Before we get down to business, I totally forgot that Fool’s Gold, my newest release about second chances in the exciting world of competitive sport horses, is on sale in US Amazon outlets for a limited time! The price will start creeping up slowly over time so hurry to get it at the best price possible!
Thanks for joining us here today, Jamie! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my
nosy discerning, questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?
Thank you so much for having me! Little bit about myself – I’m a 40-something graphic designer who loves my husband, my cats, science fiction, photography and of course, writing.
I would say the underlying theme of my stories is “Hearts and flowers romance with a bit of angst thrown in for good measure”.
But that statement changed pretty drastically with both Broken Soldier and Rogue Soldier. I believe in challenging myself as a writer and taking chances. And that’s what I’ve done here with my Shadow Unit series. These books are dark and gritty, more romantic suspense than contemporary romance. I want people to constantly wonder if Connor and/or Shawn will survive to the end of the book.
It’s a big change for me, and I hope that my regular readers will give this series a chance. Because even though it’s not my usual style, I am, and always will be, the Queen of Happy Endings. I will put my boys through hell, but love and dedication will always put them back together again. So give it a try! You just might like it!
What part of the world do you call home? Can you tell us a little about where you grew up and where you live now?
I’ve lived a pretty boring life in that I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and still live there today!
How long have you been writing? Did you write as a child or is it something you developed a passion for later in life?
I’d been writing short stories since I was a kid and I also had two English teachers in high school that really encouraged me. But didn’t get serious about it until the mid-90’s when I started writing fanfic.
What gave you the courage to submit your first story to a publisher?
I got tired of hearing how bad all fanfic was, that fanfic writers had no talent. I took it as a challenge and decided to give going pro a shot. And what do you know, my very first book was accepted to a publisher on my very first try. Take that, fanfic haters!
I see you write M/M fiction. Would you characterize your stories as M/M romance, erotica, or something in between?
My new Shadow Unit series is romantic suspense and the rest of my books are contemporary romance.
What draws you to the M/M genre? Have you written in other genres?
This goes back to my fanfic days as well. I started off writing m/f fic and then by complete accident ended up reading my very first m/m story. To say it was a life changing experience would be an understatement! LOL! My eyes were opened and I jumped ship to the m/m world and have never looked back.
Are you a panster or a plotter? Do you outline extensively or write your story as you go along?
I’m a big time plotter. My outlines are extensive, like pages long. So that takes up a good chunk of time before I even write the first word of the book. But then because I have done such detailed outlines, the writing of the actual book flows pretty easily after that.
Of the stories you’ve written, which one do you like the most? Which one would you recommend a new reader begin with?
Oh gosh, that’s like choosing your favorite child! LOL! But if I absolutely had to pick I would choose Burnin’ for You. I spent a couple of months in a fire academy class and used that experience to write the book. My firemen have a special place in my heart.
Most authors admit to feeling uncomfortable with the degree of self-promotion necessary to be successful. Are there some aspects of social media and self-promotion that make you more comfortable than others? Are there some you avoid like the plague?
I think the only thing I’m not really comfortable with is approaching reviewers. They make me nervous! Their word can either build me up or knock me down.
How often does your real life experience figure into your story telling? Do you base characters or stories on your actual experiences?
Oh yes, absolutely. It was actually my time spent in various citizen police and fire academy classes that inspired me to write nearly all of my books.
How much do you think that a good blurb and good cover art figure into the success of a story?
A LOT. If you can’t hook people with a few hundred words they won’t click on the BUY button. And a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? So I believe cover art is very important. And this is coming from a graphic designer who’s been doing advertising for over 20 years!
Do you miss your characters when you come to the end of their story? Do you find ways to write sequels for them or do you become entranced with a new set?
I do miss them! I’ve just spent sometimes a couple of months with them non-stop and suddenly they’re not talking in my head or appearing in my dreams. This was especially true with Connor and Shawn and probably why the idea for Rogue Soldier came to me so quickly after finishing Broken Soldier. And also why I’ve already started plotting out Book Three!
What are your writing goals for 2016?
My tag line is “Men in uniform…and out”. So far I’ve written cops, firemen, paramedics and now soldiers. I would like to tackle a Coast Guard book next. I’ve already started scribbling down notes.
Rogue Soldier (Shadow Unit Book 2 )
Shadow Unit may have overturned the illegal arms cartel in Kuala Lumpur, but the harrowing undercover op left emotional scars on Sergeants Shawn Weller and Connor Finley. Slowly, patiently, they piece their partnership back together, closer now than ever before.
But the arrival of Julian Montgomery, Shawn’s former CIA handler and lover, threatens to tear them apart. Julian knows all of Shawn’s secrets as well as the past Shawn has kept hidden from Connor. Now the self-serving Julian wants Shawn back—with the CIA and with him. No one will get in his way. Including Connor.
When the joint Shadow Unit/CIA mission to stop the supplier of a deadly biological weapon goes sideways, Connor is captured, tortured, and used as a human test subject. It’s a race against time to save his life. But who can Shawn trust?
And who has gone rogue?
Missed Shawn and Connor’s earlier adventures? Read BROKEN SOLDIER, available from your favorite retailer.
Once on the ground floor, Shawn assembled the unit around him, scanning for Connor’s face. Perhaps his comm was just malfunctioning and he didn’t hear Shawn. But he didn’t see his partner anywhere.
“Has anyone seen Finley?” Shawn snapped.
There were headshakes all around and Shawn’s concern intensified with each negative response. Where the fuck was Connor?
“I might have seen something.”
Shawn’s head whipped to the left, to pin Julian with his gaze. “What exactly did you see?” he demanded.
“I was coming down the stairs and saw two of Hamid’s men escaping through the front entrance,” Julian said. “They were dragging a third man between them. I assumed it was another of his men, who was injured. But now that you say Finley is missing… It could’ve been him.”
“And you didn’t think to try and stop them, no matter who the third man was?” Shawn spat, getting up in Julian’s face.
Julian shrugged. “I was too far away and they were nearly out the door,” he replied.
Shawn was furious at Julian’s blasé attitude but wasn’t surprised, since it concerned Connor. He was about to say something else when his comm crackled and MacDonald’s voice cut in. “Shadow One, send sit-rep.”
“Alpha. Shadow Two. We have secured the facility and have several prisoners,” Shawn began. “Shadow One is currently unaccounted for. Request immediate GPS location of his cell phone.”
After a long pause, Liam responded. “Shadow Two, GPS location of Shadow One shows him at your current location. Approximately ten meters to your north.”
Ten meters north would put Connor outside. Shawn set off at a fast jog to the front of the building, his heart starting to beat faster the closer he got to the door. Was Connor lying out there injured, possibly dying? Or being held hostage with a gun to his head?
He burst through the door and froze, his rifle up and at the ready, Mandy and Chloe right behind him. All three began looking in every direction, trying to peer through the darkness of the night. When Connor wasn’t immediately within sight, Shawn turned to Chloe and Mandy. “Spread out,” he told them and headed to the left while Chloe went straight ahead and Mandy to the right.
“Where the fuck are you, Finn?” Shawn muttered, his chest tightening with ever increasing worry as he searched the area, unable to find his partner.
“Shawn! Over here!” Mandy called out over the comm.
Shawn reversed direction and ran to Mandy’s position. She pointed in front of her, brows drawn together in concern.
There, lying on the ground, were Connor’s tactical vest, comm earbud and phone, next to a fresh set of tire tracks.
Shawn felt his heart seize up as he looked out into the dark.
Connor was gone.
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.
Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.
If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.
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