Author Interview - RM Jamieson
Hey everyone! In this week's installment of the Author Interview Series I chatted with author RM Jamieson about her writing endeavors and her upcoming novel, Jack: Rise of Faerie. Check out what she had to say below!
1) Describe your most recently published book and/or your current work in progress.
My work in progress is a gritty Urban Fantasy novel called Jack: Rise of Faerie. It follows Jack O’Connor, a formidable but lonely Warden who patrols the city streets of Vancouver at night. He’s on the prowl for Unseelie: evil, twisted, sadistic monsters that feed on human flesh. When Unseelie sightings sky rocket, and other Wardens are being slaughtered, Jack has to face his grisly past and come to terms with the things he’s been trying to forget since he was seventeen. And, of course, he’ll have to fight a bunch of Faeries that are hell bent on ripping Jack’s head from his shoulders. Literally.
2) Which do you prefer: self-publishing or traditional publishing? What factors made you choose one over the other?
I always dreamed of traditionally publishing, but the more I learned about the industry the clearer it became that it wasn’t the right path for me. I like the control I have now that I have decided to self-publish. I also like that I’m more involved in the business side (sales, marketing, and hiring my own freelancers like book cover designers and editors). It keeps things fresh although it can be a tad (and by a tad I mean extremely) overwhelming. But the main benefit to self-publishing? I choose what stories I want to share and when. The ball is totally in my court. I feel like I have the freedom to tell the true story inside me, rather than having to cater to the demands of the market.
3) Are there any books, movies, music, etc. that influenced your writing?
Absolutely. I would say some of the major players were The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, the Fae Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, and TV shows like Stranger Things. Plenty of tension, high stakes, and epic battle scenes.
4) Which is your favorite genre(s) to write in? Which genre have you never written in but would love to try someday?
My favorite genre to write is Urban Fantasy, but I won’t be surprised if that changes in the future. I work full-time as a ghostwriter, so I’ve dabbled in a lot of genres. One I’ve been itching to try is horror, or maybe even thrillers… which I think could be a lot of fun!
5) Do you prefer reading on an e-reader or actual books? Which do you think is better from a publishing point of view?
Personally I prefer books. I like holding the physical thing in my hands because it enhances the experience. The smell. The texture of the page beneath your fingertips. The satisfaction of slipping your bookmark between the pages right before you fall asleep. I don’t think either is better than the other, per se. They each offer their own pros and cons. For example, a hard copy of a book usually sells for more money, and therefore pays the author more. But e-readers make the content more accessible and easier to consume (for example the option of audio books). It’s all a matter of preference, I think. For what it’s worth, I intend to offer my debut novel in both e-reader and paperback format. Maybe even hardcover if all goes well.
6) How has the online writing community affected your writing career?
It has made me feel less alone. Connecting with other writers and feeling their successes and struggles like they are my own has been eye-opening. Before, I felt like I was drowning. Nobody could relate to me and my career path. It was hard to talk about what I did for a living--and my biggest passion. But now I have an outlet for that. I have also really loved having new writers come to me with questions. I’ve even been lucky enough to review some work from my fellow writers! How cool is that?
7) Describe your typical writing routine.
I don’t think I have a routine. Every day is different and depends on my mood. Sometimes I like to get up and have a cup of coffee and pound out two chapters. Other days I don’t sit down to write until noon. And, sometimes, I put off writing until 10 pm, choosing instead to spend my day in my pajamas watching Netflix. No shame. And then there are the days where I don’t write at all, and that can last anywhere from one day to four. Then the deadlines start giving me heart palpitations and I get back to work.
8) What is your ultimate goal in terms of writing?
My ultimate goal is simply to get my book in the hands of people who are looking for a story like Jack’s. It’s the story I’ve wanted to find on the bookshelves, but haven’t been able to get my hands on. I think it’s an action-packed adventure that people will love. I don’t think I could ask for more than having a community of people who are willing to pay to read my books. Whether that community is ten or five hundred people makes no difference to me.
9) What has been your biggest writing struggle? What is your greatest strength?
Biggest struggle? Actually writing my damn book. As I mentioned, I’m a full-time ghostwriter, so when I’m not working on my own debut novel I’m writing novels for other people. This really can tend to suck up all my creative energy and leave nothing left for my book. My greatest strength would probably be my speed. I’m very efficient, and once I’m in the zone I can pound out insane word counts. I owe this to ghostwriting, too. I’ve learned to work on a deadline and maximize my time. I’ve written up to 18,000 words in one day to meet a deadline. No, it’s not fun at all, but it’s cool to sit back at the end of the day and see how much you got done. Of course, those aren’t the words you use in your final draft, but I believe getting the bulk of the story out on the page as fast as you can is a crucial first step.
10) Is there anything about the publishing world that has been very difficult? Has anything been easier than you expected? If you aren’t published yet, what do you anticipate being easy or difficult?
Since I’m going the route of self-publishing, I anticipate everything will be difficult since I’m learning it all as I go. I have to consider things like content editors and line editors. Book formatters. Cover designers. Branding. Marketing. Newsletters. All that fun stuff that I have no clue how to handle.
11) What is your favorite way to market your book and yourself as an author?
At this stage of the game the only resources I’m using are social media (primarily Instagram), and my author website. Instagram has been a fun way to connect with readers and writers alike, and also share snippets of my debut novel as I work toward having a completed manuscript. It has also been instrumental in finding beta readers, which is pretty cool. It’s like a one-stop shop!
12) Have you taken any writing classes? If yes, would you recommend them? If no, do you want to?
Yes, and I’ve taken a lot of them. I studied creative writing for two years at Douglas College, and then took a one-year program at Simon Fraser University to earn a Certificate in Creative Writing. I also attend conferences like the Surrey International Writer’s Conference on an annual basis.
I strongly recommend taking courses or going to workshops/lectures/conferences if you are able. Us writers will never reach a point where we realize "this is as good as it’s going to get," because this is a pursuit that always leaves room for improvement--which I think is pretty cool. We can always be better and learn new skills, even the best of us. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people and build your community, like a writing group to enforce accountability.
13) Is writing your full-time job? If yes, what was your last profession? If no, do you want it to be and what do you do now?
Yes, it’s my full-time job, but I work as a ghostwriter. Best decision I ever made!
14) What do you think the future will hold for the publishing industry?
I don’t think it’s going to die anytime soon. People will always want to buy and read books. Always--because humans will forever be seeking something that explains who and what they are. Stories are the only thing that can do that (in my opinion). Sure, the publishing industry may change a lot, but there will be room for all of us at the finish line. And if there isn’t, just make room. Earn your spot. Work your butt off!
15) What advice would you give to someone who has just started writing?
If you start a book, finish it. There is no greater lesson in writing than completing a full book from beginning to end, edits, revisions and all. It will serve as a powerful reference tool for you while you write your future books. And not finishing a book is a hit to your confidence. It’s easy to see it as a failure. And us writers already struggle with confidence as it is. Finish the book. Be damn proud of it. And then write another one.
Keep up with RM Jamieson's writing endeavors by following the links below!
Check out Jamieson's official website.
Follow Jamieson on Instagram.