Britbear’s Book Reviews welcomes Jamie Adams, author of the newly published The River of Gold for an interview in today’s author spotlight.
The River of Gold is set in Colorado during the 1890s. When a prospector’s spirited daughter sets out to finish her father’s work she encounters a rugged cowboy and a southern gentleman. Both vie for her heart, but which one will she choose?
Buy The River of Gold on Amazon.
Welcome, Jamie. Your books are about pioneer settlers. What draws you to that particular time in history?
I think maybe I was born in the wrong century. Actually, I was 11 when the television series The Little House on the Prairie started. the Ingalls family and The Waltons were weekly staples in our home. Also, my father was a John Wayne fan and if one of his shows was on, you can bet we were watching. As a writer I’ve found the standards and morals I identify with [were] more acceptable during that time in history. I’m old fashioned and swoon at the idea of the cowboy riding of into the sunset with his lady. I can’t help it. I know readers prefer strong female characters, so I strive to make them brave and bold, but who doesn’t want to be rescued by a handsome hero?
How much research do you have to conduct before writing a historic novel? What is the most interesting thing you learned as a result of your research?
I love researching the past. While working on my first book, Love’s Golden Quest, I spent hours/days researching wagon trains and loved every moment. It was very interesting to learn how families survived while part of a wagon train. Our countries history is so fascinating, the pioneering spirit admirable. I do most of my research as I go. I’ll write something and wonder if a particular item was available at that time in history or how something as simple as washing dishes was done in the 19th century.
How does Christian romance differ from mainstream romance?
There really isn’t that much of a difference. A mainstream novel will most likely reach a broader audience than its Christian counterpart because of the inspirational value. To me a Christian romance does not imply a love story with a sermon. The story should not be preachy. In any romance your characters have internal and external struggles that they must overcome to be free to love fully. Only in a Christian romance, you expect less emphasis on the physical elements of the relationship and more on the emotional. Of course that’s only my opinion, but I like to think a Christian romance is a satisfying love story that I can pass on to my teenage daughter. I have a core group of readers that let me know they appreciate the work I do and I keep them in mind as I write.
On your Amazon author page you say, “Little Women by Louisa May Alcott opened [your] imagination and sparked a dream to be a writer.” What, exactly, was it about that book in particular that made you want to be a writer? How has Little Women influenced your writing style?
I’ve always been a dreamer, both day and night. I have vivid dreams and recall most of what took place in my head while sleeping. I remember waking up one night at the age of ten and thinking ‘Wow, that one would have made a great movie.’ Little Women was the first novels I read as a young reader and I identified with Jo. I felt a connection with her need to put her words on paper. With that said, the book had more of an influence on my desire to write than my style of writing. I read a lot of western romances and imagine my voice is a blend of several of my favorite authors.
I know exactly what you mean with the movie thing. Some of my best stories come from a seed planted while asleep and dreaming.
On one of your blog posts you say you collaborated with two other authors. That sounds like an interesting experience. Can you explain a bit about the collaboration process?
Yes, it was so much fun. My critique partners all live in the next state over. When we decided to work on a project together we chose a town within driving distance of all of us – Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. We read up on the town’s history and plotted a three book series about sisters whose parents owned a hotel during the Victorian era. The concept is based on two real life competitive hotels that no longer exist. Each book centers on one of the three sisters. My writing partners and I met in Mammoth Spring and explored to get a feel for the location. I had the middle sister and her story appears in Wishes and Whims. I’m also the middle sister and like me, my character was a daydreamer. It was so much fun we did a second series based in Warsaw, MO, and are now plotting a third series.
On your booklookbloggers.com page you say, “Recently I have become swept up by the Amish Fiction movement.” What is it you find interesting about this genre?
I admire their strong faith and hard work ethics. I wouldn’t want to go without electricity or indoor plumbing, but love the value they place on family.
You are a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. What was it like being a part of this program? If you could describe one lesson you took away from the experience, what would it be?
I enrolled before we had the Internet. The lessons came in the mail and I had a writer/teacher who scored my lessons and showed me where I needed to improve. This was my first attempt to become an author and I had a lot to learn. The most important thing I learned was to show the reader what the character is experiencing.
In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing?
It’s not really hard, except for maybe the most important part – getting the story from my head to the ‘paper’ in such a way the reader can see what I see.
Besides Alcott, from which books and authors do you take inspiration and why?
Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read almost all of his books. He takes the impossible and makes it believable. I also like to read Karen Witemeyer and Mary Connealy. They both know what it takes to keep the reader entertained in a western romance.
Before we sign off, is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you and your books?
The River of Gold is my newest release and has a very strong heroine. She’s taken over her prospecting father’s work and runs into road blocks when she meets two men. One’s a cowboy who thinks she’s got no business being out on her own and the other a gentleman who wants to help her find the gold. One isn’t what he seems and her life is in danger. Right now I’m working on a time travel western. It’s a bit different than my other books and I’m loving every moment of it. A modern day hike sends a group of young woman back to a ranch in the year 1881. It’s full of twist and turns that I hope readers will enjoy.
Sounds really interesting. Sign me up for a review copy!
While we’re waiting for Jamie’s next book, here’s how you can find out more about her and her writing:
About Jamie Adams:
From her Amazon Author Page: Jamie Adams fell in love with books at an early age. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott opened her imagination and sparked a dream to be a writer. She wrote her first book as a school project in 6th grade.
A graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature as well as member of American Christian Fiction Writers, The Writing Desk and several critique groups she spends most of her time writing, reading or learning more about the craft near to her heart.
The parents of three very active children, she and her husband live in the Ozarks surrounded by forest and wild life.