I’d like to welcome J’aimee Brooker today. J’aimee predominantly writes novella-length contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her current/upcoming release is Rescued.
Hi J’aimee, I’m so very happy you could stop in today. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself. How did you start writing?
I have always had a great interest in reading and writing though my foray into creative novel writing is fairly recent. I have been a creative and commercial writer for roughly 15 years working in radio and print. I started out as an advertising copywriter before moving into features writing for lifestyle magazines and trade publications. From there, my husband and I published a glossy lifestyle magazine for a small regional market which I also edited. I currently work in radio advertising on the Gold Coast (Australia).
Sound like you’ve had lots on the go, and still you decided to jump into the novel arena. I think that’s fabulous. So, what drew you to this particular genre?
The thing about romance for me is not so much the happily ever after (though they’re always nice), it’s more about the endearing message of love and hope. That the romance genre gives a voice to the diversity and differences in relationships and love, allowing these variances to be explored and celebrated is a massive win for readers.
I couldn’t agree more! What is the single most important part of writing for you?
Ensuring the story is told accurately as I generally have a very determined direction for the story and the development of the characters. Of course, sometimes when you’re writing, spontaneity takes over and that can add to and enhance a story considerably however the basic journey is mapped strategically for each story.
I’m getting the feeling that you’re probably a detailed plotter, but I’m still gonna ask the question… Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
It’s always an idea—something inspires the story. From the initial idea, I generally qualify it as a story I will work on (do I feel like this is the next story) else it gets set aside until the rest of the story presents itself to me or the time is right for me to explore the idea more fully. From there, I always map out the storyline (who, what, when, where, why, how) then character development (backstory, current journey, challenges, obstacles, achievements, and outcomes) of the story from there. Then the hard part: putting it all together and making a story!
Ha! I was right! (I love when I’m right by the way, LOL) How many hours a day to you spend writing? Do you have a routine?
I’d love to say I have a routine but I just don’t–let’s just say it’s on the resolutions list for New Years J. I’m usually working by 6am before starting my ‘real’ job for the day. Work finishes at 3pm just in time for the school pickups, homework with the kids, dinner, bath & bed routine then back into writing, blog updates, promoting the books etc by 8pm. It is full-on but I enjoy it.
Sounds like my day! If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Tricky question… probably to listen to everyone who chooses to talk to you–be it about problems, successes, experiences etc. This is all fabulous fodder for character development, dialogue and story ideas .
I’ve never considered it that way…you are a smart woman!
But seriously, work hard at becoming a good listener—understand that it is a privilege that someone has trusted and chosen to share their story with you and that in itself is a something to be proud of.
What’s next for you in terms of writing?
2014 will see me release a series of novellas (all stand-alones); still in the romance genre but exploring an overall topic that is rather unique. I also have three novellas that I would love to see find a home with a digital publisher.
List a couple of your favorite authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
The first author I fell in love with as a child was Enid Blyton, I’ve just been lucky enough to stumble onto a bulk lot of Blyton novels from the 1970′s through a local vintage hunter, I’m now reading these to my three children.
As an adult, it was Sidney Sheldon who first captured my attention. I often re-read his novels as to me he is the master storyteller. I recall being devastated when he passed away and though his legacy is being carried on by Tilly Bagshawe, I’ve not yet read one of her Sheldon novels.
Okay, now tell us a bit about your current release. What inspired it? Or Did you know what it would be about when you wrote the first book in the series?
The idea for Rescued came to me about 6-8 months ago. I’d been jotting down notes all year about how the story would progress, how the relationship between the three characters could plausibly develop, and what the outcome of a ménage between two friends and a devilishly handsome lifeguard would be.
Essentially, living on the gorgeous east coast of Australia and witnessing firsthand the amazing job that lifeguards carry out was also a catalyst for Rescued.
I’m thinking, ah yeah! Oh sorry, you were probably focusing on research for their jobs, I’m assuming. I was focusing on, well, just them.
