[00:00:00] Jenny Kate: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Jessica Snyder edits. If you’re looking for professional editing services, content development proofreader, line editor, a copy editor, she has been professionally editing fiction since 2013. Find her at jessicasnyderedits.com or on Facebook at Jessica Snyder edits.
Welcome to the writer nation podcast.
Hey everybody. Welcome to the rider nation podcast. I am your host Jenny Kate. Guest today is Ms. Jamie Farrell. She’s an author I caught up with WRW’s September meeting last month when I was in DC. This girl’s got 11 books out and the sixth and her misfit drive series is coming out in the spring. She’s a mom, she’s a military spouse, although we actually did not meet with the military, but she’s super funny [00:01:00] and I just totally enjoy talking to her.
We laugh a whole lot. Um, and while we do laugh a lot, she gives some really great down and dirty advice on how to self publish and what it takes to launch a new book. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and I hope you get some good concrete advice out of our chat because as you know writer nation exists to motivate you, inspire you.
I hope to finish your project. So with that, here is my chat with Jamie Farrell.
Ok so we have Jamie Farrell here today. We’re talking about blurry and vacant and kids and just all kinds of stuff, but let’s start with the fact that I think Jessica left money on the floor.
Jamie Farrell: I think you’re right. Well,
Jenny Kate: Jessica Snyder left some money, so I think we’re going give that back to her.
Jamie Farrell: She should not do that.
Jenny Kate: She didn’t pay me to be on the podcast. So let’s talk about you and, and you wanted to be a writer when you were eight.
Jamie Farrell: I did.
Jenny Kate: You read Beverly Cleary, like
Jamie Farrell: I [00:02:00] wanted to be Beverly Cleary when I was eight.
Jenny Kate: And so now you’ve written, you are absolutely done it. You have gotten there. So you’re eight years old.
Jamie Farrell: Yes but children should not read my book.
Jenny Kate: No, they should not.They are not books for eight and 10 year olds. So, so did your dad like keep your first novel like mine did? When I was in second grade.
Jamie Farrell: He lost it.
Jenny Kate: Oh, no.
Jamie Farrell: I know! Isn’t that crazy? My mom is still so upset, like we talk about it still. I think
Jenny Kate: that’s hysterical.
Jamie Farrell: I was, yeah. It was visiting my family just a month or two ago with my mom. Even then, like somebody asked about my writing and she said, I just can’t believe I lost that story you wrote about that girl with those dogs.
Jenny Kate: My dad used to hold it hostage. He’s like, see, you should be a writer. You should be a writer. Quit that job and be a writer.
Jamie Farrell: Now see, my parents laughed at me and I didn’t realize at eight years old that that was actually a good thing. Like now I’ll totally claim it. Yeah, yeah. The more you laugh, the better. But at eight years old, you know, you’re like, Oh. Oh, I shouldn’t have done that now I’m [00:03:00] embarassed.
Jenny Kate: No, my father looked me in the eye the first time I was going to Korea cause you know I’m active in air force and he’s like, no, no, no, you should really quit the military and be a writer. I’m like, daddy!
Jamie Farrell: That’s so sweet!
Jenny Kate: I’m going to Korea! It’s going to be awesome. He’s like, well, let somebody else’s daughter do that. I’m like, Oh dad. And you understand. I mean, he’s dad and he’s scared for you. Scared for no reason at all. I mean, Korea is fine, but he still kept that. That story I wrote in second grade. So, all right, so you wrote in the eighth grade, or when you’re eight. Your parents made fun of you. And you were traumatized. So when did you finally like, okay, it’s not so bad and when can I now be a writer?
Jamie Farrell: So I went to college to be an engineer because I decided that going to college, I went to college at the university of Missouri, Rolla, which is now called the Missouri university of science and technology, because they like to change their name about every 40 years.
They used to be the Missouri school of mines, and I don’t know what they were before that. Or what, there’ll be another 20 years. [00:04:00] We were Miners.
Jenny Kate: The Miners. In the middle of Missouri. So you went school, be engineer?
Jamie Farrell: I did. I went to school to be an engineer and then I married into the military. So I don’t serve in the military. But
Jenny Kate: Well you’re a spouse, you do, serve. Right. Cause I’m also a spouse, right? I’m an active duty member, but it’s funny, that’s kind of, that’s not really how we met there. We met through writing. Washington Romance Writer’s group.
Jamie Farrell: And I’m trying to think of when I first met you and I
Jenny Kate: I don’t either. I was thinking about it as I was flying out here from Nashville and I’m like, I don’t remember the first time.
Jamie Farrell: I don’t either, but I remember going to your birthday party at the Irish pub.
Jenny Kate: Yeah I do the Irish pub every year
Jamie Farrell: And I had such younh children that I was like, I’m so sorry. I have to leave at like 8: 30
Jenny Kate: Yeah I’m blessed or cursed however you want to say with teenagers, so I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Um, but yeah, I do, um, every year with my birthday. Um, well then my daughter started, babysitting for your kids. Yeah.
Jamie Farrell: Yes. And they love [00:05:00] her.
Jenny Kate: But yeah I do too. So let’s just go with, we have no idea, but we know it was Washington Romance Writers, and I’m a big proponent of Washington Romance writers because it’s, you know, we don’t talk about sex at all of our meetings. Um, they do a lot of workshops on character development and plot structure and things that writers need for their craft. And that’s why I am a member.And I think it’s important. Um, to sustain your motivation, to keep inspired and to learn something.
Jamie Farrell: Oh yeah. You know, and you can learn something, a craft workshops, whether you’re just like, whether you’ve only put like two words on a page or whether you have a hundred books under your belt and workshops are awesome for everybody.
Jenny Kate: Well and you write romance and I don’t. And so I still get a lot out of it, which I think is important for people.
And so what I think most people also don’t know is that the Washington Romance writers is one of the largest chapters of romance writers of America.
Jamie Farrell: Oh are they?
Jenny Kate: Yes, they [00:06:00] are.
Jamie Farrell: See I didn’t know that either.
Jenny Kate: Well, they’re not the largest but they are still one of the largest. Yes. And they are pretty consistent and pretty consistent membership from month to month.
Jamie Farrell: And amazing volunteers to run the organization too
Jenny Kate: Which sustains anything like that. I mean, it has to be.
Jamie Farrell: They’re just fantastic.
Jenny Kate: Well, what I think is important also for folks, especially new writers to understand, is that a professional organization actually lobbies on your behalf to make sure that you have fair rules and laws that pertain to you when it comes to. Um, like contracting with your agent or publisher or editor, um, fair pricing, you know, and making sure that you get a good, you know, good deal.
No, not all the time. That doesn’t happen all the time because you know, the big, the big fives is a powerhouse industry, but they lobby on your behalf with as a writer. And I think that’s important for people.
Jamie Farrell: And they teach you too so many resources to learn about what you should and should not sign up for with publishing contracts and who’s out to take advantage of you and who will really [00:07:00] help you. And it’s just amazing the resources available.
