such a nice kid. He is modest, kind and very attentive. I really adore him from the bottom of my heart.

Fluke has a very similar character with Singto in the novel since he is a composed man and not very talkative. He is also one good kid.

8. “Hot Bamee and Yummy Gyoyung” seems like an outright steamy romance between the main leads? What kind of hot scenes can the readers expect in this novel?

Oh, talk about hot scenes, you can expect EVERYTHING from this novel.

9. I’m very intrigued with the premise of your novel “Love Uncut”. The story focuses on the romance between a Director Take and his actor Care. Where did you draw inspiration for this novel? Also does this novel focus only on their romance or have you taken a dig on the intricacies in the Entertainment Industry?

Love Uncut is a romantic comedy novel collaboration with Mr. Lit Samajarn (Director of My Engineer). The story is based on the experiences as a long-timed director of Lit himself flavored with some fictional aspects.

By the way, Lit discussed about this project with me sometime in April 2019 and announced in May 2019.

10) What is your opinion about the current status of LGBTQ representation in BL novels? Do you feel that the BL genre is adequately representing them or has it turned into a medium that just fantasize men?

As a writer, I am trying to represent and proving that we are all the same. There shouldn’t be any discrimination or branding women, men or LGBTQ, there should only be “people”. But I think it’s all up to the readers as well how they feel about it and how much they can take what we try to express in our novels.

11) We have often heard about authors complaining that the production houses or director take undue liberties with the script and change it to their convenience, thereby distorting the entire storyline? What is your personal opinion about this issue?

I think if they want to make a drama series from novels, they should respect the novels, authors and novel fans. If they want to change everything, they should just write their own new stories.

12) You have very close friendships with your translators, especially Roni? How do you collaborate with them? Do you have any message you want to share with them?

For Roni, she was a big fan of my novels, she was my first translators and now we became a very close friend. Most of my international translators read the English version of my novels and contacted me for a permission to translate into their languages. They always notify me whenever they uploaded the new chapters of the novels they are working with.

I want to tell them that I am grateful to have them. I am very thankful for their hard work. They mean so much to me and I love them dearly. All of my translators are very important to me and I will always value them.

13) You have also worked with Director Lit (Phadung Samajarn) for your novel “Love Uncut”. How much of the storyline highlights his personal life? Talk to us about the experience of working with him?

Because this novel is based on his personal experience, I can say that around 80-90% will be from his personal life. Same with Naked London, the love story of the main characters is all fictional.

I have a wonderful experience working with Lit. Even though he is very famous and successful directors, but he has no such a nonsense ego and not arrogant at all. He is a great director with full of respect, responsible person, considerate, great listeners, very reasonable person, very talented, very attentive, modest and mature. He is the dream director that every author wants to work with, I am telling you.

14) Are any other of your novels in the process of being adapted into TV series? If yes, please share more details about them?

I am not sure about it yet. There are few production houses contacted me and my publisher for Love Letters, but I really don’t know if this novel will become a tv series or not. I am not sure if I want to do another one though. People told me that I should give myself another chance. Well, we will see how it goes then. Or maybe I’ll just work with the project collaborate with Lit.

Interview Questions for Roni

1. As Jamie’s official translator, what do you think is the main difference between the books written by Jamie and the other BL novels available in the market?

I think what sets Jamie’s work apart from other BL novels is her oversea living experience and her contact with LGBTQ+ friends and acquaintances living in a society that is more open to non-binary, non-heterosexual relationships. Many of her characters are very open-minded concerning LGBTQ+ situations. This offers a very refreshing read.

2. Translating novels written in regional languages is a herculean task. How do you manage your job and balance your translator duties?

Fortunately, my day job as a professor of English means I deal with many aspects of the English language on a daily basis and translation is one of my academic service responsibilities. Therefore, I don’t have much mental shifting to do from one job to another. It is time management that is the biggest issue and I do admit to having to survive on little sleep to make sure I do both my duties responsibly.

3. You have translated a wide range of novels written by Jamie? Which book is your personal favorite?

My personal favorite is Naked London which is going to be available for purchase really soon. It has great sentiments for me as it is the first novel I started translating. The story line is also intriguing and inspires a wide range of emotion for me as a reader as it covers issues like overcoming your own fear and mental obstacle to be with your loved one and accepting that love comes in all kinds of form. It also features more light-hearted story telling like friends having chummy banters and delicious food description. It is a delightful read and both a joy and a challenge to translate.

4. How do you connect with the characters visualized by Jamie? Which couple do you find most interesting?

Jamie and I are very close and when she conceptualizes a new story, we often have fun talking about the characters together, so I have a strong connection with them since the beginning. Out of all of Jamie’s couples, I think the most interesting pair is Art Eat Eng’s Ray and Lloyd. They come from two very different backgrounds and have very different views on many things that they face together as a couple. Lloyd’s innocence is also extremely endearing and a nice contrast to Ray’s worldly knowledge and slightly devious way when it comes to “devouring” his dear Lloyd. Their story is very charming.

5. “Secret Admirer The Series” is being adapted into a drama series. How excited are you about this prospect? What was your experience while reading and translating this novel?

I am very excited about the series. I really hope the production team does a good job of respecting the wonderful, heart-warming story line and the loveable characters that Jamie created. As I read Secret Admirer, I think it is an outstanding mixture of tender admiration and enduring a heartbreak until almost the very end of the story. As I translate it, there are plenty of youthful slangs which add much flavor to the story to carry across into English and I hope I will do a decent job of it.

6. Being an avid BL novel reader, what is your opinion about the current status of LGBTQ representation in BL novels?

I think this issue still needs much work. Many BL novels, especially the Thai ones, still treat non-heterosexual romantic feeling as something that is only applicable to “this one special person” and I think that does not portray correctly the LGBTQ+ community. However, just getting BL onto the radar and thus raising awareness that there is such a thing as a romantic love that is not confined to having to exist between only a man and a woman is a nice start, especially for young readers. They can use their enjoyment of BL novels as a stepping-stone to be more open-minded and aware of the diversity in our global community.

7. You are great friends with author Jamie. How comfortable are you with each other? How do you collaborate on most projects?

We are very comfortable with each other and sometimes we are amazingly in sync, such as being able to predict what the other would say or enjoying many of the same things. I am proud to be Jamie’s official English translator and as we are both more or less perfectly bilingual, we often help each other with proofreading both in Thai and in English.

8. Would you like to share any message about your upcoming projects with our readers?

As of the moment, Jamie and I have two novels in collaboration with our publishers and also two novels that we are taking care of ourselves. We do hope our collaboration brings enjoyment to a wider group of readers. Our two novels with publishers include Naked London and Secret Admirer and the projects we are taking care of ourselves are Hot Bamee and Yummy Gyogung which would also include a very special extension. We appreciate our readers’ kind words, reviews, and support, and we also appreciate our large group of translators who make Jamie’s stories available in many more languages.

The BL Xpress would like to thank both Jamie and Roni for this opportunity !

Spanish Translation-

(Disclaimer- The opinions expressed here belong solely to the author. They do not represent the views and opinions of our blog.)

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