Saturday, July 28, 2012

An Anniversary Interview With...Jamie McGuire

Can you believe it?  It has been a YEAR since Jules and I kicked off our blog!!  What better way to celebrate than with the author that started it all...New York Times Best Selling Author JAMIE MCGUIRE!!!
Jamie McGuire is the author of the Providence trilogy and of the New York Times best seller Beautiful Disaster.  She lives in OK with her "real life cowboy", her children, four horses, four dogs, and a cat. As her bio page says, "when she's not writing, Jamie spends her time letting her four dogs in and out."  She recently took time out of her busy life to answer a few questions for us. We truly feel blessed and THANK her for her time.  It just shows that she's more than an author, but also an amazing lady!!

Just a little something to break the ice…Quickly name your favorite food, the one thing you can’t live without, and a place you are longing to visit. It's a tie between Sushi and my husband's grilled steak. My kids. Italy.
I saw the pictures on Facebook with you surrounded by envelopes looking beautiful in your pregnancy and I wonder… How are you feeling right now? Overwhelmed. Blessed. Large.

How do you do it?  Meaning, mom, wife, author…How do you find balance?  Any trade secrets? Fall in love with someone that doesn't mind laundry, housework, or cooking while you're obsessing about fictional characters. If not for my amazing husband, I couldn't do it all. He takes on a lot, all so I can continue writing. That said, I have realized this summer why I don't write during the summers. With the children home, writing is difficult, and my cowboy is at his real job 8 hours a day. For eight hours, I hear 'mommy' at least 100 times, requests to look at whatever is on the television, requests for drinks, sandwiches, crackers, a toy off the top shelf, to look at drawings ... I just find time. When I can't, I make time. Right now, getting up early and staying up late builds my word count more quickly than writing during regular daytime hours.

If there was one thing about reading that you could pass onto your children, what would it be? I was never a big reader in childhood(gasp! choke!). I know. I'm ashamed. Fortunately, my children are the opposite. They are voracious readers, especially my 12 year old. It wasn't until my adult years that I learned reading gave you the ability to live hundreds of different lives. I don't know who passed it on to my children, but I'm grateful.

What was the last book you read? Easy by Tammara Webber

Out of all the books you have read…Do you have a favorite book/series you are drawn to read over and over? My Twilight set has been loved to death. That story never gets old.

I read somewhere that Beautiful Disaster was written for fun…How did that come about? After reading Providence, my friends asked for something a little more "steamier". I had grown tired of editing Providence, so I began a book called Red Flag that was later titled Beautiful Disaster. I modeled it after some of my own college experiences and added quite a bit of fictional flair, but never intended to publish. Obviously, I'm glad I did, but I had no idea the overwhelming response Beautiful Disaster would receive.

Did you ever imagine NY Best Sellers List and Movie Deals would come out of this book?   Not at all. Like I said before, I didn't intend to publish BD, and only did so because I was struggling to release Requiem and thought I'd give my readers something to read while waiting. I read it over and over, and it still gave me butterflies, so I thought, "What the hell?" Someone might like it. A year later, here we are.
And is it more satisfying doing it all self published? I think so, however, Simon & Schuster/Atria has been incredible to me, and it's amazing to watch them take Beautiful Disaster to the next level.  I wasn't sure what to expect, having been self-published from the start. I am confident I made the right decision with the right book and the right publisher. Knowing I've built a certain amount of success on my own, though ... can't beat that. Would I ever traditionally publish again? With SS/Atria, absolutely. Will I ever self-publish again? Of course.

Now that you are rewriting from Travis’ POV, is it fun to relive the story?  Anything surprising about Travis that you didn’t expect would come out? Travis's head is both what I expected it to be (unfiltered, fun, volatile), and a little of the unexpected (insecure, insightful, perceptive). It's all been a wild ride, for sure. When I think, "Oh. Damn. Did I cross a line there?" I know I'm doing it right.

In the book, who was your favorite character to write?  Did anyone just pop up in the story that you hadn’t planned? America is a lot of fun. She is the female version of Travis in the sense that she has no fear in saying what she thinks or feels. I like that she's Abby's voice of reason, and yet at times she's unreasonable. She knows exactly how far Abby can go, and when to reign her in. America is a great, horrible best friend, both at exactly the right times.

With all your recent news regarding BD, some people may forget your other amazing Providence Series.  I read it as well and loved it just as much.  How did it come about? I thought it would be fun and interesting to write a story about a bodyguard falling in love with his client, but I wanted a fresh take. I read Twilight and thought, "Hell, I can do this." I loved Stephanie Meyer's easy, conversational-style writing. Paranormal was also interesting to me, but obviously vampires had been done ... and redone. A quarter of the way through Providence, it hit me: Angels. I didn't know at the time everyone else had the same brilliant idea, but even amid all the angel series out there, Providence has a fresh take. I told my best friend, Beth, about my idea, and she insisted I sit down and write. Eleven weeks later, Providence was finished.

Both Jared and Travis are protective, do you find this is something you like in your male characters? Absolutely.

With the Providence Series being paranormal, it begs me to ask which you prefer to write more?  I like both. I think that's why people are so surprised in how different Providence is from Beautiful Disaster. I feel very comfortable writing the slower, sweeter story of Providence, and the in your face, ass kicking, roller coaster ride that is Beautiful Disaster. The variety of my upcoming novels are evidence of that, as well. Zombies, aliens, ghosts, regular humans in extenuating circumstance, finding themselves, finding love. My writing queue is all over the place—as am I.

If you could give me your favorite quote from any of your books, what would it be? "You gotta dance with the devil to get out of Hell." (Eden)

Finally, I can’t leave without asking about future projects…any new series lined up? Beautiful Disaster's trade paperback will release in the US and UK territories August 14. The audiobook has been released through, and Walking Disaster is slated for 2013. I will be taking some time off to spend time with my growing family, and then I will finish Red Hill, my zombie novel, and then I'll pick up again on Apolonia, my shelved alien novel.

Happy Reading & Thanks for a Great Year!!
~Kiki & Jules 

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