Please welcome romantic suspense author, Jamie Jeffries. I met her in my Read Romance-Write Romance Goodreads group and life has never been the same since. She is a great author and when she contributes her two cents, you better believe I listen.
You write romantic suspense. Do you read it as well?
Oh, yes, along with contemporary romance, historical romance, lately paranormal romance, young adult, new adult, thrillers…need I say more? Basically, anything I can get my hands on. Story is more important to me than genre.
I agree completely! A well-read author is a better writer.
Is there an author that makes you strive to be a better writer? Who is it and why?
I have a number of favorites, including you, Jen. Although I’ve only had the opportunity so far to read what you post in our Goodreads group, you and several others in that group inspire me every day. I couldn’t possibly pick one. However, every time I read a book with more humor than I manage to get into mine; every time I read an evocative description or a clever turn of phrase, it inspires me. I’ll probably always be striving for better, as do most authors, I suspect.
Aww, thank you, Jamie. I know you are just dipping your toes into PNR and I can’t wait for the addiction to start for you too. *wink, wink*
What do you think you bring to your books that makes you unique?
I doubt it’s unique, but I have an insatiable curiosity about lots of things, and when I have an opportunity to share what I’ve learned, I take it. In my Desert Heat series, the more I research my setting, the more I realize there are social issues that haven’t been publicized around the US/Mexico border. It has somewhat changed my perspective. Basically, while desiring to entertain, I’d also love to induce people to think and question.
I am from the desert southwest—New Mexico and Arizona—and I appreciated how thoroughly you researched your books. The desert is a beautiful, dangerous, lovely, deadly place and you captured it with more clarity than many of the desert dwellers themselves tend to think about. My favorite smell in the entire world is the cactus preparing for rain. Your descriptions brought me back to that smell and made me think of home.
What is that one moment you have had as a writer that made you realize you were actually a real author?
The first unsolicited review I got, from a prolific Goodreads reviewer, did more for me in that way than even the first four-figure royalty check. Thank heaven it was a 5-star!
Reviews are the life-blood of the indie author; I know exactly how that feels.
What started you on the path to becoming an author?
I’d have to say it was the Christmas gift of Little Women when I was eight years old. From that came an insatiable love of reading, an English degree, and eventually my own foray into self-publishing.
Little Women was one of my favorites too. Louisa May Alcott’s biography inspired a whole year of my schooling in elementary. Her life and writing have fundamentally changed many young girls over the generations and I love that she did that for you too.
How did you work your advertising and build your following?
In highly disorganized fashion. I was already a Facebook user, so I created a page. I discovered Goodreads, reluctantly entered the Twitterverse, and recently started using Pinterest. I can’t say that I’ve done the best job of marketing and advertising yet, but I’ve followed several ‘gurus’ regarding best practices for social media, and I’ve taken to heart the advice that the best advertising is getting a new book out quickly.
You certainly are prolific and you have set some amazing goals for yourself. Was it six books you wanted to get out this year? I’ll be lucky to get two out, haha.
As an author, what is that one memory that will always stick with you?
Holding my printed book in my hands for the first time. There’s still something about the printed page that thrills me, despite my utter reliance now on an ereader.
That new books smell—it’s comforting and exciting at the same time. You know inside this book is a life waiting to be lived, and adventure awaiting you to begin.
How have your aspirations as a writer changed over time?
I think all avid young readers from this country would like to write ‘the great American novel’ someday. When I was thirteen, I had that aspiration. Now I’d just like for my work to provide some entertainment, some pleasure, maybe a little fodder for thinking about the things that matter. Dare I hope, some joy? If I can write books that people like to read, that will be enough.
I call it cotton candy for the brain.
Have you quit your day job yet or are you planning to anytime in the future?
I’m what I like to call a serial entrepreneur. I quit my last day job long ago.
And I hope you never have to go back!
What drives a romance for you and makes it something you want to read/write?
The tension. When reading, I’m mentally and emotionally urging the characters to just communicate their desire for each other and get on with it. When writing, I’m doing my best to keep them apart long enough to get the story told.
That is a challenge, isn’t it. You’ve written two characters that are perfect for each other, but you have to stop yourself from jumping the gun on their romance. I appreciate knowing that I am not the only one that has trouble with this.
What are you working on now?
I’m eagerly awaiting my editor’s work on book 2 of the Desert Heat series, and outlining book 3. By creating a detailed outline – yes, I’m a plotter – I find I can write each book relatively quickly and then turn it over to a professional to make it the best it can be. I hope to publish Fatal Divide (book 2) in the first week of April, and Fatal Intent (book 3) in June.
Good lord, woman! That’s what I mean about your goals; you are definitely going to get them accomplished at this rate! Also, can I have an ARC of Fatal Divide—I promise to review it *wink, wink*
Tell us a little about your previous works and how we can get our hands on them.
Impermanent, my first novel, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and a few other places. But, if your readers would like to own it free, they can get it by subscribing at my website, www.jamiejeffriesbooks.com. A link for download in Kindle or EPUB format will be sent along with the confirmation notice.
I think that is how I got it and I strongly encourage everyone else to do so as well!
Where can we stalk–erm, follow your work online these days?
I’m on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JamieJeffriesBooks, Twitter https://twitter.com/jamiejeffries7 (@jamiejeffries7), Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5795820.Jamie_Jeffries and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/authorjeffries/ (where you can find more about the background and inspiration for my books).