Author Jaime Reed is a member of a group of 2012 debut authors with me called the Apocalypsies. When I realized she was promoting her trilogy The Cambion Chronicles, I checked out her website and her books and was impressed by this smart woman who fell into writing after looking back at the notebooks she kept in high school. Since my debut novel evolved from my middle school notes, I understood completely how looking back helped move Jaime forward. I’m so glad that Jaime agreed to be interviewed here today. And she’s GIVING AWAY the first two books of her YA paranormal trilogy here too! Details and book synopses follow the interview. Keep reading for Jaime’s informative and entertaining answers to the interview questions.
I’ve visited your website and blog and it seems like you are really in touch with your readers: teens. So if you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be? Stop worrying what everyone thinks about you. You’ll barely see any of these kids again in six years anyway. It’s not worth stressing out over. Seriously. Just do you.
What is your favorite way to flaunt your brain power? I have a tendency to use big words and using crazy analogies. My favorite thing is to sum up a friend’s problem in 10 words or less. No matter how heavy the drama or how long they took to explain it, I can outline and diagnose the matter in less than 30 seconds. Unfortunately I can’t use this super power for myself. But for the most part I just use sarcasm. It’s never failed me before. So you can say that I’m more of a smart ass than I am smart.
Summing things up is an excellent skill. It must help you write synopses! Now that we know how you flaunt, can you tell me what social norms you are fond of flouting? Racial stereotypes are my main rule breaker. I don’t really like labels and preconceived notions about people and I certainly don’t act like the typical “black chick” and I make a point not to perpetuate that stereotype. I tend to write about characters that break outside of what is considered normal. Generally, I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, or what is expected of me.
I love that answer. I hate stereotypes too. I read that you have interests in movies, music and art. How do you use your talents in these areas to create fiction? I love movies. I dreamt of becoming a movie director or a screen writer when I graduated from College. Since that never happened, I went with my second love, which was writing. I think fiction writing is as close as I’m going to get and I’m perfectly cool with that. I do have a habit of using movie references and camera jargon in my stories. It gives a bit of cinematic flare as far as visualization for the reader.
And I’ll bet your ability to visualize helps keep your writing vibrant too! What kind of research went into developing the paranormal element for The Cambion Chronicles? How can I describe it? It was like those Russian stacking dolls where one doll is inside of another and it gets smaller and smaller. It was kinda like that- layers of information, one discovery then another then another. I wanted to find a monster that wasn’t so popular, but I also loved vampires as a kid. So I studied the origin of vampires and found a whole world of lure that hasn’t been explored, creatures who absorb human energy, hybrids, fallen angels, etc. That’s when I found Cambions. The lure of the Cambion is obscure and I did as much research as I could. The rest was creative license, which is a dream when you want to create a new cannon.
So research really did bring you to the Cambions. Kudos to you for your skills!
I read that you have a playlist for every occasion in life. I thought it’d be fun to give you a list of occasions and you can share the appropriate songs for them. If you’re game, give it a shot.(Just answer the ones you like. If you think of other fun/funny occasions, add them to the list!)
- You dumped him: Rumor Has It- Adele
- He dumped you: I Bust the Window Out Your Car – Jazmine Sullivan
- Irritating teacher: Break stuff – Limp Bizkit
- Zombie attack: Fire starter- Prodigy
- Forgot homework: Because I Got High – Afroman
- Getting ready for prom: Music Sounds Better With You- Daft Punk
- BFF is back from Europe: Magic – Ladyhawk
- Tripped and fell in front of school: The Benny Hill theme song
- Wearing your favorite jeans: I Know What Boys Like – The Waitresses
Great list Jaime! I have to laugh at that last one. I remember that song so well…
Can you tell us about a well-known fictitious chick you admire and why you admire her? I don’t really have one, but if I had to choose I would say Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. She’s the smartest one out of the trio and she always comes prepared. I would take brains over brawn any day. It’s an invaluable trait.
I think another nerdy chick or two picked Hermione. What a great character. What’s something you like to do that might be considered a tiny bit nerdy, but is actually really fun? I think not having much of a social life is nerdy enough. Reading and talking movie trivia with other film nerds could qualify too. I simply kill at six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I also have an obsession with British TV shows.
All of that sounds great to me, proof that I’m nerdy? Do you ever give nerdy traits to any of your characters? I do write smart characters and I’m pleased to announce that being smart is becoming popular these days. The love interest in the Cambion Chronicles, Caleb, is an undercover nerd, with his medieval weapon collection and obsession with music. Sam, the lead character likes to read Shakespeare and talks in Elizabethan speak at random. So yeah, there’s a nerd factor there, but it also makes for interesting character development too.
Those do sound like really interesting characters! How has brain power helped get you through the tough times in life, like when you were trying to decide which career path to follow? It was more of a gut thing than a brain thing. I had to do something that I really enjoyed and would do for free if it came to that. Writing happened to be the first thing that came to mind. Looking back, it didn’t seem the most logical direction, and the odds of success were against me. I actually had to fight my brain to do what I felt was right for me.
It really is hard for logical people to give in to gut instincts sometimes. I know you have tons of readers who are glad you let your gut take over.
It is super easy to enter!