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The James Gang


THE JAMES GANG

February James Gang

Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of "James" in their names or in their books. My February James Gang interviewee is author, Jamie Haden!

1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?

I was named Jamie after my father, James Edward. My brother, Patrick, also named his son James after Dad. Sadly, I do not know the background of the family name.

2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?

I write romance, paranormal romance, and supernatural fiction.

3. Tell us about your latest release.

Illuminate-Alive, She Cried is my latest release. It is the second book in The Talisa Santiago series.

4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?

Romance and Native American Spirituality is a core theme in my stories.

5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?

Talisa Santiago, the protagonist, is my favorite heroine in the story.

Talisa was born in the Mexican desert, the granddaughter of a shaman. At the age of seven, she fled with her mother and escaped to America in hopes of finding a new, safer life. In an attempt to shield her daughter from her past, Talisa's mother refused to speak of their history in the desert, her ancestry, and all things Native American. Only bits and pieces remained in the young girl's memory. Horrific as well as enchanting recollections consumed her, but dissolved through time with no explanation. Life proved to be difficult, and Talisa found herself isolated and alone.

She was different from other kids.

Indeed, the very core of her being separated her most because she had a direct connection to the spirit worlds. Even though some would argue her gifts were hereditary, it would still prove to be a long and arduous crossing simply because her childhood, where she came from, was a mystery.

Nevertheless, the obscurity of it all was enticing and kept Talisa lost, yet hoping, wondering, if maybe one day, she would be found.

From the very beginning, when I first began to think about Talisa, I knew I wanted a strong female protagonist. Not necessarily physically powerful, although I do appreciate the girl who can kick some serious butt, I am talking internally so, awakened. Such a state of being in a seventeen-year-old is rare, a treasure to be adored.

This was also an end. A place Talisa had to get to, after she walked a very long and winding road, for the desire to become aware of our inner selves is a journey most of us inevitably take at some stage of life.

To fulfill this goal, I wanted to develop the character of a girl who wasn't consumed with materialism. I envisioned a world of seclusion—first a barrier island of the coast of North Carolina, and then a remote Indian reservation deep within the Great Smokey Mountains. Yet, throughout it all, Talisa, as well as all the other characters, had to be relatable. They had to go through being teenagers, the hell of it all; they had to be real.

Ultimately, Talisa would have great burdens to bear, feel tremendous heartache, go against all odds, fall, be betrayed, betray, and face the dark night of her soul. There was no other way around it. She had to lose it all in order to know what losing it all felt like; then and only then would she be able to rise.

I admire the person who can honestly say they live with no regrets, because the choices they made, even the ones they regret, made them stronger in the end. They are the ones who transform through change. By living in the present, they aren't captive to the past. They reclaim their spirit and inspire others. People such as this are worth writing for, and that is Talisa.

6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?

Writing, of course!

7. How do you promote your books and your author brand?

I use social networks and I have a fabulous publisher.

9. What is your next project?

I am currently writing a work of episodic fiction called THRALLDOM for Big World Network. Each Thursday readers can tune in to read or listen to a new episode. The link is available here: http://bigworldnetwork.com/Thralldom.html

10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?

My father always told me if I wanted to be a writer I had to be a reader first. I am always reading a novel, and I love a wide variety of fiction from Milan Kundera to Mario Puzo to Harold Robbins.

Thank you, Jamie! My March James Gang interviewee will be author, Jinni James!

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