Hey Book Lovers, I have a special treat for you today. As we are part of the Romacing your dark side blog tour. I had the honor of interviewing author Jamie Magee. So sit back, relax and enjoy!
What inspired you to write your first book?
I have read and watched beautiful love stories my entire life, and each time I would imagine how I would have changed it – what would have taken me further into the story. It’s not that the stories I read were not amazing – truth is they were so amazing that they were addictive and I wanted more and more of the story that had consumed me. One day I realized I was daydreaming about a story that had never been written – and I instantly grew addicted to the people coming to life in my mind. Without warning and unimaginable desire to tell an untold story took over every spare thought.
I love the quote “If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” by Toni Morrison. "If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it" Toni Morrison"If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it" Toni Morrison
Where do you get your ideas?
Once I begin to write a story it stays with me all day long. I fall asleep and wake up day dreaming about the next scene. When I leave the house in the morning I always make a mental note of what I want to figure out throughout the day so when I get home I can write it all out. With these ideas constantly running in the back of my mind – I seem to notice things around me that can help me. It could be a song, a conversation, a billboard – you name it. I strongly believe if you seek an answer you’ll find it.
A great example of how this works was something that happened to me as I was writing my last novel (this is a new series that will colloid with the Insight series in the near future). When I left one morning I said to myself ‘I need to figure out if your fingers hurt when you learn to play the guitar – does it leave marks on your skin? And what cords would you have to learn – I also need to come up with a strong name for my antagonist.’ Later that day I was in a shop looking at rings – an older woman was trying on rings next to me. I complemented her thumb ring and she proceeded to tell me that she played guitar and how she liked to wear certain styles of rings. A mischievous grin spread across my face and I proceeded to ask her questions about learning to play. She was eager to answer my questions and even gave me more insight than what I was looking for. At the end of the conversation she told me to never give up and to play every day. I explained it wasn’t me - I was a writer and my character was the one that was going to play – she said ‘tell you character I said that – she’s real because you’ve created her.’ The woman gave me her card and told me to call her if I needed any more help. Needless to say I was extremely excited and had more than enough information to write for at least the next two days. A few hours later I was in another store and a woman called her young son to her – his name was Britain. I complemented the name and she said to me. ‘I wanted my son to have a strong name – so I gave him his grandfathers’. I said my goodbyes to them and as I walked away I decided that my antagonist name (at least for now) would be Britain.
I could go on and on about the people that have crossed my path, the songs I’ve heard, signs I’ve seen. Life is beautiful and the people that cross your path are there for a reason.
Do you ever experience writers block?
In 2010 I completed three novels. That was the first year I began to write. Once I finished my third I experienced my first case of writers block. I was really new to writing and often searched for advice on how to mold my craft. I had read comments like ‘you’re only a writer when you write – so never stop’ ‘Write every day even if you have nothing to say.’ I think that is great advice because even if you have nothing to say you are teaching yourself structure, speed with typing and most importantly you’re shaping your voice. Even though I adore this advice I found myself unable to use it.
In my writing career I have found that at times my ‘muse’ goes on short vacations and it would not matter if I locked myself in a room with nothing but a key board - I would not have single word to write, but when my muse comes back from its so called ‘vacation’ I will write at the speed of light – sacrificing sleep, food, almost anything to just get the story out. Discovering that this is how I create allowed me to embrace it. When I have a pause between novels I use that time to meet readers, network with other authors, read, and simply enjoy the people in my life!
I think all writers have to figure out how to climb this wall called ‘writers block’ from time to time.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have a full time career outside of writing, amazing friends, and most importantly a beautiful family. When I’m not chasing my dreams I make it my sole desire to help others reach theirs.
How did you come up with the title?
The entire time I was writing Insight I called it ‘Gifted’. One day I was strolling through the local book store and noticed that titled had been taken. I thought and debated for weeks on what I would call my debut – my series. One night I came home with a list of names I’d come up with throughout the day. As I watched my husband read them it was clear that he didn’t care for any of them. I let out a frustrated sigh as I leaned my head against the kitchen counter. At that moment my young children started to sing along with the IPod that was playing in the background of the kitchen. “When darkness turns to light it ends tonight – it ends tonight – just a little INSIGHT will make this right.’ I raised my head to see my husband smiling down at me. I’d bought that song because it reminded me of Willow and Landen’s first fight in the Insight series.
