1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a stay-at-home mom with three kids under the age of 10, two cats, a rabbit, and a bird. (It’s a little like living in the eye of a tornado.) Books are my passion. If I’m not writing them, I’m reading them. To myself, to my kids, to anyone who will listen. Even my six-year-olds know better than to leave me unattended in a bookstore.
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
Besides reading? Hmm, well there’s that pesky thing called ‘real life’ that tends to take up more time than it should. Things like homework, and cooking, and cleaning. Blah.
But when all that is said and done, I love to curl up on the couch with the hubs, the cats, and a cozy blanket to binge watch Netflix. Hi, my name it Jamie, and I have a problem.
3. What is your favorite smell?
Ahh. . . rain. The smell of the air right after it rains. Fresh and clean. I love it.
4. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing after my son was born. Daycare is outrageously expensive and it made more sense financially for me to stay home, rather than work and have to pay for it. Financially. Mentally it drove me flipping crazy. I’m not big on sitting around. My son was an awesome baby. He napped a lot and played quietly. Outside of feeding time, I was pretty much bored out of my mind. We lived in a small apartment and with only the two of us there most of the day, there wasn’t a whole lot of cleaning to do, so I got bored. Really, really bored.
I always enjoyed writing in high school. I’d challenge myself by imagining a scene or an emotion and trying to write it without specifically saying what it was.
One day, I sat down at my computer while my son was napping and decided I was going to turn a scene into a story. Little did I know that two years later that story would be my first published book.
5. If you had 24 hours to live, excluding spending time with your family, what would you do?
Tough one. I’d probably travel. There are so many places I want to see and sadly I haven’t had the chance to go much of anywhere, yet.
6. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Ha! All. The. Time! Drives me nuts. But it’s also why I write on average 2-3 books simultaneously. Each one entirely different than the others. Right now I have a dark/gritty contemporary, a more lighthearted NA, and an urban fantasy all in the works. When I hit a block on one, I simply switch gears and work on something else. It works for me. Or I go in search of pita chips… that works, too.
7. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Both. I have written stories in the past from start to finish without ever knowing what’s going to happen next until it happens. I’ve also outlined entire series before ever writing word one. Generally, I start writing and as ideas strike, or things become more complicated I make outlines to help keep my thoughts straight.
8. What is your favorite kind of cheese?
I know this is going to sound completely alien and possibly offend a few of you, but I’m not a big fan of any cheese. I know! It’s inhuman. The only way I really like cheese is fresh mozzarella with tomato and basil. Now that I can get behind!
9. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you growing up or as an adult?
This is going to sound like sucking up, since the author of this book is the one hosting this interview, but the book that had hands-down the greatest influence on me was Unlovable by Sherry Gammon. Her main character reminded me so much of myself and the storyline struck very close to home. It was actually hard to read at points, but by the end it changed the way I looked at a lot of things, myself included. I truly wish I’d been able to read it as a teenager. To this day, it’s my go-to book when I’m feeling crummy.
10. Would I find anything growing in your refrigerator right now?
Ummm… no comment.
11. How would you describe yourself in three words?
Socially-disinclined (I hyphenated to make it one word), realistic, stubborn.
12. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Some of my books are pure imagination, while others draw from experience. I’ve found the greater the emotional strain to write a book, the greater the emotional response from the readers.
13. Who is your favorite author? Since most of you will probably say me ;) please tell me then, who is your second favorite author?
Sherry, of course it’s you!!! <3 But there are a few other authors that I can’t wait to get my hands on absolutely anything they write, including Jessica Sorensen, Cindy Bennett, Micalea Smeltzer, and Jennifer Armentrout. You can’t make me choose just one (or two). You can’t!
14. What was your favorite part of writing and why?
Escape. My favorite part of writing is the escape. As you can imagine (and possibly relate) my real life is not exactly the stuff novels are made of. Writing, like reading, allows me to imagine romance and adventure and bravery the likes of which simply does not present itself in the day-to-day.
I get excited with my characters, feel the rush, the fear, the heart-ache. I cry with them, laugh with them, and cheer with them. Writing can be a breathtaking experience.
15. Chocolate or Brussels sprouts?
Hmmm… maybe not Brussels sprouts, but I’d take a pepper and some ranch dressing over a chocolate bar any day.
16. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Probably the toughest to hear was that a sequel didn't live up to the original. It sucks to think you did something right and then managed to mess it up, but the truth is, there's no way to please everyone. Your story is just that,yours. Tell it how you want.
17. What has been the best compliment given to you as an author?
Someone once told me that one of my books inspired them to write their own. That pretty much did me in :)
18. What is your least favorite smell?
Dangerous question, Sherry. Things could get gross around here . . . Just kidding. Alcohol. I can’t stand the smell of beer.
19. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. Even if you look back over what you’ve written and hate it. Just keep writing. The more you write, the better you get. You can do it. I promise. It just takes commitment and patience.
20. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I really can’t say it enough. From the reviews, to the messages, emails, comments, and feedback . ,. . hearing from you is one of the best parts of doing what I do. After all, I do it for you. My books have consistently made Amazon best seller’s lists and I know that’s all because of you. So, thank you! I love you all! <3
Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Ravena, NY with her wonderful husband and three crazy kids . . . plus the cats, the bird and the rabbit.
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