I'm excited to post this interview with author Rebecca H. Jamison. Since I met her and did the interview she's had another book come out. I want to apologize to this sweet lady for taking so long to get her interview posted but would also like to take the chance to promote her most recent book, Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale
To order this book you can click HERE
Rebecca H. Jamison is the author of Emma: A Latter-day Tale and Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale. She loves running, dancing, reading, playing with her kids, and watching detective shows.
Jamison's modern telling of the classic Jane Austen novel is creative, fresh and fun. Even if you haven't read the original you will enjoy the story and perhaps find yourself seeking out the Austen version after you finish Emma: A Latter-day Tale. Even though it is geared toward the female LDS market I noticed in some of the reviews of this book that men and non-members have also enjoyed the book.
I got a chance to interview this awesome author and thought you might enjoy getting to know her as well.
M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
R.B.: I never set out to become an author. I like to write novels, and I figured since I write them, I might as well publish them.
M.B.: LOL! Good for you! What is your writing and educational background?
R.B.: I have a BA and MA in English from BYU. With each degree, I emphasized creative writing, so I wrote my first novel as my master’s thesis. It’s still not published. One of these days I’ll go back and revise it.
M.B.: What makes you passionate about writing?
R.B.: The process of writing keeps me happy. I feel that it’s part of my mission in life to write good, clean fiction. The world definitely needs more of that!
M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
R.B.: Like most first-time authors, I was terrified to submit my book to publishers. I’d tried with my first novel and failed. After I finished my second novel, I set a New Year’s resolution to submit it to as many publishers as possible. I submitted to Deseret Book first. They rejected it. I then submitted to Cedar Fort, and they accepted it.
M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
R.B.: I’m very vulnerable to discouragement, which is bad because a discouraged writer is not a productive writer. I work hard to stay positive about my writing. I try to get outside in the sun. I avoid reading too many reviews. I write every day. I also try to keep myself spiritually strong.
M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?
R.B.: I write every morning before my kids get up and in the evening right after my little ones go to bed. I also go to the library twice a week to write for a few hours.
M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
R.B.: I write what I think would be fun to read. If I’m not excited to write it, it won’t be fun to read.
M.B.: What do you hope readers will get from this book?
R.B.: I hope readers will come away feeling that they don’t have to be perfect to live a fulfilling life.
M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
R.B.: I do an outline, but I don’t stick to it very well. I end up changing the outline over and over again while I’m writing.
M. B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer’s block?
R.B.: Yes. Sometimes when I’m stuck on a scene, I’ll write down a list of thirty different things that could happen. I get some great ideas that way. Occasionally, if the story doesn’t feel right, I’ll go back and revise something that happened earlier in the manuscript.
M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?
R.B.: I have six kids. There’s never absolute quiet, but I prefer things to be as quiet as possible. I love to listen to music, but sadly, I can’t write and listen at the same time. It’s too distracting for me.
M.B.: What kind of inspiration do you use during your story creation period?
R.B.: Since I’ve been writing Jane Austen retellings, I read a lot of Jane Austen and watch all the movies I can find. I also read other popular books in my genre, as well as books that pertain to the subject. For example, when I wrote Emma, I read books about how to become a life coach.
M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
R.B.: That is a hard question because I’ve had so many great teachers and friends influence me. I would have to say, though, that my husband has had the biggest influence on my writing. If he hadn’t encouraged me to write Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale, I wouldn’t be an author today.
M.B.: What’s your secret to making the characters in your books come to life?
R.B.: I try to give my characters quirks. They all have a past, a unique voice, and insecurities . My goal is to reveal something new about each main character in each chapter. I think it’s also important for people to relate to my characters. I think if you can relate to a character because, say, she hates shopping for jeans, then that character starts to come alive for you.
M.B.: I agree a thousand percent! Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?
R.B.: I would love to have a critique group. Unfortunately, my schedule prevents me from attending most critique groups I’ve found. I do use critique partners and beta readers, however. They’re very helpful. It also helps that my husband works full-time as an editor. He and my teenage daughter are some of my best critique partners.
M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?
R.B.: Probably the one I’m writing now. (I’m doing my version of Sense and Sensibility.) I’ve fallen in love with the characters. This is my fourth book, so I feel like I’m getting better at plotting and character development.
M.B.: Oh wow! It can't wait for your next one! What is something about yourself people don’t know?
R.B.: I’m really bad at sports that involve a ball. I have an eye motor control problem, so I can’t track the ball very well when it’s moving.
M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?
R.B.: Read a lot, and read the best books you can find. I’m always a better writer when I’m reading great writers. Right now, I’m reading Anne Perry’s books. My local library has a lot of her books in audio versions, so I listen while I work in the kitchen or while I’m driving.
M.B.: What are you working on now?
R.B.: Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale will come out in August. Here’s the logline: On the verge of bankruptcy, a feisty programmer take s a job working for her ex-fiancé and falls in love with his new brother-in-law. When she stumbles upon some company secrets, she must follow her conscience instead of her heart, even if it means living in her grandma’s cluttered basement for the rest of her life.
M.B.: Any final words you’d like to share?
R.B.: Yes. Thank you so much, Michele, for interviewing me. I’m such a fan of you and your books. It’s an honor to be a guest here.
M.B.: Where can readers go to find your books and order them?
You can order them at Amazon.com here:
You can also buy them at Seagull and Deseret Book bookstores.
You can find out more about me at www.rebeccahjamison.com
I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaHJamison
And Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaHJamison