The Jamieson Family Legacy series follow the lives of two Jamieson brothers in Boston, Kidd and Ace, and their cousin, Cameron, from St. Louis. The older brother, Kidd, is struggling with anger and resentment issues toward his absentee father who never married his mother. Yet, he had the audacity to demand his illegitimate sons carry his Jamieson name. Ace, on the other hand, is on his collision course to be a chip off the old block when it comes to women. Their highly MIT educated cousin, Cameron Jamieson, is all about saving family from self-destruction. Through genealogy research, Cameron’s mission is to show his cousins their worth as the eleventh generation descendants of a royal African tribe and to give them a choice: live with the stereotypical “angry black men” syndrome or to crush any obstacles that try and stop them to become strong successful black men.
Interview Questions by Linda Fegins
What inspired or lead to you writing a series?
Readers. As a debut author in 2007, I didn’t know if I would make the cut, but the readers were very supportive, so the birth of the Jamieson men began and is still going strong. I think readers welcome the portrayal of strong black positive Christian men who know how to handle any negative situation. Also, Grandma BB’s antics with her Stacy Adams shoes proved to be the comedy relief in the stories. The readers loved her too.
Who is your favorite character and why?
Parke Jamieson VI is a fan favorite, but in Guilty by Association, it’s Kidd, who has just as much attitude. He gives Parke a run for his money. I cast my vote for Kidd because he represents the complexity within of all us and how God can heal our spiritual deficit.
How do you go about developing your characters?
I observe people—their expressions, mannerisms, dress, features, and then I pull out what I like and dislike about them. That helps me to build a character that is rounded with weaknesses and strengths that readers can identify. I also interview people who have experienced what my characters are going through.
How did you determine the overall theme or 40 elevator pitch for this story?
LOL. In the writing industry, people call it an elevator pitch, but in news, which is my background, we call it the lead sentence. Broadcasters use it to entice the viewers to stay tuned. I learned the importance of the elevator pitch after I started going on book tours. I only had a short window to capture their interest before they moved on. Now, I create a lead sentence or pitch, sometimes, before I write the book. My pitch for Guilty by Association is actually 27 words: “To Parke Jamieson VI, the tenth generation descendant of a royal African tribe, the name means everything. To his cousin, Kidd Jamieson, his name means absolutely nothing.” A person would know genealogy or royalty is involved, and ask what happened to cause the conflict between the two.
Do you outline your book first or do you just writing?
Give us an ideal of how you write and develop your book? I’ll be the first to lift my hand and say, “I hate the outline process.” BUT if you don’t have a book deal, get used to it. It’s a must when submitting a proposal to prospective publishers. They review every piece of paper in that proposal. However, I don’t always complete them before I start with the story. Usually by the sixth chapter, I’m free styling. The writer has to know the direction she wants to go and there has to be a smooth transition. Sometimes, you can’t tell that from an outline—or let me say I couldn’t get it. In the third book in the Jamieson Legacy, Free from Guilt, I tried to do an outline because of my tight writing deadline. After a few days, I realized I was wasting writing time because I couldn’t get pass five chapters, so I began to write the novel. I completed ten chapters (short chapters, maybe five pages), and from there I was able to complete the outline, but it took me to write fifty or so pages to know how to complete a 300 page book. Yay. Transition is IMPORTANT. It gives your novel a good flow.
Any writing suggestion or tips, strategies for writing a book?
1. Read your competition’s work. Know what you like about author A and what you don’t like about author B. Ask yourself where does your writing fit. For example, early in my published career, I was reading a novel and the author kept injecting into her character’s conversation, “I don’t want anything to happen to us…” Sure enough, on the next page, something happened. The story became so predictable. She was giving the reader the heads up too many times. I went back through my manuscript to make sure I wasn’t making the same mistake.
2. Know the general story in your head: how it begins, major scenes, and how it ends. Once you get it on paper, secure the services of an editor (I use Chandra Sparks Taylor), but there are other ones out there. Make sure they have edited for authors and the editor should provide a free sample edit. 3. Attend a writer’s conference (and there are many) that has the editors, agents, and publishing houses that represent your genre. Here are a few: RT Booklovers Convention, Romance Slam Jam, ACFW, RWA.
