10 July 2008

"RITA Blog Tour: Jamie Carie"

We have our next RITA interview with Inspirational author, Jamie Carie, author of Snow Angel. Jamie is the wonderful person to start this blog tour and she’s done a fantastic job. Thanks Jamie!

Hello RITA Nominee, Jamie! Thanks so much for chatting with me. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your RITA nominated “Best First Book” sale 🙂 ?

Jamie: Like many writers, I loved stories and writing as a child. I was the quintessential “book worm” reading every chance I could get – propped up on the window sill as I washed dishes (yes, by hand:), while babysitting, on the bus, during class (with my romance novel hidden behind the pages of an algebra book), etc. I wrote poems and songs and in my diary for years. And I read. I read everything I could get my hands on – especially historical romance.

Years past and I found myself the stay-at-home of two little boys. I had been reading historical romance for so long that I was a little bored and wanted something different. I read and reread the classics. Then I tried the “Christian romances” but was disappointed in the too saintly characters. (This was twelve years ago – they’re much better now!) One night, I was at the computer. It was dark and late and I could feel the cold coming up through the wooden floorboards (we lived in an old farmhouse at the time). I remember thinking – Alaska, blizzard, young woman fighting for her life. Then I just started typing. Three chapters later I felt a thrill of discovery. This was what I wanted to do with my life! Snow Angel was born that night, but more, my love for novel writing was discovered as well.

Finding a publisher for my manuscript was another long journey! Eight years of studying the publishing industry and the craft of writing, lots of roller-coaster ups and downs and near misses. (You can read the long version of this story here). When B&H called and said they wanted to publish my book, well, it was one of the best days of my life. Two three-book deals later and I can hardly believe all that has happened since.

What a great journey, Jamie! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author’s writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Jamie: As more and more deadlines loom, I am beginning to be better organized with my time. But the truth is I’m not a morning person. I like to write late at night, in the dark, with my headphones on. 🙂

Please tell us about your RITA nominated debut novel, Snow Angel, and what we can expect from your characters.

Jamie: Elizabeth is a woman who has had everyone and every experience fail her. In that, she has learned how to “make it on her own.” When Noah meets her, she doesn’t even recognize her need for love. She has so thoroughly buried her needs and desires that when they surface, she is terrified and runs away. Noah is the man who can tear down the walls around her heart – with patience and persistence and sacrificial love. He’s the one who won’t give up. He simply loves her with his whole heart and more, with his actions. What follows is the tale of a hard-won heart. But one he willingly gives up everything to call his own.

How did it feel to receive the RITA finalist call?

Jamie: Well, at first I thought it was a telemarketer, so I wasn’t exactly exuberant when I answered the phone. As I realized what she was saying, that Snow Angel, this book I had tried to get published for eight long years, had poured my heart and my life into, was up for a RITA . . . I began shaking. I thanked her, gushing and squeaking my shock. I hung up the phone. I stared at the phone – still shaking. A RITA!?! Then I called everyone in my family and told them the news. I think my hands were shaking for well over an hour after that and I could not sit down!

I can feel your excitement through your words, Jamie! What’s up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Jamie: In April 2008, my second novel, The Duchess and the Dragon came out. I love the hero in that book – Drake Weston, the Duke of Northumberland. Tall, dark and drop-dead gorgeous, he would make anyone question their upbringing as he does to the sweet Quaker girl, Serena. Then in January 2009, Wind Dancer will come out. This is a story close to my heart as it is set in Vincennes, Indiana, my hometown, during the George Rogers Clark days of the American Revolution. I will have a book trailer for Wind Dancer up on my website www.jamiecarie.com in a few days. Fourth book – I just turned in my manuscript for a story I’m calling Red Like Scarlett which will be out June of 2009. Whew. French Revolution. The haunted and hunted Count of St. Laurent and a woman named Scarlett who is pregnant with another man’s child. I learned so much writing that novel. Now? I will be researching for the fifth book, Emma’s story. Set In the mountains of western America, during the time when we found our way to the Pacific Ocean (Lewis and Clark). I’m excited to get started on it!

They all sound wonderful, Jamie! Congrats on being a RITA finalist, and best of luck! I’m looking forward to meeting you in SF! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Jamie: My best advice is to have faith and persistence. Believe in yourself and then sit down and do the work. Write your heart. Bleed into it. Don’t worry about the market or getting published (at least while you’re writing it:) just write your story. You are the only person ever created who can write the story in your heart.

Thank you Kelly!! I’m looking forward to meeting you in SF too!

Jamie Carie is an inspirational fiction novelist who believes in the power of story to touch hearts and change lives. Her debut novel, SNOW ANGEL, a USA News Book and ForeWord Magazine award winner and RITA nominated novel, is a can’t-put-down story of redemption, hope and healing. Her second novel, THE DUCHESS AND THE DRAGON is a passionate tale of love between a reckless Duke and a serene Quaker woman. And her third novel, WIND DANCER, is a story of captivity and then the freedom from captivity. Jamie lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and three boys… and a giant of a dog named Leo.