Q&A With Jamie Beck
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Q&A With Jamie Beck
Tonight’s Q&A is with Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author Jamie Beck. Jamie is the author of women’s fiction. Some of Jamie’s novels include “In The Cards,” the “Sanctuary Sound” series, and her most recent novel “Take It From Me.”
Q: So, Jamie, at what point in your life did you realize that your calling was to be a writer?
A: I realized it long before I attempted it. As a teen, I used to indulge in mental “fan fiction” with soap operas and prime-time dramas, which made me think I wanted to write for television and/or film. My family, however, was more practical and convinced me to go in a different direction. Although I took one creative writing course early in college, I went on to get both law and Master in Business degrees, and then practiced law for a decade. When my children were both in grade school, I finally decided to try my hand at writing. It took three manuscripts (practice!) before I got my agent, but I loved every second of it, so it never felt like work.
Q: What advice do you give to anyone wanting to be an author? What advice do you give to anyone who struggles with writer’s block?
A: The most important trait of any successful writer is perseverance. The second is craft. I say this because craft can be learned and improved upon with perseverance, but if a writer is unwilling to get up and keep going after rejection, he/she/they will not make it. Among my writer friends with careers three times as long as mine, I can tell you that success is not also “secure.” Many established authors have had cycles of success and then dips where sales are not so great. You must stay in the game to catch the waves as they rise.
In terms of writer’s block, I don’t honestly believe in that. Or at least, I don’t like that term. I am not a writer who easily sees “plot bunnies” in every aspect of life or the news or so on. I have writer friends who do—who can take any situation and easily see how it could make for a fun story hook or some such. It takes me time and effort to come up with a theme I want to write about, and then to build characters and a story around that theme. The only “trick” to getting through the so-called block is to sit at your desk and brainstorm. Brainstorm on your own. Find other writers and form a local critique and brainstorming group. Join an adult-education writing class and get help there. There are dozens of online writing associations, too. The point is, in some ways, writing is very solitary, yet there is a huge community of writers who are very willing to help others. Every book on the shelves is a group project of one kind or another (even writers who don’t have critique partners have editors and possibly beta readers).
Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so can you spoil a little bit about it?
A: I am writing something new at the moment, but it is far too early to talk about it. I can tell you something about my next release (which we just finished copy editing). It’s called THE BEAUTY OF RAIN and it is my favorite of all the books I’ve written. The inspiration for the story grew out of a year of scary personal health circumstances that made me look at my life through a different lens. This book releases in mid-July, 2023, and here is the blurb:
Winning the lottery changed Amy Walsh’s life, but the cost was greater than she could bear. In the aftermath, she struggles to find joy and purpose. Only one thing now feels certain—she will never spend one cent of the prize money on herself.
Her older sister, Kristin DeMarco, is worried and invites Amy to live with her family while she heals. Unfortunately, this arrangement leads to trouble for Kristin. Divided focus affects her career. Her daughter prefers Amy to her. And Amy’s unsolicited opinions provoke tension between Kristin and her husband.
Meanwhile, Amy is making drastic plans of her own, which include giving away all her money. But first she must convince Kristin not to squander her most valuable asset—time with her family. As the sisters help each other reimagine their futures, life’s unpredictability sends them to surprising places that test their love and resilience. Will they learn to live in the now before it’s too late?
It’s available for preorder on Amazon now.
Q: If you were to write in another genre, which genre would you choose and why?
A: I’ve already switched genres once (from romance to women’s fiction), but if I were to try something entirely new, I might try to write a dark psychological thriller. I love psychology (my almost-major in college) and I love damaged characters, so I could see myself getting into that kind of story. I’ve actually flirted with this at one point a year ago, but then set it aside…for now.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels?
A: No. We’ve had some inquiries, but it’s never gone beyond that phase. In all honesty, I don’t even listen to my audio books, so I’m not sure how well I would handle a director and actors’ takes on my stories and characters. I like thinking of them and hearing them as they are in my head!