I’d like to welcome my new friend, author Miranda Jameson to Creekside Café. I started doing these interviews to help cross-promote my own books as well as introduce other authors to my friends and readers. Thank you for joining us here at my virtual café.
Miranda: Absolutely, Sherri! It’s all about networking. I’m Indie published. It’s not an easy choice, but for most newish authors, trad publishing isn’t an easy choice either. These days, no one does your marketing and networking for you unless you’re an established name.
Michael Anderle, a highly successful Indie author, advises Indies to ‘Patterson the s@** out of your career’ – referencing James Patterson’s excellent marketing skills! Now, I might not be Pattersoning (haha – invented a new word) but for better or worse, I have control over my own publishing journey.
Sherri: I think most of us who are indie published or as you say, traditionally published but not yet a big name, have learned to get creative to let readers know we’re here. So, what interesting things have you tried to promote and market your books? Anything you want to share with our readers?
Miranda: It isn’t easy being Indie. It’s a 24/7 job. I made many mistakes, learned a LOT, and became part of the awesome Indie writing community. I received a tonne of help and guidance and try to pay that forward. This year, I plan to boost my marketing beyond organic growth. I have enough books out for a better return on investment. It’s daunting, but doable.
Sherri: Miranda and I met through the New Romance Café readers and writers’ Facebook group. It’s great to have a supportive and fun online group.
Miranda: Yes, we met in the Romance Café, of course! It’s a friendly, virtual place where the virtual cake and coffee have 0 calories. Working on our joint project has been great fun.
Sherri: I’m so excited about the anthology. You and Andi have put in so much work to see this project come to fruition. What are you plans for the future?
Miranda: I have four books planned this year. The first two – Zephyr and Deimos – will complete my Empaths of Venice trilogy. The third one will loop back to before my Warriors’ Council trilogy – and hopefully lead new readers to those books. This story will be set on the Western Front during WW1, so there’s a fair bit of research to do. Its hero and heroine are the two characters in my Love in Bloom story. Henri and Ysabeau appear as supporting characters in all my books. My readers love them and wanted their story. This is another good thing about being an Indie – having direct conversations with readers.
I like mixing history into my paranormal romances; after all, if you live hundreds of years, you’ve witnessed seismic world events. The last book this year – London Symphony – will be part of my spin-off PNR series set in the 1940s. All my books can be read as standalones, but the stories, events and characters are connected. Readers love cameo appearances by their favourite characters from the other books.
Sherri: History with the paranormal, that makes sense to me and makes me want to read your books. I too, love history, something I shared with my father. What or who has influenced your writing?
Miranda: Well, I was born in England, grew up in India immersed in stories of gods, goddesses, elephant-riding princes and bejeweled princesses. I studied in both countries, and now live permanently in England. My home is in North Yorkshire, a beautiful part of England steeped in history (which I love).
Like any writer who has read thousands of books, my writing must be an amalgam of all of them – good, and bad. I would encourage every writer to read. You always learn new ways to tell a story better.
Sherri: Have you always been a writer?
Miranda: Yes, always, but never with any serious intent. It tended to be a clandestine thing. I’m quite a private person and putting my work out there makes me feel exposed and rather vulnerable. After all, writing is a window into a writer’s head. Good reviews take me by surprise because I secretly think my writing is crap! Imposter syndrome – moi?
Sherri: We share the same affliction. It’s exciting when someone likes your work but it’s also a bit surprising and terrifying. I suffer from what if the next book isn’t as good. I try to quiet the voices in my head with creating characters who are more confident, stronger and smarter. Writing is a way for me to speak my mind. I could no more stop writing as stop breathing. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Miranda: Creating worlds. Sounds grandiose, doesn’t it, but that’s what writers do. It’s as close to magic as it’s possible to get. Writing is my solution for coping with life’s challenges. It’s also about control. My stories are one place where I get to decide what does or doesn’t happen. Characters become real. Their stories clamour to be told. When I finish writing a novel, I get a real slump because I miss my people!
Sherri: That’s why I write sequels or if you prefer, series. I like bringing characters back for an ovation. Unfortunately, there are also the not so fun things about being a writer. When you start working towards getting something published or sending it to a contest, you are no longer writing for your own pleasure, you are writing for an audience and there are certain expectations between a reader and writer. I suffer the bobble head syndrome. I mean really, how many times can someone nod their head before it rolls off into oblivion. And I reuse the same words and phrases…
Miranda: Oooh! Those gluey glue words. ‘Just’ – why does it pop up everywhere? And what’s with the ‘really’? Delete. Delete! Repeat phrases are something I have to keep my eye on. Thankfully, they get banished during editing. I’m a loose plotter. I have a direction the story has to go and I know the end. I plan plot points and pinch points, but things may change and it’s usually for the better.
