Today I’m kicking off summer right by interviewing another gal who goes by my name, USA Today Bestseller Jaime Rush. She’s got a new release today, so let’s get this party started and give her a warm welcome . . . (while I pause for the virtual claps I want to say please stay tuned afterwards to hear how you can win a synopsis or query critique from Jaime, and her new book!)
JA: This is your 24th book. Have you always known this was the route you wanted to take?
JR: Ever since I was a kid, I loved creating stories. I did go to community college for a while to be “practical,” but I sat in class daydreaming about my current book! So I gave myself a year off to see if I had what it took to write (I also worked full-time), and I did. I threw myself into learning everything I could about writing and the business, and hard to believe, but here I am, 18 years after selling my first novel!
JA: Ah, I daydream alllllllll the time about quitting my job and pursuing my writing full-time–keeping my fingers crossed it’ll happen sooner than later. Now, Darkness Becomes Her, the 6th installment in your Offspring series, was released TODAY!! Can you tell us a bit about the book and how you came up with the idea for the series?
JR: Here’s the blurb for the book:
A man beyond redemption. A woman beyond hope. And a battle that will either kill them…or bring them back from the edge.
Lachlan McLeod has a mission: find the beast who put his brother into a coma. He’ll start with Jessie Bellandre, his brother’s girlfriend, who’s harboring a dark, dangerous secret that could get them all killed. But as they plumb the depths of Darkness, and the light he didn’t know existed in the shadows of his heart, not falling in love with her will be as hard as staying alive.
The series came from my love of television shows like Roswell and X-Files, long gone. I really liked the dynamics of people thrown together in a dangerous situation, which always tests your true character. And especially when those people already have “issues,” namely that they each deal with having some extraordinary psychic ability. Throw in that some shadowy government faction is hunting them down, that their abilities stem from a mysterious experiment each had a parent in, and that those parents are all now dead, and you’ve got the overall arc of the first four books. I didn’t even know all the facts, or how all the characters played in, which made it fun for me.
Now that I’ve completed the arc, it’s fun to spin independent stories while still weaving in the original cast. So new readers can pretty much jump into DARKNESS BECOMES HER without worrying about catching up on a lot of backstory.
JA: Very cool! I’m a huge fan of the series:) I have to ask . . . do you believe in psychic abilities?
JR: Absolutely, and I think we all have the ability to tap into our sixth sense. We’ve all had “gut feelings,” right? Everyone has a story about hearing a voice telling them to maybe get off the road or change lanes right before something happens that would have injured or killed them. I also know there are a lot of fakes out to take advantage of human nature’s need to know the future or understand the past.
JA: Amen, sista! I personally don’t want to know what the future holds, what fun would that be? What’s next for you now?
JR: Unfortunately the publisher is holding off on going forward with more Offspring books. I have another Offspring novella coming out in September (TURN TO DARKNESS), with an unrelated group. And I do intend to write Magnus’s story, because I need to know what’s going on with him now that he’s … well, don’t want to give too much away!
But, being a writer, I can’t not write, so I’ve got a new series in development that I’m super excited about: The Hidden.
Miami. A melting pot of cultures: American, Cuban, Haitian … Dragons, Angels, and sorcerers. Magick hides behind the glitter and sunshine, where humans imbued with the essence of deities keep the balance between angry and forgotten gods, demons, and those of their kind who cannot fight the seductive lure of their magick.
I’ve thrown myself fully into the paranormal and am just loving it! I’ve already written two novellas and the first book. The series will debut from Grand Central Publishing sometime next year.
JA: Wow, you are one busy lady! With all the writing that you do, does it come easy for you? What’s your typical day like?
JR: Sometimes it comes very easy. It’s magic when it flows. Other times, like now, it’s more like pulling teeth. Life can distract, plus the many other aspects of this business. I just work through it, because it’s a job as much as my passion.
That being said, I treat it like a job, getting to work in the morning, not letting myself get drawn into Facebook chats or games or trolling the internet. I work a lot, usually seven days a week, though family time is important. And husband time <grin>.
JA: Thank you soooooooo very much for your interview, Jaime. Do you have any parting words of wisdom for us inspiring writers?
JR: If you want it bad enough, whatever your dream, it matters not the odds of making it, how hard it is, or fitting it into your busy life, especially when you’ve got a full-time job and family. As you squeak in twenty minutes here and there, you are making progress. As you get those rejection letters/emails, you’re making progress. Every step takes you closer to your dream, and if you really, really want it bad enough, I believe you’re meant to make it happen. So never give up!
Want more Jaime Rush? She wrote 14 books under the name Tina Wainscott, most paranormal romantic suspense (but not Offspring). You can check them out at Tina Wainscott titles. She also participated her first anthology novella in 2010, Bitten By Cupid, and it hit #13 on the NY Times List. Be sure to check that one out, too!
