Jamie Leigh Hansen has skills. She is a phenomenal woman who turns it out from Casa Hansen to the page. Move over Oz, Hansen is in the house. Hansen is an innovative storyteller and a pioneer when it comes to shining a spotlight on Friedreich’s Ataxia. Hansen is involved with the International Literary Project to Fight Friedreich’s Ataxia. Hansen took some time out of her busy schedule to spend with me and I am grateful. Enjoy!
Thank you for inviting me for a visit, Diane! I love discussing stories and sharing the writing process with anyone who is interested.
You are welcome, Jamie. I love to discuss, listen and share, but prefer to listen and learn with writers. Jamie, please share how you came up with the concept for The Murder King’s Woman (Murder Tales)?
I love reading about vampires and watching them on TV, But I’d never considered writing about them since I thought there wasn’t anything new I could add to the genre. Then I was approached to write a short story about vampires. I spent a good month considering all I’d read and seen, adding the elements I loved, like a strong heroine, and trying to subtract the elements I didn’t, like unbelievable, over-the-top powers and abilities. Then I chose an unexpected setting, Metalline Falls, Washington, and then I waited until the first line came to me. But instead of a line, it was a ditty: “99 veins of blood to tap, 99 veins of blood… Pick the best flavor and drain it dry. There’ll be 98 veins of blood to try.” I fell in love with the story from there.
Ah, Jamie, a diva can only handle so much. How do I say this, mama, but when Diane Morasco wants her neck nibbled on, honey, there is no blood involved. Just sheer ecstasy, k, mama. Oh, there may be chains, leather, spikes, and velvet, but only if his name is Maverick. (wickedly delicious laugh)
Now that the wave of tummy-saults has passed, Jamie, let’s proceed. When you’re deeply connected and immersed in a book, Jamie, have you ever had a dream that you felt was not your dream?
My husband says I dream differently from normal people. LOL. I dream like watching a movie, with subtitles, where the story begins and I imagine a few details, then blackness. I fall deeply asleep. This makes him very jealous. LOL. The few times I don’t pass out, if the story develops in a way I don’t agree with, I edit. This way, I rarely, if ever, have a nightmare. Yes, there is a method to my madness. LOL
Do your characters dream within you?
If the dream is part of the story and needs to be shown, yes.
What do you love most about the paranormal genre?
I love the possibility that there are no limitations. Anything can be done, and if you take the time, it can be done well.
Jamie, please share the titles of three books on your nightstand?
I am currently reading and judging The Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest, so those are unmentionable. But afterwards, I will be reading:
Between by Kerry Schafer, the 1st book her The Books of the Between series.
Provoked by Rebecca Zanetti, the 5th book in her Dark Protector series.
Mortal Ties by Eileen Wilks, the 8th book in her Lupi series.
Who are some of your favorite paranormal writers?
Christine Feehan and Gena Showalter always top my lists. My favorites also include: Anthea Sharp (Author of the YA Feyland trilogy), Eileen Wilks, Kate Douglas, Yasmine Galenorn, Rebecca Zanetti, Susan Squires, Susan Sizemore, CT Adams and Cathy Clamp, Rachel Vincent, Kerrelynn Sparks, Laurell K. Hamilton, Keri Arthur and many, many more.
How do you find balance?
I fail at balance quite often. One day for email and social media, one day for doctor appointments, another day for family. I try to reserve my evenings for my family and the day for writing/business/social media. It means that nearly every day is a delay of things that need to be done, but I steadily work at it.
What is the guilty pleasure you find the naughtiest?
I think life’s too short to do things you’d waste time feeling guilty about, but naughty? Besides teasing our daughters about how much their dad and I love each other, which gets lots of fingers in ears and determined lalalalas, I love to write sex and villains. Together or separately. I like the interplay of personalities and life choices. And whenever that’s not so fun, I love a spoonful of Milk Chocolate frosting.
What did you learn about yourself while penning The Murder King’s Woman?
I learned short stories were a lot more fun to read and write than I’d ever given them credit for. That it was possible to have more threads and elements that I could fully develop if I wrote it as serialized short stories than was considered good in a full length novel. Which actually makes sense as I love TV shows with ensemble casts such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chuck, Charmed, and White Collar. Each episode has a side bonus of expanding the fascinating world and the characters that live in it.
What challenges did you endure while penning Betrayed?
Betrayed was my learning novel. I spent six and a half years, wrote over 1000 pages and edited the final draft beginning to end nine times. I learned how to develop multiple complicated threads and intense, driven characters and weave them all together in a dramatic, engaging story. Then I got an agent, a contract and learned the publishing, marketing, and promotion process. I think I can honestly say the entire story was and continues to be a challenge. LOL
What did you learn about yourself while inking Cursed?
I learned how much I really value family, faith, love, and overcoming any odds. It’s one thing to think it and know it, but it’s a much deeper process when writing it and examining every personality, every choice, every event, and how to solve the challenge presented.
What are you most ambivalent about when you sit down to write a series?
Reader reaction. There are so many things that fascinate me and I imagine others reading what I’ve written and laughing, or being surprised. Then I will see my daughter get mad at a book and ranting about this or that in it and I can imagine a reader do that with my book. It’s scary and I flip back and forth between both of those thoughts, and in the end, the only way to fight it is to write a book that surprises me, engages me, and makes me laugh.
What do you want your readers to walk away with after reading your books?
I want them to feel like they’ve been on an adventure and have the answers they wanted to get before the end. That’s supposed to be the greatest part of the story, the mystery of knowing what’s going to happen to who, when and how.
If you were able to go camping with whomever you want (past or present), who do you pick and what are you talking about?
This is a really difficult question. There are many people I’d like to talk to about everything, but throwing in camping… The answer is my husband. I think camping is a personal adventure and doing it without someone you can cuddle and be close with is kind of pointless. Plus, he loves all the reality documentaries like Survivor Man and Man vs. Wild. Whenever we’ve discussed difficult survival situations, I always imagine us surviving together. And we often talk about everything: family, love, marriage, communication, books, movies, TV shows. We never seem to run out of things to share, neither do we run out of the desire to be together. It makes our days better whenever we can experience them together.
Now, Jamie, you had to go there with all that mushy gobbledygook the week of all that hearts and flowers shit? Ya know, I can just edit that out or push this interview back, but Morasco does love any holiday that celebrates with chocolate. (wink) Jamie, with all of my heart I believe it is imaginable for two souls to enhance, to evolve, to nourish, and to respect each other as time goes on instead of weaken each other. The strength of two spirits, if they are meant to be, is comparable to steel upon steel–it bends, it sways, but remains intact. Unfortunately, one person becomes an albatross, not only dragging the other down, but extinguishing the other soul’s light.
I wish you and your husband the best sex ever! Oops, I mean the best love dipped sex ever. Thank you so very much, Jamie, for this fun and thought-provoking interview.
Thank you, Diane! I am so happy to do this interview with you and I love your fascinating questions.
Thank you bunches of oats, Jamie!