Skiffy and Fanty Interview with author Jamie Wyman

3 Sep

Paul: So, for those readers unfamiliar with you, who is Jamie Wyman?

Jamie: Jamie is the geeky, chai-swilling writer of urban fantasy, Sherlock spec fic and a variety of flash fiction.

Paul: Your urban fantasy revolves around a couple of characters and series. Tell us about Catherine Sharp, your protagonist in the Etudes in C# series.

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Jamie: Catherine starts the series in WILD CARD working for a third-party tech support company in Vegas. More importantly, though, her soul is in hock to the Greek goddess of Discord, Eris. Her indentured servitude to Eris sees her going on odd jobs as a hacker, or sometimes thief at the behest of a capricious deity. Cat is jaded, bitter and bored with a life that has no potential for advancement and no way out of her contract with Eris. Throughout the series, Cat learns that she is more than just a woman with a talent for all things tech, she’s a mage. A technomancer, to be specific.

I love writing Cat from book to book because she has such a great arc. She starts in this personal hell, but when presented with opportunities, she helps herself with whatever tools she has at hand. She’s proactive. She’s snarky. And she’s flawed. The answer to one problem just highlights how much baggage she still has to unpack in her life.

Paul: The first book in Catherine’s sequence was traditionally published, but the second one, you went the Kickstarter model. Tell us about that first Kickstarter experience.

Jamie: Exhausting. Empowering. Enlightening. Educational.

The month of the actual campaign was exhausting. Every day I was banging the drum, passing the hat and playing the part of carnival barker. I’m better at promoting other people, so this was difficult, but educational. My backers brought me to tears, though, with how quickly the project funded. I loved that so many people couldn’t let Cat’s story end after just the first book, and I was truly overwhelmed by all the support received during the Kickstarter campaign.

It was also my first foray into self-publishing, so not only did I learn a lot about crowdfunding, I learned about the self-pub side of the business.

There was also something amazing about being part of every facet of production with the novel. Whereas with the first book my job ended after I turned in edits, I had to format the book for digital and print editions (along with everything that entails); get the proper ISBNs, barcodes, copyrights etc; and do marketing and publicity for the book. Getting to work on the cover art with artist Nathalia Suellen was awesome.

Though the campaign itself was a marathon, the experience on the whole was very positive.

Paul: And now, undeterred and wiser, you are turning to another Kickstarter. Why don’t you tell us about this newest Kickstarter project?

Jamie: This Kickstarter is to fund UNINVITED (Book 3 in the Etudes in C# series). Like last time I’ll be teaming up with editor Danielle Poiesz, and artists Nathalia Suellen (cover) and Emma Lysyk (swag). There will be reward tiers including print and digital editions of the book, and once again one lucky backer will have the chance to Tuckerize a character. This time, I’m doing more. I’ve hired voice actress Mandy Nelson to do audio editions of the C# series. She’s already hard at work on WILD CARD, which should be released this winter, with UNVEILED on its heels. This Kickstarter will help us produce a spectacular audio book of UNINVITED as well as the high quality digital and print editions Cat Sharp fans have come to expect.

I’ll be taking what I learned from the last campaign and implementing some changes here to make the experience better for all involved. I’ve scaled back some of the rewards. For example, last time higher tiers offered multiple copies of books. This time, I’ve streamlined that into a seller’s reward tier that allows an indie bookseller to purchase 3 copies of each print book, plus a host of swag.

I’m very excited for this campaign because I absolutely love this book. It’s my favorite in the series to date and I’ve been dying to share it with people since before I launched the previous Kickstarter! (Yes, Book 3 was done at that point, too.)

Paul: Is this the final story in the Etudes in C#, or are there yet more stories to tell in Cat’s arc?

Jamie: Nope, there are a total of 5 books slated for the C# series, plus a few shorts from other characters’ points of view. In fact, certain Kickstarter backers will get to beta read a short story narrated by fan-favorite Marius.  

Paul: How do you plan to publish that story, and other shorts from the C# verse?

Jamie: Marius’s story (“Insatiable”) will likely be self-published as a digital-only stand alone at first before being part of a compilation of C# shorts. Some flash pieces are already on my blog as “bonus material”.

Paul: So, when does the Kickstarter run, and how can people find out more about it?

Jamie: The Kickstarter launched on September 1 and will run through the end of the month. You can find more information by following me on Twitter (@BeeGirlBlue), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jamie-Wyman/245049885569291) and my website (www.jamiewyman.com)

Paul: Thank you so much, Jamie. Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?

Jamie: If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I also write alternate universe stories that put the great detective in a Depression Era American carnival with Doctor Watson as a WWI vet and Mrs. Hudson as a… well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. My most recent novella THE CASE OF THE TATTOOED BRIDE is available now from Abaddon Books. It includes the short story that started it all, “A Scandal in Hobohemia”. I have a lot of fun writing those characters and that setting.

Thank you for having me! You guys are awesome!

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