Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Let the Fun Begin!!

As I mentioned in my newsletter, I will be doing an interview with the RITA Nominees in the First Books Catagory! If you would like to win a copy of their book, just comment on the interview and you will be automatically entered to win! Be sure and leave your email (you can cloak it like this jamiecarie @ comcast.net. I'll know to leave out the spaces!)

I've read the answers and I can tell you that these authors are inspiring and lovely - inside and out! Enjoy the fun!!
And our first nominee is . . . (drumroll please:)

Double RITA Nominated Helen Brenna with TREASURE!!

How did you get started in the publishing business?

I’ve always been a romance reader, but NEVER dreamed of writing one. I’d just quit my job to stay home full-time for a few years with my then two year old daughter. (YIKES, she’s now 19 and in college!!) She was taking two hour daily naps, and I was bored. Finished a LaVryle Spencer novel one day and thought, “I could do that!”

Any surprises? Biggest challenge so far?

It was much, much harder than I expected, especially for someone like me with no writing background. I’m an accountant, geesh.
The biggest challenge has been tackling my fear. I’m full of it. There’s always something new to worry about. What if I write another book and it doesn’t sell? What if I finally get published and I get a bad review? What if readers don’t like my books? What if the publisher doesn’t buy another book? I could go on and on.

What is the best part of being a novelist?

Getting to write the books I’d like to read.

What’s the average day in the writer’s life look like for you? Are you scheduled and organized or are you more the “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” type?

I’m fairly scheduled. Get up early with the hopes of getting my work done first. Doesn’t always happen, but I try. I’ve got 4 books coming out in 2009, so I have to be disciplined.

What are your inspirations for your stories? Any tips and tricks for someone who is stuck?

I’ve had writer’s block before, and I’ve been stuck with a book. There’s a big difference. With writer’s block, I couldn’t string a sentence together to save my soul. In those situations, I think a writer needs to cut herself some slack and recharge. If you’re simply stuck, you just have to writer through it. Get something down every day and trust the clouds will clear.

Have you had a mentor, critique group or teacher that has helped you get where you are today? Have you been a mentor to someone else?

I’ve had a lot of help! Two different critique groups and a study group and a couple of people within those groups who have held my hand a lot, not only helping me become a better writer, but also helping me keep the faith. It’s so easy to become disheartened in this business.
I’ve done workshops at our local chapter and offered critiques as fundraisers for our local group, so I hope I’ve helped a little.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for a RITA award? How did you feel when you got the call? And what do you think the RITA means for the romance novel genre?

Wow. Wow.
TREASURE was a double nominee, so I was beside myself. I was in Colorado on a ski trip with my family and found out through emails. When I saw the first email, I was ecstatic. With the second one, I started crying. Sobbing, actually. Made quite a fool out of myself.

What are you wearing to the RITA Awards Ceremony in San Francisco? (LOL) Do you have the dress picked out? Any stories?

No clue yet. I get freaked out just thinking about it!

Are you preparing a speech in case you win?

You know, I go back and forth on this. But, in the end, yeah, I’ll prepare a speech, just in case. I think I’d be a basket case if I don’t put together something. I’ll still be incredibly nervous, but at least I’ll be able to calm myself a bit knowing I’m prepared.

Congratulations on your RITA nomination. Any last thoughts?

I wish everyone the best of luck! And I mean that. This best first book category has some very stiff competition and as a series author, I’m proud to have been nominated! I’ll be cheering loudly no matter who wins!


judeurbanski.com said...

Jamie, I enjoyed your interview of Helen Brenna. It's great to share the joy of others! Appreciated the inspiration.

Jude Urbanski

Cara Putman said...

Hey, Jamie I tried to leave a comment. If I did -- just delete this one. Loved the interview!

Jennifer said...

Wow, that was a great interview. I really think it is awesome that you guys are interviewing each other and supporting the fact that writing and novels are just as exciting as the Oscars.
It helps to see that I'm not the only one that has fear in conquering my dreams! Great job

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...

Your book looks great, Helen! Very cool to do these interviews Jamie!
mypalamy AT gmail DOT com

Maureen said...

Congratulations to Helen on her nominations. My oldest is nineteen too and it is amazing how fast the time goes.

johnjaana @ optusnet.com.au said...

Thank you for the enjoyable interview!

michelle said...

Great interview. I love the fact that she had an accounting background! :) Michelle - blueshel020812 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mary S said...

I love reading about authors. The book looks like a great read!!

Angi said...

Great interview!Awesome the way ya'll treat each other so sweetly and with such respect!

Naomi said...

Great interview.
naomisuegrace at yahoo com au

jamie carie said...

Thanks for all the great comments everyone! I'll be posting the next author later today! Check back for more chances to win!

Molly Daniels said...

'I like writing the books I want to read...'

Exactly how I started writing my 1st book!

Sorry I've not been around, Jamie; I just got my PC fixed last night!

windycindy said...

Hello, What a fun interview to read! I really enjoy reading about authors and how they go about their craft. Good luck with your double nominations. Thanks, Cindi

Smilingsal said...

It's wonderful that instead of watching soaps, Helen Brenna wrote to fill that two-hour nap time her daughter was taking. (I remember collapsing when I had a moment!)

Kelly Parra said...

Great interview, Jamie and Helen!

Helen Brenna said...

Hey, Jamie. Thanks for having me to your blog. So sorry it's taken me so long to post - I've been out of town and this summer has been crazy busy.

And thanks everyone for all your well wishes and comments!

I'm looking forward to meeting all the other nominees in (eek!) only a couple weeks!

Michelle Sutton said...

Hey there. I loved The Duchess and the Dragon and was hoping to win a copy of Snow Angel since I'd heard so much about it. :)

Jeannie said...

Great interview Jamie! Another book I will be checking out.