Jenny Kate: Well, because writing is not like when you join a corporation and the corporation inherently has all of this kind of professional development for you, right? So you have to find your own professional development. Groups like RWA and WRW help you do that. And I think it’s very important for people to join professional organizations as kind of like a freelancer. You’re running your own business and you need that support. And so professional organizations definitely are good for you.
Jamie Farrell: Yes, they’re wonderful.
Jenny Kate: So let’s get back. You went to Rolla. You got a degree in engineering and then did nothing with it.
Jamie Farrell: And then, well I did do something with it. I actually, I worked at 3M as a systems engineer for about 13 months.
Jenny Kate: See look at you. Holy cow.
Jamie Farrell: Yep. Suprise! I got a real job.
Jenny Kate: But then you met your husband.
Jamie Farrell: We met in college and we dated long distance for about about two years before we got married. And he likes to joke that I was a sugar mama.
Jenny Kate: Because [00:08:00] you were working,
Jamie Farrell: Because I was working at 3M while he was finishing up his fifth year of college. And then after he finished his fifth year of college,
Jenny Kate: I bet he loves it that you’re saying 5th year of college. Hey, I did 5 years too. It takes some people longer than others. That’s okay.
Jamie Farrell: He owns it. He has no shame. He’s totally good with this. But he got, he commissioned into the air force and we, his first orders took him to Pensacola, Florida. Um, he had gotten into, he had gotten a pilot training slot and. It was really tough. I mean, I grew up in this in a town of about 30,000 people in the middle of Illinois, and I had never been exposed to military life.
I had traveled very little at that point. I guess I had been overseas a couple times, um, school trips and whatnot, which was really an amazing opportunity to have. Very grateful for that. Um, but it was just so new and it was thousands of miles from home [00:09:00] and from everything that was familiar. And so I started writing again, a self therapy, and I didn’t-
Jenny Kate: Oh how about that. So that’s how you started.
Jamie Farrell: It is. And I didn’t even tell him I was doing it. I just knew I was miserable. I had this engineering degree and I was working selling calendars at a kiosk in the middle of the mall. I was, and I was utterly miserable. And I mean, there were perks to the calendar kiosk was attached to the Walden books bookstore. Am I dating myself here?
Jenny Kate: I know Walden books.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah, so when christmas was over. Um, I was hired to work in the bookstore, and so I spent my entire paycheck buying books.
Jenny Kate: As I still do today.
Jamie Farrell: Yes, I believe I have one clicked a couple books while you were sitting here, just a little bit.
Jenny Kate: And it’s cause writers are readers.
Jamie Farrell: Yes.
Jenny Kate: I mean you have to do that.
Jamie Farrell: Yes. I was reading and I was writing and I didn’t even tell my husband what I was doing cause I was embarrassed cause I was sure that I was writing crap and I [00:10:00] didn’t want to tell anyone that I was doing anything with my writing until I was proud enough of it to share it. And so,
Jenny Kate: Well, how long before you were a proud enough to share it?
Jamie Farrell: I shared it with him within within probably two to three months. I told him what I had been doing while he was at pilot training and and whatnot. And a few months later, he, um, got out of pilot training. It turned out that was not a good career path for him.
And so now he’s an engineer, program manager or something, something. Um, we have three children. All I know is that he leaves the house in the morning and he comes home at night.
Jenny Kate: Well, I have to tell you, my active duty husband does the same thing. And I’m like, I don’t understand what you do. And it’s ok. You know, and he doesn’t talk about it much anyway, you know, big introvert. So we have that How was your day conversation? And he’s happy and I’m happy and that’s great.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah, and it works. So anyway, I told him, but it was probably another four [00:11:00] years befor I told any other family, because I, yeah, I had written I think three books at that point. And I was querying agents and I decided that for my birthday, whatever year that was, that I was going to come out of the writer closet and tell people I had written a book and do you know what my sister told me later? She said, you told me wrote a book. And I was like, man, okay. Jamie wrote a book, I’ll read it because I have to because she’s my sister, but it won’t be any good, so I’m telling you. So, but she called me after my first book came out. She said. Well, this was actually good.
Jenny Kate: Well. Thanks, sis. Wow.
Jamie Farrell: That was years after I told them I was writing books. Oh my goodness. So that was?
Jenny Kate: So you wrote four books?
Jamie Farrell: Yes.
Jenny Kate: In how many years?
Jamie Farrell: A lot of years. I wrote a book, um, that I gave away for free to newsletter subscribers for a little bit, um, that will probably never see the light of day again about a modern day [00:12:00] pirate treasure hunt romance.
And I spent four years working on that story and I didn’t have the skills as an author to get it right the way I wanted it to. So it, you know, I could probably take a test, I could, I could take a hack at it again now if I wanted to, but it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t have the same magic that it did for me for those four years that I was working on it.
Jenny Kate: So four years, and then you published,
Jamie Farrell: It was four years. I didn’t publish that one. Um, Oh, and then, you know, we were moving every few years, and then children came along and then I think it was after my second child was born, I sat down and I was like, I really want to write again, but I don’t know. I just wanted to write something for me because I needed to write something to enjoy the process.
And that is where my debut novel, Southern fried blues came from, which is, I know. Poor Jenny cringing here because I’m going to say that
as a northerner, Illinois, wrote a Southern romance [00:13:00] And in my defense, you know, I lived in the culture for many, many years.
Jenny Kate: Doesn’t matter. Nice try, kiddo. Any southern girl will tell you no no no . It’s funny. We have friends in Mississippi and this woman has lived in this small town in Mississippi for 50 years, 50 years, but she is that Yankee girl from New York. It’s just one of those things. I mean, it’s just the way it is, but I love the title. Southern Fried Blues is a fantastic title for that book. I love that.
Jamie Farrell: I had so much fun writing that book. It did really well too. Final in a couple of big contests. It’s like the national reader’s choice award contest. Um, and it just, you know, I was so afraid I was going to put a bad book out. And so to have it well received by reviewers, and I still have people who tell me that, that heroes is their favorite hero. And you know, it makes you think, huh, I got some work to do now to top that.
Jenny Kate: Right. Because you want to sustain that, right?
Jamie Farrell: 10 books [00:14:00] later and the first one is still their favorite. Hm. I’ve got to get through a few more of those craft workshops.
Jenny Kate: So how many books did you write before then? Like put under the bed before you put that one out?
Jamie Farrell: Oh one two. Three, four, four books before Southern fried blues. And in the end I went back and I also published the one that I had written before Southern fried blues, that one had made the rounds with agents and editors, and I had done around, like I, I had gotten a revise and resubmit from an agent and so I changed the manuscript to fit what she thought, like, would be better for it. And she came back and said, no, it’s just still not quite right. I’m going to pass. And so I had lost all faith in that book, but I went back and I looked at it after Southern fried blues came out, and I was like, you know what? I do think my audience would like this book. I mean, it was an authentic Jamie Ferral book, and it was a little quirky., a little funny, little emotional, and so I put that one out as well. And so I guess you could say I have three manuscripts that we’ll probably never see the light of day.
