Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Interview: Jamie A. Waters

 I'm happy to have had the opportunity to interview Jamie A. Waters, author of the dystopian series, The Two Towers. Book Two of the series, Shadow of the Coalition released June 28th. This was such a great experience!

Tell me a little bit about your book.

"Shadow of the Coalition" is the second book in The Two Towers series. It's set about 150 years in the future, after the world was ravaged by war. There are two distinct groups – those who live in the towers owned by OmniLab (called "Omnis"), and the surface survivors (called "ruin rats"). The ruin rats survive by navigating the dangerous ruined cities in search of artifacts or materials they can trade with OmniLab in exchange for critical supplies.

The story is about a ruin rat named Kayla and focuses on her experiences both on the surface and with the elusive group in the towers. She's a spunky, kick-ass heroine who's willing to do whatever it takes to survive. In addition to the sci-fi setting, there are strong elements of romance, paranormal, action and adventure.

Title: Shadow of the Coalition
Series: The Two Towers
Publication Date: Jun 28 2016
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Age Group:
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-fi, Romance
Pages: 380
Find the Book: Amazon | Goodreads

If you had to write this one all over again, go through the whole editing and publishing process from the beginning again, is there anything you’d do differently?

Not really. I think this book actually went really well compared to my experiences with the first one. I had a few publishing delays, but I was also going through some personal issues at the time, so it all worked out.

If there was a chance to do things over, I'd like to redo some things in the first book. For starters, I'd probably like to have the entire series finished or close to finished before releasing them. I hate making my readers wait.

Are you a plotter and know what’s going to happen or are you a pantser that lets your characters lead you by the balls?

If I had balls, my characters would definitely be leading me by them. They'd also tie them in a knot and throw them over their shoulder. I try to make tentative outlines, but my characters always blow them to smithereens. I never know what's going to happen and I'm usually shocked at the end. Apparently, I'm just the narrator and they're the ones driving the bus – without a license.

What’s something that you are really good at that most people don’t know about?

I can pick things up with my feet. Oh wait… sorry. That's a little random. Not sure if that's what you're looking for.

I love drawing, painting and anything artsy. I don't usually show my work except to close family and friends, but I think I'm pretty damn good.

Do you think being a writer is a gift or is it a curse? Why?

It'd say a gift. I'm worried if I say it's a curse, I'll jinx myself and lose it. Karma's a bitch that way.

In all honesty, for me, I think writing is a calling. It's just something I'm meant to do. When I look at myself and at my life and everything I want to accomplish, I know down to the depths of my soul – this is what I'm meant to do. I'm not perfect and I'm constantly learning new things, but writing is my passion and I'm thankful for it every single day. 

Parents like to say they don’t have a favorite child, but we all know that’s not true. I could say the same for writers. So who’s your favorite child... erm, I mean character?

I *love* Kayla. I love her attitude, her spark, her humor and what she thinks is her badass image (even though underneath she's kinda soft). I have so much fun writing about her and her adventures.

Do you usually root for the heroes or the villains?

I don't really think villains are bad or evil. I think they're just misunderstood. They have their own reasons for doing things. We may not understand them, but in their mind – they're the good guys. I especially like villains who turn out to not be quite as villainous as you first thought. So I guess… I'm rooting for the heroes, but who they are is really up to debate.

Who are your favorite authors?

Yikes. Lots! Okay, some of the authors on my favorites list are:  Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb, Kim Harrison, Kristen Ashley, Patricia Briggs, Laurell Hamilton, Laurann Dohner, Nalini Singh, J R Ward, Karen Marie Moning, and Kresley Cole.

What about up and coming authors? Anyone caught your fancy?

So many! With the influx of all the indie authors on Amazon, there are some really talented authors who have come up on my radar. They may not be new authors, but they're new to me. Just recently, I've enjoyed reading books by Kristin Ashley and C.L. Stone. Kristen Ashley has written dozens of books and she has this incredible ability to immerse you in the story. C.L. Stone writes YA books, but with a really cool twist. I'm excited to see how she continues to develop the story.

Back to your characters for a minute, who would you like to have a beer with? Who do you wish you hadn’t created?

I would love to go have drinks with Sergei. He's a new character in this book, but I think he's really freaking cool. There's an edge to him that I'm just dying to unravel. I had to enlist the help of a Russian linguist with some of his dialogue and it just made me love him even more.

As far as a character that I wish I hadn't created? There's a character named Brant who I wasn't all that thrilled with for a really long time. In fact, I went back and tried to remove him from the story completely. But for some reason, my characters wouldn't let him go. It became a tug-of-war match (which I lost). I found out the reason why in the third book.

Tell me one thing that’s on your bucket list.

Trying not to kick it as long as possible.

If you were asked to write a book in a different genre than your current works, what genre would you choose and why?

Probably fantasy with elements of romance. I like the flexibility of fantasy (if I can imagine it, it can be real), but I also love writing romantic elements in my story. My stories are primarily character driven, and romance is a great path to self-discovery.

What are you working on right now?

I'm currently working on the third book in The Two Towers series. I'm about halfway through the first draft and hope to have it submitted to my publisher by the end of the summer.

Care to give us the first sentence of the last chapter you were working on?

Alec slammed his fist on the table, furious at the incompetence surrounding him. "What do you mean you lost her?"

