Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Interview with author Jamie Grey
Today, my guest is author Jamie Grey talking about her upcoming eBook, Princess for Hire.
1) Tell me a little about your book.
After winning his kingdom in a legendary poker game twenty years ago, Princess Mina’s father loses the kingdom just as easily. Now alone and penniless, Mina must rely on her sword to support them both.
When the princess-turned-mercenary is offered a contract to save a prince that will pay enough to keep her father in luxury for yet another year, she and her business partner snap up the deal. Dragons and all.
2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I wanted to write something that was a bit of a twist on the typical Prince rescues beautiful, helpless Princess story so often seen in Fantasy and that dealt a little with changing gender roles and expectations.
3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I have a full time job doing Technical Writing, so I suppose you could say I write full time, but I have to fit the fun stuff in between work and family. Basically, I try to write whenever I get any extra free time – at lunch, after work, and on the weekends. It helps that I have a very understanding partner.
4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
My mom actually gave me a box of old stuff the other week and inside was a little book about a Princess and her dog I’d put together when I was four – illustrated and everything! So I guess you could say I’ve been writing since I could talk. I think the desire to be a published author has been there from the beginning, but I got really serious about it three years ago when I found some amazing crit partners and really began to work on craft.
5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I hope that they’ll have fun with my stories and be entertained for a little while – leave their everyday lives behind. I used books as an escape growing up, so I hope that my readers will find that escape in my own work.
6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I love most genres, but the ones I find myself most drawn to are Fantasy (epic or contemporary), Sci-Fi, Romance, and Paranormal. I also love to write Young Adult.
7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
I think for me, the hardest part of being a writer is the self-doubt. It seems like most writers walk that line between being stubbornly determined that this is the best story ever and being convinced that their writing is horrible. Getting past the doubt is a real challenge for me. I’m a perfectionist besides so I get really frustrated with myself when my stories don’t turn out the way I want them to. But, I think if you really want to succeed, if writing is your dream, you really just need to work past the fear and use it to your advantage. You can always get better, there is always something more to learn, so I try to use my doubt to continue to grow and change as a writer.
8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
Nope – Princess for Hire is completely made up. Well, almost entirely. Mina’s name is actually kind of a joke between me and my family. We have a cat named Mina that we call Princess Butterball because she’s so fat, so when I was trying to come up with a name for my Princess character, hers immediately popped into my head!
9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
I suppose there’s a tiny bit of myself in all my characters. I am as impatient and determined as Mina is, but I think I approach things a little differently - I don’t immediately rush for my sword when there’s a problem. Though I do wish I was more aggressive and tough like Mina. On the other hand, I think I’m a little more perceptive than she is and willing to compromise. Growing up the way she did I think she’s a lot more suspicious of people than I am as well.
10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
The only think I really researched was the riddle that was used during part of the story. The rest of it came right from my brain.
11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
I haven’t had to write a lot of either so far. I think the violent scenes bother me less than the sexual scenes – I get embarrassed easily!
12) What about your book makes it special?
I think Princess for Hire is special because it really shows a strong woman in a situation that would daunt most people, male or female. Mina is smart and sassy and has no problem going after what she wants, even if it’s not the typical happily-ever-after you’d expect from a Fantasy. And I like that it’s not just the beautiful princess who gets the Prince in the end.
13) What is your marketing plan?
Princess for Hire comes out in March of 2011, so I plan on doing more blog interviews, some giveaways on my own blog, and perhaps some other in-person marketing locally.
14) Where can people learn more about you and your work? I have a website at www.jamiegreybooks.com, you can follow me on twitter as Jamie_Grey, or visit my blog (www.blog.jamiegreybooks.com). And of course I love getting email: greyjamie1 at gmail dot com
15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
I know it’s been said before, but read widely and know what’s out there, then don’t be afraid to make it your own or give it your own spin. Have fun with what you write – your readers can definitely tell. And don’t be afraid to dream – you can make your world and your characters do whatever you want.