Jenny Kate: I [00:15:00] guess where I’m going with that is, you know, a lot of, a lot of new writers come along and they think they write one book and okay, great, let’s go. It’s time to, you know, query agents and somebody put it up on Amazon because I can’t get a deal. You know, and they don’t understand the rule of thumb is a million words, right? The rule says a million words.
Jamie Farrell: To really learn your craft.
Jenny Kate: Right. And that’s a lot of. Lots of writing, folks.
Jamie Farrell: It is a lot of writing and it’s terrifying to sit there with like one book under your belt that’s, you know, 70,000 words long and think, Oh, I’ve got to do this again, like 12 more times. Like noooo.
Jenny Kate: Right. Well, that’s a, I, you know, I, and I would, I would argue that, um, you can get that without having to write a full novel. You can write. The million words and understand that you’re learning your craft. And it doesn’t have to be like full length novels every time. It can be novellas, it can be short stories, it can be whatever that they need it to be, to learn how to develop a story with a, with a plot structure that works for the reader.
Jamie Farrell: Oh, and reading is so critical. So that too. And you [00:16:00] know, that’s something that a lot of writers fall down on is the reading. And I’ve gone through long periods of time where I’m not reading nearly enough books and not nearly as many as I want to, but. You know, for a long time I’ve had babies at home.
Jenny Kate: Sure. Yeah. I mean, well that’s, you know, part of what we’d like, what I like to talk about on the podcast is you have a life. There’s a life outside of writing. It feeds into writing, you know? And so when you say reading, so I’m just like, what I’ve been doing this past year, I’m reading CJ box. And he’s got a, he’s got a series about a game warden who runs into political issues in the middle of Wyoming, and he has to solve is always a murder. He has to solve the murder. I love his plot structure. I am on my third pass at all 17 of his books because I’m studying the heck out of his plot structure because I think it’s very clean. He hits very good beats. And I really, that’s what I want to emulate. And I think when you talk about reading, writers have to understand what they’re trying to do. So read the writers that are already in the genre that you want to, you want to focus on because you know, if you want to get your book out to readers so that they [00:17:00] can, your stuff is out in the world. You need to be able to understand what people are reading, how they’re reading it, and what they’re expecting from that book.
And I think a lot of new writers forget. There are beats that are important and if you miss them, you’re confusing your reader. Does that make sense?
Jamie Farrell: Yup. Yup. Oh, and you know, I feel like fiction is changing and evolving.
Jenny Kate: Yeah. I would agree with that. Yes.
Jamie Farrell: It’s weird. I’ve seen discussions lately a lot, um, about books that don’t have a black moment. Whoa, how can you, how can you not have a black like, what are you coming back from? How, how do you know the book is over if you haven’t had that like that all is lost moment. But. You know? Then you look at some books you’ve read and you’re like, Oh, I wish they had not made that stupid decision that led to the downfall of everybody’s,
Jenny Kate: Because it frustrates you, right?
Jamie Farrell: It does! I can almost, I can kind of see where like readers would still love the books even that are lacking, like those critical components of storytelling that we’ve been taught forever are necessary to like [00:18:00] the basic story structure that has been used for millennia.
Jenny Kate: Well, I think, you know, if you look at, if you look at like the three act structure used in television, one of the things that they do without the black moment is just, it’s just a decision that they made that happened to be the wrong one. It doesn’t mean it’s all like lost. It just, it was the wrong decision. So let’s reverse course and make a different decision and fix the problem. And I think that I like that structure because it all is not lost. It just, it’s a different thought process.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah. Like we’re, we’re binge watching big bang theory right now and we’re, we’re like a third of the way into the sea- into season three and, or is that the one where Leonard and penny are dating or something?
Anyway, it’s not like they break up every single episode and they get back together, but they still have those real life quirks in the middle and like, life happens and you can see that all is not like sunshine and roses. Now we’re together and we agree on everything and yeah. We never have conflict. So.
Jenny Kate: I think you have to think back to your own [00:19:00] relationship, you know? And how did your relationship evolve?
Jamie Farrell: Oh I can identify my black moment.
Jenny Kate: Oh I can identify many black moments. I mean, but you know, I can also identify many wonderful moments and often evolving story and how we got together though, you know? And finally, you know, because in the happily ever after is the whether they decide to be together or they get married or whatever, we didn’t have a crushing soul renting black moment that made us go ok now it’s time to get married, right? We just had a date, like, Hey, this is pretty cool. You’re cute. I’m cute. Let’s move on. So I can totally understand the plot structure that may not involve classical elements, you know? But I think if you can find a writer that’s in your genre that you’re writing to learn from, you got to do it. You gotta do it and keep reading them over and over and over. And maybe not the same, but, but you know what I mean.
Jamie Farrell: Oh, and there’s so many books to choose from these days. So many books. And you know, it’s okay to not finish books. That’s something that I have [00:20:00] really, really hard time accepting. But as soon as I gave myself permission to put aside a book that isn’t working for me, cause I think you can learn something from every book and some books, all you need to learn is that this is not the book for me. And it doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. And it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad reader. It just means that, you know,
Jenny Kate: It’s just not working out.
Jamie Farrell: Like it’s time to break up with this book.
Jenny Kate: I’ve tried to read Hemingway The sun also rises three times. I want to love Hemmingway. I wasn’t, wasn’t English an English major, and I got to tell you, I just, I tried and tried that and I just gave up, I’m just like, no, I cannot force myself to finish this book. But you know, Hemingway’s cool man, you know Paris in the last generation. He’s a drinker. He’s smoker. He’s a cool, dude. And you want to love his stuff. And I don’t.
Jamie Farrell: Like I said, not required reading.
Jenny Kate: I think that’s [00:21:00] the point that right there was a point where you have to say, okay, I’m done. But that’s true in writing as well, right? This book is just not working right now and it’s time to move on.
Jamie Farrell: Yep.
Jenny Kate: Put it under the bed and let’s move on. And so for you, so you had, you did four, you went back and put one out.
Jamie Farrell: Yep.
Jenny Kate: And now what, how long has that been?
Jamie Farrell: Uh, I started, I started self-publishing four years ago. So it’s been,
Jenny Kate: so how many have you gotten since?
Jamie Farrell: I have 10 out right now. 10 books.
Jenny Kate: And how many are in the Southern series?
Jamie Farrell: The Southern series has three books in it right now.
Jenny Kate: Okay. And then now you also have the misfit bride theory, that’s four.
Jamie Farrell: That’s five, one coming. I actually, we, um, my husband got orders this summer and so we moved and that I ended up delaying a launchdate for the first time ever because the move took a lot more effort and time than I was anticipating, and I wasn’t able, I could have finished the book in time, but it would not have been the book that my fans [00:22:00] deserved. Does that make sense?
Jenny Kate: Sure. Yeah.
Jamie Farrell: So I don’t want to give them. Uh, half written book.
Jenny Kate: You want to be proud of your book. I mean, you want to be proud of your book. Sure. Moving. I mean, as we both know you’re moving, it’s just, I hear it all the time. Well, you have movers. Oh okay. I sure do.
