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Friday, July 16, 2010

Interview with Jaime Rush

Jaime Rush is a small-town girl who clearly has her priorities in order.  As she says at her websiteI've lived in the same southwest Florida town my whole life. I have a wonderful family, fabulous friends, and consider myself blessed beyond reason. I swim, work out, meditate, read, and spend time with the aforementioned friends and family. I try to find joy in the little things in life and to find the lessons in the hard times. Life is truly what we make it, and I choose to make mine fantastic.  That sounds like someone I'd like to know better so I was delighted when Jaime agreed to an interview for her visit with us here at The Romance Dish.  I hope you all enjoy getting to know a little more about Jaime and her wonderful books.  

~PJ

 



Welcome to The Romance Dish, Jaime! Congratulations on the release of TOUCHING DARKNESS, the third book in your Offspring series. Will you tell us a bit about the series and TOUCHING DARKNESS in particular?

The series is about a group of twenty-somethings who live ordinary lives but possess extraordinary psychic abilities. They are the Offspring of parents involved in a mysterious experiment gone awry. Sexy…dangerous…outcasts… They are being hunted by the government and others like them. Together they must find the truth and fight an enemy out to destroy them.

In TOUCHING DARKNESS, Nicholas Braden, a psychic spy in a covert government program, suspects he's a pawn in a mad man's quest for justice. His boss's stunning assistant is too loyal to give him answers, but Olivia's secret, wild side bends his mind and fires his body. As they edge closer to the darkest truth, good and evil blur, threatening their very survival.

That sounds fascinating!  Should the Offspring books be read in order?

As with all series, I think readers get more by starting at the beginning. That said, I've written my series with new readers in mind, so they're caught up pretty quickly but without a big info dump. My goal has always been to wrap up the initial arc within three or four books, with the rest being more standalone. TOUCHING DARKNESS wraps up one part of the arc and BURNING DARKNESS (Feb 2011) wraps up the government arc completely, answering the question about where the Offspring got their abilities from. And now, with book 5, the plot isn't related to that arc but merely springs off from it. So it's nice for new readers coming in, because they don't have to digest a lot of backstory.

What's the most important thing we should know about Nicholas and Olivia before reading their story? 

Nicholas is a hero who embraces peace, so it's the hardest for him to realize he's in the middle of a war in which he has to choose sides—and fight. Plus neither side is black or white. And it's tough for him to realize the woman he's in love with is on the wrong side! As for Olivia, she thinks it's Nicholas who's on the wrong side, and facing the truth means losing something very important to her.


Sounds like lots of delicious conflict!  




How many books are planned for this series?

I'm contracted for six books, and I've just finished the first draft of book 5. I could go on for a while, I think, but that will depend on sales and demand. With this last book in my contract, though, I could easily write any one of three more people's stories!





I’ve seen the Offspring books described as paranormal, romantic suspense and urban fantasy. How would you describe them?

Yeah, that about sums it up . I am guilty of calling them all of those. I think romantic urban fantasy describes them best.

Whatever you call them, they sound fascinating!


Many authors find they write better with background music. Do you? If so, what songs inspired you in the creation of TOUCHING DARKNESS?

I create playlists for each character on iTunes. I then separate the songs into categories, such as the songs that capture the character, intense emotional music, and sexy music. That's a fun part of creating the story, because the music speaks to the character. Whenever I'm writing a particular scene, I go to the point of view character's playlist and find the right songs. I have a small portion of the list posted on my Myspace page: Myspace: www.myspace.com/jaimerush. Some of the songs:

I Don't Want To Be In Love—Good Charlotte
Rainy Monday—Shiny Toy Guns
Dice—Finley Quaye
All Over You—Spill Canvas


What types of books do you enjoy reading when you’re not busy writing your own stories?

When I want something fun, I read Janet Evanovich's Plum series. I read, of course, urban fantasy and romantic suspense, and I read spiritual growth books as well. I just finished The Tao of Pooh.




I'm a huge fan of the Plum books too and I agree, they certainly are fun!  I hadn't heard of The Tao of Pooh so I checked it out.  What a wonderful book!


Jaime, you’ve also had a successful career writing under the name of Tina Wainscott. Will you continue to write under that name as well as Jaime Rush?

