Author Interview: Jamie Grey

I’m really excited to present today’s author, Jamie Grey. Most of the interview choices I’ve made so far have been based on publisher-with a special focus on MuseItUp-or nationality, the latter usually being Canadian. I chose Jamie Grey from a list of MuseItUp publishers specifically because I thought her story sounded fantastic, and I’m hoping I can get my boyfriend to buy it for me since I don’t have a credit card.

I hope you enjoy this interview and I hope that you check out Princess for Hire when it comes out on March 1st. Jamie will be hanging around today to answer any questions you might have.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your story with MuseItUp Publishing, Princess for Hire?

Here’s a short blurb about my short story, Princess for Hire:

After winning his kingdom in a legendary poker game twenty years ago, Princess Mina’s father loses the kingdom just as easily. Now alone and penniless, Mina must rely on her sword to support them both. When the princess-turned-mercenary is offered a contract to save a prince that will pay enough to keep her father in luxury for yet another year, she and her business partner snap up the deal. Dragons and all.

2. When and how did you decide that you wanted to become a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I could read. I used to make up little books for my mom with illustrations and everything. But I finally got really serious about writing three years ago, found some critique partners and started working on my craft.

3. How did you first come up with the story of Princess for Hire?

I wanted to write something that was a bit of a twist on the typical handsome Prince rescues beautiful, helpless Princess story so often seen in Fantasy. And I wanted to play a little with changing gender roles and expectations. Somehow, Princess for Hire was born from that.

4. What does your writing process look like? (Give us an idea of how you plan, write, and edit, and how long it takes)

It varies for each project, and if it’s a full length novel vs. a short story, but usually, I try to come up with a basic plot outline to work from. I try to hit the important plot points, get a sense of the characters, and ending. Then I write – I basically just get the words on paper as fast as I can, not worrying about editing as I go.

The editing process takes a bit longer – I usually sit down with the manuscript and do a read through, marking plot holes, inconsistencies, problems, etc, and then come up with an editing plan. After that first pass is complete, I start working on the details – wordsmithing, description, characterization, setting.
On average – a novel takes me 6-9 months to have polished and ready to submit. A short story might only take me a couple of weeks.

5. How did you find MuseItUp Publishing?

One of my fantastic critique partners submitted a novella to a brand new Canadian ePublisher last year and really loved working with the Muse team. When I found I had a short story I wasn’t sure what to do with, she suggested that I try submitting it there. And the rest is history!

6. What’s your favourite thing about working with MuseItUp Publishing?

Everyone that I’ve met at Muse has been fantastic! The other authors are friendly and supportive, and Lea, the publisher, goes above and beyond to take care of her writers and editors. It’s just been a really great first publishing experience. I’m afraid I’m spoiled for anyone else!

7. Do you think ebooks will take over and that print will… go out of print?

I have to admit that I am a total bookworm. I love the feel and experience of reading a “real” book. That being said, I do think ebooks will take over – probably sooner rather than later. The ease of immediate downloads, the ability to read anywhere/any time, and the availability of millions of works at your fingertips will almost guarantee that ebooks are the way of the future.

I don’t think print books will ever entirely go away though. There’s just something about having that book in your hands. But what I’d really love is if publishers moved toward the DVD model – you buy the physical DVD and also receive a code for a digital download at the same time. That would be the best of both worlds!

8. Your story Princess for Hire isn’t a full novel. Are you planning to move to writing novels?

It’s funny – Princess for Hire is actually a bit of a departure from how I usually write! I am most definitely a novelist. I love the freedom of having 80k words to play with to craft a story. However, my crit partners and I came up with a short story challenge last year and this was my attempt at playing with the form. It’s actually the first short story I’ve written in a really long time! I’m back to writing novels now, but I may take a stab at another short story in the future. Maybe I’ll even continue Mina’s story!

9. What are you working on right now that readers can look forward to?

I am working on a full length YA novel set in Japan. It’s a contemporary fantasy about a Dragon, and the two girls from two different eras who must save him. I’m hoping to have that out to query by late spring.

