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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Twenty questions with... J'aimee Brooker

I am delighted to welcome J'aimee Brooker, author of Rescued: A Festive Novella, onto my blog today.

Now I don't know about you, but whenever I think of Christmas I think of the cold, and I wonder whether it will snow, and I think of getting all wrapped up and cosy, ideally in front of a roaring fire. I freely admit that I cannot get my head around Christmas in Summer - I mean, poor Santa in all his thick red clothes, right? - but that is exactly what happens for many. It's weird...or just plain wrong if you ask me though ;-)

Maybe J'aimee can change my mind with a hot (in both senses of the word) Aussie Christmas read?

ACT ONE – all about you…


An avid bookworm and creative and commercial writer by trade, J’aimee is the author of contemporary romance novels and novellas focusing on romance, travel, and suspense.

A creative and commercial writer by trade; J’aimee also authors novellas and short stories focused within the contemporary romance genre and incorporating themes of travel, intrigue, and suspense.

J’aimee has written for industry trade publications and lifestyle magazines, and is a regular columnist for several lifestyle magazines and lifestyle/travel websites as well as having a full-time job in radio and three kids (under 9yrs).

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I have always written in some capacity, at school I was very much driven by writing-based subjects, completing the highest level of English available (3-unit) in my senior years. From school I moved into radio advertising copywriting and features writing for commercial, trade and lifestyle publications before launching a glossy-lifestyle magazine of my own in 2009. Throughout this time, I'd always written: jotting down ideas and tidbits to use later, and playing around with poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing along the way. With 15 years of interviewing national and international celebs and personalities, hearing some incredibly juicy (often unpublished) stories, a wealth of writing experience and a practical understanding of the publishing process, it was a logical progression for me to move into self-publishing my fiction writing.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

It's hard to explain my style and quite possibly it's not the 'right' way to approach writing/plotting etc. Basically, I have a filing cabinet full of folders. Each new idea gets a folder and every time I think of something new to add to a particular idea (perhaps its an idea, a news article, a piece of research etc) I jot it down/print it out and add it to that idea's file. I don't really choose what I'm writing next so much as the next idea presents itself. I'm never sure when, where or how I'll use the ideas but when inspiration strikes I generally take notice (and a plethora of notes!)

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing? Or perhaps one piece of advice that has stuck with you that you’d like to share?

Sidney Sheldon is hands-down my biggest influence with regard to writing style. The manner in which Sheldon weaved so many story arcs into one novel, all subsiding perfectly against one another is something I can only aspire to be able to achieve.

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I have three children aged under ten.

I am currently working on gaining my Italian passport—we're planning (hoping) to live in Italy sometime in the future.

I learned to walk again at 22yo (while 6 months pregnant) after being hit by a car and having both legs broken (was 10 weeks pregnant at the time).

5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

In order: iPhone, iPad, my Rimmel mascara, vanilla bean paste (I cook a lot), MacBook.

6) The festive season is looming large, do you have a particular Christmas tradition that you like to indulge in? Or how about New Year’s resolutions; will you be joining in the madness for 2014?

Christmas is a huge occasion in our home even though it's just the five of us.

Though our celebrations kick off very early in December (I love Chrissy!), Christmas Eve marks the start of our traditional celebrations. Christmas Eve begins with a three-course Italian feast (finished with my homemade Limoncello), the opening of one present for each of the kids (always a new pair of pyjamas so they wake up in new ones on Christmas morning), then we all watch a Christmas movie together before sending the kids off to bed and moving into our Christmas 'duties' of wrapping last minute pressies and putting them under the tree!

ACT TWO – all about your new release…



Two gorgeous girls
A knight in shining speedos
One red-hot Australian Christmas!
Set against the glorious backdrop of Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach comes the story of childhood friends Anya Thompson and Sophie Anders and their brush with one of Bondi’s finest—lifeguard Jack Covey.
As a lifeguard, Jack’s instincts are finely tuned. He’s spent his career watching for danger and avoiding distractions but when the gorgeous Anya Thompson catches his eye, he can’t help but be intrigued by Anya and her modest and reserved manner.
Anya’s lost more than her Christmas cheer, but will one steamy night with her best friend and the deliciously handsome Jack be just the thing to restart her shattered heart?

