Recently I agreed to participate in virtual book tours, both promoting indie authors and hopefully using the network to get the word out about my own projects. I recently was introduced to Jaimie Hope, an author with a very unique and interesting personal story as well as a knack for writing children's books that reach a particularly important audience. You may find out more about Jamie by following this link to her website. What follows is my interview with her:
1. Tell us something about yourself. What made you want to write in the first place and what keeps you going as a writer?
When I was a child my favorite time of day was storytime. I always saw myself as one of the characters and even back then I wanted to write Golden Books. The dream continued as I entered school mostly because I wasn't permitted to go on the playground like the other kids because of my wheelchair. I was always made to sit on the outskirts watching the others have fun. As you can probably imagine, it was boring. I began making up stories in my head for entertainment. Before long it developed into my own secret world. Writing it down and sharing it with the world just seemed to be a natural progression. What keeps me going? This is all I've ever really wanted to do. I'm living my dream and I love it.
2. Tell us something about your writing process. How do you develop stories and how do you craft them into a finished product?
Most of my Children's book stories are taken from real life experiences,at least partly. My process for beginning a story really begins with music. I listen to a lot of 80's music when I am trying to tap into "Baby Jaimie."
3. Do you have any tips about the editing process? What is the most important thing you have learned about editing?
The most important thing I learned about editing is have someone else do your final edits before the manuscript goes to print. You'll never be as unbiased about your own work and flaws as you need to be to edit your own work properly.
Unfortunately, I didn't learn that lesson until I wrote my last book, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Loses A Tooth. I had already written The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Goes To The Hospital and had it under contract with Anchor Group Publishing while I was waiting for the illustrations to be completed for Baby Jaimie Loses A Tooth. I'd had trouble in the past with noticing typos and various mistakes after my manuscripts go to print. I asked the editor at Anchor Group Publishing, Melissa Ringsted, if she would edit my manuscript. She agreed and two books later I wouldn't think of using anyone else.
4. Your latest book The Adventures Of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Goes To The Hospital is currently available. Tell us a little bit about the book, how you came up with the idea and where we can find the book for purchase.
In this book Baby Jaimie is ready for a busy summer to begin, but gets temporarily derailed by a trip to the hospital to have a tonsillectomy.
This book was originally much different. It was inspired by real life events, but I made changes to it to make it more seem more universal for children. Truth be told, I still have my tonsils.
Currently, this book can be purchased through Amazon.com
5. What or who inspires you most? What is the main mission that you hope to achieve with your books?
My inspiration and mission are basically the same and simple. As Jim Henson said, “My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.” That's exactly what drives me to keep going even on the days I swear I'm quitting.
I would like to thank Jaimie Hope for her generous interview, and wish her the best success with her books. As a teacher I work with special needs children every day, and they are very near and dear to my heart.