I met Jamie Mclachlan coming up on a year ago on social media (Twitter to be exact), and we hit it off straight away. She has a quirky sense of humour that just keeps you laughing, and a love of all things emoji, though to be honest her favourite was the new little yellow face with the glasses. This particular new friend is her answer for everything, but at the same time makes you grin as she seems to know exactly when and where to use it and leaves you cracking up.
Jamie is Canadian and a very talented author of dark historical fantasy, and loves writing about strong female characters. Her love of writing is followed closely by her love of reading, which she admits is anything fantasy, though she does venture into other genres as well. She has a Bachelor's Degree in English, the very clever lady, and it was after acquiring that she started to write what she had been daydreaming of for years.
For now she is hoping to inspire other people to write, but has said that maybe one day she will write something outside of fantasy.
Here is what Jamie Mclachlan has to say...
Why did you decide to become a writer?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been a daydreamer. I’d imagine scenarios or specific characters, and often times get lost in them. So one day I decided to write them down. Once I started writing, I discovered how cathartic it could be. I could write about anything—my dreams, desires, or even my fears. The possibilities were endless. That’s the reason why I started writing. But what made me decide to become a writer was the chance to share my ideas with others and potentially inspire them as other authors have done with me. That’s why I write.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for a long time, ever since I was a kid. At first I just wrote poems and songs, and I often joke that both were either corny or depressing. After high school, I started exploring short stories and attempting novels. I wrote my first novel while attending university to get my Bachelor’s Degree in English, and my second one a couple of years later. The rest of my work came after I gave birth to my little boy and decided to stay home to raise him.
Why did you decide to write fantasy?
One of my favourite genres to read is fantasy. I will pick up anything: epic, YA, paranormal, urban, steampunk, etc. So it was and is the genre that inspires me the most. I love reading and writing about characters, plots, or worlds that break and challenge our perceptions of our own reality. I love it for its limitless possibilities. But that’s not to say that I don’t explore or appreciate other genres. Who knows, maybe one day I might write outside of fantasy.
Who is your favourite character and why?
At the moment, my favourite character is Moira. She’s a slave, yet she’s defiant and challenges everyone when she should be submissive. On top of that, she’s sarcastic and blunt, often speaking her mind when she should be quiet. But beneath her defiance and crude remarks is a complex character who is strong while at the same time very flawed. With a horrid past and a life of servitude, Moira’s one goal is to survive. When she’s forced to work with Detective Keenan Edwards to catch a mysterious serial killer, Moira’s goals begin to change and she realizes that there’s more to live for. I wanted to create a strong female character, and I’m pleased that readers love Moira and admire her for her strength.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Personally, writer’s block usually just means I either need a break or I’m feeling overwhelmed with expectations or time constraints. If it’s the first case, then I simply stop staring at the screen and occupy my mind with something else. Preferably, I’ll do something non-writing related, just to give my mind a break. If it’s the latter scenario, then I usually end up seeking distraction, which can come in the form of tackling my TBR list, checking social media, or zoning out in front of the TV. At that point, the best thing for me to get out of my writing slump is to just write. Sit down and just write whatever comes to mind without being too critical.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing?
I’d have to say the most difficult part about writing is getting started. Opening up the document and typing the title is the easy part. The difficulty, I find, comes in getting the first paragraph down. It’s what hooks a reader, convincing them to continue. If it’s not compelling enough to intrigue the reader, then they’ll be less likely to read more. Have I ever put a book down based on the first paragraph? No. But I have found some boring.
And it’s not just about literally starting. It’s also about initiating the creative process so that eventually the words just flow from your mind to your fingertips. After that, the story just pours out and the difficulty then comes with whether or not your fingers can keep up.
What do you enjoy the most about writing?
I’d have to say the best part is sharing my writing with readers and hearing they connected with my work. It’s the greatest compliment and source of motivation to continue on an artistic path filled with self-doubt. Nothing brings me more joy than knowing someone out there in the world loved my book.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in anything that is artistic: books, photography, movies, etc. But my main source of inspiration is found listening to music. The lyrics and melody stir my creative juices, and it’s not long before my imagination is brewing up new ideas. Aside from art, I also find inspiration in life and nature. Certain situations or interpersonal complications usually feed ideas for plots.
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Yes, some of my characters, particularly Moira and Keenan, are partially based on people I know. I find it often helps bring the characters to life if they’re based on someone you know. As to who they are based on, I can’t divulge.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
For relaxing, I mostly just spend down time with my family, which often involves watching movies. When alone, I’m often found listening to music or reading.
What are you working on right now?
At the moment I’m working hard to bring book three in The Memory Collector Series to my readers. I know a lot of them are anxious to read the final book, especially after the ending in book two, Pawn of the Phoenix.
Here is how you can find Jamie Mclachlan
I'd like to take the last minute to thank Jamie Mclachlan for taking the time, and agreeing, to do an interview with me, and I hope you will take the time to follow Jamie on one of the links above (and maybe see her sense of humour). I'd also recommend a trip over to Amazon to pick up copies of her first two books so you'll be ready and eagerly waiting for book three, and if you're following her you'll be able to ask her just when book three will be published ;).
I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, and I live in Wales in the U.K.
Sallyann Phillips is an IASD member.
Check out their website for a wonderful choice of Indie authors for you to chose from.