Bio of Author, Jaimie Admans: Jaimie is a 27-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps.
She has been writing for years, but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Kismetology is her first novel and there are plenty more on the way! She wants you to know that the mum in this book is nothing like her own mum!
People would be surprised to know that you…: Don’t always name characters or places until the first editing stage. I’m quite happy to write an entire first draft with characters like Friend1, NeighbourB, or Enemy3! Same with place names. If I’ve overlooked them in the planning stages, I don’t want to interrupt the writing to think up names, so I just don’t name them until later!
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Not always always, but since I was quite young. I started writing at the age of 14 and realized I wanted to be a writer at 16. I wrote many different things then and experimented with a lot of different styles. Looking back now, I don’t think anything I wrote that early on was any good, but it was all part of the learning curve! Around seven years ago, I really fell in love with chick-lit and realized that was what I wanted to write. I’ve been writing ‘seriously’ since then.
Do you have any guilty pleasures? If so, what are they: Reality TV! I know it’s bad, but I can’t tear myself away! I love talent shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, and I have a bit of a soft spot for celebrity reality shows – I absolutely adore Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood!
Another guilty pleasure would be Christmas movies! I will watch any Christmas movie there is, no matter how soft, sappy or unrealistic it is!
Oh, and bad horror movies! You know the kind that are not at all scary and actually so bad they end up being funny? I can’t get enough of those!
Describe what the writing/editing/publishing process like for you? My writing process is a lot like NaNoWriMo all the year round. I don’t write all the time, but rather I spend a couple of months plotting, planning and vaguely outlining the novel. I won’t start writing something until I’m absolutely sure my plot idea will stretch into a decent novel. When I’m sure of that and I have an idea of how the story will begin and end, and a slight idea of how it’s going to get there, then I will take a month to six weeks, and do nothing but write the novel. I can usually write 3000-4000 words a day then. There’s no more research in that time, no more fiddling around, if something doesn’t work or needs looking up then I’ll add a note to look it up later. My only concern is getting the words down on the page and finishing the first draft. When the draft is done, I put it aside and try to forget about it for as many months as possible, and I start the plotting and planning stage for the next one.
For editing, it helps to get a bit of distance from the manuscript, so once it’s been put aside for as long as I can, I come back to it and read through. No fixing this time, just reading and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Then I do a completely new second draft, which involves a lot of cutting and chopping words in and out, into a completely new document. I find it easier to cut unnecessary words and scenes if I’m putting them into an entirely new document, rather than trying to write around them. I then put it aside for another few weeks, and when I come back, I do exactly the same thing for a third draft. I then proofread on my Kindle because I find it makes mistakes more noticeable than if you were reading on the computer screen, and then I find a proper editor who will look at it with a fresh eye, and correct my atrocious grasp of grammar and point out any structural issues that I might not have noticed!
Publishing is mostly about cover design and formatting the book. Formatting is tedious work but not that difficult to do, and I love designing covers so that’s always a fun part! The hardest part is launching it into the big wide world and hoping people will like it!
Where do you get your story ideas? So many places. The news, quirky stories on the internet, snippets of real life that I’ve overheard or been told, my imagination. Some come from ‘what if’s’ of the past – like ‘what if such-and-such had happened’ instead of what actually did happen.
Each story is rarely just one idea, they are usually a few ideas that have melded together to make something that could one day be a novel! I write down every idea I have and keep them in a big folder. You never know when they will slot in with another idea and make a decent plot!
What do you love most about the Chick Lit genre? The characters are usually real, relatable women. They react to situations in the way I would react to situations. They do the kind of things and make the kind of mistakes that I would make! I love reading a book that makes me feel like I’m not the only person who would act like that!
Do you have any advice for writers who want to self-publish? Do your research and look into it properly first. Don’t jump in thinking this is the easy route. You can’t write ‘The End’ on Friday night and have it on sale on Amazon by Saturday morning. It takes months of preparation to get a book ready for release, and that’s the easy part. You then have to market it, because if people don’t know it’s there, they can’t buy it. There is so much to think about, and you’ll find yourself learning things you’d never even thought of. It’s a lot of hard work, and you’re responsible for it. While that’s great when it goes right, it’s also down to you when it goes wrong. That said, I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to seriously look into it. I love the fact that I have the control of my work, from title to cover design to pricing, and it feels great when you get a compliment and you know that no one but you is responsible for it. It also feels pretty bad on the days when you don’t sell a single copy and no one seems interested in your book. It’s a huge rollercoaster, but it’s a great one, and I’ve loved every minute of it so far!
What is a typical day/night like for you? I try to be on the computer by 9am. I have a bit of time to check my email, Twitter and Facebook, and think about what scenes I’m working on that day. I write until a tea break at 11am, and then I write until lunch. I try to have finished lunch and the next Twitter check by 2pm, and then carry on writing until I have hit my word count goal for the day which can be anywhere between 4pm and 2am!
If you could meet any author, who would it be and why? Judy Blume. I devoured her books when I was younger, and still love them when I re-read them these days! I’ll always remember the excitement of getting a new Judy Blume book! She made me love reading when I was younger, and she was the first author who made me realize how important books, and stories that you connect with can be.
Who or what inspires you? I love the musical Rent, and the message behind it which is “no day but today.” It really does inspire me to get out of bed in the mornings and stop putting off the things I want to do!
Which do you prefer, tea or coffee? TEA! Tea, tea, tea, tea, tea! I really don’t like coffee. It is sometimes necessary for caffeine purposes, but I don’t like it. I can’t get through the day without multiple cups of tea though – I’m a bit of an addict!
Can you tell us about any your upcoming projects? I have a children’s Christmas novel coming out on November 15th, it’s middle-grade fiction, so suitable for ages 8 and upwards. It’s called Creepy Christmas, and it’s about a girl who meets Santa and his daughter and has to help them save Christmas from an evil Santa!
Aside from that, I’m writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, attempting to finish a young adult Christmas novel, and then my next book, which is a young adult paranormal romance, will be published in March/April 2013. Phew!
**Additional comments by Jaimie: Thank you so much for having me on your website, Isabella! I’m honoured!
**Click HERE to see more about Jaimie’s book, Kismetology!