Debut author, Jamie Leigh Hansen. Her book, Betrayed, just hit the shelves, and I wanted to let all of you get to know her. I met Jamie years ago and was struck even then by her determination and her bright smile. A few months ago, during a Google search, I ran across her first book, and was thrilled! She kindly gave me an advance copy (which I loved) and now it is her time to shine.
EB: Jamie, you’ve worked a long time to get published–and through some tough health issues–what kept you going and kept you writing?
JLH: Several things kept me going. First, writing is my dream. Romance novels have been my favorites since Sweet Valley High in Junior High. And the very educational Beloved by Bertrice Small at 13. Wow.
With Freidreich’s Ataxia, the hereditary nerve condition I have, fatigue has always been a huge issue. But I have a choice. Go to bed and read until I die, or stay active and try to make my dreams come true. I made my choice and am too stubborn to quit, even on the most exhausting, depressing, hard-to-create days.
When my youngest was diagnosed with a brain tumor and cancer, a friend from my IECRWA chapter came to visit. Jolene is in my acknowledgments in Betrayed. She picked me up every two weeks for months, then more spread out over the last couple of years. We’d go out and talk, talk writing, or just sit quietly and write. She was so supportive. She gave me exclusive writing time and really kept me going. Never underestimate the value of a wonderful friend.
EB: Where did you get the idea for Betrayed? (Really, I found it very imaginative and so different from so many other paranormals!)
JLH: Thank you. It began with a dream. This sexy knight and his fearful bride at the top of a tower with a fire on their wedding night. And towards the end of it, she ties him naked to a chair. LOL But I wanted to write more than historical. I love paranormal, suspense, mysteries and character development. And I couldn’t exorcise an element of faith as I wrote it, so I quit trying to downplay that and wrote the book of my heart. As I worked on it, I really began to search the core of all my heroine’s fears and what it takes to bring her from victim to survivor. Which, for her, was 9 violent deaths over nearly 1000 years. I discovered in the process of free-writing the story that she’d barely survived a brutal marriage in her 10th lifetime, so I chunked most of the 150 pages that I’d written and started over. I wrote 2 entire separate 110k drafts. Out of all of that, the major rewriting and all, it’s the historical scenes that are still there.
I’m just so happy that I threw in every sub-genre of romance that I love and it worked.
EB: What did it feel like to see your book in a bookstore for the first time?
JLH: I still haven’t. I’ll let you know tomorrow. LOL I was at Borders the day of, but they didn’t have it stocked. So, I guess my first view of Betrayed in stores will be the pile of 100 at my signing. (which is at the store already and will be available tomorrow despite all the issues so far. lol)
EB: What’s next?
JLH: I’ve written most of Book 2: Cursed. I’m still fighting myself over the ending, but I love the story. Like Betrayed, it has a mix of every day reality (probably much more than Betrayed) but still with the Angelic/demonic/nephilic subplot and danger. Maeve has been awakened and is very not happy. I hope to finish this really soon and begin Book 3.
EB: Where can readers find you and learn more about Betrayed?
JLH: There’s a list, so everyone is welcome to pick what best fits their needs.
www.AuthorNation.com/JLH (new place for readers and writers. it’s really classy and beautifully arranged.)
EB: Thanks for dropping by, Jamie! It is so wonderful when friends reach for their dreams and succeed. All my best wishes to you!
Does anyone have any questions for Jamie? She’s promised to drop by and answer your queries. Post away.
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for such a wonderful welcome. I didn’t even know you took that picture!
Last Saturday was my launch party. So many friends and family showed that I sold 71 books!! Amazing day. I was writing so long and hard, everyone kept asking if I was okay and was I too tired yet. 10 years in the making for a day like that, was I tired? Yeah, but stop? I don’t think so. LOL
I’ll send pics when I can. I’m off to pool therapy. Craig scheduled me on my birthday!! (winewinewine) lol I will check in again when I return.
Thank you for this. I appreciate you so much!
Jamie, congratulations on your book release. I see that you celebrated your achievement in style! I hope the launch party was everything you dreamed of.
Now I need to run to my local Borders and get a copy of BETRAYED.
Congrats Jamie! It’s so awesome you took the choice to live your dream and you deserve every wonderful day of excitement to come.
Thanks for sharing that you struggled with a faith issue and finally left it in. The inspirational romance category is so restrictive yet – as one friend stated – it’s possible to love God and sex. I hope to see more romance writers in the future touch on deeper levels of characterization that includes something more spiritual than just an “Oh God” during orgasm.
I look forward to reading “Betrayed” and thanks for writing it.
And that site, wow! It gave me chills.
Thank you, Susanna! It was a really great day. I completely appreciate all the support my family and friends, and especially IECRWA gave me.
Therese, I’m glad to hear your thoughts on that. It’s always a tough situation when faith is an issue. I don’t want to alienate people, but there’s just some things inside me and it feels wrong to pretend they don’t exist.
Haven, Thank you! I love the website. Justin designed it just right for me. When I put Angels in my book, I wanted a different take on them than what’s typical. So, instead of white-skinned, white-winged or baby Angels, I have the Obsidian Angel and a Pearl Angel that seems to be made of crystal with swirling colors inside. And more to come. This was so much fun to write.