Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Visit with Jamie Carie and a GREAT GIVE AWAY!!

Jamie Carie is a native of Indiana. Last Fall as she attended a Books-A-Million conference in Birmingham, Alabama, the idea of a Southeastern book tour was conceived. So, some nine months later, with her latest book, Love’s First Light newly released, Jamie and her husband Tony launched into a literal whirlwind tour! Beginning in Louisiana, trekking through Mississippi and Alabama, I caught up with Jamie at a Lifeway Christian bookstore in Columbus, Georgia.

Seated at the store entrance, Jamie’s bright smile greeted store visitors as she introduced herself and her work. Young and old alike were drawn to her warm personality, and some fans came with their own copies in hand ready to ask for an autograph. It was interesting to observe Jamie’s hard work and perseverance as she promoted her work, all the while being obedient to God’s leading in her life. She remains sensitive to the Spirit’s nudges as she greets customers and fans alike, and it’s not unusual for her to stop and pray with those whom God directs her way.

Husband Tony Masopust is working right alongside Jamie all the while – snapping photos, answering questions, straightening books and offering his total support in every possible sense. It’s obvious just looking at these two that the Lord is using them together in this ministry of writing, and that Tony is very proud of Jamie and the hard work that she has poured into this endeavour. Both of them are very gracious and generous with their time, and I came away blessed, encouraged and more enthusiastic than ever about supporting great Christian fiction!

So, it is with great excitement that I share with you some of my conversation with Jamie about her whirlwind tour of the Southeast. As you read, you may want to pop over to her blog as well and get a visual on some of the things we talked about.

After nine cities and multiple radio and television interviews, what’s the most memorable moment on the tour so far?

My interview with Suzie Wiley, for cable television station WYAM-TV51 was a blast! Suzie was a lot of fun, and even though she hadn’t read any of my books, she was able to take our time together and turn it into something fun and meaningful. We talked about writing, where I was from, her run for public office and all kinds of things. We laughed a lot! She was a real hoot!

What has been your favorite food so far?

Tony and I ate at a place called the Fisherman’s Cove in New Orleans. Tony ordered something called the swamp platter that had fried alligator, crawfish tails and turtle soup among the many samplings. I couldn’t bring myself to try the alligator even though Tony said it tasted like chicken, and I thought the turtle soup was awful! But I had a really great platter of seafood that I was able to enjoy – a great variety!

Who has been your most ardent fan so far?

There was this 15-year-old girl who had read a couple of my novels. She was so excited and nervous she was trembling! She was so amazed to get to meet me, and I just couldn’t get over the fact that my writing had blessed another person so deeply. It was a really neat moment.

Have you recruited any new fans along the way?

I’m not so sure about that. Besides the scheduled stores on the tour, we’ve done some “drive-by” signings at other stores in the area. I know there have been some people along the way who have never read my books that have purchased copies, but I guess we’ll know something more by the end of the tour.

Have you received any unusual questions or unexpected comments about your work?

I had this one radio interview, and the lady was very intellectual. She had read my book and discovered things about my story that I had never looked at in quite the same way. For instance, she commented about the relationship between Suzanne and Stacia and how they worked together as a tightly knit unit to care for each other and help make a way for the family.

I’d never really considered that angle of their relationship, but looking back at the characters from a distance, I could see the truth of her observation. I’m always amazed at how God works in the lives of readers and how they are drawn to different aspects of my work – how they see things from such a different perspective.

What has been your favorite city so far? Why?

I’m a big city girl, so I think I’ve enjoyed Huntsville the most. It was a clean, beautiful city with lots to see and do. We really enjoyed the NASA space center, and I hope to come back again for a vacation and a visit some time in the future.

What is the ultimate goal of this southeastern tour?

Demographically, I have the largest readership in this part of the country. As an author only published for two years, this tour gave me the opportunity to connect with people who enjoy my books and to get my name and face before my readers. It has also been an opportunity to build a solid fan base. I consider this a ministry, so it is my hope to also point others toward Christ.