Jamie Farrell: We did it ourselves this time.
Jenny Kate: Did you really? You did a DITY move? So DITY means do it yourself.
Jamie Farrell: It means that the military does not send in all those movers to box up all your stuff for you.
Jenny Kate: You do it yourself. That, Oh my gosh, no wonder you took a break. We had the movers come in but it’s still so traumatic to move all this crap. And you know, we moved overseas this time. So we had one move that went early. We had a big batch that went early. Then we had a batch in storage. Then we had the batch that went with us. It was, it was a mess. Um, not our first time moving overseas. So it was, yeah. Even though you’ve done it before, it’s still not fun. And we’ve done partial DITY moves where you do, you pack up some of your crap and take it with you, and then they do the [00:23:00] rest. So I know exactly the kind of pain that you’re talking about. It doesn’t, it’s not over just because you packed on a Monday and you moved on a Friday. This is months of planning. Plus you get there and set the house. It’s just a lot.
Jamie Farrell: And then your cabinets are in different places. You have different numbers of cabinets and drawers.And then you have to figure out where it goes, and then you reshuffle. And then you realize the day that you unpacked your truck, you logged 26,000 steps in a hundred flights of stairs,and then you’re like I am king of the world! And then the next day you can’t get out of bed,
Jenny Kate: But you have three children that are jumping on you to let’s get out of bed. So life goes on.
Jamie Farrell: That is true.
Jenny Kate: Right? So I can imagine why you would want to push this book off. Just a few weeks or months or whatever it was.
Jamie Farrell: I was trying so hard to finish it before the move, but it’s so funny, the stress that is involved just leading up to the move and you’re like trying to figure out where am I going to live? Where are my kids going to go to school? Are we going to have dentist appointments here before we go or do I need to find a new dentist as soon as we move.
Jenny Kate: And not to [00:24:00] mention salons and doctors and we’re, you know, babysitters and that whole bit. I mean, every time we move.
Jamie Farrell: We just quit going out because there would be like, I’ll wait another like seven or eight years and our kids will be old enough to watch themselves. So we don’t have to look for a babysitter at this location.
Jenny Kate: Oh my gosh. Well that, you know, when we move it, it really helps when you have this vast network to kind of jump on. You know, you know somebody there, you know somebody who knows somebody there and that’s always helpful to do that, but you still have to get there and you still have to set up your house. And so I get it. So when is the book out? Is, when are you ready?
Jamie Farrell: I pushed it back to March and if I get it ready early, I can release it early. But I, yeah, I would say count on March.
Jenny Kate: I didn’t know you had five books in that series cause I’ve read the first four. I didn’t know there was a fifth one.
Jamie Farrell: I think that fifth one, that fifth one did not launch strongly.
Jenny Kate: Well, we’ll get to your marketing efforts. Well, I’m glad because I will be downloading that as soon as [00:25:00] we’re done. That’s awesome. And now I’ll be looking out for March the next one. So, all right. So we’ll make sure to put all your contacts and stuff into the show notes too, so people can know, Hey, the book’s coming out in March. So, okay. So you got through this move.
Jamie Farrell: Yes.
Jenny Kate: And this is going to be your six misfit brides book.
Jamie Farrell: Six misfit brides.
Jenny Kate: And then you had four in that and
Jamie Farrell: Three in the Southern Fried Blues. And then I did a Kindle worlds novella in Melanie Sean’s hope falls world. And that was fun. That was fun. That was a lot of fun. So I had read the hope falls books. Um, they just released number 13 in the series. Which is really cool. I think it’s number 13. But yeah, and it was, it was really fun to come up with new characters, and I think-
Jenny Kate: Now tell people what all this means. The hope falls books, what are these?
Jamie Farrell: Melanie shaun is a contemporary romance author who writes several series, and one of the series is called hope falls, and it is set, there’s 12 or 13 books and [00:26:00] they’re all set in this little town called hope falls in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Near Lake Tahoe. And so when you do a Kindle worlds thing, what they do is they authorize you. They authorize other authors to write in their world using their characters and this little town they’ve built, and you, you have a lot of creative license with it.
And it’s fun to just walk in. You can revisit their characters and your own story. And. Like I had a vacation home romance where, um, uh, Skye owned a vacation home and he told his sister that she could use it at the same time that he told his best friend and they didn’t exactly like each other.
Well, she didn’t like him too much in childhood because, you know, he picked on her and I, he picked on her because he liked her. And so now, you know, they’re grownups and he’s, there trying to show his poor nephew who is not an outdoorsy kid at all the outdoors. And she’s there, um, [00:27:00] just trying to relax after working really hard and they butt heads a little and they have some fun times together, and then they end up deciding to have a little romance with their own happily ever after.
Jenny Kate: Now that’s on the Kindle world?
Jamie Farrell: The Kindle world.
Jenny Kate: That sounds like so much fun.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah, and it wasn’t any characters that I’ve used before, but. I have plans for the secondary characters in that series to have some stories of their own.
Jenny Kate: So let’s talk about, you’ve got 10 books out right now. It took you probably three or four to get where you were comfortable putting them out. What advice would you have to somebody who’s starting out and wants to do exactly what you’re doing? If new writers wanted, they want a career in writing. So best piece of advice.
Jamie Farrell: My best piece of advice, it’s going to be just studying the marketing. Because if you’re going to put a book out, I am going to operate under the assumption that you have studied your craft. You have hired your editors. Um, you know that you have a good quality product that, and it’s not just about. It’s [00:28:00] not just about being able to say, well, my book is better than your book, cause really like we don’t say, my book is better than your book.
Jenny Kate: No. There’s a reader for everybody.
Jamie Farrell: There is a reader for everybody’s book, but you’re going to have more reade the more solid your book is. Because the real trick in today’s market is the marketing. There are so many books out. I heard a figure the other day that there are 500,000 romances on the Amazon store. What that means is that no one is going to accidentally stumble over your book and buy. So you have to have a marketing plan in place, but the best marketing plan in the world usually will not sell a bad book.
Jenny Kate: And that’s true. Now, if do you have a good product, they’re not going to buy it.
Jamie Farrell: If you have a product that’s poorly edited, poorly formatted, um, that with characters who are inconsistent and who don’t make logical choices, and then you’re. You might sell that book, but you might not sell as many copies of a subsequent book because people aren’t going to be signing up for your newsletter and they’re not going to [00:29:00] be caring about following you on Facebook.And so,
Jenny Kate: So, okay, so let’s get through your process then. You, um, once you, once you’re done. You’re like, you’re done with your first draft. Do you do an edit first and then send it to your, like you’re working with Jessica Snyder on?
Jamie Farrell: Yes. So Jessica Snyder does my proofreads. I have a copy editor I send it to, and I also have a developmental editor I work with sometimes. Um, and I love my developmental editor. So I have sent her books before where I’ve been like, there is something horribly wrong with this book. It is a piece of doo-doo and I don’t like it, and I know there’s a problem, but I cannot see where to fix it. And she will write me back and she will say, this is not a horrible book.
