1. When did you first realize you wanted to become a Writer/author?
Becoming a writer was never a choice. It was just something I always had the passion to do. I remember, long before I could even read, being curious and wanting to know what those words said! I knew they were powerful and mysterious. My grandmother, in an effort to assuage me, had me drawing swirls on paper—mimicking cursive writing—but I knew right away that those secrets were still hidden from me. So as soon as I learned to read, I started writing. I wrote poems, short stories, and plays even before I was a teenager. By then, I was writing unfinished books and, by the time I was eighteen, I was on to the big stuff. But it wasn’t until later that I began publishing. It wasn’t that I necessarily wanted to be a writer; I simply was.
2. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Anything in life can give me an idea. Things that have happened in real life have tickled my imagination, but more often than not, my ideas usually comes from questions. For example, what would happen if two friends who have always loved each other find they can’t hold it in any longer and give in to their desires—in spite of the fact that one of them is very much engaged? I love asking questions and then finding their answers through the writing of a book!
3. What kind of things do you enjoy when not writing?
Spending time with family, reading, enjoying nature, going to concerts. I would love to garden again someday, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I was able to.
4. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
At present, I’ve written just under forty books as Jade C. Jamison. A favorite, though? Unfortunately, that’s impossible to say. That’s like having to choose which child is your favorite—I just can’t do it!
5. Do you have any suggestions to help others who have a passion for writing?
Yes. Write as much as you can. Study the craft. Join a workshop with other writers if possible. Read widely.
6. What do you think makes a great story?
Hmm. For me, I think it’s if I get lost in the story. If it feels real, if it takes me away, then it’s great. I have to somehow become invested in it—in what’s happening, in the characters, and wanting to know what is going to happen.
7. Which Writer/Authors inspire you?
The list could go on and on and on, but there are two huge inspirations. Don’t get me wrong—there are dozens of authors, living and long gone, whose stories I love and whose words have changed my life in some way, but there are two authors who have inspired me more than any other.
First, there is Stephen King, and I’m sure he figures highly on a lot of writers’ lists. Not only is the man by far the most prolific and probably most published author on the planet—with no end in sight, mind you—but, in my opinion (as both a writer and a writing teacher), he has written one of the best, most practical guides to creative writing that’s out there. I have used tips from On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft not only in creative writing classes I’ve taught, but I’ve also recommended it time and time again to writers, both already published and aspiring. The first time I read it, I thought, “Wow. That’s how I write. I’m not a freak!” Yes, there are lots of solid books on writing out there, but what makes King’s stand above the others is it’s not a textbook. The first half of the book is very much personal memoir, a good reason for any of his faithful readers to pick it up, but the second part, where he gets into the nitty gritty, is a simple “guide” to writing. What I like about it is that he doesn’t pull punches and he doesn’t get on a high horse to talk academia. He’s in the trenches telling the troops how to survive. I find myself going back to that book time and time again. It’s that good. More than that, though, I love much of his fiction. Misery is and always will be one of my favorite books.
My other inspiration is Toni Morrison. The woman can weave a story like few can, and every time I reread one of her books, I’m blown away. She can paint a picture with words so much that her prose is like poetry. Her stories also cut to the core, and many have touched me deeply, have moved me so much that they have forever altered my way of thinking. Books like Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Paradise—I cannot fathom how anyone could read those books and set them aside, not having changed emotionally. Morrison’s fiction forces you to think about who you are and what you believe, what you value, what you hold dear. Any author able to move me on that level, not just emotionally but intellectually, will have me as a faithful reader for life. She is incredible in a way that few authors are. And don’t get me wrong—hundreds of authors have my respect—but Morrison is at the top for me.
8. What are you working on at the moment?(optional)
A book called To Save Him. It’s a contemporary May-December romance with a little darkness thrown in. Basically, it’s this—the heroine’s oldest son died while in the military. One of his friends, a soldier suffering from PTSD, shows up at her doorstep and winds up staying with the family for a while. The two of them become involved with each other and then, when it might too late, she starts to question everything he’s told her. Is he who he said he was…and is her life now in danger? I’m shooting for a November release, but I’m not sure yet!
9. What genre are your books?
Mostly contemporary romance. Subgenres include new adult, rock star romance, a little paranormal, romantic comedy, romantic suspense. I like to write whatever is tugging at me. I’ve even written some nonfiction and horror.
10. What drew you to the genre you write?
I don’t just write romance, although it is the main genre I write. I write romance for a lot of reasons, but the biggest—I think—is that I find romance to be full of hope. Romance focuses on two characters on a journey. They are falling in love but have hurdles along the way that they have to find a way to overcome. Most romance involves other elements—for example, I write a lot of rock star romance novels, and very often there is another plot, such as a band member overcoming drug addiction or following a band’s rise to the top—but the main story revolves around two characters finding a way to overcome their differences so that they can spend the rest of their lives together. In spite of the fact that I consider myself post-feminist and that I “don’t need a man,” my heart swells when I read a story of love realized. I can’t help it!
11. Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead character from your most recent book?(any book you like)
Actually, I tend to see rock stars playing my characters… *smile*
12. Do you write full-time or part-time?
If you’re asking if I write for a living, no, I don’t (but that has always been the dream). That said, I publish a lot. 39 books in five years is nothing to sneeze at.
13. What is the hardest thing about writing?
Honestly, my answer will vary based on when you ask me, but I think the hardest part is after writing—and that’s marketing. I’m still working on that.
14. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded Writer’s block?
I write through it, and that’s what I recommend to other writers. It’s not easy, but it’s crucial. If you write through it, you’re training your brain, letting it know who’s boss!
15. Do you read much, and if so who are your favorite Authors or genres?
I read as much as I possibly can—and I read out of my own genre as much as possible. As I said above, two of my favorites are Stephen King and Toni Morrison. Others include John Grisham, Chuck Palahniuk, Dan Brown, Michael Crichton. There are lots more. I like to have to think when I read. I also like a bit of mystery. I love to be challenged.
16. Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Not that I can think of.
17. How can readers discover more about you and your work?(please provide proper links)
One easy way is to sign up for my newsletter. Readers can get three free books that way and try me out. They don’t like my work? It’s easy enough to click unsubscribe. That’s here: http://eepurl.com/TOMCH
There’s also my website where I pretty much just say what’s on my mind…and other stuff. I also have information about all my books there and more: www.jadecjamison.com
Then the usual social media and other places to connect:
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview 😊