Who is your favorite Christian author and why? What skills, if any have you learned from the person? My favorite?
That is never an easy answer for me. The very first African-American Christian romance author I discovered was Aisha Ford. I loved how she weaved scriptures into the story line. I do that in my novels. I’m learning how to insert them better, so my novels don’t come across as preachy. Right now, Vanessa Miller has become a good friend and mentor. She has taught me how to master the art of writing faster with confidence. I think she writes in her sleep.
What is your favorite author in any genre and why?
Wow. What a loaded question. I’m always excited about any projects Henry Louis Gates publishes, probably because I touch on genealogy in my books. Key word is “touch”. I don’t come close to the research he does and uncover invaluable information.
About the Book
There are three books in the Jamieson Legacy series: Guilty by Association (Kidd’s story), The Guilt Trip (Ace’s story), and Free from Guilt (Cameron’s story). Each of the three Jamieson men have to accept that their past and present are in God’s hand, and without Him they can’t advance to their future blessings. The bonus storyline in Guilty by Association is one that progresses the story of the much-loved character in the previous three book Guilty Series, Grandma BB. This time, she picks up a sidekick Mrs. Valentine.
Guilty by Association is the story of Boston bad boy Kevin “Kidd” Jamieson. His gripe is with his father who dared to insist that his two illegitimate sons carry his last name. To add insult to injury, the man never bothered to stick around to provide love and guidance as his boys matured into men. Kidd’s anger overflows into every area of his life. As his animosity festers, Kidd becomes as a roaring lion, seeking whatever and whomever he can devour. He’s as gritty as his cousin in St. Louis, Parke Jamieson VI, is polished. The two strong-willed men clash when Kidd relocates to St. Louis where his cousin assures him it’s a land of milk and money in job opportunities. Where is lands a job is far from it.
Through a series of events that involve Grandma BB, her dog named Silent Killer and her Stacy Adams shoes, Kidd meets two women who recognize his hostile tendencies and immediately begin to administer CPR to his soul. LPN Eva Savoy eventually becomes his “Eve,” a woman God created from the underlying goodness hidden in Kidd’s own heart.
Reluctantly, Kidd allows Parke to divulge information about their royal family heritage. While everyone’s care and compassion begins to smother Kidd, he struggles to keep up the bad boy attitude as his walls start to crumble. Kidd learns it’s not his association with the name that identifies him, but the man he becomes that defines him.
About the Author
Pat Simmons is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth. She is passionate about digging up the dirt on her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She has been a genealogy enthusiast since her great-grandmother died at the young age of ninety-seven years old. Pat has won numerous awards for her novels which include: Talk to Me, Grace and Humility and Still Guilty, which was voted the Best Inspirational Romance for 2010. Pat is best known for her Guilty series: Guilty of Love, Not Guilty of Love, and Still Guilty. She is continuing the series through the Jamieson Family Legacy trilogy: Guilty by Association, The Guilt Trip, Free From Guilt. Pat has recently been nominated for the best Christian fiction award by the African American Literary Awards for her latest release, Crowning Glory. Pat and her husband live in Missouri and have two children. Visit Patricia at:
Book Review by Linda Fegins
Pat Simmons wonderfully crafted a clever tale about the Jamieson family’s determination to preserve a rich heritage and the desire of one of them to reject any association with that legacy and to distance his association with the Lord. It is a story of faith, love and family reconciliation. Without being preachy, the book subtly addresses the dismal affects of fathers being absent from the lives of their families. Thus, men who have no relationship with their father or responsible mentors struggle with many manhood issues which influence how they relate to women, family, their children and society. The book provides a message of hope and healing as “Kidd” ,after overcomig his emotional struggles and stubbornness, learns to trust God as his Father and to understand the true meaning of family and love. I am looking forward to the next book as I thoroughly enjoyed Guilty by Association.
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