Howdy, Delighted Readers!
Today, visiting us for the first time, is talented, long-time author releasing her latest, Wheels and Heels with Riptide Publishing. Let’s welcome, Jaime Samms.
HI there, and thank you so much for the chance to visit your blog!
I will say upfront that I have three cousins sharing your name and all spell it differently. I misspell the name constantly as a result (or rather, in print, I put the wrong name to the right cousin) so I do apologize up front if I turn your name into Jamie or Jaymie. Just read ‘Jaime’ there.
Heh. Its not a problem. I get that a lot, especially since, as a Canadian, it’s an odd spelling.
Anyhoo… Jaime leads a very busy life and makes the claim that she thrives on it. Day worker? Mom? Night-time Word Wrangler? Do you have a method or tip to keeping sane while wearing several hats in a day?
Well, given that sanity is overrated…no. Seriously, I try to keep to a schedule where I can keep up with work and get some words in each day. I work from home and my employer trusts me to stay on top of things, so I have to schedule some hours every day where that’s my priority.
The biggest challenge is making sure my writing doesn’t fall off the end of the day when other life things come up, as tends to happen with teenagers. Sometimes I have to run away from home to get my words in at the library or a coffee shop where I’m not feeling like I should be doing laundry or vacuuming under the couch or something.
I haven’t read any of your work yet (for shame, Sophia), but I took a gander at your backlist, which, yep, has some appealing options for my reading tastes. I see some music and dance related stories including your latest. Do you have ties to the world of dance and music in real life so it was a write what you know thing? If so, what form of dance is your favorite?
Music, not so much, other than listening to it, and the Off Stage books are sort of Adam Lambert’s fault. Some of his songs just demanded I put all that emotion into a book, so that’s how that happened.
The Dance books are a little closer to home, though. While not a dancer myself, I did do some community theatre in my college days. There, I met a wonderful choreographer and dance teacher who asked me to stage manage some of her shows and recitals. When my own kids came along, I enrolled my 3-yr-old daughter in her ballet school, thinking to give her some peer interaction (since we had decided to home school). The rest, as the saying goes, is history. She officially hits adulthood in a few more months and will be off to study dance at college next fall. She’s a lovely ballet dancer, but her true passion, and the path she is perusing, is modern dance. As for me, I don’t care what style she’s dancing, my favourite dance is one she’s in. #proudmama
We were lucky to find a studio that felt like home from day one, and Conrad’s studio in the books has a lot in common with the second home where my kids, even my son who was never interested in being a dancer, have always felt welcome and nurtured. It’s a special kind of place that has helped develop so many strong, inspirational young people, and I wanted to celebrate that when I wrote the series.
In, Wheels and Heels, Ira gets a hard start in the city because of his youth and vulnerability. How did Ira’s story come about? Did it come to you as a whole or evolve along the way?
Like most of my stories, it evolved. Ira first appeared to me as a guy in wicked heels hurrying down a late-night street. When he feistily rebukes a nice guy for trying to “rescue” him from some drunk jerks, I knew I had a character who was going t be fun to discover and write about. Where he came from and how he ended up in that apartment were details revealed as the story of he and Jed evolved.
And what did you enjoy and also, what did you find difficult about writing Ira’s character?
I enjoyed that feistiness most, and juxtaposing that against his obvious vulnerability. He wanted to be a character who could take care of himself, and at the same time, he revealed so many little foibles that balancing it all was an interesting puzzle. Keeping him relatable and real, and not letting his quirks take over was the difficult part.
What will reader’s love about Jed?
I think—or hope—that people will love how willing he is to be a support to Ira without being overbearing or trying to change anything about him. My goal with him was to portray a guy willing to observe and contemplate before judging, and I think I managed that. He had some adjustments to make to his assumptions about the world, but I think he got there pretty solidly in the end.
Now, Good Reads mentions that this is a Hen and Hog story. Sounds like there will be more in this world. What can you tell us about the Hen and Hog (what a great pub name btw)? What can we expect down the line?
Expect more of Ira’s dancing acquaintances to find a path to their true bliss. Expect more creative types to emerge. It seems to be a theme with me, and whether the creativity comes out in sculpture, like it does for Ira, or in the kitchen, music or dance or some other way, I expect each book will have at least one partner with a creative streak a mile wide.
If you’ve already read the Dance, Love, Live books, you might recognize some other names that will crop up here and there, as well. Cobalt has already made an appearance, and Landry also spans both series. Johnny had a cameo in the dance books as well, and anyone who figures out where gets a gold star!
Finally, expect the Hen and Hog to be central for a lot of the characters, either because they work there, like Landon and Jed, or because it’s their favourite haunt, like Johnny and Rex. Everyone has an attachment to the place, a home away from home, a safe space, a place where family is what you make it. And keep your eye on Herschel and Liesel. Every dog has his day, after all, and Hershel is definitely the hound dog of the Hen and Hog!
Oh, and hey… it’s near St. Paddy’s Day so let’s close with this: do you wear the green? Have your own ‘good luck’ rituals?
I do wear the green, if I’m going out someplace. I’ve even been known to drink the green beer! I don’t have any good luck rituals, but I’ll tell you what. If this book nets me a fortune, I’ll probably adopt a few lol!
Did you notice how I avoided your name altogether in the interview. Can’t misspell it when you don’t use it, right? Just funning with you, Jaime. Congrats on the new release of Wheels and Heels!
That was very slick. Nicely played!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Jaime!
And thank you for having me. I very much appreciate it.
About Wheels and Heels
As a teenager, Ira Bedford fled a troubled home life and people who didn’t understand his penchant for feminine things. In the city, he fell in with Cedric, who found him work as an underage stripper. It took him years to escape Cedric’s influence and try to build a life of his own.
Now, he just wants to be left alone to create his art. But Cedric’s on-going harassment means Ira had to drop out of art school, is squatting in a friend’s apartment, and is still relying on his allure as a sexy, skirt-wearing exotic dancer to pay his bills.
Then he meets Jed. Part-time bartender and the apartment building’s superintendent, Jed is just the right mix of strong, kind, and protective to pull Ira out of hiding. He also welcomes Ira into his chosen family at the Hen and Hog Pub. But Ira yearns for more. Still, he doesn’t dare to hope that Jed will want him and his questionable past, his skirts and high heels, his hang-ups, and the profession he seems unable to escape. But Jed will do anything to prove him wrong.
About Jaime Samms
Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Her Stories about men falling in love are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.
These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Various Publishers.
Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.
She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all . . .
Connect with Jaime:
Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms
To celebrate the release of Wheels and Heels, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 17, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!