Today I am joined by the very lovely Jaimie Admans who has very kindle agreed to be subject to a Sheli Reads
1. Hi Jaimie, welcome to Sheli Reads. Tell us a bit about yourself and your latest book, Not Pretty Enough.
Hello! Thank you for having me! I’m Jaimie, I’m 28 and from Wales. Not Pretty Enough is a YA romantic comedy about a girl called Chessie, who is madly in love with a boy in her school, but said boy doesn’t know she exists. It’s about the increasingly desperate measures she goes to in her quest to get him to notice her!
2. I’ve read the book and found it hilariously funny. How did you come up with the ideas for Chessie’s little mishaps?
A couple of them are, ahem, quite close to home! None of the really bad stuff, but I did a few stupid things while trying to get my crush to notice me when I was a teenager! Mostly I just tried to put myself in Chessie’s shoes and think, “what is the absolute worst thing that could happen in this situation?” It was a lot of fun actually, thinking about how things could go from bad to worse for poor Chessie!
3. Do you base your characters or events in your books on real life?
Yes, of course. I don’t think you can’t, really. Parts of you and your own experiences will always creep into what you write. A few small scenes may be similar to real life, but they are always heavily embellished and changed for fiction purposes! For characters, I occasionally use a trait or a saying of someone I know, but mostly I picture a celebrity in the role of the character, that makes them easier to write!
4. Not Pretty Enough is marketed as a YA book, and as a twenty something year old I found I really brought back memories of my school days! Which character were you most like at school?
Writing it brought back memories of my school days too! I was most like Chessie – terrible at most subjects and more interested in boys than learning anything! I had a massive crush on a boy who never even knew my name and I spent most of my time staring at him and trying to think of ways to get out of PE!
5. This is the fourth book you have published in just under a year, and each has been really different from the last. Where do you get the inspiration for your writing?
Thank you! They weren’t all written in a year, most of my books have been sitting on my harddrive and gathering virtual dust for ages, this year I have just been editing and re-writing them ready for publication! I’m not that fast a writer! Inspiration comes from the weirdest places, it can be a picture you’ve seen, a sentence someone has said to you, a news report, anything really. The smallest thing can spark off a shedload of ideas that somehow turn into a book plot. With Afterlife Academy, a friend and I were talking about our school days and complaining about the amount of homework we used to get, and I said that even being dead wouldn’t have been an acceptable excuse to get out of doing it, and boom: Afterlife Academy was born. The whole idea spiralled from that one thing! Plot ideas really do come from anything, no matter how small – the hardest part is turning an idea into a coherent book plot!
6. What can we expect from you next?
I have a Christmas YA romantic comedy coming out on November 6th. It’s called North Pole Reform School and is about a girl who hates Christmas and is taken to a reform school in the North Pole where a bunch of elves are determined to make her and a misfit group of other Christmas-haters learn to love the season!
7. Which authors do you admire the most?
So many! I love the writers and the books I grew up reading, like Judy Blume, Enid Blyton and Virginia Andrews. These days, I love authors like Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella, their new releases are always insta-buys for me, but there are so many amazing books out there. One-offs or debut releases that I find absolutely brilliant and wonder how the writer managed to do it so well!
8. You obviously love writing and have a real talent for it. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Thank you! You’re making me blush here! Yes, I think so – I was always writing and telling stories when I was younger, and I was absolutely rubbish in school, but I think I was 15 when I realised that writing was what I wanted to do with my life. It took a few more years to find chick-lit and realise that was what I wanted to write, but it was definitely at 15 that I knew I wanted to be a writer. Looking back now, it was pretty obvious even before that though!
9. We spend quite a lot of time on Twitter talking about food. What is your favourite snack to help your creative thoughts flow?
Ha ha, we do, don’t we?! Honestly, whatever’s in the cupboard – I’m not fussy! I do like crisps though, and Not Pretty Enough was edited with a bag of Mini Cheddars open on the desk beside me every time I sat down! Also, tea – I couldn’t live without a cup of tea next to me!
10. Do you have any tips for aspiring writers out there?
Unplug the internet – seriously! It might sound like a joke, but it’s not. The hardest part of writing, for me at least, is making myself sit down to actually write, not check Twitter twenty times and read loads of Buzzfeed articles and catch up on celebrity news! Switch the router off or pull out the plug or something, and don’t allow yourself to put it back on until you’ve hit a certain word count or particular goal! I love the internet, it’s the best thing in the world, but it doesn’t write a book for you – unfortunately!
The other bit of advice would be – don’t give up! There will always be people who don’t like your books, bad reviews, people who tell you you’ll never be a ‘proper writer’, but there will also be people who love your books, who offer encouragement and support, who will commiserate when you have bad days and celebrate when you have good days!
11. Last question for you, if you were an animal, what would you be?
Ooh, a hard one! I quite fancy being a cat – lazing around in the sunshine all day, being spoilt and fed treats, getting away with anything just because you’re a cat – we used to have cats and they would swipe people they didn’t like round the face and no one would mind because they were cats – I’d like to be able to do that!
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jaimie for being part of such a fun interview! If you would like to find out more about Jaimie and her books or follow our conversations about crisps, then these are the links you need!
– Twitter: http://twitter.com/be_the_spark
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jaimieadmansbooks
– Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/notprettyenough
– GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/jaimieadmans
You can also read my reviews of Jaimie’s books by clicking on her name at the bottom of this page.