Jenny Kate: That’s the first thing she says.
Jamie Farrell: So it’s like you are just too close to it right now. And that’s true. You know, you can’t see your own work, what it is. You’re just too close to it a lot of times. Um, and then she’ll say. So my issue with X character was that he [00:30:00] just seemed too wimpy in this scene, or that character didn’t have a solid goal.
And it’s like, you’re close. But, and the funny thing is like sometimes she can, she has a way of saying something that just makes my brain click. Like all those puzzle pieces fall into place. Like right. That’s where the problem is. So she can identify the problem and a lot of times I don’t even need help with how to fix it as long as I can find the problem.
Jenny Kate: Gotcha.That’s pretty nice. Yeah.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah, and I mean, a lot of this is, I’ve been writing for 15 years. So there’s a lot of practice, a lot of reading that’s gone in, and I was a voracious reader as a child, and I think that plays a big difference too. Once I got into high school, I wasn’t reading as much because you know, you get so involved with extracurriculars and jobs and all kinds of things in high school, and then college. There’s no way you’re reading for fun. God bless the people who can, I’m so jealous.
Jenny Kate: I would be one of those people because though. I don’t want to read chemistry, I want to read a book. That’s probably why I did not say chemistry very long.
Jamie Farrell: I took English classes for fun in college.
Jenny Kate: And that’s [00:31:00] exactly why I got a degree in English.
Jamie Farrell: That was the only way I could get some of them to read. I enjoyed more than others. Poetry and I don’t get along. I read sex into the wrong poems and I don’t read sex into the right poems, and it makes for some really awkward conversation. Yeah, no, but where was I?
Jenny Kate: So we gave you a go. You have a development or developmental editor? Developmental editor.
Jamie Farrell: And she’s my my first round. So she, I solidify my story and make sure the story’s right and then I’ll send it to my. Um, sometimes I’ll send it for line edits. Um, sometimes I’ll go straight to copy edits. Um, Jess was saying, I write very clean, like I feel like I feel very arrogant saying that, but it’s true.
Jenny Kate: Well you know what kind of writer you are. So you know where the problems are and you’ve been doing it long enough to know where you need the help and where you don’t. So after you go through all of this editing, now, what do you do?
Jamie Farrell: I format the book and I,
Jenny Kate: How do you format the book?
Jamie Farrell: I have this magical program called vellum. It’s on my Mac and I love it to pieces. So [00:32:00] basically I open a word document in vellum and then poof! Magic. It’s all formatted
Jenny Kate: So that is not available in Microsoft at this point.
Jamie Farrell: It’s not available on Microsoft.
Jenny Kate: But there is, there is something ou.T I’m ready to ready to. What is it called?
Jamie Farrell: I don’t know. But draft to digital is an ebook.
Jenny Kate: That’s right. Draft to digital.
Jamie Farrell: They just announced that they have a new ebook formatting.
Jenny Kate: Yes, I was reading it that today.
Jamie Farrell: It’s free to use. You do not have to distribute your books through them.
Jenny Kate: Draft to digital. Writing that in the show notes as well.
Jamie Farrell: I love draft to digital. I don’t use them to distribute very much because I like to be direct as many places as I can, but I love draft to digital. There are some good guys running that company.
Jenny Kate: We’ll get to that. Let’s give it, so you say, let’s get through formatting for any development. It’s all done for you.
Jamie Farrell: I have a cover artist who does my covers for me. Um, and then
Jenny Kate: Yeah I love the covers of. The misfit brides covers. I love those covers. They’re just adorable and they’re really, really cute.
Jamie Farrell: I have the sixth cover. I just got it.
Jenny Kate: Oh, you’re going to put it out? When are you putting it out?
Jamie Farrell: Oh, close to release day.
Jenny Kate: So [00:33:00] we might see it around St. Patty’s day.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah. I’m a such a tease.
Jenny Kate: So you really are, it’s just teasing us. No book cover till February. All right, so you’d have a book cover guy who does your book covers for you.
Jamie Farrell: Cover girl.
Jenny Kate: Oh, girl. Okay. And then what after that?
Jamie Farrell: After that, uh, after that, it’s time to upload. Set, uh ,set, usually I’ll have the release date set by then. Um, I’ll send copies out to my advanced review team.
Jenny Kate: Who, how many people do you have on your advanced review team? So the advanced review team usually get what’s called advanced review copies or arcs. Um, and they provide, um, reviews and content and just kind of feedback or whatever.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah, it’s good to get reviews. Um. As social proof, it doesn’t really matter what the star ratings are, but people are far more likely to buy a book that has like 75 ratings on it than they are to buy a book as two ratings.
Jenny Kate: I would agree with that. Yes.
Jamie Farrell: Um, so the advanced review team is very, very helpful in generating those early reviews during launch week when you have a shot at actually having, um. Like Amazon and ibooks and Barnes and noble help [00:34:00] you promote, and the more you can work with them to make the best looking product you can, the better.
So, I mean, you can control your blurb, you can control your self publishing control, your blurb, control your covers, control your marketing efforts. Um, but you can’t control how many people are writing reviews unless you providing a lot of review copies in advance.
Jenny Kate: Okay. So let’s get into your marketing. okay. So, and what are your top three key marketing things that you do when you release a book?
Jamie Farrell: Or before you release it.
So, top three, you’re going to be definitely the newsletter. You need to curate a newsletter list. And if you’re starting out and you don’t have a newsletter list, it is the very first thing you need to get set up.
Um. And when your first book comes out, have bonus content. Like just in a bonus epilogue for the first book, you know, like sign up for my newsletter. You get to see like Joe and Sally being happy six months down the road and like, you’re never going to believe what happens with the horse, you know, whatever.
Just [00:35:00] draw people in. Because if they are on your newsletter, if they care enough to know about Joe and Sally and where they’re at, six months later, they’re going to care enough to know about the next couple of the series or the next couple that’s not even related or whatever. The kind of book you’re writing, they’re going to want more from you.
Um, and you can’t guarantee that you’re going to be able to reach that exact person on Facebook. You can’t guarantee you’ll reach them on Twitter. You can’t guarantee they’re going to randomly remember to come back to your website. So getting them into your newsletter is probably my number one tip.
Especially these days because Facebook reach is diminishing. Facebook paid reach is diminishing with Facebook ads just because there are so many people advertising and there’s only so much space in your feed. Facebook can’t show you all exclusively ads are people will abandon Facebook.
Jenny Kate: That’s true. That’s true.
Jamie Farrell: And we’re here tonight because I’m giving a workshop tomorrow morning on how to do Facebook ads. I’ve been running Facebook ads since early 2015 [00:36:00] and. They’ve been, they made the difference between me sitting there going, I hope I make enough to sell to buy myself a cup of coffee this month and enough for me to be like, Oh, okay, I can invest in getting audio books made this year. So,
Jenny Kate: So, yeah. The one of the reasons why we’re here this weekend is because, um, Washington Romance Writers has their September general meeting. Um, general meeting every year in September, and Jamie is giving the morning workshop on how to do Facebook ads. But then the afternoon, you’re also giving a workshop on, uh,
Jamie Farrell: On Amazon ads.
