The Daily Quirk is thrilled to be able to bring you an interview with New York Times Best Selling Author Jamie McGuire in advance of the release of her latest book, Walking Disaster (available April 2nd)! I first became aware of Ms. McGuire and her books in the summer of 2012 when a friend said she was reading a b0ok I had to check out for a feature on the site- Beautiful Disaster. Always on the lookout for good reads to share with our readers, I picked up Beautiful Disaster and didn’t put it down till I was done. I was instantly interested in featuring McGuire and her books on the site and lucky for us she was kind enough to give us an interview last July just as Beautiful Disaster made its way onto the New York Times Best Seller list.
Since then, McGuire’s success has continued to skyrocket with Beautiful Disaster being optioned for a movie and the highly anticipated publication of Walking Disaster (read our review on April 1st before the book’s release!), an alternate point of view novel told from Travis Maddox of Beautiful Disaster’s perspective, on the horizon. I am more than pleased to say all the fame and success does not seem to have changed McGuire’s lovely personality one bit, and she is just as friendly and gracious as she was when we first interviewed her last year. She was kind enough to take some time out of her extremely busy publicity schedule to talk to us yet again, this time about Walking Disaster and the other exciting projects she has on the way! Read on for the interview…
The Daily Quirk: Ms. McGuire, thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions, we know you must be extremely busy with the release of Walking Disaster!
Jamie McGuire: It is a very busy time, but fun busy! We just finished a month-long Travispalooza. I felt like a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest. My web site had something going on every day of the week: contests, blogs, dream casts, playlist reveals. I saw a lot of late nights and early mornings. Now that it’s March, I’m still busy—especially playing catch up—but I have this odd feeling that I should be doing something because I actually have time to do things like go to the bathroom and see my kids! I love it, though. There is nothing quite like the build-up to a release day! Especially this one!
TDQ: What was it like revisiting your story from a new point of view?
JM: So much fun! Travis is intense. Going in, I knew that I couldn’t just retell the story. I had to explore the times when Abby and Travis weren’t together so the book would be full of new material, and I finished feeling like I did just that. In Beautiful Disaster, Travis is rough around the edges, crude, and brutally honest. You can imagine what it’s like in his head. He also converses with other guys who are in no way trying to be respectful because women aren’t around during these conversations. When I thought I’d gone too far, I knew I was doing it right.
TDQ: Was it difficult to “get into character” as Travis and write from his point of view? Did you do anything specific to get into the right frame of mind?
JM: It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Author Abbi Glines said she thought I was a frat boy in a former life. I listened to “Travis music” and basically wrote down everything you’re not supposed to say out loud.
TDQ: Did you feel the need to have Travis explain or justify any of the outrageous behavior that we heard about from Abby’s point of view in Beautiful Disaster?
JM: I did. Travis has had some vicious remarks thrown his way, so I found myself working hard to show his true intentions. I had to stop myself from being defensive because not all of his actions are defensible. That said, there are a lot of wounded people walking this earth, and it’s important to know what drives them.
TDQ: Readers will definitely be pleased with the view into the future they get in the Walking Disaster epilogue, but it will probably leave most diehard fans even more hungry for a sequel. Would you ever consider writing one?
JM: You think so? I was hoping they would feel satisfied! Oh, no! I feel like Travis and Abby’s love story is between the pages of Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster, but readers will definitely see them again in the Maddox brothers’ books.
TDQ: Have you ever considered writing about Abby’s earlier years?
JM: Abby had an interesting childhood. I definitely think there is a story there to be told.
TDQ: What about a book for Shepley or America?
JM: Shepley and America could have a novella later on. I don’t see writing an entire novel dedicated to them, but I never say never.
TDQ: The term “New Adult” is being thrown around a lot lately as a new category for books. How do you feel about Walking Disaster, Beautiful Disaster or any of your other books being called “New Adult”? What does the genre represent in your opinion?
JM: I think it’s relevant. “Young Adult” encompasses such a wide range of readers. I wouldn’t want my 12 year old reading about the shenanigans and exploratory behavior of college students, but some books with college-age characters are considered Young Adult. It’s important to rate books to guide our youth so they’re reading age-appropriate material just like we have for movies and video games. New Adult is specific, and, based on the popularity of self-published books that contain college-aged characters, it’s also an age range that book fans love to read about. I also happen to love writing characters who are in college, so I’m happy with the label.
TDQ: Your upcoming novel, Red Hill, about individuals surviving a zombie apocalypse, delves back into the realm of the paranormal like your hit Providence series. What is it like being back writing a story with a science fiction style element?
JM: I love making something impossible seem real. Paranormal is a challenge in that way. It was also important to me that I change things up after coming off of two contemporary romance novels to do something completely different. It was a shock to some people that I started with a paranormal YA trilogy and then wrote a contemporary romance. I’m not interested in writing every genre, but I am definitely not interested in sticking to just one.
TDQ: Are there any details you can share with us about Red Hill?
JM: I would love to! I am so excited about this novel. I came up with the story two years ago when I was in X-ray school. I was in classes or clinic 40 hours a week, so I cleaned houses for the doctors to get by financially. One of the doctors had a ranchette an hour and a half away from school, in the middle of nowhere. I thought it would be the perfect place to escape to if the threat of zombies ever became real. I’m a huge The Walking Dead fan, and my oldest daughter and I have eleventy billion zombie escape plans. Every time I went out there to clean, I thought about that story, and what it would be like if my daughters were with their father during the first day of the apocalypse. How would they get to me?
When I first outlined the story, it was from a mother’s point of view. It included how she was separated from her children, how she tried to get to them, and how she reunited with them. How agonizing the wait must have been, and what and who she would encounter during that time. When I sat down to start Red Hill, it wasn’t working, which was very frustrating. I’d had the story in my brain for two years and now that I was finally able to write it, I kept hitting a wall. That’s when I decided to try to write from other characters’ points of view, and it burst out of me like water from a frozen pipe! The story has so much more depth and action because of it, and I can’t wait to share it with readers. It will satisfy the zombie enthusiast, but it will also resonate with other readers because of the drama – seeing the relationships between people during the scariest moments of their lives, and even how love can bloom when the world is going to hell.
Red Hill is a little bit The Walking Dead, a little bit The Road, and a little bit McGuire love story.
TDQ: Can you share anything about your other upcoming books in the works?
After I finish Red Hill, I will embark on a sci-fi romance called Apolonia. The first piece of fiction I wrote was a Roswell fanfic based on the episode “The End of the World,” and I’m looking forward to being in that realm again. After that, I will begin Trent Maddox’s book, and then Thomas’s (titles to be announced later). I have a rather large file full of book ideas, so I’ll just continue to go down the list, writing whichever I feel I want to tackle next, and listening to what my readers want along the way.
TDQ: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
I love them and thank them, and I CAN’T WAIT to hear what you think about Walking Disaster!
The Daily Quirk would like to thank Jamie McGuire for taking the time to chat with us about Walking Disaster and her upcoming projects! To find out more about McGuire and her books, visit her Website, like her Facebook author page, and follow her on Twitter.