What is your favorite part of this particular story, and why? Hopefully you can tell us without giving anything away
Well, without giving too much away… I’m most happy with the way the characters come together romantically. It was a difficult balance to achieve as the two female characters had such vastly opposing approaches to love and sex. My aim was to make this a plausible extension of the storyline and something that felt natural within the context of the story.
It has been a pleasure talking with you today, J’aimee. I can’t wait to read Rescued. And if you need somebody to head to the beach to research the guys for you, I’m your gal!
But, before we get to J’aimee’s book, she’s sharing a recipe with us.
I’ve been on a mission to teach our kids (6, 8, 10yo) how to cook and bake from scratch (it is a life skill after all). I had always been scare of preserves and jams until we mastered this Lemon Butter recipe which is now a firm family favourite with a new batch being cooked every Saturday morning. Our eldest son has even been featured on a cooking website (http://www.cookmyway.com.au/article/456/adams-jams) for his jam-making abilities!
- 1/2 cup (115g) butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, well-beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 3 lemons, juiced
- Rind of 1 lemon, very finely diced
Add all ingredients to a pot and cook over gentle heat until thick.
Once it comes together and resembles a spreadable consistency, remove from heat and pour into sterilised jars.
Store in the fridge.
Two gorgeous girls
A knight in shining speedos
One red-hot Australian Christmas!
Set against the glorious backdrop of Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach comes the story of childhood friends Anya Thompson and Sophie Anders and their brush with one of Bondi’s finest—lifeguard Jack Covey.
As a lifeguard, Jack’s instincts are finely tuned. He’s spent his career watching for danger and avoiding distractions but when the gorgeous Anya Thompson catches his eye, he can’t help but be intrigued by Anya and her modest and reserved manner.
Anya’s lost more than her Christmas cheer, but will one steamy night with her best friend and the deliciously handsome Jack be just the thing to restart her shattered heart?
“Jack! Finn! Someone, help. Please, someone help!” came Sophie’s shrill scream.
In a second, all the noises of the beach, the kids playing, parents shouting, drunks laughing—it all faded to silence, as his eyes strategically scanned the water where he’d last seen Anya and Sophie swimming, his body instinctively moving, already headed toward the water. He could see Sophie, standing on the shore, frantically scanning the water.
Anya, where is Anya? he asked himself repeatedly, his feet carrying him faster than he thought possible, he looked to his left and saw Finn running with him, keeping up pace by pace. Behind him were two other surf lifeguards trying desperately to keep up.
“Soph, where is she?” Jack shouted, stripping his shirt off and throwing it behind him as he made his way into the surf.
“She’s was hit by a surfboard, she hasn’t come back up yet. Please, I’m coming to help” Sophie yelled, making her way into the water alongside him and Finn.
“Finn, get her out of here. Calm her down, we don’t need to be pulling them both out” Jack shouted, hearing Finn’s stern voice commanding Sophie to stay on the shore before feeling his presence as they both dove under an incoming wave.
Coming up, he saw a distressed surfer shouting to him, “over here, over here” he called urgently, “my board flew out and hit her in the head, I’ve been under a few times, and I can’t see her”
Jack swam to him, duck diving beneath the surface, his eyes searching the water, stinging from the salty water but instinctively staying focused and open, adrenaline taking over. He made eye contact with Finn as they both came up for breath, the concern etched onto his friend’s face both deflating Jack’s hopes and spurring him on to keep going.
Jack watched Finn dive back under and immediately began to follow him as he saw Anya’s body bob up above the surface a few metres away.
Then he heard it: her desperate gasp for breath, her pained and scared moan for help before she dropped back below the surface, at least she’s breathing he thought to himself as her threw himself toward her, every muscle overstretching and overworking in his desperate attempt to get to her.
A creative and commercial writer by trade; J’aimee also authors novellas and short stories focused within the contemporary romance genre and incorporating themes of travel, intrigue, and suspense. J’aimee has written for industry trade publications and lifestyle magazines, and is a regular columnist for several lifestyle magazines and lifestyle/travel websites as well as having a full-time job in radio and three kids under 9yrs.
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