Photo: Stephen Jacobson
Jay Hartlove is an award-winning dark fantasy novelist, playwright, record producer, and costumer. (He is also a father, husband, and banking officer, but this site is about his creative work.) He is known as an innovator. In gaming he was among the first to put superheroes in RPG (Supergame 1980). In costuming he was among the first to do prosthetic Klingons (1988), and among the first Steampunk (Captain Nemo 1997). He holds himself to very high standards of craft. He won Best in Show (team) at San Diego ComicCon (Camelot 3000 1988), Best Recreation at CostumeCon 8 (The Abominable Dr. Phibes 1990), and Best in Show (team) at WorldCon (Conference of Senient Beings 2002). His first novel won Best Thriller at the Independent eBooks (The Chosen 2011), and his short fiction has appeared twice in the Hugo Award winning Drink Tank. He takes the time to do thorough R&D. It sometimes takes him years to finish a project. Thankfully he always has multiple projects running.
Jay's first published novel, The Chosen, was endorsed by horror master John Shirley. It has now been republished as Goddess Chosen. Goddess Daughter is an acclaimed medical thriller and the next in the series. The third and final of the Sanantha Mauwad mysteries is called Goddess Rising, which was published in April 2020. The completed Goddess Rising Trilogy is now available from Paper Angel Press. In 2013 Jay was selected as one of the "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading," by The Authors Show. Essays on the extensive research that went into The Goddess Rising trilogy can be found in a playful interactive Tarot Card spread under the Projects tab on this site.
Jay believes strongly in sharing what he has learned and developed. He blogs about spirituality and teaches seminars on the craft of writing. Although he no longer actively costumes, he teaches and assists others to achieve their cosplay dreams.
Jay wrote a free online serial fantasy romance novel called Mermaid Steel. He then edited it with feedback from readers and it is now available from Water Dragon Publishers. Essays on the work behind this book and excerpts can be found under the Projects tab on this site.
He wrote the musical sequel to Snow White called The Mirror's Revenge. Margaret Davis and Kristoph Klover wrote the melodies and recorded the soundtrack album of the play, which is available from Flowinglass Records. The album debuted at Baycon in May 2016. Jay produced and directed a full production of the play in San Jose and Vallejo, California in August 2018 to rave reviews. One of the actresses, Bailey Barnard, earned a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Napa and Sonoma County Arty Awards in 2019. Congratulations Bailey!
VICTIMS INTO HEROES
Jay turns victims into heroes. Masterfully choosing genres that best fit his stories, he takes people who have been wronged and grows them, sometimes painfully, into their own champions. Being a child abuse survivor, this theme has become a driving force in his writing.
In the musical The Mirror’s Revenge (2018), a child abuse survivor confronts her fears and finally finds happiness.
In the supernatural thriller Goddess Chosen (2019), a radicalized man finds redemption through humility.
In the medical thriller Goddess Daughter (2019), a betrayed man finds peace through forgiveness.
In the urban fantasy Goddess Rising (2020), a rape victim confronts her fears and achieves justice.
In the fantasy romance Mermaid Steel (2020), a mermaid uses her faith and love to overcome systemic prejudice.
In the science fiction thriller The Insane God (2022), a girl overwhelmed with unwanted change finds strength in self-transformation.
In the space adventure novel The Price (est. 2023), a prince throws aside his ill-gotten privilege to end android slavery.
In the high fantasy The Dove and the Crow (est. 2024), a spousal abuse victim finds love by advocating for an abused goddess.
In the techno-thriller Goodbye Tomorrow (est. 2024), a Jewish man chooses to save humanity instead of seeking revenge on Hitler.
In the opera Las Dos Flores (est. 2025), a prince and a princess find peace by exposing the lies their parents told them.