Guest Blog with Jamie Farrell

I am super excited to welcome contemporary romance author Jamie Farrell to the blog today! I adore her books as well as her fun blog posts about her children. I was lucky enough to meet Jamie in person for lunch once and she is just as fun in person! Take it away, Jamie…

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Five Things My Children Have Taught Me About Writing

TheHusbandGames-Jamie Farrell- 1600x2500Greetings, Magical Musings friends, and thanks so much for having me here! I always love visiting. Y’all are awesome. 🙂

Today, I’d like to talk to you about writing. Specifically, about things my children have taught me about writing and storytelling. If you follow my blog or Facebook page, you probably already know I have three crazy kids who keep me hopping. But if not, allow me to tell you a little about Munchkin (6), Squeaker (4), and Buttercup (2 going on 27).

I’ve been writing since before they were born, but it occurred to me recently that they’ve taught me a good bit about how to write a story. Including…

  1. You have to be flexible.

Just like kids will sometimes decide they hate the same peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they’ve demanded for lunch every day for the last five hundred days, sometimes the characters I think I’m controlling will have other ideas of what their story needs.

And most of the time, they’re right. (Except you, Mikey. Your story did not need a girl jumping out of an ice cream cake.)

  1. You have to be creative

My kids love the word “pretend.” A normal evening conversation tends to go like this:

Munchkin: “Squeaker, pretend we’re mermaids in a lava pit and this rubber band is our dad. Say hi to Dad, Squeaker.”

Squeaker: “Hi, Dad. Munchkin, say ‘Aaaahhh! We’re drowning!’”

Munchkin: “Aaaaahh! We’re drowning! Squeaker, grab that play sushi. It can be our raft.”

Me: “You guys are both going to fit on a one-inch square piece of wooden sushi?”

Munchkin: “Mooo-ooom. We’re pretending.”

And then they both try to climb on the one-inch square piece of sushi anyway, because it’s hilarious, and they’re escaping the evil ninja pirate lords.

While I can’t exactly steal their stories of battling evil ninja pirate lords to use in modern contemporary romances, I can watch the way their brains think outside the box, and remind myself to look beyond what’s comfortable and known, and stretch my writing limits too.

  1. A good temper tantrum can make all the difference.

IMG_0975My kids are superstars at everything (I’m their mom, I can say that), and temper tantrums are no exception. Buttercup has gotten so good at them, she’ll roll out of bed throwing one just to keep her lungs in good temper-tantrum-throwing shape. She’s dedicated.

My kids’ temper tantrums are pure emotion. There’s no logic, no reasoning, there’s simply one massive amount of energy going into expressing displeasure. And when you’re spent afterwards, you can’t look at the world exactly the same.

So to really get to our characters at their heart and soul, we writers have to push them to the limits of where they’d like to throw a temper tantrum. To make them earn their happily-ever-after, we have to give them the big feels and the fears and the insecurities until their worlds shift enough for them to truly understand and appreciate the happiness we’re dangling before them.

  1. Sometimes, you have to make up your own rules.

One of the fun things about kids is that they don’t know all the rules, and so they’re constantly making up their own. Their imaginations take them crazy, fun places.

Likewise, writers often have to make our own rules. My favorite method of making my own rules recently involved developing a setting for my most recent books. Bliss, Illinois, is the Most Married-est Town on Earth, and as such, there are conventions and traditions that would be weird—even unbelievable—in a normal town, but in Bliss, it totally fits.

  1. Above all else, have fun!

You know that old adage, Laughter is the best medicine? It’s so true. When the hubby and I are getting frustrated with the kids for fighting bath time, for dragging their feet on doing chores, or for refusing to eat their vegetables, making a game out of it works so much better than losing our cool (though we forget that as often as we remember it).

The same is true for writing. If I’m in a scene and I’m cackling with glee over the torture my poor hero or heroine is enduring, I know my readers will either be giggling right along, or they’ll be glued to the page, wondering how our hapless dears will work their way out of that mess. Either way, it’s a win in my book.

Thanks again for letting me crash your party at Magical Musings today! I had a blast!

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Thanks, Jamie for joining us! A question for you all – what have kids taught you about life in general? Either your own children or someone else’s?

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Jamie Photo - BWJamie Farrell writes fun contemporary romances with quirky characters and lots of heart. She believes love and laughter are two of the most powerful forces in the universe, and she infuses both into all of her stories. Her debut novel, Southern Fried Blues, was a finalist for the 2013 National Readers’ Choice Awards and the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards.

A native Midwesterner, Jamie has lived in the South the majority of her adult life. When she’s not writing, she and her military hero husband are busy raising three hilariously unpredictable children.

Find Jamie: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter / Goodreads 

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14 Responses to Guest Blog with Jamie Farrell

  1. Karen Kenyon Miller says:

    My kids have shown me their courage and what it takes to get what they want out of life. I have strong, dedicated young adults who have worked hard and continue to work hard to achieve what they want out of life.

  2. Gail Demaree says:

    My kids have taught me a lot but my grand kids teach me stuff I never knew existed. Sometimes I have to remember they are kids even though they sound like an adult. Yes laughter is the bed medicine and they do make me laugh.

  3. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi, Jamie and Amy,

    Love this post! What great lessons life can teach–especially with children as wonderful as yours, Jamie 🙂 I cracked up at evil ninja pirate lords 😀

    My kids taught me to let go of the things that weren’t important. To pursue the things that are. Nowadays, I get lots of laughter and love–and the best crazy cat links, lol.
    Mary Hughes`s last blog was …Kinky Claus Blog Tour–Oh no! NOT the Candy Cane!

  4. Edie Ramer says:

    Jamie, what a fun post! I have trouble writing with a cat. I can’t imagine writing with 3 small children. I admire you so much for that.

    My son is older now, but he’s an inspiration because he has such a positive attitude and a great work ethic. I see that both of those attributes pay off in every area of his home life. I like to think that he got a little of that to me, but he’s improved on it. I’m very proud of him!

  5. Jane Nelson says:

    Awesome post Jamie! I love reading as much about you and your children, how they affect your life from the mom side of it, as I love reading your books! Your a great Mom and an AWESOME author! 💜

  6. Hi Amy and Jamie! Jamie, it’s so nice to “meet” you and learn more about you and your books! Loved reading this. My boys have taught me so much, but what jumps out at me is not to take myself too seriously. Enjoy each and every moment and smile.
    Robin Bielman`s last blog was …Release Day for His Million Dollar Risk!

  7. Amy R says:

    Thanks for joining us today, Jamie! It is always fun to get to know an author and what better way than through her kids? I love reading about them! Keep up the great work parenting and writing. 🙂
    Amy R`s last blog was …Blog Tour – Review & Giveaway: HIS MILLION DOLLAR RISK by Robin Bielman

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