Sunday Brunch with...Jamie Beck
Happy Sunday, dear readers!
Today I’m particularly excited to share this author interview. I met her at the last Rare in Rome in June 2018. She is so lovely and kind that our conversation was so natural and I almost forgot I was actually talking to one of my new favorite authors. So, I’m now counting the days until next RARE in London to finally meet her again. 🙂
My guest author today is…
National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. In addition to being named a 2017 Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, her books have also hit Heavy.com’s Top 10 Romance Novels of 2015 and been selected as a Woman’s World Book Club pick.
Her last novel, The Memory Of You, was released in October 2018.
Describe yourself with three adjectives.
Energetic, efficient, and thoughtful.
If you were to describe The Memory Of You using three adjectives, what would they be?
Heartwarming, sentimental, and realistic.
This new novel also means the start of the Sanctuary Sound series. Could you tell us more about it? What does this series means for you?
I’m always excited for the beginning of a new series. My last series—the Cabot novels—involved a family drama with a fair amount of angst and women’s fiction elements. Sanctuary Sound is another three-book series, but this one focuses on three friends who reconnect in their sleepy coastal hometown to repair broken bonds and make peace with the past as they wrestle with the uncertainty of the future. The topics are weighty, but the tone is lighter than the Cabots.
The first book features a heroine who has been assaulted (but who doesn’t remember the full scope of the attack). The hero is her first love (an ex she ghosted), who has come home after his wife left him for a man who didn’t want to raise their daughter. Rather than getting into the gritty details of the assault, the story focus is on the reunion romance and on the way the mind can block out trauma. The research (which is noted in the back of the book) was extremely interesting.
For the readers who still don’t know about your books, could you suggest a title to start and tell us why?
This is a tough question! The majority of my books are romantic women’s fiction. For those who love an underdog and an unrequited love trope, Worth the Wait (the St. James series) might work. However, my Sterling Canyon series is a bit more fun and sexy, so for those who like an athletic hero with a dash of whimsy, Secretly Hers (from the Sterling Canyon series) is a lot of fun.
In your last novel, When You Knew, we follow Gentry’s Cabot dealing with her unexpected pregnancy and experiencing motherhood. What were your feelings while writing this novel?
I actually really enjoyed writing this book because, throughout the series, Gentry was the black sheep with a bad attitude, but she had a streak of sass and a good heart. I looked forward to redeeming her after she reneged on her promise to let her brother and his wife adopt her baby. Giving her a “manny” was a fun twist. And the research I did for her hero’s character (a humanitarian EMT) also taught me a lot about Haiti, so that was interesting. In the end, this book allowed me to have some fun while tying up all of the messy family drama of the dysfunctional Cabot family. I even put a little surprise in the epilogue for Hunter and Sara fans.
How being a mom has influenced your career?
I don’t know that motherhood has influenced my career so much as age has. I’m sure I would’ve written very different books in my twenties and thirties than I write now. While I do enjoy a fun, sexy billionaire now and then, at my age, I’m more interested in exploring issues like infertility, alcoholism, injuries, and betrayals, and how those things affect people’s relationships and their ability to show and accept love.
Who was your favorite character to write and why?
My favorite female character to write was Vivi (Worth the Wait). She’s so sunny despite such a crappy childhood. I really liked her philosophy of making the best of things. My favorite male character was Trip (Secretly Hers) because he’s so cocky and fun, yet very sentimental underneath it all.
Who is your biggest role model?
I assume you’re asking about my biggest role model in publishing (as opposed to life). I have so many authors whose writing I love, but Kristan Higgins (whom I met when I first joined my writing chapter in 2013) would have to be my choice as a role model. Not only has she enjoyed a remarkable career with her work and fans, but she’s also very generous with her time, and very committed to helping other authors succeed. Her pay-it-forward attitude has influenced me a lot.
What does literary success look like to you?
In truth, this varies from time to time, but essentially, being able to write what I love (not what is trending) is one major marker of success. The other is when I get fan letters from people who’ve been truly touched or helped by one of my stories.
What are the things you love most in your daily life?
My family. My daughter’s singing and songwriting. Reading. Tea. Chocolate. And a hot shower!
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
I’m the person people come to when they’re in emotional turmoil because they claim I can be objective and offer great advice. I’ve always had the ability to see things from multiple angles.
Are you already working on a new novel?
Of course! I’m currently writing the third Sanctuary Sound novel (The Wonder of Now) and mapping out my next series (for 2020 releases). I have a call with my editor this week, so I’ll know soon enough if he liked my proposal. Wish me luck!
Could you share a happy photo and tell us more about that moment?
This photograph was taken in Denver this past July at the Romance Writers of America conference. Authors Sonali Dev, Barbara O’Neal, Liz Talley, Sally Kilpatrick, Priscilla Oliveras and I comprise half of the “Fiction From the Heart” team, a Facebook group (along with Virgina Kantra, Hope Ramsay, Donna Kauffman, K.M. Jackson, Tracy Brogan and Falguni Kothari) that we’d love everyone to join (FictionFromTheHeart). We gathered in Sonali’s room to share stories over champagne, and to plan a fun set of FFTH novellas (potential June release date) and our Book Lovers Con workshop. Good times with old and new friends!
Thanks to Jamie, we have a copy of The Memory Of You to give away!
To enter, head over to our Instagram profile and good luck! 🙂