I stumbled upon Jamie Farrell’s website recently and wished I could invite her over to sit on my front porch for a glass of wine because I know I’d be laughing and smiling the whole time! Her Midwestern friendliness and Southern humor make her books the perfect choice when you need a pick-me-up; according to a Publisher’s Weekly starred review of Blissed, part of the Misfit Bride Series, “Farrell marries warmth with tongue-and-cheek wit.”
Here, Jamie shares her experience getting published and developing her writing career. Her honest insights will help you keep going and to embrace the challenges with humility and self-deprecating humor.
What made you decide to write romance novels?
When I was newly married, my husband’s job took us hundreds of miles from home and from good career options for me. (I have a degree in computer engineering.) So I turned to writing as an escape, and I’ve never looked back!
Did you formally train for a career as a writer?
Nope. 🙂 I was a voracious reader in my youth, and I fell back in love with reading thanks to Janet Evanovich’s Plum series, and I think reading so much helped cement the basics of story structure in my head. Otherwise, once I decided to write books, I sought resources and classes online.
What was your biggest challenge when you were trying to publish your debut novel?
No matter how much I read and researched publishing, I found there was still so much I didn’t know. The first time I was asked if I had review copies available, I was like, “Oh. Huh. Review copies. I should probably do that.”
Otherwise, the biggest challenge was in finding an audience for a funny Southern military romance in the dawning Fifty Shades era.
How have you dealt with that challenge as you have published more?
I still struggle with asking for reviews, but it’s more of a matter of time than it is a matter of knowledge now. And I’ve gotten creative in finding an audience. Honestly, the recovering engineer in me gets a kick out of solving problems and in squeezing 32 hours out of every day.
How has writing your second, third, etc book compared to writing that first book?
The fear. 🙂 I find every book has its own unique rhythm in the process of writing it, but the fear that each progressive book won’t be as good is always there. Before I was published, it was okay if the books I wrote were random. Now, my fans have expectations of what a Jamie Farrell romance should feel like, and I don’t want to disappoint them.
What would you have done differently if you could start all over again?
Honestly? I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently. I feel like my career has progressed exactly how it was supposed to. And I’m grateful for the hard stuff—the deadlines, the rejections, the bad reviews—because it makes me appreciate the really great stuff—contest finals, great reviews, my awesome readers!!—all the more.
How has your life changed as you have published more books?
It’s gotten more busy, lol.
Can you imagine having a different career? What would it be?
If I weren’t writing, I’d probably be reading. And possibly doing a book blog. Or maybe acting as a virtual assistant for other authors. I just love the romance writing community so much, I can’t imagine leaving it.
What is the single most important thing an unpublished writer should do to get published?
Write, write, and write some more. It always comes back to the stories, and the more stories you write, the better you get.
What is the single most important thing a newly published writer should do?
Embrace your writer friends. They’re the ones who will be honest with you about your covers, your blurbs, and your stories. They’re the ones who will commiserate over bad reviews and celebrate with you when you hit the New York Times list.
Where is the best place to go for writing advice?
My favorite resources are Deb Dixon’s GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict and Michael Hauge’s Story Mastery. Story is everything, and these two are fabulous.
What is the best writing advice you have ever gotten?
Keep writing. And then write the next book. (Are you sensing a theme?)
Do you have a favorite debut author? If so, who?
At a friend’s urging, I picked up Carol Pavliska’s COLOR ME CRAZY a few months ago. Oh, man, did that book blow me away!! Sexiest British rocker god EVER, and a fabulous spunky heroine. I can’t wait for Carol’s next book!
Welcome To Bliss, the Bridal Capitol of the Midwest!
Natalie Castellano practically has it all—beauty, brains, and a stellar reputation. Because childbearing hips and exhaustion lines are totally sexy. And knowing when to let go of her family’s failing bridal boutique is smart…right? Plus, who doesn’t want to be that divorced mother in Bliss?
With all she has going for her, it would be selfish to secretly wish for love too. Who needs it? Definitely not Nat. But perhaps she does need to take her wedding dress-obsessed little boy somewhere else for a fresh start.
CJ Blue is on top of the world. At least, he was last week when he stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Now, he’s in an empty confessional, hiding from the hullabaloo of a family wedding. Aka the depths of hell.
His meddling relatives want to poke at the deep psychological wounds he supposedly bears from being a twenty-something widower. But he doesn’t want to talk, he doesn’t want to be fussed over, and he certainly doesn’t want another chance to fail at love. He just wants to get through this wedding and back to his adventurous life.
But when a dark-haired, wounded-eye beauty invades his sanctuary and whispers a secret he was never supposed to know, he gets swept up in her life. Is he brave enough to tackle the adventure of life in Bliss, or will he walk away from the only woman in the world who could offer him love, forgiveness, and a second chance?
Jamie Farrell writes fun contemporary romances with quirky characters and lots of heart. She believes love and laughter are two of the most powerful forces in the universe, and she infuses both into all of her stories. Her debut novel, Southern Fried Blues, was a finalist for the 2013 National Readers’ Choice Awards and the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards.
A native Midwesterner, Jamie has lived in the South the majority of her adult life. When she’s not writing, she and her military hero husband are busy raising three hilariously unpredictable children.