|Jaimie Hope, Author|
THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO HOME:
THE SARA RHEA CHRONICLES
Jaimie Hope brings us a novel, THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO HOME: THE SARA RHEA CHRONICLES, based on her own experiences. Reviewers say there were “times when I laughed out loud and other times…my eyes were blurred with tears.” Hope admits it is a mixture of romance, new adult, and even suspense. She believes her characters become real when she puts them in “real-life” situations.
Hope also writes children’s books and has published a new adult novel along with her autobiobraphy, and she runs her own business, Back To Basics Publishing and Author Services. She is working on Book 2 of THE SARA RHEA CHRONICLES, along with many other works. When she’s not writing, she likes music, movies, and sports.
Don't miss the excerpt following the interview.
Don't miss the excerpt following the interview.
Q: You have based your book, THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO HOME: THE SARA RHEA CHRONICLES, on a true story. What inspired you to write it? Is it about your life?
Jaimie Hope: While I took a lot of creative licenses writing it, this story is based on real-life experience I had after moving back to New York from Florida.
Q: How would you characterize THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO HOME? Is it contemporary women’s fiction? New adult? Memoir? Suspense? Romance?
Jaimie Hope: Honestly, I would describe it as all of the above. Well, maybe not Memoir since I did add fiction to facts. However, it is definitely a Romance and a New Adult book. I didn’t realize it was Suspense until I started getting messages from readers asking if I was going to write a sequel so they could find out what happened.
Q: Your reviewers say the book caused them to feel deep emotions and that your characters were “easy to relate to.” How did you enable your readers to embrace your characters so that they cared so much what happened to them? Were your characters based on real people?
Jaimie Hope: The main characters were based on real people that I know well. While I think knowing their personalities helped, I think putting characters in real life situations gave them their relatability.
Q: How helpful is humor to telling your story and/or creating your characters?
Jaimie Hope: Humor is a key element to character development and plot for me. It helps the reader get out of their own heads and into the story when they can feel they are having fun along with the characters. Also, humor in a character helps make them relatable since most of the humor is by way of sarcastic interaction.
Q: Did you write THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO HOME primarily to entertain or were you trying to educate or deliver a message?
Jaimie Hope: I started out writing this book with the goal of entertaining, but there is most definitely messages in it.
Q: You have also written children and young adult books and your autobiography. Which do you enjoy more—writing a book for adult, child or youth readers? How do you approach one over the other?
Jaimie Hope: Each genre is so different that it’s hard to say I like writing this genre more than that genre.
Children’s books are much harder to write than novels for adults. Trying to write a full story in the confines of a few pages is harder than it looks. Then there is the task of balancing the words of the manuscript. The words can’t be beyond the comprehension of the age group, but it also can’t be so simple that it seems like you’re talking down to them. It also has to teach them something while being entertaining. After that is done, there’s the illustration list to be created. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.
That’s not to say that writing for Young Adults or Adults is any easier, it’s not. However, you don’t have page number constraints, your story ends when it ends. You also don’t have to worry as much about your word choice to get your point across. It sounds easier when you look at it that way, but that’s not necessarily true. Being able to write a book filled with as many pages as you deem necessary and whatever words fly out of your fingertips as you strike the keyboard gives you more time for your story to unravel. It’s important to pay attention to the characters and how they’re developing. If they aren’t developing, the story probably isn’t moving. A story that isn’t moving isn’t one anyone wants to read.
Q: Does the concept of “heroes vs. villain” play a part in telling your story? How would you describe a villain? Do you need a villain to have a hero?
Jaimie Hope: I didn’t do the hero vs. villain thing in my story. Readers might disagree with me and argue they thought one character was a villain of sorts, but it wasn’t what I intended. I define a villain as someone who purposefully tries to foil the plot for the main characters. None of my characters did that.
No, I don’t think you need to have a villain to have a hero. All that is necessary for a character to be considered a hero is for them to grow and overcome something.
Q: Your biography says that you decided to become a writer in high school. What made you decide to be a writer? Have you enjoyed it?
Jaimie Hope: I’ve actually had an interest in writing and telling stories since I was very young. At that time, I also wanted to do a number of different things as well. Writing for the school newspaper really fanned the flames and re-stoked the flames of writing for me. Now more than eight years and eleven books later I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way.
Q: What’s next? I assume since this is “Book 1” that there will be at least one more Sara Rhea Chronicle? Other books?
Jaimie Hope: There will always be another book! Book 2 is in the works, so is a new Children’s book and many other works.
Q: Tell us about Jaimie Hope. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Jaimie Hope: When I’m not writing I am usually doing something else in the creative/literary realm. In addition to writing, I am also a business owner. I own and operate Back To Basics Publishing and Author Services, which offers everything from editing to marketing assistance to authors. I am also a blog host with a blog tour company and an Internet radio talk show host.
When I’m not working I enjoy all things music, watching movies and sports.
About Jaimie Hope
Jaimie Hope was born November 3, 1976, in New York. It wasn't until high school, where she joined the newspaper staff, that she decided she wanted to be a writer. After graduation, the author went to college and received an Associate's degree in 1999. In 2002, she moved to Florida where she was an active volunteer in the local historical society and the Deltona Regional Library. In 2006, she moved back to New York where she released her first Children's book, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie. She followed it with a Young Adult novel, Bless The Broken Road. She also published her autobiography, Roll With It. She is planning to re-release book one of her New Adult Romance/Paranormal trilogy, The Sara Rhea Chronicles: The Road That Leads To Home and a new Children's Book series, along with releasing all her other self-published titles under her new publishing company, Back To Basics Publishing and Author Services in the fall of 2014.
Based on a true story…
Sara's life was going along peacefully until she got the early morning phone call that changed everything. Now she finds herself heading back where she began, home. Not only does she have to deal with a difficult older sister and helping to keep the family’s inn afloat; Sara has to work alongside her high school sweetheart, who still looks as gorgeous as ever and her feelings that she saw all this coming. Her dreams and nightmares seem to come true right before her eyes. It has to all be a coincidence, doesn't it?
“He was with someone when I came home from college.”
“No, not really. He went out with her once. He wanted you to think he had someone since he told you he wouldn’t wait for you. He wanted you to be jealous. Guess it worked. He was crushed when you moved to Florida. He really thought you were going to stay, everyone did.”
“So did I. It just didn’t work out that way.” Reflectively she added, “It's funny how things turn out. When I was growing up, I didn’t think I’d ever leave this area. I never wanted to. Most kids I went to school with couldn’t wait to graduate so they could travel, but James and I just wanted to stay here.”
“I thought when I came back I would take my place here at the inn, but when I got here, I found out there really wasn’t a place here for me anymore.”
“You’re a Rhea, you always have a place here.”