For now I'm pretty busy writing my Jaime books. As Tina, I ended up writing psychological suspense, but I'm really enjoying going back to my paranormal roots. I have always straddled the line of paranormal/not so weird, writing about things that could be true (psychic abilities, near death experiences, etc.). I find myself expanding into bigger paranormal elements with my ideas, and future Offspring books will reflect this as well. For instance, one character, Cheveyo, surprised me by shapeshifting. I hadn't planned to write creatures. But I went with it!


I'll be more than happy to see shapeshifters in your future Offspring books!


Jaime, you live in one of my favorite places (I sure do miss those SW Florida sunsets!). How do you “stop and smell the roses” when the writing is done?

I try to "stop" throughout the day, just taking a moment here and there to look outside or even walk outside (though the humidity is a killer). I believe life is about those moments when we clear our mind and connect with nature/God/whatever fulfills you. But honestly, it's hard to take time off. For instance, I finished my first draft of book 5 last night, and I'm already plotting a new story. I've got to force myself to take time and read and chill out between books.

The RWA National Conference is coming up in a couple weeks. Will you be attending? One of the highlights of the conference for readers is the literacy book signing. For what authors would you stand in line to have a book signed?

Unfortunately, when they had to change from Tennessee to Orlando, that put it out of the picture for me. I know, you'd think being in Florida would be the opposite, but I summer in North Carolina now. Those 9-month humid summers … ugh! Authors I love to talk with … well, I always go over and say hello to Heather Graham during group signings, and a handful of my other author friends. I don't feel a need to get a book signed; it's the talking that I enjoy.

I know what you mean about the Florida summers.  I remember them well and am happy to now be living in the Carolinas. 


What are you working on now, Jaime?

Aside from the aforementioned "forced" downtime, I am already thinking about the next Offspring book. I'm also playing with some single-title ideas just to keep things fresh.

Thank you so much for patiently answering my questions.  Is there a question you’d like to ask our visitors?

I love hearing about what kind of hero turns readers on. I'm getting that paranormal romance readers love dark, dangerous heroes. What are you thoughts about them, and what are you tired of?

Okay, readers, now it's your turn.  Leave a comment and you could win one of EIGHT copies of Jaime's new book, TOUCHING DARKNESS, generously donated by Avon Books.  Restricted to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only.

19 comments:

  1. I live on the NC/TN border. It is interesting how many Floridians we have been seeing either moving to the area permanently or spending summers in the mountains.
    I have read reviews of several of the books in this series. They have all been good. I have been sampling books from the paranormal/fantasy side of the aisle and an amazed at the wide variety of world building that goes on. One never knows quite what to expect from the characters. It must give you a lot of freedom to go wherever your creative mind takes you.
    Best of luck with this book and the rest of the series. It is nice to see you are wrapping up the story arcs "early." I love long series, but not when the door is open on a story arc for too long. Your plan to wrap up the arc, then continue with related books is a good way to do it.

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  2. OH DANG ! i've been wanting to read one of Jaime's books, especially this one. but it always Not for international readers :(

    anyway, i'm still waiting for my chance to start reading one of your books Jaime :)

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  3. I confess, I've never read a UF novel before but heroes are heroes and all my favorite heroes have something in common: honor & integrity. Alpha, Beta, Gamma...doesn't matter but being principled, passionate & compassionate is so sexy to me. :-)

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  4. Sorry to be late checking in this morning. I have out-of-state family visiting and we've been out blueberry picking.

    Librarypat, you're about three hours up the road from me. It's easy to understand why so many Florida people come up here. It really is God's country!

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  5. Mariska, keep checking in! Some publishers place the mailing restrictions on the books they give away but we also have giveaways that are open internationally.

    Btw, you can order Jaime's book from bookdepository.com. They will ship free to any country.

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  6. Scorpio, I've just begun to dip my reading toes in the UF waters but I've enjoyed what I've read so far.

    You said; Alpha, Beta, Gamma...doesn't matter but being principled, passionate & compassionate is so sexy to me. :-)

    I couldn't agree more!

