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 dog, the bird and the rabbit.
Her debut novel, Dissidence, was published in 2012 along with several novellas, including ‘Temptation’, the first in her Heart and Soul mini-series.
She currently has several projects in the works. The third installment of the Heart and Soul series (coming in April), the sequel to Dissidence (due out in June), as well as a spin off novel to Fight or Flight (scheduled for release Summer 2013).
What inspires you to write?
Everything. Anything. I can find inspiration almost anywhere. In a line from a TV show I’m watching, song lyrics, a dream, a picture, my children (they’re very, very funny). I’m a bit obsessed, really.
Tell us about your writing process.
I definitely write by the seat of my pant (whatever that means). I almost never outline or think very far in advance. Sometimes I get the occasional idea for a specific scene (usually while I’m sleeping) that I’ll write out and then fit into the story as it progresses, but generally I try to think of a good opening line and go from there. I come of with a vague idea and one awesome opener and then just follow the story to see where it leads. I absolutely LOVE writing this way. It makes me feel like I’m reading the story as I write the first draft and I’m always so excited to see what’s going to happen next and where it’s all going to end up that I usually finish the rough draft of a book in less than a week. Those the the weeks the fam steers clear. They know I’m in the zone, running on about two hours of sleep, and surviving predominantly off of coffee and diet coke,so it’s probably best to just let me be.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh brother. Most of my characters will not shut up. I kid you not. And their absolute favorite time to talk is right when I’m about to fall asleep and they all start shooting great lines at me. They sort of suck that way. Occasionally, I get the rare character who’s quieter than a mouse. This can be even more annoying. I mean, really, you LIVE in my head and you won’t even let me peek in yours? It can make writing those specific characters very difficult to write.
I know all of this probably makes me sound like I belong in a psych ward somewhere, but there ya have it. Lots of people hear voices. Some talk to them, and they’re called crazy. Others write them down, and they’re called authors.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing! This is the best advice I can give you, especially if your just starting out. You will get rejected (probably multiple times), you will get bad reviews, and some days you’ll look back at what you’ve written and even hate it yourself. I do All. The. Time. It’s okay. Just keep writing. Every single thing you write will be better than the last. You will learn and grow with each piece. Think of everything you do, whether its a short story or a full novel as a stepping stone in the right direction. You will get there if you just keep stepping. And don’t be afraid to try different genres. No one ever said you can only write one kind of book. I’ve written stuff in almost every YA sub-genre out there. I actually started in adult fiction, but considering no one ever saw that, you can imagine how good it was. Bounce around, see what feels right to you. And if something isn’t fun, then don’t do it. Start something new because if you don;t enjoy it, odds are readers won’t enjoy it either.
And one last thing about hating your own work. Don’t judge it too harshly. I’m guilty of this with every single thing I write. If your frustrated or tired, it’s going to look like crap no mater how good it is. Put it aside, relax, come back to it in a day or two and take another look. I bet it isn’t as bad as you thought. And good luck!!!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first publication, ‘Temptation’, was as part of an anthology contest. Actually, my first several publications were. After that I sent the book I’d been querying to one of the publishers that had published two of my novellas and they liked it. That’s how I got my first novel published. I did a lot of self promoting (it’s exhausting) and pushed the book, Dissidence, hard and it paid off. After that, the kind publishers informed me that I would do well and make more with self-publishing, so I looked into it. I published my next novella myself and now Fight or Flight will be my first self-published novel. Wish me luck!
I honestly never considered self-publishing before all of this. I don’t know why. I would definitely tell new authors that it is the way to go as long as you’re willing to put in the time and energy to promote, promote, promote. While big name publishers are great, they’re endlessly sought after and nearly impossible to reach. You could be holding gold and never even get the chance to show anyone. Don’t give up! Show them how good it is. Get it out there yourself. Get people to read it, review it, blog about it, support it. Make it so they can’t ignore you. Everyday, more and more indie authors are doing this. And, everyday, more are getting picked up by big name publishers. Prove it to them and to yourself. You’ll never know what you’re capable of unless you try.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I haven’t the slightest idea. If I had to guess, I’d say physical book are headed the way of the dinosaur eventually (which makes me incredibly sad). I have no idea how that will impact anything else, though. I’m a writer, not an economist. I know it’s something I probably should be paying attention to, but I’m honestly just too busy putting words on the page. Writing is a passion for me and whether the entire industry skyrockets or plummets into the ocean, I’ll keep doing it.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
YA, Contemporary Romance, Dystopian, Paranormal Romance, Horror
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print