So, say you just got arrested. What’s the most likely reason the cops are carting you off to jail?

They saw my internet browsing history. I swear – I'm not a violent person! I can't be held responsible for what my characters want to do though!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever researched for one of your books?

I'm convinced I've got to be on some watch lists. I've Googled the most effective ways to kill a man (facing them, facing away from them, with a knife, by hand), the amount of blood spatter by kill method, how much blood you lose before you pass out/die, videos on hand-to-hand combat and Systema (Russian martial art), how to effectively pick locks (and I bought a lockpick set so I could get hands on experience), and talked to actual white-hat and black-hat hackers for tips/techniques in computer hacking. Most recently – I had to consult with Russian linguistics expert for translation details and speak with an environmental engineer about water testing, microbial contaminants, electron microscopes, spectrophotometry, turbidity, and a whole host of things that I never thought I'd be researching.

By the way, don't look at the videos or images of how to kill a man in some of the more obscure areas of the internet unless you have a really strong stomach. *shudder* 

What’s the one book you wish you had written?

I'm not sure I have one. Does that make me weird? I think every writer has their own stories to tell. I'm not writing for any purpose except to tell the stories in my head that demand to be told. Someone else's stories wouldn't have been as vivid and potent in my imagination as it is in theirs. I just couldn't imagine it.

Tell us about your most embarrassing bookish experience.

I freaked out when I realized the sex scenes I wrote in my first book were going to be available for the public to read. At the time, I was working in the IT Department at a school district and my boss (the Assistant Superintendent) knew I was working on a book. He wanted to know the name of it so he could read it. I couldn't bring myself to tell him because the thought of my co-workers reading my sex scenes was mortifying – especially since we all worked in a school district with kids.

When you were little, what did you dream of being when you grew up?

I wanted to be everything! I wanted to be an artist, an architect, a doctor, a lawyer, a physicist, a veterinarian, a biologist, a park ranger, a librarian – and then I realized I *can* be all of those. Every time I pick up my computer to write a story, I can become any or all of those in my imagination.

What’s your writing quirk? Every author’s got one ;)

Music and cleaning.

I can't concentrate if I'm in a messy setting. I'll get distracted by the freaking dust on my ceiling fan or some other random item that most people wouldn't notice. So I'll go on a huge cleaning spree before I sit down for a hardcore writing session. I'll also listen to music that puts me in the mindset of the scene I'm about to write. I have a designated playlist specifically for that purpose.

Also, I write sex scenes after a glass of wine – and I have pictures that serve as the inspiration for most of my characters. No, it's not porn! They're just pictures. Sheesh.

In your most recent work, would you tell us about some of the material that didn’t make it past the cutting room floor?

There was a pretty intense shower scene that was cut from "Shadow of the Coalition". It wasn't deleted though… it actually moved to the third book. *fans self*

What’s your favorite Disney movie? Seriously, this one is super important. Your life depends on your answer here.

The pressure!!! Ohmigosh. Okay, I'm a total Disney fan. I have most of the movies and even the soundtracks. I listen to them in my car and sing along all the time. Since my son's outgrown it, I borrow my niece to take to the movies so I'm not the crazy adult lady in the theater.

But my favorite? It's an old one… but I loved "The Sword in the Stone". I've watched it countless times.

My second favorite and I'm probably going to get some backlash on this one – I love "Beauty and the Beast". The biggest reason? Belle's a huge reader!

Where can our readers find your work?

Any major retailer. My books are available from my publishers website (MuseItUp Publishing), and at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo, etc.

What/When is your next release coming out?

"Shadow of the Coalition" is scheduled to be released in ebook on June 28th. The print versions of "The Two Towers" and "Shadow of the Coalition" should be released by end of summer. I'm hoping to have the third book submitted to my publisher also by the end of the summer.

How do you want readers to keep in touch with you?

The best place to find me is on my website: www.jamieawaters.com

There are links to all my social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, YouTube, etc.). There's also a contact page if you want to send me an email – and yes, I do respond! I love hearing from my readers. I've met so many amazing readers and I love the feedback and comments I've gotten from my work. You guys have added some really amazing perspective and opinions to my stories. Thank you so much!

I'm also going to be attending the Authors After Dark Convention held in Savannah, GA this August. If you get a chance, this is a fantastic event that gives readers and authors to interact in a really informal and fun setting. Come play with me!

Thank You, Jamie, for the wonderful interview!

About the Author:

Jamie A. Waters is an award-winning, science-fiction and paranormal romance writer. Her first novel, The Two Towers, was a winner of the Readers' Favorite Award in Science-Fiction Romance and the CIPA EVVY Award in Science-Fiction. The highly anticipated second book in the series, Shadow of the Coalition, is scheduled to be released Summer 2016 by MuseItUp Publishing.

Jamie currently resides in North Carolina with her teenage son and two neurotic dogs who enjoy stealing socks. When she's not pursuing her passion of writing, she's usually trying to learn new and interesting random things (like how to pick locks or use the self-cleaning feature of the oven without setting off the fire alarm). In her downtime, she enjoys reading on her Kindle, playing computer games, painting, or acting as a referee between the dragons and fairies currently at war inside her closet.

Find her:



1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! I had a lot of fun answering your questions!