Jenny Kate: Right. Amazon ads. I’ve signed up for both, don’t worry. So, um, so that’s, that’s why we’re here and doing the podcast in the hotel room, um, the night before. Um, but so talk, okay, so let’s get back to. Your first one is
Jamie Farrell: Definitely the newsletter.
Jenny Kate: Newsletter.
Jamie Farrell: The second one is going to be the social media, um, advertising. [00:37:00] And you know, you don’t have to pay for it. Like get your friends to talk about your books. Get your advanced review team to talk about your books. Um, offer to swap newsletters, not, don’t ever swap your lists. That’s kind of illegal to sell your lists if you’re
Jenny Kate: Totally unethical.
Jamie Farrell: Not good. But you can ask your friends if they’ll feature your book in their newsletters and reach their friends.
And if you’re writing scifi/fantasy, you probably don’t want to be reaching out to like inspirational romance writers, but you’re going to have friends writing the same thing you are who can put your books in their newsletters. And my third piece of advice, Oh gosh. It depends on if you have a budget for advertising or not.
When the budget for advertising advertise on Amazon through the EMS system, you can advertise on Facebook. The reach is diminishing, but it’s still, your readers are not going to buy your book if they don’t know what’s there. Um, Oh, my third piece of advice, that’s what it is- write the next [00:38:00] book. The more books you have, the more points of entry an author or reader has to your entire book catalog.
So they might not find you when you write your first book, but they might find you on your fifth book and go back and read the first four books. Series are still very popular. So if you read a book and you read about a secondary character who sounds really, really interesting, then you probably want to read about that secondary character.
Jenny Kate: Absolutely.
Jamie Farrell: I was reading a book earlier today and I was like, I really hope this guy’s getting a book. I really hope this guy’s getting a book.
Jenny Kate: I would love CJ box to get like, he’s got a secondary character. He’s actually, I think more of a main character in a lot of them. He’s a falconer. I’m like, dude, he needs his own series. He’s a, he’s a former special ops, you know, dude who ran into Osama bin Laden in 2000 you know, whatever. And that’s all we know about this guy. He lives in the woods. He sits in a tree naked and you know, he, he’s a bad ass. And so I was like,
Jamie Farrell: That’s what my six year old wants to be when he grows up.
Jenny Kate: Sitting in a tree naked, being a bad ass?
[00:39:00] Jamie Farrell: Especially the naked part.
Jenny Kate: That guy needs his own series CJ Box. Please listen to me. No, I agree. When you, when you, when you build a series and you’ve got all these other characters, you can just keep compounding that stuff. And people get invested in that community. They want to keep reading it.
Jamie Farrell: They do. And you know, you can, you can build a series in a way to give yourself not only room to continue your series and definitely, but to have, um, side series to break off into new series. Um, and it’s just, and there are, there are no rules. There really aren’t any rules these days on what you can and can’t do. So if you think of an original idea and you want to try something different or weird with your marketing? Like the worst that happens is you’ll learn that that’s not going to work, and then you. Really, learning something’s not gonna work is just as valuable as learning something does.
Jenny Kate: Amen. Yeah, that’s true.
Jamie Farrell: Because if you don’t do anything, you’re not going to learn anything. [00:40:00] And you’re still not going to sell any books.
Jenny Kate: That’s true. So, um, okay, so let’s go through. Everybody needs to make sure they have a professional editor on their books and professional cover, a strong marketing plan,
Jamie Farrell: strong marketing plan. And that includes like, and that cover, like, just because you’re hiring a professional cover artist doesn’t mean you’re going to get a competitive cover. You need to be studying the market in what’s trending. And in your genre and in your sub genre, um, like you can, like if you’re in military romance, it’s going to be different covers than like historical mysteries, you know? So know what’s appropriate and, and it’s, if you only have money to invest in one thing, invest in that cover. Cause that cover is what’s gonna attract attention before anything else.
Jenny Kate: Okay. So let’s shift gears for just a minute and talk it out. What happens to you when you get a writer’s block going on? What do you do to get rid of it?
Jamie Farrell: Um, I move. No.
Jenny Kate: It’s been three months, move across the country. Yeah, I get [00:41:00] that.
Jamie Farrell: It’s funny, like three months off really knocked some things, loose in my brain. Like it’s, it’s like I’m drowning in ideas right now, which is a lot of fun. Um,
Jenny Kate: I think it’s nice to take that break because then it gives your brain time to just kind of rejuvenate.
Jamie Farrell: You know, sometimes just getting up and taking a walk around the block is good. I like to talk to my husband. I love to talk to my husband. So I have a book that came out this past March, and it was about, um, it was one of my Southern books. I know Jenny’s cringing again. and it’s about a physics professor who loves to blow stuff up and she, yeah, I gave her a hero who is just basically been left at the altar and she wants to help give him closure.
And so I was sitting around one night and I looked at my husband and I said, have this problem. I said, Casey needs to help Lance get rid of his rings, but I can’t do this and I can’t do that. I can’t do this other thing because I’ve already had her do one of those things, either in this book or in this series and I just need [00:42:00] a new original idea, and I kid you not. He looked at me and in his eyes I saw the words, have her launch it out of a potato gun. Written in his eyeballs and he said, honey, you are brilliant.
Jenny Kate: All right. Potatoes.
Jamie Farrell: A potato. Yeah. So they shoved a ring in a potato and took it out in the woods and fired it off in a potato gun.
Jenny Kate: And that took care of it. All right, well that’s good. So you talk to your husband to help with your writer’s block.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah. And a lot of times, like he will say, just the weirdest, weirdest things sometimes. Like the other day he was like, I think you need to write an assassin. And I was like, I cannot write an assassin. And then, you know, I honestly, I’ve been like, Ooh. How could I write, I could write an assassin. I give him credit for a good number of my good and sometimes not so good ideas.
Jenny Kate: Assasins need love too girl.
Jamie Farrell: Assasins do need love too. Right.
Jenny Kate: Especially when they retire.
Jamie Farrell: Yes. [00:43:00] Yeah.
Jenny Kate: Because they’re poor.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah. I was like, honey, I don’t think Jamie Ferral can write an assassin. And he’s like, Jamie Ferral can do anything, that kind of stuff.
Jenny Kate: That’s so nice.
Jamie Farrell: He’s been nonstop supportive since day one. It is. It’s, it’s very fortunate.
Jenny Kate: So are there, are there, uh, do you have like, I mean, you have three, she has three children.
Jamie Farrell: I do.
Jenny Kate: And a very active spouse. And I know you have a treadmill in your house and it has a board on it where you can walk on the treadmill and actually type at the same time.
Jamie Farrell: Yes. I walk and write.
Jenny Kate: I love that.
Jamie Farrell: And my cat lays across my arms while I am walking on my, yes, I’m like, cat, go away.
Jenny Kate: Work hazard.