I guess you could say this was one of those instances where I asked a question and I found the answer!
What has been the toughest criticism to you as an author? What is the best compliment you have received?
Because I’m still so new to the world of writing I embrace both constructive and positive feedback. I think one of the hardest things I’ve heard was that there was too much love in my story – that they wanted something to hate. I see this criticism from several points of view. I realize that not everyone believes in soul mates (I want to put a short disclaimer in here: there is a darkness in my novels and several challenges my characters have to overcome). Readers come from all walks of life and without a doubt they have their reasons for not embracing the possibility of having another to complete you ( another disclaimer: my characters do not believe that we have to have another to be complete or that we are nothing without love – they simply see love as something sacred). What was so hard about this statement was realizing that our generation needed someone to ‘hate’. I reflect on that idea often. What I’ve come to realize is that behind every ‘bad’ guy there is a story - almost a reason that they are the way they are, and right now I have to listen to my ‘muse’ and tell that story with the antagonist in Insight.
The best things I’ve heard would be: ‘The story moved like a film’, ‘I couldn’t put it down’ ,‘I dreamed of Chara last night’ ‘Tell me there is going to be more!’
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely imagination?
One of the core elements of my story is emotions. My lead character, Willow Haywood, can feel the emotions of others. I have felt every emotion she has to face in this series, but my experiences are far less challenging than Willows. My imagination allows me to see Willow’s life through her eyes!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What is so funny about this question is that I had no idea. I envied my friends who knew exactly what they wanted to be or had a talent that clearly showed itself to the world.
I remember filling out applications for college and staring down at all of the pamphlets and careers I could chase. In one afternoon my imagination allowed me to be a veterinarian, photographer, teacher, business woman, and everything else that was available. I remember growing frustrated with myself as I thought the words ‘the only thing I’m good at is daydreaming.’
Years later I’ve come to realize that sometimes the obvious answer is not that obvious, and I’m grateful I finally found something useful to do with my overactive imagination!
What project are you working on now?
Right now I am preparing for my next release in the Insight series ‘Image’ due out the first of November. I also just completed another draft on my fifth novel. Each day I grow more eager to share my new series with my readers!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Never let anyone tell you no – including yourself! If a story has found you – write it, then write the next story that finds you. You only fail when you give up.
Is there anything you would like to say to readers and fans?
I absolutely love and adore each and every one of you! When I began to write I never thought I would be here today. Knowing that others have stepped into my imagination with me is breathtaking – thank you so much! Your enthusiasm fuels my desire to write faster.
Some quick questions…
Light or dark chocolate?
Dark – with raspberries if possible J
Dogs or Cats?
Who could chose lol – I’m an animal lover!
Tea or Coffee?
Tea (I live in the south so make that sweet tea with a lot of ice)
Favorite Disney movie?
Hugh Jackman or George Clooney?
George Clooney – his voice captivates me.
Thank you so much Jamie for answering my questions and being a guest on our blog. :D
Blurb: Not many Scorpio’s are known for their patience, and Willow Haywood is no different. Her only desire is to love Landen Chambers and redeem the lost souls of Esterious, but the path to that desire is long, dark and dangerous...
Before Willow’s life had a chance to balance the sudden revelations and grief she had to endure to get to Chara a disturbing discovery is made. A photo, one that shows Willow blissfully embracing the flawless image of Drake Blakeshire; giving her not only proof that she had lived before, but that she had loved him.
Running away from the memory of Drake’s hypnotizing touch, and the prophecy set before her seemed like the logical thing to do. That is, until a dark dream reignites her passion to save the hopeless dimension of Esterious. Willow struggles to find patience – to learn everything she needs to know before she faces Drake again, but her eagerness is dangerous and one step in the wrong direction takes everything and everyone away from her – the only way to survive this trial is for Willow to remember who she is and what she really wants out of this life. The question is….can she do that?
The awesome trailer..
If that's not enough to entice you why not check out an Excerpt
Ok on with the giveaway, to win yourself an ebook copy of Embody all you have to do is leave a comment (if you have any questions for Jamie, ask away.) with your email addy. We'll pick and announce the winner after the 16th August.
Also here's more info on book one Insight