Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jamie Manning, author of BLOOD BORN, on the blog. Jamie and I have been in contact for a while now, but have never interviewed each other. So today I'll be interviewing him, and tomorrow he'll be interviewing me on his blog. He'll also have some cool LIGHT OF THE MOON (which releases tomorrow!) giveaways on his blog, so make sure you check it out HERE tomorrow.
I recently finished reading Jamie's BLOOD BORN, the first book in the Blood Prophecy Trilogy, and was impressed by the strong characters and world Jamie created. The sequel, BLOOD AWAKENING, will be out in 2013 so make sure you check both out.
1) Hi, Jamie! What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always loved vampires. Whether in books, on TV, in movies, there’s a never-ending appeal to the mystery and secrecy surrounding them. So I knew I wanted to write a story about this paranormal creature. And I wanted it to somehow be a bit different than others out there. That’s how I decided on the “fighting to become human again” aspect.
2) How did you come up with the title of BLOOD BORN?
Ugh, titles. They’re the Achilles’ heel of writing, right? I actually had a different (and albeit better) title for my book, but unfortunately my publisher deemed it too similar to something already out, and thus the war of words began. It took me days to come up with Blood Born, and though I’m okay with it now, I still have a huge soft spot for the original one.
3) Do you have any specific pre-writing rituals?
Not really. Most days I don’t begin writing till I’ve had some down time (translation: TV), so if I had to use the “pre-writing ritual” label, that would be it. I loves my TV.
4) Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope that readers walk away with the understanding that fighting for what you want, or for what’s right, is never an easy thing to do. But is ultimately worth it in the end.
5) Your novel BLOOD BORN has some pretty strong main characters. How do your characters showcase strengths?
Aw, thanks for that! Tying in to the question above, I think that my MC Ava’s biggest strength is her willingness to fight for what she wants, even when she’s unsure what will happen. That’s always a big fear for most people (myself included), so it’s nice to be able to showcase that. As for her friends, they’re unflinching loyalty, the way they’re ready to stand by her no matter what, is inspiring to me. (insider scoop: That aspect is based on the friends in my own life. They’re the best!)
6) Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Other than some of the characterizations (like those mentioned above), the rest of the events in the book are pretty much fictionalized. Some of the settings are loosely based on places I’ve been/seen, but the rest are make-believe!
7) What books/characters have most influenced your life most?
Oh wow, tough question. As for influencing me to get off my derriere and actually write, that would be (hold the boos) TWILIGHT. Yes, like countless others, that book inspired me to do what I’ve wanted to my entire life but was always too afraid to try (see any similarities with Ava here? Yeah.). As for life in general, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD inspires me to be a better person, always.
8) If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I could easily go back to the likes of Harper Lee or Mary Shelley or even Mark Twain (all geniuses, of course), but to keep it current, I’m gonna have to go with Jennifer Echols—though she doesn’t know it, lol! Her ability to build worlds and characters and pull readers in is inspiring and invigorating and makes me want to do better!
9) Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
You mean other than you? (Thanks, Jamie!) Hmm…Since recently trying my hand at contemporary writing, I’ve been perusing the genre in search of inspiration. And I’ve discovered Abbi Glines and I’m loving her work. (yes, technically, she isn’t new; but new to me!)
10) Can you tell us any information about the sequel to BLOOD BORN?
The second book in The Blood Prophecy trilogy, BLOOD AWAKENING, takes Ava even further on her quest to save her humanity. In this book, I decidedly focused more on the characters themselves, and how the events thus far have changed them and the choices they make. In my opinion (which, if you add in a nickel, is worth five cents), book two is better!
11) The BLOOD BORN paperback is coming out soon, right? Are you excited about that?
Yes it is! And yes I am! Currently the paperback release of BLOOD BORN is scheduled for a January release, but could come earlier, so keep a look out for it! It really is exciting that I’ll get to see it in a paperback version, and that (hopefully) others will pick it up to read. I know lots of people prefer the paperback to hardback, so I’m happy that now they’ll have both out there. And a heads up, the first chapter of BLOOD AWAKENING (which doesn’t come out till April 23, 2013) will be in the paperback of BLOOD BORN, so you get a sneak peek!
12) Do you have any advice for other writers?
This is always a tough question for me, because I feel extremely inadequate to dole out advice. But I will say this: Never give up. I know life gets in the way of what we truly want, but persistence is a writer’s best friend. Stick with it and you’ll make it to whatever level of success you hope to achieve!
THANKS FOR THE GREAT INTERVIEW JAMIE!