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  7. Hi, Jaime! Welcome to The Romance Dish! We're happy you could join us today. Terrific interview, PJ and Jaime! Your books sounds very interesting. I've recently dipped my toes into the UF genre and have enjoyed the few that I've read so far. :)

    Jaime, I was born and raised in Florida, so I am quite familiar with Florida's summers. ;-)

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  8. Congratulations on the new release. I haven't really read many UF novels, unless the Black Dagger Brotherhood is now classified as this genre. Your series sounds interesting. Good luck with it.

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  9. I do love dark, dangerous heroes, and I don't think I'm going to get tired of anything about them any time soon. I like the sense that they could kill you in an instant, but have a softer side to them that wants to protect the weak and innocent.
    Lucky you Jaime, to get out of the Florida heat in the summer, I'm stuck here. I usually wait until about 6:30 every afternoon before venturing outside for a walk around my lovely neighborhood and then I'm glad to get back into the a/c.

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  10. Hi! Congrats on your release!

    What I enjoy about urban fantasy is the variety of worlds that are written in this genre. Of course, I read a lot of historicals and contemps, too, mostly without shifters and such. Heroes in UF tend to be alpha, dark, and dangerous due to the worlds that they inhabit (mostly dark and dangerous). Are there any with a good sense of humor? Or should I switch genres for that?

    cories119[at]yahoo.com

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  11. Jaime sends her apologies for not being here yesterday. She had a family emergency and wasn't able to post but will respond to everybody's comments as soon as she can.

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  12. Jaime isn't able to access the blog right now but asked me to post these comments for her.

    Hi, everyone! I'm so sorry to not have come in yesterday. My grandmother took ill (she has cancer) and my mind just flubbed on the rest of my life.

    Thanks, Pat! Yes, I do love the freedom paranormal gives you.

    Mariska, I thought of you, LOL! I was going to send you something on FB. I think you're on there. Sorry. :?

    scorpio, yes, the core of any good story is character, and that's so important. I love when the hero shows both compassion and a little vulnerability.

    HI, Andrea! Yes, even born in FL, I never got used to the summers. I do love it up here!

    PJ, yes, that's what I always think: God's country. I love mountains.

    Penfield, yes, the BDB is definitely considered UF. You're dipping :)

    Barbara, glad to hear you won't tire of dangerous heroes. Sorry you're stuck in the heat!

    Cories, There are a few series with a sense of humor, though let me think on which ones. The Accidental Demon Slayer, I think.

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  13. I love this series! and I have reccomended it several times to people in the bookstore.

    Di

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  14. I love the series so far! I started reading a couple of weeks ago in airports on my way to Alaska for a job and I was hooked!

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  15. Hey Jaime,
    Yeap, the one and only me on FB :)

    I wonder what will it be *grins*

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  16. Hi Jamie, I have read all of the the books about the"Off Springs"and loved them! I am looking forward to reading the story about Petra and Cheveyo!

    I also live in Florida and understand what you mean about the heat. It has been a very hot summer this year!

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  17. From Jaime:

    Di, You're awesome, thanks for the recommends!

    Thanks, Goddesswolf! Love your ID name :)

    Toni, kewl! So glad you're enjoying the series, too! It's been hot and humid up here in the mountains too, but I know it's worse down there. I still have to endure it for half of August and September, the worst months. ::UGH::

    Thanks for coming by and commenting, everyone! I'm sorry I've been hit and miss, but I've enjoyed being here. Good luck to you for the free books! Isn't Avon great????

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  18. I am so thrilled to start reading this series! I prefer a series to a single title because when I fall in love w/ a character I don't want it to end. I admit, I am a fan of the dark, dangerous PNR heros that have a soft side that's unknown, even to themselves sometimes. I look forward to hearing from you again.
    And, thanks for the chance to win a book...pick me! pick me! :)

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  19. Jamie, I am so sorry to hear about your grandmothers illness. I lost my grandmother at 10 yrs old, and I knew, even then, that I was going to miss out on having her in my life as I grew up. She taught me how to pray when I was little and sometimes it feels as though I can still feel her behind me, surrounded in her arms, with her hands over mine; and her clean scent permeating the air. What a blessing that you've had your grandmother with you as you grew into the woman you are. I pray that you will continue to be graced with her presence in your life for many years to come.

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