Saturday, December 17, 2011

Matchmaking Fun -- Is it horrible mistake or happy ever after?

Hello readers! I know I've been away for awhile.  A moved from California back to Oregon (Yea!). A job change. (Yea!) And lots of details have kept me away from my blog.  But I am sooooooooooooo happy to be back and to present you with a fun book with a wonderfully, kind, funny, and talented woman.  Though this isn't your traditional Christmas story, I promise it will bring a smile to your face.

Please meet Jamie Brazil and her book Prince Charming, Inc.  You can't help but laugh, empathize, and root for the heroine in this book.  Whether you want a fun read, a bit of feminist treatise, or just a great romance, you can find it in this book.  I just finished it, and I am dying for the next one in the series. It meets all its promise and definitely portrays a modern woman that I love.

Let's get to know Jamie.

Prince Charming Inc. Book Cover This book and the series follow-on are in what I call the light-romantic-caper genre.  Would you agree?  What is it about this genre that calls to you?

The late Olivia Goldsmith, with her laugh-out-loud novels, is my idol.  Contemporary romance, especially fast-paced, funny stories, are my favorites. 

I understand you immigrated to the U.S. from another country.  Can you tell our readers where from and how that might influence your writing and your sense of humor?

  In Canada, British comedy rules the airwaves.  At least on the non-cable stations.  Fawlty Towers, Black Adder and the lotAnd just like the Brits, Canucks tend to watch the  same series over and over until we’ve committed every line of every episode to memory.  It’s a little OCD-ish.

A few years back, attending a writing conference in Corte Madera, I had the pleasure of meeting a major British author whose best-selling thrillers have been translated into almost every spoken language.  In his opening address, he marvelously ripped off some of Hugh Laurie’s best lines from Black Adder.  Talking with him later, I told him I knew where he’d cribbed his one-liners (because I do the same thing in conversations with family).  He smirked and said, “I only steal from the best.”  And then I proudly announced, “I’m Canadian.” He replied, “I’m sorry.”

It seems that most authors use something from their own lives, or the lives of people they know as an integral part of their stories. Is there anything in this story like that? If so, what? 

You got me.  I have a bit of a knack for matchmaking.  I’ve sworn off the habit these past few years, but yes, I’ve introduced several couples who’ve later married.  Including two literary agents. 

Are there more books planned in the series? I can see this going for a long time.  Anything you can share about future plots, release dates?

The next matchmaker book in the series is set in Seattle with a different heroine… in an entirely different end of the ready-made-relationships pool.  In the meantime, I’ve just Kindle-released another, quite different novel, “The Mayan Sisterhood.”  It will be a free download available on Amazon from Dec. 25th-Dec. 27th, 2011.

Prince Charming, Inc. is really a twist on the matchmaker concept.  TV typically has a matchmaker hook up "poor" good-looking women with (tends to be jerks) millionaire men, but in your story you are doing the opposite by finding solid, nice men for millionaire women.  What is it about this twist that drew you to the story?

I subscribe to O, am addicted to HGTV, and break out the glue gun on full moon nights to pursue some crafty remodel project that usually ends in disaster.  I’m so NOT crafty, though for some reason I delude myself into thinking I am.  So the fantasy of rebuilding a man is just an extension of my “let’s improve stuff” gene.  When I break out the feathers, sparkles, cinnamon sticks and yes, the glue gun, my husband disappears to the shed where he tinkers with his chainsaws until my madness passes, and I funnel that energy  back to the pursuit of writing.

So, to answer your question, Maggie, it was fixing up fictitious grooms or seeing a therapist.   

I love the whole "makeover the man" concept too.  I bet women the world over know good, solid men that only need a little help (or maybe they married that guy).  What was the brainstorm behind this idea?  Would you consider being a matchmaker as a business?

Matchmaking as business is a definite “no.”  Too hard to please everyone all the time.  I’ll stick with writing where I can play God and guarantee the outcomes for the characters.

Bloodhound Frankie
The concept for the series of matchmaking novels came from, drum roll please, dog-sharing with my neighbors.  Max was a Pitbull-Rhodesian-Ridgeback cross who stayed with us Monday-through-Friday, 8 a.m. ‘til his parents picked him up.  He’d drop in for “night snacks” and weekend visits, too.  He had us trained.  We had him trained.

Like Rex Von Terrance in Prince Charming, Inc., Max was the perfect dog without ever losing any of his gigantic, naturally territorial personality.  (We’ve all seen over-trained zombie dogs, right? All obedience, zero personality.)

So we had the ideal arrangement.  And one night, over a few gin and tonics, my husband and I were tossing around concepts and wondered out loud if spouses could be trained, too.  Just like that, a premise was hatched.

Max passed away in May of 2008 and we keep a picture of him in our kitchen.  We’ve since adopted another canine family member.  A Bloodhound named Frankie.  She’s a  loving, gentle, food-obsessed work-in-progress.  

Thanks for joining Behind the Book, Jamie!  I'm looking forward to the next matchmaking book, and I'm running out to download Mayan Sisterhood immediately.

You can get copies of Prince Charming Inc. at these fine distributors.


Miss Viola said...

Great interview! Can't wait to read the Mayan Sisterhood. Jamie will have to update us if she indulges in more matchmaking in the future. :)

Maggie Jaimeson said...

I've always been fascinated with matchmakers. There are many opportunities online now with all the match, eharmony, and such sites. But the personal matchmakers are much more interesting to me AND a long standing tradition in many cultures. Just a wonderful idea for a book, and it was carried off brilliantly.

Susan said...

Wonderful interview :) I got a Kindle for Christmas, so am looking for books to download. PRINCE CHARMING INC and THE MAYAN SISTERHOOD both sound yummy!