Friend Jaime on Facebook or Myspace or Twitter or visit her website.
Jaime has graciously agreed to help me celebrate 400 followers by offering a synopsis or query critique–your choice:) But please limit it to 2 pages. Also, her publisher is offering her book for a giveaway! To enter for either, just leave a comment below and then stop by here next Wednesday to see if you’re the winner & claim your prize:) Until then, Jaime will be stopping by so feel free to leave a question for her!
Ooooh, sounds so fun! I wanna win! Also, I now have a bunch more books on my TBR list. 🙂
Jamie R–how long did you write before you were able to quit the day-job?
Keeping my fingers crossed for you, Robin:)
I’m a dedicated fan of the Offspring series, and I’m heartbroken to say goodbye to them, BUT I am super excited for The Hidden! I’d love to know which Offspring cover is Jaime’s favorite!
Excellent question, Marisa! They’re all so hot!
Robin, I was told by many an author that it would take 5 years of being published before I could quite the full-time job. And they were all right (of course, if you’re lucky enough to get a big-bucks contract right out of the gate, that’s a different story. I’d recommend that route, LOL). I actually got laid off the very day my book came out! I joked that they must have thought I was rich now. Heh. I worked part-time for 5 years, and then I got a second publisher and was able to quit. I’ve been doing it full time ever since, but it helps to have a hubby bringing in a paycheck.
Marisa, that’s easy–the new one! I love the colors and Lachlan is just yummy and you get the idea of the magic. The moon is cool, though I’m not sure what it means. I learned long ago, though, that they put elements on the cover to catch the eye or other marketing reasons. I’ve been lucky with covers for this series. Beyond the Darkness was pretty cool, too. Yes, I’m sad to say goodbye to the Offspring, but the Hidden beckons. And I’m looking forward to writing Magnus’s story, even if it’s in a novella form.
Both series sound really fun, especially the Hidden! I love the mix of Miami and dragons and angels. Super cool 🙂
Me, too! I can’t wait to read it:)
I’m glad you’ve got a pull to the Hidden, but why did they pull the plug on the Offspring? And, yes, the hidden sounds awesome — will you be publishing new Offspring books yourself?
Yesssss, please pub more Offspring books yourself:) That’s what’s so nice about the digital age, right?
I’m crossing my fingers for you that your publisher signs more books for you!
OH!!! And you don’t need to enter me in to the giveaway. 🙂
Ok, Mindy . . . thanks for stopping by:)
Whenever a series is pulled, it’s usually because the sales numbers aren’t what the publisher’s looking for to continue. Sad, but it IS a business, after all. Borders’ closing hit a lot of authors/series hard. So I’m definitely doing a novella to wrap things up, but I won’t be able to do more at least until the Hidden books come out. However, I’m hoping to re-release a few more of my backlist books digitally in the coming year. We’ll see how much time I have. Got a LOT going on! Happily. 🙂
The mix of dragons, angels, and sorcerers in Miami sounds awesome!
I thought that’d be right up your alley, Nicole:)
Nicole, I’m having so much fun writing it! It was a departure, but I love the world. And who doesn’t like Miami? 🙂
I loved the interveiw!!! Can’t believe you have so many followers!
Thanks for following:)
Mom rocks, Kaylee! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the interview!
That was a great interview! I liked the slideshow of pics too. And that book cover *drools*, I’m definitely intrigued. Thanks for stopping in and imparting some of what you know about the business, Jamie 🙂
Thank you for stopping in, and congrats on the Curiosity Quills request, Tuere!!
Thanks!! You too, Jaime! 🙂
What a great guest, Jamie! Thanks for the peek into the mind of a wonderful paranormal writer (my genre, yay!)
You may enter me in the contest, but since I don’t have a query yet, my critique will have to consist of tips on writing one!
Congrats on all the new followers. 🙂
Okay, Kirsten! There’s plenty of sites out there to help with you with your query process . . .let me know if you need me to recommend some:)
Jamie was the first writer to publish from the small group of writers in SWFRW. She surprised us about the exciting news with champagne at a meeting. And she’s gone on to be such a prolific writer. I marvel! Best of luck with your new series.
Wonderful interview, J and J/T! Fun, informative, interesting. Jamie/Tina shared one of her books in this series with me, asked me to comment and edit. How cool is that?! I was honored.
Diane O’KeyCHERISH THE KNIGHT
Wow, that’s awesome! Something you’ll always remember then:) Hmmm, I’d have to bring coffee b/c I don’t care for champagne . . .well, maybe with some chocolate covered strawberries!
You look too young to have written so many books! Kudos to you.
The books sound fantastic – congrats on your success:) I’d love to read your work.
I agree about having more time to write when you don’t pay attention to Internet distractions. I’ve gotten a lot more writing done myself since I’ve cut down on all the Facebook gaming I used to do!
Great contest. Thanks!