# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hi! I’m Jamie and I write in the fantasy genre. My first series, published 2017-19, is called The Weapon Takers Saga. It is a secondary world, medieval-inspired epic fantasy series, along the lines of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. My second series, Me Three, was published in 2020. It is a humorous fantasy series following the exploits of a three-headed ogre, named Og-Grim-Dog. This second series has fun playing with the tropes of the fantasy and related genres.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
TV series, films, but mainly other fantasy series. Among those that had a major influence on me were The Dragonlance Chronicles by Weis & Hickman and Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams.
# How do you deal with creative block?
Sometimes if I’m not feeling in the mood I’ll still make myself write something. Other days, I will just do other tasks. Being self-published, there are often publishing and marketing tasks that need doing, as well as writing.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Putting something into your story because you think you’re supposed to. One example might be having a romance element in a fantasy book because you think some readers might want it. If it works and it’s integral to the story, then fine. But I think it’s noticeable as a reader when there’s a storyline that’s just sitting there, being dull, the writer either didn’t know what to do with it or didn’t enjoy it themselves. Bottom line, write the book you would like to read.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
If you want to sell books you have to give serious thought to this. Your title and cover should let the reader know what kind of book it is. Ideally, they should excite people. Writers don’t necessarily start out as experts on marketing, so get advice on your titles and covers from people in the business. Don’t hit publish until you’re sure you’ve got it right.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
No-one likes getting them but they are part of the territory. It’s the unfair or inaccurate ones that grate on me. I’m always amazed when I hear fantasy fans say they don’t like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. However good a book is, there will be people who don’t like it. Try to focus on the positive feedback. Some of the negative feedback might be useful but be careful not to change what you do based on one or two people who didn’t like your stuff. Chances are, they never will.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
I used to heavily plan my stories, now I allow myself more freedom while I’m writing.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
My personal satisfaction. I’m selfish, I want to write a book I like, not what someone else likes. At the same time I write a book to be read by other people. But it’s not like those readers all like a certain thing. You can’t please everyone but you can please yourself.
# Do you have any creativity tricks?
Don’t stop absorbing books, films, tv shows, games etc just because you’re busy. That stuff feeds your creativity. It doesn’t have to be your genre – it could be non-fiction if you write fiction and vice versa. It will give you ideas and solutions, even if on the subconscious level.
# What are your plans for future books?
I’m currently writing a sequel series to my epic fantasy and an alternative history novel. I would like to move into straight historical fiction eventually.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m a big glam rock fan – Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Sparks, Lou Reed. Great, fun music.
Thanks for having me!