Our guest today is Jamie Blair. Jamie’s first book, LEAP OF FAITH, will be published by Simon and Schuster in 2013. Jamie lives in North Canton, Ohio with her husband, their two elementary school-aged kids, a wisp of a cat and two bearded dragons. By day, she makes a living as a Command Center Strategist for a call center company (No, she doesn’t make phone calls, and yes, she will take you off their list). By night, she writes novels about crazy teenagers in love, while partaking in large quantities of dark chocolate and guzzling energy drinks. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and co-founded the GotYA blog. Welcome to Book Blather, Jamie.
Tell us a little about your background and your journey to publication.
Unlike many writers, I didn’t always know I wanted to write. I remember joking around with my husband after reading a book I loved, telling him it made me want to write the next Great American Novel. The seed was there, but I didn’t take it seriously or start writing until I had an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone.
Four manuscripts later, I found an agent. A year later, I found a second agent, my current fantastic-super-ninja-agent, who sold my fifth manuscript, LEAP OF FAITH.
Describe your reaction when you found out you’d sold your first book.
Calm. It wasn’t the reaction I’d been expecting, and I doubt it was the reaction my agent was expecting on the other end of the phone. I think she thought I was disappointed with the offer—I was far from disappointed.
I’ve learned something about myself during this journey. Good news or bad, I stay calm. It’s not intentional, but a true reaction, like my mind needs time to process what’s going on before I have any emotional response. It’s weird…I know.
I regret the fact that I didn’t get serious about writing until I retired from my job and my kids were grown and gone. Despite the demands of a busy household, you’ve persevered in your writing. How do you manage to find time to write?
Sometimes by screaming, yelling, pleading and bribing my two third and fourth grade kids to give me some writing time, but they’re pretty good about letting me have time to write. They’ve never known anything different than me spending large amounts of time with my face stuck in my laptop since I’ve been writing since they were very little. My husband has grown to accept it and enjoys telling people that I have a book coming out next year.
I also have a regular, full time career at a great company, and my co-workers are great and supportive of my writing.
Your book deals with an interesting concept, namely a young girl on the run with a newborn baby that isn’t hers. Is it based on a real situation? If not, how did you come up with the idea?
LEAP OF FAITH isn’t based on a true story, at least not that I’m aware of. It started out as an idea about a teen girl whose mom is a surrogate and morphed into a story about girl on the run with her baby sister who lands with the first real family she’s ever had and her first true love. In the end she might or might not get to keep any of them.
5. How do you plan to promote LEAP OF FAITH?
Social media mostly, with information and giveaways on my Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jamie-M-Blair/280042602029930, Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13185121-leap-of-faith
6. How about a brief excerpt?
LEAP OF FAITH hasn’t been edited yet, so I’m not sure what will or won’t make it into the final manuscript or what I have permission to share. What I can do is share the playlist I made while writing LEAP OF FAITH. Some songs are a little old now, but some books take a few years to find their way.
In addition to GotYA- www.thegotya.blogspot.com, Jamie can be found on Reading, Writing and Waiting, the young adult book review blog- www.youngadultbookworm.blogspot.com - Twitter- @JamieMBlair, or lurking on Goodreads and Facebook.
For more about Jamie M. Blair, visit her website at http://www.jamiemblair.com.