Jamie Farrell: I know. Since we moved, I now have for the first time ever I have an office. It’s like, it’s my space and I have an office with my treadmill desk and a regular desk and it’s even got a bathroom in there. So I mean like, seriously, give me, give me a pot for hot tea and a small refrigerator and I would not have to leave there for like weeks. It would be [00:44:00] awesome.
Jenny Kate: I can just see your husband. I’m taking the pot out. You’ve asked to come out into the kitchen. It’s time. You’ve been in here too long. It’s stinks in here. It’s time to come out.
Jamie Farrell: But let me get some cheese sticks and grapes.
Jenny Kate: So yes. So Jamie likes bacon. Everybodywho knows him, you know Jamie, he loves bacon.
Jamie Farrell: Oh my goodness he loves bacon.
Jenny Kate: Oh my Lord.
Jamie Farrell: You’re right. I would need a bacon roaster.
Jenny Kate: Yes. So, so. When you, so when you decide like your process, cause right now I know that you use uh, freedom, it’a an app. Freedom.
Jamie Farrell: Oh my goodness I love freedom!
Jenny Kate: To block internet. But how long during the day do you block the internet?
Jamie Farrell: The entire time my kids are at school.
Jenny Kate: So from like eight to three.
Jamie Farrell: Yeah.
Jenny Kate: And you write from eight to three?
Jamie Farrell: Yep. I’ll take a break for lunch. I will sometimes walk around the house and talk to myself, if I’m blocked up with the writing. Um, I, you know. And I do, [00:45:00] I shut down and that’s my work time.
Jenny Kate: And do you do that every day?
Jamie Farrell: Monday through Friday.
Jenny Kate: And you take off Saturday and Sunday.
Jamie Farrell: I usually take, um, sometimes I’ll write on Saturday or Sunday. Um, if I’m in the middle of a scene and I’m like, I’ve got to finish this scene because I’m stuck in it, but I, I know if I just spend two hours, I can get through it. My husband’s very supportive. He’s like, all right, I’ll take the boys to sell a boy scout popcorn
Jenny Kate: I know we got popcorn a couple of years ago. That’s right. So you shut down and you work eight hours, basically have six or seven hours every day. So how many, what kind of output is that for you?
Jamie Farrell: Um, Oh no, I’m going to feel bad saying this. I wrote 80,000 new words in, in August, and sometimes they’re words just for me because, uh, the whole process of moving it. I couldn’t just pick up the book I was working on before I needed to sit down and write something for me. That was fun. And you [00:46:00] know, that’s what I did with Southern fried blues, and that’s how I fell back in love with writing. And so sometimes the words are like crazy out there words. Um, and sometimes they’re related to newsletters that I need to send, which I have been derelict in doing because of moving and all that. Um, but it, yeah, it just having the internet shut off from. For six or seven hours a day.
Jenny Kate: Yeah. We get down Russell’s, are you kidding? I’m on facebook like six hours instead of writing and that’s, you know, done.
Jamie Farrell: I can’t even access my emails during the day.
Jenny Kate: So I think that’s actually, that’s outstanding.
Jamie Farrell: I can access Google, so I can do a little bit of research if I need to. I can, I can. But Facebook, Twitter, email, and even Pinterest and YouTube are shut off. So sometimes like I’ll, I’ll be like, I wonder if I could find a video about blah. And I’m like, Oh, dang. It. Like, well, if I don’t remember to look it up later, I guess it wasn’t really important.
Jenny Kate: Yeah, no, that’s true. Right. So, um, so, okay. I’m sitting here thinking, I put that on my computer, I would die. [00:47:00] I need to, you know, I, I have such a hard time shutting all that down so I can focus. But once I get focused, I’m good. But you gotta I mean, you have to actually take your brain out of the internet for awhile and do, do what you gotta do. So.
Jamie Farrell: Oh, and it’s funny too, because I think we were talking about this earlier at dinner. Um, when I shut my internet off. And I go head down, um, I can shut my internal editor off and I can write 5,000 words while my kids are at school.
Jenny Kate: Nice.
Jamie Farrell: Sometimes more. Um, there are days when I don’t shut my internet off and I’ll be like, Oh, I should really respond to this email, or I should really make sure so and so hasn’t messaged me back on Facebook. And I’ll find I’m writing two paragraphs at a time and my internal editor is so high. I’m like, tweaking. like,
Jenny Kate: Oh, interesting.
Jamie Farrell: Like 60 words for two hours. When if I just shut everything off and just like trust my brain to do what it needs to do, I could probably do between 1,800 and 2,500 [00:48:00] words and that same two hours.
Jenny Kate: Well, because the bottom line is. Facebook and Twitter and the internet will still be there when you’re done putting your words on the page.
Jamie Farrell: Every day can’t be that productive. Cause there are days when I have to stop and think about what’s going to happen next. They don’t. You can’t just bump. I personally can’t just vomit a whole story.
Jenny Kate: Are you a pantser then?
Jamie Farrell: I’m a plan-sier. Plot-ser. I, um, I have a general idea of what’s going to happen, but the more, um, but a lot of things happen fly by the seat of my pants. And it’s funny because it all just clicks. I believe in the power of the subconscious mind. I think it’s all in there and it just have to open it up and let it go. Like I love taking showers. Oh, that’s one of the things. I am a shower taker, to clear it to. Um, to clear the mental,
Jenny Kate: So we’re discussing how do you get ever writer’s block. And I walk around the block or go for a run or go to the gym. Cause once I start moving, then my brain can start thinking about [00:49:00] it. Jamie, on the other hand, take showers. Now I’ve heard that quite a few writers will do that because it just gives them,
Jamie Farrell: there’s a psychological element to it because you know, you’re just doing like this routine thing that you do every day and you don’t really think about the fact that you’re saying like how often were you in the shower and you’re like, wait, did I shampoo my hair? Or do I need to like condition my hair now? Right? So like, you just don’t know and you forget, um, where you’re at. And that’s when your brain starts kicking in and is like, doo, doo, doo doo doo, Oh, in this plot element. Oh, and this character should do blah, blah, blah. And this is totally in character for that character, which will cause all this other problems for this character. And like I have been known to go dashing down the stairs in nothing but a towel yelling at my family “get out of the way I have to write this down!” .
Jenny Kate: That is fantastic.
Jamie Farrell: And now that I have a bathroom in my office.
Jenny Kate: You don’t have that problem , do you? Now, do you find though, cause I know you guys had been there about a year, right? Or less?
Jamie Farrell: Just a couple of months.
[00:50:00] Jenny Kate: Oh, just a few months. Oh no, we’ve been gone a year. You’ve been just a couple months. Are you, are you fearful though, that you spend so much time in that office that you’re not going to get out of it and let your brain,
Jamie Farrell: I’m getting a little bit of that.
Jenny Kate: Yeah. So you’ll have to get out for a little bit.
Jamie Farrell: And, but it’s necessary. I mean I. With the hours my husband works. I’m the one who puts dinner on the table every night and I am a stickler about what kind of food my kids get, and so
Jenny Kate: You mill your own flour. I love that. Ithink that is so neat. We had pizza I think it was a couple years ago over at your house and she had just milled the flour. It was probably the most healthy pizza I ever had.