There has been a lot of great pre-planning and smart strategizing in order for this tour to happen, and B&H has worked closely with Amanda at PR by the book to make this a successful tour!

Have you been inspired by any new story ideas during this long road trip?

When we met with my agent in Fayetteville, Tennessee it was like we had stepped back in time, like to the 30’s or something. No one was out and about even though it was early evening. The sidewalks had already been rolled up. We found this little place to get a bite to eat, and we had a lot of fun peeking into store fronts. We saw a lot of neat old-timey stuff. Experiences like this may show up later in a book. You just never know what God will use in a story later on.

Jamie and I continued to talk about her work, and I asked her about a few particular passages that were particularly moving to me.

On page 37, Christophe talks about the prisms that so fascinate him and draw him to research. He says to Sarlett: “What if God was like light? Pure and white. And what if man was the splitting into a myriad of colors? And then in the realignment with God, they became pure again?”

I asked where the inspiration for that passage came from.

With tears in her eyes, she said it was a gift from the Holy Ghost. As the daughter of a pastor, she was often on the road with her dad between services and meetings, and as they would sit together over a meal, often late in the evening, they would discuss the things of God from many different perspectives. Her dad is also a gifted poet, so he enjoys looking at things from different angles. She credits her gifting of word-pictures as something passed down from her dad.

On page 60 there is a scene in the graveyard where Christophe is taking the sacrament. When Scarlett asks him why he does this he replies: “It helps me remember…All that I’ve lost, I suppose and all that He lost. I like to think God felt alone for a time, until His Son rose again and then went back to heaven to sit at His right hand.” Sadness weighed his smile. “I like to think He has a plan for me too.”

Again, tears pooled in her eyes. Jamie said that she has always felt things very deeply. She connects strongly on both a physical and emotional level with the people in her life, and she has had to learn to control what she allows in lest she become overwhelmed. However, while writing, this allows her to connect with her characters on a visceral level, and it’s not uncommon for her to be either laughing or weeping as she writes. “Sometimes it’s hard,” she said to me, “but I have to set boundaries.”

Self-described introvert, Jamie is comfortable being alone with the characters of her stories. “Getting out of her writing cave” to come on this tour is both physically and emotionally exhausting. Yet, even then, Jamie is listening to the Spirit – praying with fans and readers that come her way and connect with her and the stories she writes. This is a ministry first and foremost, and more than anything her heart’s desire is to point others to Christ and His amazing love.

This hopeless romantic and her husband are off to Macon, Georgia next, and will eventually wind up in South Carolina. Jamie and Tony truly give meaning to the term whirlwind tour! But I know I’ve made a friend in this beautiful sister in Christ, and I will eagerly be waiting to read her next novel, Angel’s Den. I hope to be reading her stories for years to come!

Jamie generously offered TWO autographed books! I have autographed copies of Wind Dancer and Love's First Light to GIVE AWAY!! Please leave your name and contact information to be entered to win! I will draw a winner for each book, so sign up now!!


Unknown said...

looks like you had a ball, I'm so glad :) you have the coolest experiences, Kim!

The Book Club Network - TBCN said...

GREAT Pictures. I'm excited that you were able to meet her and as such fun questions.

THANKS for sharing Kim.


Finding Hope Through Fiction

Renee said...

I'd love to be entered for the book giveaways. Thansk

Jblanton said...

thanks for hosting this great giveaway- I would love to win

Merry said...

Wonderful interview! The passage about the prisms was terrific.Please include me in the drawing, thanks.


Rachel said...

You get to meet some of the neatest people! Would love to be entered.

Amber Holcomb said...

Oh, I loved Snow Angel and The Duchess and the Dragon! I bought Love's First Light when I was on vacation, but I would LOVE a chance to win Wind Dancer! Thank you so much!!!

Mocha with Linda said...

Woohoo! A giveaway of a book I don't have! Loved reading this interview.

donna said...

I already have wind dancer, but please enter me for Love's First Light

Unknown said...

You are great at reviewing books. lol Thanks.


Kim said...


I'm so sorry I got delayed, but I've had the flu. I'll get these out to you as soon as possible!