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Who is Jayelle Cochran?
Photo by Battle Cry Photography
|Jayelle Cochran was born and raised on Long Island in New York as the oldest of seven children. She currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and two children. As a dedicated Navy wife and mother, finding the time to write and publish can sometimes be a daunting task. Nevertheless, she makes do with such constraints and the results are worth it in her opinion.
The process with which Jayelle creates her characters, worlds, and stories is a direct result of role playing games. In 1997, when she was in the Navy, she played her first game and was instantly hooked. At the time she rarely wrote more than the occasional poem or short story. She soon found gaming to be a way to create a story in collaboration with friends and without control over the other characters. It was addictive and fun.
In 2012 she and a friend, who also loves to write, decided to create a freeform role paying game to help round out their characters. There were no system rules, no dice or character stats, and they both took on the role of the GM (the one who controls the environment and non-player characters). Eventually the two women began to use characters from their writing and the resulting stories amazed them both.
|The experience led to an experiment. Jayelle wondered what would happen if she were to write a story in the same manner that the freeform games were played. After spending weeks daydreaming about the main character and her history, she finally sat down and began to write one of the scenes she had daydreamed. Before she knew it, that scene turned into chapter 1 of Sadie's War.
Her love of writing has combined with her love of art after creating the cover for Sadie's War and gaining inspiration for more character artwork. You can find some character art in the Characters section of this site. All of the covers were done by Jayelle, with advice from the same friend who introduced her to freeform roleplaying.
Each book since Sadie's War has been written in the same manner. A series of daydreams eventually get typed out and before long a story is born. At the beginning of each book, Jayelle has no idea what the book will be about. All she knows are the main characters and how they interract with one another. The rest is revealed with each keystroke. "It's totally addictive!" Jayelle has said on more than one occasion.