This week I am thrilled to feature an author I could just gossip with for days over tea and cupcakes. I present the brilliant Jamieson Wolf, author of . . . a whole bunch of stuff! Seriously, this man’s writertastic!
(Please note that responses to my questions are minimally edited to preserve the integrity of the author’s answers.)
You’ve written eleventy-billion books to date. Okay, more than sixty, but WOW! That is incredible. How did you manage that? Are you really a wizard, because I’m guessing you’re a wizard.
Well, I started out my writing career writing romance novels. In truth, some of those are only 5,000, 10,000, or 20,000 words long, so they are more novellas than novels. Still, my muses kept demanding I write more. At one point, I was promoting one book, writing another, and had a third in edits. Truthfully, I’m not sure how I did it or how I keep doing it.
Many of my writer friends called me “The Wolf That Never Sleeps.” I like your theory better. I could totally rock being a wizard and I do sparkle with magic.
There is always another story to be told, another poem to be written, a yarn to tell. I just love being able to do what I love most, you know? I hope that shows in my work and comes through in the stories I tell.
One of the stories about you that moves me deeply is how during your recovery after being diagnosed with MS, you rehabilitated your writing skills by jotting down five to six words a day, eventually turning all those words into poetry. How did that feel and how did you stay motivated?
I was struck with Multiple Sclerosis in December of 2012. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t speak properly, couldn’t see. Aside from all of that, I was unable to write and tell the stories that were inside of me. That gutted me. You could take away anything else, but not my words. I couldn’t live without writing.
I knew I had to do something. After some time, I got a little better so I tried to write again. Only thing is that even though my brain knew which fingers to use to type the words I wanted to write, I couldn’t communicate it to my fingers.
I had to force my brain to work again in conjunction with my hands. At first, when I was only able to get out a handful of words a day, it was disheartening. However, when I started to stitch those words together into poems, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief.
When I saw them turn into something other than a scattering of words on a page, it didn’t matter how hard it was. I was writing again. In the beginning, it took me a week to create one poem. Over time, it took me a few days, then just a day. With every poem, every word, I was getting stronger and I was able to get my fingers to go where they knew they were supposed to go.
Soon I was writing short stories as well as poems. Then I tried my hand at writing a novel called The Other Side of Oz. It took me quite a while to write it, but it’s still one of my most cherished pieces of writing for what it represents and the effort that went into it. I hope to have it published some day.
Writing poetry gave me back my voice and helped me find the words that were inside of me, bursting to get out.
You style yourself as a Number One Bestselling Author. Why is that?
Well, it’s because I am!
I find the fact that I’ve had several number one best sellers quite amazing. I write for me. The fact that others want to read my work and my words is a blessing beyond any monetary worth. And the fact that I’ve had number one best sellers? Well, that’s pretty freaking amazing.
My first novel to hit number one was a gay erotic romance novel called Hard. It’s out of print now, but I felt such pride at seeing my book in the number one spot for weeks on All Romance eBooks. I had a couple of others, but the one that meant the most to me was when Talking to the Sky became a number one best seller on Amazon.
I queued the book up on Amazon to see how it was doing and was floored that it had hit Number One Best Seller status. Talking to the Sky was the book of poems I put together after my first year of living with Multiple Sclerosis. It was the book that had taken the most effort and strength to write, but also provided me with the most healing. So, for that reason, it will be the most special of my number one best sellers. 😊
This summer you were part of a multi-author book launch with Renaissance Press, for your novel, Lust and Lemonade. It’s been hailed as the LGBT Sex and the City. Tell us a bit about your Lemonade series.
The Lemonade Series centres around Blaine and his friends. Blaine just wants to find love. But how do you find love in a world of week long romances? How do you heal your heart when you’re afraid to love again?
Essentially, the Lemonade series is all about love. It’s about the love we want, the love we have for ourselves, the love we let get away or the love we don’t think we deserve. It’s about the people who carry that love inside of them, too afraid to let it out or the people who love with such abandon that they find themselves searching for a love that lasts.
The Lemonade series is about the highs and lows that come with love and the people involved in it. It’s a fun look into the lives of Blaine, Nancy, Chuck, Poppy and Mike and the lives they lead and the love they find.
I have inside information that you are also working on a memoir (mawhawhaw). Aside from it obviously being about you, what time in your life is it specifically describing? Also, can you reveal its title?
I am indeed writing a memoir. I’m 90% done with the first draft.
It deals with when I literally woke up one morning with Multiple Sclerosis and what happened after, the journey I took to the person I am today. How I strove to fight past the limitations of my body and find a way to truly live.
I am not the same person that I was in 2012. I had to relearn how to live and the memoir is a look at how I did that, how I went through the dark forest, how I climbed the flat mountain and learned to swim beyond the waves.
I can also reveal the title! It’s called Little Yellow Magnet. It’s a reminder that change doesn’t have to be big. The inspiration to change can come from something so small, yet it can move mountains.
When we look at your list of works, we see that you write in many genres. Do you have a favourite? What do you enjoy about the genres you choose?
I would have to say fantasy. I love fantasy novels and writing them, whether they are epic fantasies or fairy tales. Anything is possible in fantasies and there are no real limitations. They are the ultimate sandbox of storytelling. Having said that, I also love working writing just regular fiction. I love the challenge of keeping it grounded in reality, of having it still draw me, and hopefully the reader in.
Every story that comes to me is different as is every character. I usually get the inspiration for the story from something random and then start writing, letting the tone of the story unfold around me.
I never really know what shape the story is taking until I am part way into it. It could be fiction, fantasy, horror, or a poem. I let the story shape itself and let me know how it wants to be told. I love the organic feel of writing that way, as if every story starts as a seed and slowly blooms into a full tale. It’s kind of magical that way, you know?
We know you love to write, but what about reading? What books tickle your fancy?
Oh gosh! I am reading constantly. I love the Harry Potter series and have read them more than anything else I’ve read (I stopped counting at reading the series all the way through forty times and that was several years ago). I love anything by Stephen King, though The Green Mile and The Dark Tower remain my favourites.
I love Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachet, The Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, anything by Christopher Moore (Secondhand Souls was hysterical!) or Sarah Addison Allen (love love love The Sugar Queen), the novels of Alex Brown (The Secret of Orchard Cottage was absolutely devine!), anything by Michelle Zink (there is a special place in my heart for A Walk in the Sun). I also love The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin.
I love all kinds of books as long as they have a good story to tell. 😊
Okay, shameless plug time! How can we indulge in all-things-Jamieson? Where do we begin?
Well, you can find me here:
Jamieson Wolf is an award-winning, number one bestselling author of over sixty books and writer of Two Steps at a Time, a blog about having multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. He is an accomplished artist who works in mixed media, charcoal, pastels, and oil paints. He is also something of an amateur photographer, a poet, a perfume designer, and a graphic designer.
Jamieson currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario with his husband Michael and his cat Tula, who is fearless. You can read more about Jamieson on his website or his blog, and can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.