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Rescued; what was your inspiration for writing an Australian-style Christmas novella?

I've been longing for a northern hemisphere Christmas for quite some time and devour US/UK/Europe based Christmas novels at this time of the year. I imagined that the same is possibly true for those who dream of a hot, Aussie Christmas. So I thought I'd offer northern hemisphere readers the opportunity to melt their snow and heat up their Christmas TBR lists with a couple of hot Aussie lifeguards, the iconic Bondi Beach and some raunchy down-under romance!

The idea for Rescued came to me about 6-8 months ago. I'd been jotting down notes all year about how the story would progress, how the relationship between the three characters could plausibly develop, and what the outcome of a ménage between two friends and a devilishly handsome lifeguard would be. Essentially, living on the gorgeous east coast of Australia and witnessing firsthand the amazing job that lifeguards carry out was also a catalyst for Rescued.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

I started writing notes for this story in about March this year, slowly adding to my ideas for story and characters as I went. It was a matter of pulling out the file I had on this particular idea which had over the months developed it's own story and character directions. I wrote this story quite quickly, it flowed easily. Editing wasn't quite as quick nor easy!

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then into editing?

I began writing on a Friday afternoon and wrote through on almost no sleep until the Monday night. The story just kind of fell out and onto the computer and there was nothing I could do but keep writing until it was out. The finished manuscript then sat on my desk for two weeks before I began the re-reading and editing processes.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
“Anya, Jack—is this ok?” Sophie started, before Jack reached for her and pulled her into a deep kiss. Anya knew the kiss, knew how it melted your insides, how it could stop the world from existing.
11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Rescued, to make us rush out and buy it?

Rescued is a fun, sexy, short read—the perfect way to spend an afternoon and get a hit of surf, sand, and the hot Aussie summer all in one!

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

2014 will see me release a series of novellas (all stand-alones); still in the romance genre but exploring an overall topic that is rather unique. I also have three novellas that I would love to see find a home with a digital publisher.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Oooh, bit of both depending on the story. Some are plotted and driven by a plan, others seem to just happen.

14) Digital books or print books?

Never thought I'd say this, but I've gone from buying print books every single week to having not bought one in over a year. I'm a digital reader all the way now.

15) Tea or coffee?

Tea

16) Extrovert or introvert?

Introvert.

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter.

18) The Snowman or A Muppet Christmas Carol?

Muppets.

19) Christmas pudding or Yule log?

Yule log.

20) Give or receive?

Give.

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, J'aimee, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about J'aimee Brooker, and to keep up with her latest projects and whether she ever gets her Italian passport, you can visit her at:

Website     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads     Pinterest


Buy it now…


Add to Goodreads

ISBN: 9780987431592
Release date: 12th October 2013

Amazon UK / Amazon
iTunes
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo (may not be visible to UK readers though)


Excerpt…


“He’s gorgeous” Sophie purred from behind her glasses, “don’t you think Anya?”

“Ah, yep, I guess so…”

“You guess so? Anya Thompson, you have to be kidding me—look at him, he is the ultimate specimen of man! Ooh, and look at the guy next to him… my gosh I’m glad we made this move! What I wouldn’t do to have them both at my beck and call…” she trailed off.

“Oh Soph, seriously, too much information” Anya sighed, rolling over to rest on her stomach giving her back a much needed slathering of the intensely warm sun rays but throwing a quick glance over her shoulder at the two lifeguards all the same. They were hot, but then again that was hardly a surprise, she hadn’t seen any that where less than Adonis-like since moving to Sydney.

“Right. Like you’ve never had a lifeguard fantasy Miss Goody-Two-Shoes?” she replied mockingly. “Oh, gosh, Anya they’re looking over here” she whispered before stilling completely.

“Big deal, some hot lifeguards are checking out girls on the beach. Now tell me something that should surprise me, Soph?”

“Oh, that’s nice don’t ya think Jack—this one thinks we’re hot” came a strong male voice from above her sending her into a frenzied scramble to kneel and cover herself.


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