Jamie Farrell: Friday nights are pizza, movie nights, and I’ll grain mill, and I’ll grind up my flour and make my pizza crust. I do buy a little bit more bread these days than I used to, but we’ll go back to making the bread again. Because, you know, we just moved and so I just bought a hundred pounds of grain because that’s what you do when you move.
Jenny Kate: we buy like, you know, 50 pound [00:51:00] bags of rice. This is what we do.
Jamie Farrell: Oh, we got a Costco membership when we moved. We moved from DC to Ohio and so we increased the size of our house a good bit. As you do when you move from a place like DC to a place like Ohio.
Jenny Kate: Cause it’s the opposite. When you moved from Colorado to DC
Jamie Farrell: like we did.
Yes. Totally. You have to shrink everything down.You’re like “children you have to shrink instead of grow because you won’t fit otherwise”. Yeah. But we’ve got a Costco membership and I got back from my first trip and I said Honey we didn’t buy a big enough house.
Jenny Kate: Yeah. I feel that way every time we come back from Costco. Every time.
Jamie Farrell: Speaking of rice. Yeah. That 50 pound bag of rice. Yeah.
Jenny Kate: Yeah, yeah. We’ll go through it too. I’ll tell you what, but yeah, we lived in Asia and everyone eats rice in Asia. So I think, yeah, I think we’ve gone through, um, what’s your next, I’ll count all your processes and stuff, but what’s your next, like what’s the next big thing other than you’ve got a book coming out in March. What’s after that? What are you working on?
Jamie Farrell: I’m working on a new series. Brand new characters.
Jenny Kate: So then we’ll have you [00:52:00] back on later to talk about the new series.
Jamie Farrell: Yes. And this one’s fun. I’m going to build a giant metropolis, like a brand new city or
Jenny Kate: Oh so you’re world building right now.
Jamie Farrell: Love world building.
Jenny Kate: Oh how fun.
Jamie Farrell: So much fun. And like coming to put like living in D C really made it fun. I’m, I’m down to like, Oh. Well, if it’s a big city, they’ll have some sort of like mass transportation system and they’ll have excellent food. And you can probably even have like, you’re going to have a store that just sells like doggy bones, because
Jenny Kate: that’s what you do in a metropolis, which is so true. You know, this is the first time I’ve lived in a city this big so. It was always smaller places and when there’s DC, I’m like, you never have to worry about finding anything. Anything.
Jamie Farrell: Anything you want. Anything moving to Ohio, we like, we had a moment of silence for our food delivery.
Jenny Kate: Well it’s so funny. You know, we live in Seoul with food deliveries. I mean everybody, everybody has a food delivery [00:53:00] guy and you can order. Seoul has got Amazon on sale because I’m telling you they’re better than Amazon. You order it by eight, it’s at your house by three no matter what it is. Yeah. I mean, it’s not all the same stuff that we could get here, you know? But, but they’re pretty quick on their delivery. It’s very interesting. It’s very interesting to live there, but two big cities right in a row and never want for anything, you know?And talk about a public transportation system. It’s fantastic. You should put zip cars in your, in your world. I love those. Those are so fun. Cause I had my sister in law didn’t have a car when she lived here and so they did zip cars all over the place.
Jamie Farrell: How would that be? It would be a lot of fun. And I can tell you that if all the small towns and all the made up cities existed in real life and books, like
Jenny Kate: I would have made a career for myself.
Jamie Farrell: But everybody invents all these little small towns that are so cute. And I was like, I’m going to invent a city. I’ll be a goddess.
Jenny Kate: I see your small town. We’re gonna raise you a metropolis.
[00:54:00] Jamie Farrell: I was like, I just don’t see Bliss, illinois hosting a major league baseball team. We need room for expansion here.
Jenny Kate: I think so. I think so.
Jamie Farrell: Maybe a minor league team, but not
Jenny Kate: Chattanooga, has a minor league team. I like Chattanooga. Again, it’s growing bigger.
Jamie Farrell: We lived in middle Georgia for four years and we never spent time in Chattanooga.
Jenny Kate: Oh they have the aquarium and everything.
Jamie Farrell: Well, we would go to Atlanta. And we just said
Jenny Kate: Well, yeah, Atlanta had to build one too. All right, girl. So what else do you want us to know? What else is going on? Anything?
Jamie Farrell: Ah, well, nothing.
Jenny Kate: It’s a lot. You just moved and you’ve got this book coming out in March, so, uh, all right. Give a new writer the best piece of advice you have for a new writer.
Jamie Farrell: Best piece of advice for new writer.
Jenny Kate: Not in marketing, just in the profession as a whole.
Jamie Farrell: Never quit reading.
Jenny Kate: Yeah, I agree with that.
Jamie Farrell: Never quit because it’s, it’s astonishing to me. I, [00:55:00] as part of moving, I started reading more. I actually got myself a subscription to Kindle unlimited to, um, as a writer I’m honestly conflicted about KU, um, because of the way that authors get paid through it and the ways that the system can be scammed. But as a reader, I’m finding it fantastic for finding new authors and as a writer, I’m finding it fantastic for doing market research. Um, cause you can dig deeper than just the sample to figure out what authors are doing right and figure out why they’re trending on the list.
Jenny Kate: Well I think analysis is absolutely vital. And unfortunately, writers are not just writers these days. They’re a small business. And you’ve got to wrap your head around the idea that you are a small business. And if you don’t do the analysis, you’re just dead in the water.
Jamie Farrell: So, but it’s also, is it also reading is also inspiring.
Jenny Kate: Oh yeah.
Jamie Farrell: There are so many times, cause you don’t, there’s so many times they’ll read a book and you’ll think, Oh, this makes me think of blah, blah, blah. And it might, on the [00:56:00] surface you’re like, Oh, that’s also a friend’s to lovers romance, and I’m reading a friend’s to lovers romance. But there’s so many vastly different experiences that you bring your writing. You’re not going to write the same book that you’re reading. You’re going to be like, Oh, I forgot how much I love friends to lovers romances. You know? Just put your own little spin on it and it’s something you might not have thought of if you hadn’t been reading that book so.
Jenny Kate: Alright everybody. You just start reading. Break out your Kindles, break out your whatever. Read, read, read a lot. Get your membership at the library.
Jamie Farrell: I love the library.
Jenny Kate: I love the library too. Big library girl.
Jamie Farrell: That’s another thing you have to do when you move is go get your new library cards.
Jenny Kate: And I think that’s the first thing you should do when you move.
Jamie Farrell: It is, it’s one of the last things usually, but we got our library cards this time.
Jenny Kate: We did too. And our library has Kindle on it where we can just go get our electronic books. I love that. Yup. All right, girl. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Jamie Farrell: Thank you so much for having me.
Jenny Kate: Yeah, it’s been fun. It’s been a good time. All right, everybody, we’re out of here. [00:57:00] This is Writer Nation.