10. What are you reading right now?

The book on my nightstand right now is The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. It’s an interesting read – it’s targeted as YA, but it definitely feels much older and darker than what I’m used to. I also have Paranormalcy by Kiersten White sitting beside my bed. I can’t wait to get to that one!

If Princess for Hire sounds like something you might be interested in, I have an excerpt up at my website: and you can check out my blog there as well. Princess for Hire will be available March 1st from the MuseItUp bookstore.

Bio: Writer. Geek. Tech enthusiast. Tea diva. I’m either a multi-faceted young-adult author or a commitment-phobic escapist. Probably a little of both.

Residing near Ann Arbor, Michigan, I spend my days writing as an instructional designer. At night, I try to create fantastic worlds populated with remarkable characters. Some days are better than others.

Did you find this interview interesting?

10 thoughts on “Author Interview: Jamie Grey

  • Thanks so much for having me on, Dianna! I’m so excited to be here 🙂 And ready for any questions people might want to throw my way!

    • Hi Kim! Thanks for stopping by!

      I actually started writing the story last March and subbed it to an anthology in May. I made it almost to an offer before they decided to go with another story. So I subbed to MuseItUp in August and heard two weeks later that they wanted to publish! Editing took place throughout the fall and it was ready to go in January – so really it’s been almost exactly a year!

      Luckily I didn’t need an agent to sub a short story – I’ll be tackling that hurdle this year LOL!!

  • RedParrot


    Great interview. *Love* the concept of the story … one of my favourite Munch stories is PaperBag Princess … : )

    For Jamie … I’m starting out writing and assiduously avoid editing. Can you go into more detail about the process you use for this specific step? How do you keep – er – the momentum through this phase?

    Best of success with your work!


  • Hi RP! Thanks for the great question!

    You’ve totally hit on my least favorite part of writing. Editing is hard for me – I’m a perfectionist, so when I see all the flaws in my stories, I tend to get discouraged and want to give up. It’s really hard for me to stay motivated when I see all that work. But I think what helps me most keep my momentum is coming up with a plan or vision (now that the first draft is done) of what I want the story or novel to end up like. What emotions do I want the reader to feel? What sort of tone do I want to set?

    Then I come up with a project plan – I map out chapters and ways to include those things. I add the things I want to see, the places where there might be a plot hole and how I want to fill it. I use a spreadsheet to keep track, but I know people who use index cards too (one per scene or chapter). And once I start seeing how the final story is going to come together, and I have a plan on what I need to tackle, I find myself getting excited again. Especially when I can see it all coming together.

    It doesn’t *always* work that way, mind you. But that’s when I go for the chocolate 🙂

  • Laura Hughes

    Hi Jamie! Great interview. I love books set in totally different places, whether imaginary or real. How do you do your research for setting (Japan, for instance). Have you been to Japan yourself, or was it all internet research?

    • Hi Laura! I love your question! I would travel every month if I could! 🙂 Unfortunately I don’t have the budget for much, so most of my research on setting so far has been based on the internet, movies and books.

      When I place stories somewhere I’m not familiar with, part of what I love is really becoming immersed in that place. I’ve found that Google maps and Google world is a great way to get a bird’s eye view, and I really love reading histories and travelogues, as well as watching documentaries to get a real feel for the place. I also look for photography sites as well – even Flickr helps – there’s nothing quite like seeing a person’s every day pictures to get a real taste of a culture.

      Ideally though, I’d love to go in person, I think that’s definitley one of the best ways to really get a sense of place. Ah well, maybe when I hit that huge publishing contract 😉

  • What a wonderful interview! Jamie is my CP and I’m blessed to work with her. She’ll be guest posting on my blog soon – I can’t wait!

    Your profile is wonderful and honest and I’m so very happy to meet you. I have also faced many emotional difficulties in my life and had a conflicted childhood that I had to heal out of throughout my 20’s. It’s a precious process and yes, writing is so good for it!

    • Sophia,

      Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      I’m glad to meet you too; I hope you’ll stick around for a while.

      In some ways I am unlucky, for I experienced much pain when I was very young; in other ways I am very lucky, because it has allowed me to mature beyond what most people my age have.

      Thanks for reading,

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