I'm happy to welcome Jamie Carie to the blog. Jamie, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think there is a little of me in most of my characters! LOL! Some characters, like Jane in Snow Angel, closely match my personality and how I handle difficulties and trauma. Other characters, like Serena in The Duchess and the Dragon, are more a melding of some favorite people in my life (my sister!). But the best thing is when a character suddenly becomes real and takes off on their own. It’s like having a child. You see some of yourself in him/her and then they do something or say something that totally surprises and delights you. That’s when God’s vision for the character really shines through.
And that's a defining moment in the story, for sure. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Oh, my. There are many! My favorite snack is fish crackers (poured right out of the bag into my mouth) and cottage cheese (also stuffed into my mouth with the fish crackers). While writing, I twist my hair around my index finger, sometimes even tying the swatch with one hand into a knot, which I then jerk on in concentration. By the end of a night of writing, I look like one side of my head has dreadlocks. I sleep with Vick’s smeared under my nose every night (my husband really loves that – going in for a goodnight kiss and then backing away suddenly with a “you smell like an old woman!”) Hey, it serves two purposes – LOL! Okay, that’s enough confessions from me!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When my heart swelled with a greater love than I’d ever known for God after writing a song lyric to Him.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Historical romance, some contemporary romance, women’s fiction, history books, magazines of all sorts, books on writing craft, some marketing books, some psychological books, poetry, short story anthologies, classics. If it’s left out somewhere, I’ll pick it up and read it.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
My first attempt at a novel was Made in Heaven featuring all the favorite scenes from my favorite historical romances over the years, just with a different set of characters. It was quite a mash-up. To date I’ve written five historical romances, one contemporary romance and a biographical short story that wants to grow up and be a novel real bad but I keep saying to it, “No. Get back in your drawer!”
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Not very well this week! My fifteen year old just got his driver’s permit, and I’m praying it won’t become a run-run-mom-I-ran-over-something world. I kind of like the roller coaster of life though, I think of those people in the nursing homes and how hopeless, sad and lonely many of them look, and I’m just happy to have so many people in my life and so much to do.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes I use online baby name sites. I really like to nail down the meaning of a name as I develop the character, helps me grasp a hold of them right at the beginning. I did have a cool surprise for my family in my next book, Wind Dancer. Isabelle is the protagonist who meets and marries Samuel Holt. So she becomes Isabelle Holt. My great-grandmother, who died many years ago, went by Belle Holt. I smile when I think of it and who might (in my family) figure it out.
My grandmother's name was Olina, but she Americanized it to Lena. I named the heroine in my second novel Olina in memory of her. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Aside from the day I decided to become a Christian, marrying my wonderful husband and having three sons, it would really have to be getting published. I worked really hard for that.
We all did. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Well, first of all, I would have to be a zoo animal. None of that pesky running from predators and eating raw flesh. And then there’s all the lovely press they get! Television, newspapers, people pressing their noses against the fence to get a glimpse.
Mama Panda Has Cubs In Captivity.
Panda’s are so cute . . . but I hate to imagine myself that fat. Maybe a rare, exotic tiger. Siberian with a white coat and blue-black stripes. Blue eyes would be a bonus. I always did want a white fur coat (fake of course!). Yeah. A Siberian Tigress.
What is your favorite food?
Aside from the fish crackers and cottage cheese? I’ll obviously eat just about anything. What’s more interesting to people seems to be the fact that I don’t like chocolate. Eyes bulge and mouths purse in distain whenever I have the courage to admit that.
A majority of the writers I interview say they like chocolate. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Used to be point of view. When I first learned that I wasn’t allowed to head hop I felt like I was writing with one hand tied behind my back. Now? Getting to it every day. I’m still figuring out that bit.
But we can take the reader so much deeper into our characters staying in POV, and every writer wants that. What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Pray. Work hard at it. Enjoy the journey, cause it’s LONG. Repeat as needed.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
The Duchess and the Dragon is a story about how love really does conquer all. Sometimes it takes time and working through issues, but growing up (together and separately), growing into the love that the relationship has the potential to be, will reap very satisfying rewards. It doesn’t hurt to believe in Once Upon A Time and Happily Ever After either! If I had a daughter, I would never tell her not to believe in such things. They are the story of heaven.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website, which my husband designed himself (I’m so proud of him!) is http://www.jamiecarie.com/
My blog is at http://jamieprose.blogspot.com/I’m also on myspace.com, shoutlife.com, redroom.com, facebook.com and if you really want everything I’ve ever posted online, you can Goggle me! Thanks!! :-)
Jamie, thank you for taking this time with us. I can hardly wait to read The Duchess and the Dragon.
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