Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Jamie Lynn Miller – I mett Jamie at Rainbow Con – there were so many great authors there – and had a great time with her. I am thrilled to be able to welcome her to my blog.
Thanks so much, Jamie, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
Jamie Lynn Miller: I’m definitely all about the romance and I’m the Queen of Happy Endings. I love to put my characters through all sorts of angst before they find their HEA.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
JLM: My first published work was Darkness Falls. It’s about two actors on a hit TV show, one secretly in love with the other. When one is suddenly blinded in a special effects accident on set it changes their relationship forever.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
JLM: About the only real process I have that I stick to are scene goals. I know a lot of writers have daily word count goals, but for me, completing a scene is most important, whether it be 700 words or 2,000.
JSC: Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.
JLM: That besides my husband I’ve told no one in my real life (family, friends) that I write m/m books. None of them would understand and it wouldn’t be worth jeopardizing my relationship with them if they found out. So I definitely live a secret life. And that gets tough sometimes.
JSC: What was the first speculative fiction book (sci fi, paranormal, fantasy, horror) that you ever read? How did it influence you?
JLM: I’m not sure what my first sci-fi book was, but the one that has always stuck with me is Singularity by William Sleator. I read that as a teenager (about the same age as the boys in the book) and it just really made me go wow, I love this genre.
JSC: If you were stuck on a desert island all alone with only three things, what would they be?
JLM: Well I guess I’d have to take my husband as one of the things. 🙂 My computer with magical internet access and an endless supply of chocolate.
JSC: Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
JLM: I couldn’t kill any of them! LOL! Unless it was one of my bad guys. 🙂 Hmm…I’d have to fuck Lucas Taylor from Burnin’ for you because hello – smokin’ hot fireman! Duh! And I’d have to marry Matthew Tucker from Darkness Falls because he’s just the sweetest guy. If he’d take care of his friend after he went blind, he’d take good care of me. 🙂
JSC: Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
JLM: I know a lot of authors need to have music playing or be sitting in a special spot in their house, but not me. Just give me some peace and quiet and I’m good to go!
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
JLM: I’m a plotter, for sure. I literally can’t start a book unless I know the beginning, middle and end. Things will morph along the way and I go with the flow, but I have to have a clear end in sight.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
JLM: My current WIP is Behind the Badge, about a cop and an investigative reporter. I’m hoping to have it completed by the end of December.
And I would love to get back to writing the next book in the Genesis Project, the follow up to An Endless Sea of Stars, my sci-fi novella.
And now for Jamie’s new book: His Fragile Heart:
Do you believe in the power of love, even after death? After losing his lover in a car accident two years ago, actor Nathan Marshall wasn’t interested in another relationship. Until he meets waiter Justin Kowalski. Something about him seems so familiar that Nathan is instantly drawn to the younger man. Surprised at his capacity to love again, his relationship with Justin blossoms. But then an unbelievable truth is revealed – one that could break both their hearts for good.
“Nate? Everything okay?” Justin called out.
Nathan sighed as he gingerly picked up the ruined popcorn package and dropped it in the trash. “Great,” he muttered, then louder, “Um, yeah, everything’s fine.”
With a sigh he opened the refrigerator and freezer, looking for something else suitable to eat while watching a movie, and nodded when he saw the half gallon of rocky road ice cream.
Walking toward the living room, Nathan stuck his head around the kitchen wall. “Hey, how ‘bout ice cream instead?” he asked, seeing Justin standing in front of one of his bookcases, staring at one of the shelves.
When Justin didn’t answer or turn to look at him, Nathan walked into the living room. “Justin? You want ice cream instead?” he asked again, coming to a stop next to Justin.
Justin slowly turned his head toward Nathan, and Nathan immediately noticed how pale Justin suddenly looked.
“Hey, are you all right?” he asked, concerned, putting a hand on Justin’s upper arm.
Nathan saw Justin visibly swallow. “Who – who is this? In the picture with you?” Justin asked in a tight, strained voice, pointing at a framed photograph on the bookshelf.
Nathan turned to look, and saw himself and Mark, the blond haired man standing behind Nathan, arms wrapped around him, matching smiles on both their faces.
And suddenly Nathan didn’t have to wonder any longer how to broach the subject of Mark with Justin.
With a sad smile Nathan took the photo down and rubbed his thumb over it, remembering the day it was taken, the day they both arrived in California.
“This is Mark,” Nathan started, voice quiet. “We met when we were both twenty-one, waiting tables in Dallas, each of us with our own dream of making it to California. I wanted to be an actor and Mark a screenplay writer.” Nathan paused and smiled softly. “We fell in love, and about a year later made it out here. We were together for four years. And then—” Nathan took a shaky breath. “And then two years ago we were in a car accident. I made it out with some broken bones, but Mark was killed.”
Nathan looked away from the photo and up at Justin as he finished his story, and Justin looked even worse than before, visibly shaken, his eyes bright with moisture. But before Nathan could say anything, Justin was backing away from him, turning quickly, his movements jerky, agitated in a way Nathan had never seen him.
“I’ve gotta go,” Justin suddenly said, voice rough, heading for the door.
“What? Why? Justin, what’s wrong?”
The words tumbled out of Justin’s mouth, tripping over one another. “I just – I just remembered that I’m supposed to be covering someone’s shift at the restaurant tonight. I’ve gotta go.”
Justin was moving fast, out of the living room and to the front door by the time Nathan set the picture frame back on the bookshelf.
“Justin, slow down!” he called out as Justin threw open the door.
“I can’t. I’m sorry, I can’t,” Justin called back, voice breaking, not looking at Nathan as he practically ran for his car, parked at the curb.
It was as if Justin couldn’t get away from Nathan fast enough, his motions nearly frantic as he tore open the car door and sped off down the street, leaving Nathan staring after his taillights, wondering what had just happened.
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Also available at the iBookstore
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.
Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.
If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.