Ange'el Series by Jamie Le Fay
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?
This is a funny and weird little story. Some years ago, I moved from London to Sydney; it was an exciting adventure. I was traveling to a new place on the other side of the planet to assume a leadership role in a consulting firm. I decided to share my adventures on a blog, writing under a pen name. Soon, I had a large engaged following including a famous Canadian paranormal romance author.
As soon as I arrived in Sydney, I fell in love with the city and with a kind man who was a bit of a troublemaker. Back then, I was very insecure and self-aware, and he was the biggest, loudest personality I knew. He was a single father of an adorable two-year-old girl, and they made the most enchanting duo. I fell in love with them both immediately but worked hard to resist my feelings because we both worked for the same company and he was a bit of a wildcard. I used to write about it on my blog, enhancing the story for dramatic effect. It became a forbidden romance story, full of my insecurities and plenty of self-imposed drama.
A few years later the Canadian author sent me a note telling me that my adventures had inspired her new vampire novel. When I read it, I discovered that the author had used most of my stories in her new book, she even used my real first name for the main character of the novel. I was conflicted; happy to see some of my adventures in print, and amused to find out I was the main character of a cheesy vampire romance. But, I was also somewhat annoyed with the actions of the author. At that time, I decided that if my stories were good enough for her to publish, then I should go ahead and start publishing them myself. And voilà, ten years later, I'm doing so. These days I don’t let anyone appropriate my stories.
I still smirk at the thought that my ex was turned into a vampire and now lives forever in the pages of an extra-cheesy and somewhat saucy vampire novel that is read by thousands of people around the world. Even Taylor Swift would be proud of such a devilish, revengeful feat, an unintended consequence that is both amusing and completely surreal.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Today we stand at a crossroads; the road ahead is dangerous and uncertain and every step we take brings with it collateral damage. Yet, we must keep walking; we must place one foot in front of the other; we must be thoughtful, and present, and connected. We must choose the path of inclusion, empathy and compassion, and if we follow this path, everything may turn out to be just fine.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Putting myself in someone else’s shoes and letting the story emerge. I find I learn a lot about the world and people different from me by immersing myself in my characters’ perspective. This is particularly interesting when the character is a villain as I still need to uncover the humanity in his or her actions.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
The vulnerability that is required to commit pen to paper. It’s as rewarding as it is confronting because every character is part of you and you need to abandon any embarrassment and serve the story and the characters as authentically as possible.
What advice would you give to people who want to enter the field?
Tell a story that only you can tell; take full advantage of what makes your voice unique. Surround yourself with authors that can help you learn the craft and overcome fears and challenges. On a more practical note, use scrivener, I’d never been able to finish my novel without it.
What ways can readers connect with you?
The Infinite House of Books's interview can be found here. Thank you, Shannon, for your amazing support.