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!
Your debut novel is called Kismetology, please could you tell me a bit about this?
It’s about a woman called Mackenzie. She’s just moved in with her boyfriend, but they’ve made the mistake of only moving three houses down from her mother. Her mum isn’t a fan of her boyfriend and is constantly meddling in her love life. Mackenzie decides that her mum does this because she’s lonely, and the way to solve the problem is to find love for her mother. Her mum considers herself “too old” for dating, and has given up on ever finding a man. Mac resolves to find the perfect man for her. She has to find dates, meet them herself, and decide if they’re compatible. She’ll only send her mum to meet them if she’s convinced that they’ll hit it off. Of course, things are never that simple, and she soon finds out that boys don’t grow up even when they’re in their fifties, some men shouldn’t be allowed out in public, and some men that make reptiles seem like good company!
What inspired you to write this book?
I love dates. I love stories where the character does a lot of dating, but chick-lit books with the main character searching for the perfect man are a bit overdone. I’ve often thought that my own mum could do with a man, but she would consider herself too old for dating too. I decided to combine the two ideas, and Kismetology was born!
In Kismetology Mackenzie is trying to find her mother a gentleman friend, how would you describe their mother/daughter relationship?
It’s very much love/hate. They love each other to bits, of course they do. But at the same time, Eleanor (Mackenzie’s mum) doesn’t realise how frustrating her meddling is to Mac, and Mac doesn’t realise that her mum is only trying to look out for her. I hope it comes across that they love each other really, even if their behaviour annoys each other sometimes!
I love the idea that Mackenzie has decided to pay her mother back for years of meddling and is now getting involved in her mother’s dating life. Have you ever been tempted to get involved in someone’s life and do a bit of meddling?
Ha ha, who hasn’t? It’s always tempting to meddle, especially when someone you love is doing something that you don’t think is the best thing for them, but I try not to, because I hate anyone trying to meddle in my life!
They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you tell us about the journey that you and Kismetology went on?
I’m different from most self-publishers in that I’ve not pursued traditional publication. At least, not with this book and not for many years. I never in a million years thought I’d self-publish my work. I had always considered it a last resort for books that were so bad they had been rejected by traditional publishers. It’s only earlier this year, when I saw a couple of friends self-publish really good books, that I started looking into it seriously. Self-publishing has changed in the years since I first heard of it, and when I started to do my research earlier this year, it really clicked for me. I have had novels sitting on my hard drive for years, and I loved the idea of having complete control over my writing, from prices to cover design to timing and release dates. As soon as I started looking into it this year, I knew it was for me. I trust my instincts, and I had such a strong gut feeling that this was the path to go down. So far it has been amazing and I’ve loved every minute of it!
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Write. Write some more. Keep on writing until you have a first draft. Do whatever it takes to make you write – unplug the internet cable, give yourself rewards for writing a certain amount of words, sign up for NaNoWriMo. Do anything that helps you get words onto the page. And don’t edit it as you go along. Just write the words and don’t look back. You’ll have a first draft before you know it, and then you can edit it to death and make it look good. For me, finishing that first draft is the most important part. Tell the story first before you start worrying about making it look pretty.
What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Oh yes, there will be more! I’ve got a children’s Christmas novel – Creepy Christmas – coming out in November, I’m doing NaNoWriMo – also in November, which will be quite a dark young adult novel. I have another young adult novel that is scheduled with an editor in February, and I’m hoping to release that around next March or April.
What is your all time favourite book?
That’s such a hard question! I love the books that got me into reading as a child. I grew up with Enid Blyton – I loved The Faraway Tree series, and then moved on to the Malory Towers series. When I got a bit older, I fell in love with Judy Blume’s books – Tiger Eyes was my favourite, although I devoured every book that she wrote. I still have my old, tattered, stained copy of Tiger Eyes that I must’ve read a hundred times when I was younger! In more recent years, I will always have a soft spot for See Jane Date by Melissa Senate. I’d read and loved a lot of chick-lit, but that was the first book that I really connected with the character, Jane was just like me, and it made me think “I can write like this!” I’m not sure I would have ever started writing novels if I hadn’t read that book!
If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
Firstly, rob a bank! I could do with a lottery win but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen any time soon so I think I’d have to turn to a spot of bank robbing! Then I’d eat every chocolatey, sweet, cakey thing I could get my hands on and not worry about calories! To be honest, I think I’d spend the entire day going on a rampage of all the bakeries I could find and eat everything they had!
And finally if you had a saying that sums up your life, what would it be?
No day but today. It’s from the musical Rent which is very much about living every day like it’s your last, and doing the things you want to do before it’s too late. The man behind Rent – Jonathan Larson – is a huge inspiration to me. He was only 35 years old when he died in 1996, on the night before Rent opened on Broadway. He spent years of his life working on this musical, but never got to see the success and impact it had. It went on to run for twelve years on Broadway, and after his death, they found another musical he had written – Tick, Tick… Boom – and that became successful too. His lyrics and amazing songs and stories he wrote remind me not to take things for granted because you never know what might happen tomorrow!
I Heart Books would like to say a big thank you to Jaimie for stopping by and chatting to us!