Sherri: You mentioned this earlier and I say it to beginning writers all the time, if you want to be a good writer you must first be a reader. Learning what works and what doesn’t by reading other people’s work, developing good techniques and learning the craft of writing, these are important skills that take time to build. What do you think is your greatest strength as a writer?
Miranda: As for strengths, that’s hard to say. I’ve learned to trust my gut and perhaps that’s a bonus. If my gut tells me a scene isn’t working, it isn’t. I dump it and begin again. I try to create pictures in readers’ minds without miring them in long paragraphs of description. Sight, scent, sound – all those things add layers and make the scene immersive. One reviewer said she felt she was really living in the alternate reality I’d created. Another loves the ‘feels’ in my stories. I like my romances to be romantic. My characters struggle internally, however confident they appear on the outside. Their happily ever afters come with meeting someone who makes them feel right, whatever their flaws. It’s not about feeling ‘completed’, it’s about finding a person who encourages you to be yourself, and loves you despite everything.
Sherri: Yes, anyone can love the beautiful, perfect character but show me the person who loves the recovering addict, the person who is scarred whether inside or out by life’s trials, the person no one else has bothered to really see, that’s real romance. I can’t wait to read your books.
Who are some of your favorite authors or your favorite genres?
Miranda: I prefer historical and paranormal romances. Probably because I love history, and I love the possibility of powerful, magical beings living alongside us. For historical, I’ve recently discovered Sarah McClean and, through the Romance Café, Lara Temple and Tabetha Waite. As for paranormal, I’ve read all the usual suspects – Larissa Ione, Nalini Singh, J R Ward, and recently, I.T. Lucas. And let’s not forget Anne Rice. Apart from reading romance, I’m a huge fan of mysteries, and historical whodunnits. I blame an early addiction to Agatha Christie. My list of favourite authors is unbelievably long, but if I ended up on a desert island with only two books, I’d want a poetry collection (including Keats and Elliot), and the complete works of Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
Sherri: Wow, the time has just flown by. I hate to bring this visit to an end but I should get back to work on my novel and it sounds like you have a schedule to keep. If you ever get to North Carolina, please look me up.
Miranda: I have never visited the United States. Can you believe it? It’s a big gap in my travels I hope to fill in the future. Especially since most of my current readers reside in North America. I’d love to see the famous autumn (fall) colours, and I’ve always wanted to visit San Francisco. I’m also a fan of Ina Garten’s cooking shows and enjoy her visits to California’s Napa Valley. Ideally, I’d hire one of those huge RVs and tour around.
Sherri: Now that sounds like an adventure. Let me know when you go visit Ina Garten, I’d love to tag along.
For those of you who’d like to know more about Miranda or buy her books, here are the links to do just that.
Miranda Jameson grew up in India immersed in stories of gods, goddesses, elephant-riding princes and bejewelled princesses. She firmly believes there is magic all around us if we only take a minute to look.
She now lives in North Yorkshire, England, where she translates her passion for art, history, mythology and travel, into writing action-packed paranormal romances with all the ‘feels’.
She loves honourable badass heroes with undiscovered depths, and smart dauntless heroines who can save themselves.
When not clicking away on her laptop, she runs mum’s taxi service and the bank of mum. In other words, she’s got kids. Coffee, gin, and good friends, keep her sane.
Here are my links:
The Warriors’ Council trilogy
Gabriel – https://books2read.com/u/bwqYJ9
Javier – https://books2read.com/u/4NZGBW
Rafe – https://books2read.com/u/4XRKJN
The Empaths of Venice trilogy
Alexis – https://books2read.com/u/m2xvkd
Warriors’ Council World prequel novels
Berlin Nocturne – https://books2read.com/u/31OxWa
Berlin Nocturne is also available as a bonus when you sign up to for Miranda’s Inner Circle monthly newsletter https://mirandajamesonbooks.com/
Paris Prelude – https://books2read.com/u/ba0zJy
Follow Miranda Jameson on Facebook for updates, sneak peeks, and offers – https://www.facebook.com/mirandajamesonwriting/