#Spotlight & #Interview - Jamie Summer
Jamie Summer is a native of Germany, where she lives with her husband and son. She's currently working on her next book and wishes there were 48 hours to the day so she could do everything she sets her sights on.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Jamie. I’m a German girl that has a deep love for the English language. I’m a writer, blogger, avid reader, coffee and TV show addict and try to be a dancer.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m either reading, blogging, out for a walk, taking dance classes or generally spending time with friends and family.
Do you have a day job as well?
Yes. I’m currently on maternity leave but when I’m not taking care of my little man, I’m helping students go on an exchange year abroad.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I don’t actually remember, to be honest. The first bookish memory I have are the Harry Potter books.
When was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
It was just very recently. I’ve always written fan fiction with my best friend, but I never thought it was gonna turn into more. When I dreamt about the beginning of Dalysian Hope, even then I only thought I was gonna write the story for myself. And my best friend. She ended up being the one that encouraged me to publish the story.
What book do you wish you had written?
The Harry Potter books actually.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I wanna be happy with what I’m doing. No matter what that is. I wanna still live where I do now, with my family, and have all my friends and family with me. Writing wise, I just wanna have been able to put out the best work I could.
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing Dalysian Hope beginning of 2015 and finished it by mid 2015. Not sure anymore when. It was a rather fast writing circle for me.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
The genre chose me. The dream was very clear on the age of the people, so I had little choice in the matter. Other than that, for my other books I usually simply let the story guide me. Whichever genre that might be.
Where do you get your ideas?
I get a lot of my ideas from premade covers I buy. They are amazing when it comes to inspiration. Other than that, I’ve had ideas while out for a walk and while driving. So basically anywhere.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I did, yes. I realized after a little while that the last part I wrote didn’t work and it was making it hard for me to continue. So I deleted that part and started writing again. Definitely worked wonders.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
Pantser all the way.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Sam Destiny is my biggest influence. In all aspects of writing. She’s the one that got me into writing, she’s the one that encouraged me to make the next step and she’s still the one routing for me when not even I am.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
My biggest challenge was being pregnant and having a little one. That put everything on hold for a while. The book was done in fall of 2015, but there were a few issues that I needed to deal with, which is why Dalysian Hope wasn’t published until March this year. The book is where it deserves to be now, which makes me incredibly proud.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I think everything is a learning curve. No matter what problems or issues you have in releasing your first book, there will always be something that you can take away from it. So that’s why I wouldn’t necessarily say I’d do anything differently, because it made me appreciate everything now so much more.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Nope. I don’t have any skeleton stories in my closet. Everything’s out there. Well, except for my next release.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Networking is the key. Make friends in every part of the business. The shares, the comments, everything you get from them makes your visibility go up. Plus, getting to know all those amazing people is a HUGE plus. I love the people that I’ve had the privilege of meeting through this journey.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I’ve recently finished the second book in my YA fantasy trilogy, so that will be coming up next.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
So far it’s all been my imagination. That’s not to say there aren’t any factors in the stories that are close to real life.
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I’ve had a favorite part in the second book of my YA fantasy that I loved writing. Simply because I think it will be a huge OMG moment. At least that’s what I’m going for LOL
How did you come up with the title?
Research and the amazing help of my bestie.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
There are so many ideas in my head still, so it’s hard to choose only one. I’m set with writing for the next few years, when it comes to having ideas.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Network with fellow authors, bloggers, anyone. They are gonna be your biggest support, but they will also be able to give you the best advice. Listen to their recommendations when it comes to editors, cover designers, formatters etc. It’s valuable unlike anything else.
What does your protagonist think about you?
I hope they like me LOL
Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author, his creator?
I think they would. I’d like to believe that, at least.
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
Thankfully, so far it hasn’t been that bad. One of my reviews said that my story dragged one and there were too many mysteries involved, but since that was what I was going for, I kinda took it as a compliment^^
What has been the best compliment?
My YA fantasy has been compared to the Hunger Games. Nothing else need to be said. That’s like… wow.
Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the others?
I don’t have characters speak to me like they do to other authors. My voices are usually quieter, more in the background. Which doesn’t mean I’m not writing their stories.
What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee or some complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
Oh, mine are more the low-maintenance people. So a simply coffee with cream, or a vanilla latte, that sort of thing.
What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?
Music for sure and my mac. I usually type on my Mac, but there’s one story I started writing with pen and paper. I prefer typing, though.
Is there a certain type of scene that is harder to write than other? Racy? Love? Action?
I haven’t written any actual love scene, and I’m terrified of those.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
That I love them dearly. I know that’s such a cliche to say that, but it’s the simple truth. Having readers message me and telling me how much they loved my book, THAT’s why I’m doing it.
Is there one subject you would never write about? What is it?
I’d not try the BDSM route. Not that I have anything against that, but I couldn’t do it. No way.
Do you have any strange writing habits? Like writing in the shower?
Nope, I’m pretty normal in that case.
If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation – who would you choose for which character?
Oh boy, that’s a hard one. I never thought about that before. Maybe I should ask the readers what they think.
How important are the names in your book?
They are important for who they represent, but the names don’t have any special meanings that are related to the characters, like I know other authors do.
Did you choose them based on how they sounded or looked, or was it completely random?
Random. I love random name generator. However, I do make sure it sounds okay as well.
Do you have any name choosing resources you would recommend?
Oh, I got several name generators I use. People are free to PM me for those LOL
Do you read your reviews?
I do, yes.
Do you respond to them, good or bad?
No. I like them, but I don’t respond, even though sometimes I wanna respond to the not so good ones and be like: thank you, that was actually very helpful. I never do.
Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I don’t have any advice for that. Everybody deals with that their own way.
What is your best marketing tip?
Be open and make friends.
What is your least favourite part of the writing or publishing process?
Having to wait that long until the story is out from the moment I finish writing.