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Interview with Jamie Blair, Author of LEAP OF FAITH

Today we have an interview with Jamie Blair, who is the author of LEAP OF FAITH, a contemporary YA novel published by Simon and Schuster. We are so excited to be a part of her blog tour. Also, to celebrate her book release, Jamie is having a giveaway on her blog. You can win a signed copy of LEAP OF FAITH, a Lord of the Strings t-shirt, and a LEAP OF FAITH guitar pick. Check it out!

The Book

Can true love be built on lies? A teen on the run seeks relief and redemption in this gripping, romantic read. Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth:

Her real name is Faith, not Leah. She’s seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn’t hers—Faith kidnapped her.

Faith’s history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris’s aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it’s time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she’ll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?

The Author

Jamie Blair spent most of her teen years choreographing moves for her dance team routines, kissing boys on the couch after her mom went to bed, and pondering the mood enhancement qualities of Lemon Heads when consumed with Diet Coke. Writing under Kelli Maine, she's the USA Today bestselling author of Taken. Leap of Faith is her debut New Adult novel.

Interview with Jamie!

 1.    Leap of Faith is about different types of families. How would you define a family? How would Faith define a family?

I define family as a group of people who support and love one another, typically related, but sometimes good friends are closer to family than people you’re genetically tied to. Faith’s definition of family changes through her journey in Leap of Faith. Initially, she believes her family is the mother she’s stuck with and her sister who she loves dearly, but who is leaving for college. By the end of the novel, her view has changed after being embraced by another family as one of their own.

2.    Faith’s voice is very distinct. How did you did develop this aspect of the novel? Do you have any tips on writing a strong teen voice?

Faith’s voice came to me naturally. This entire novel came to me very quickly and in its entirety, which is rare and hasn’t happened for me since. If I have one tip for teen voice, it’s not thinking of it as a teen voice, necessarily. Think of character first and how they “sound” on the page will come organically when you know them well enough.

3.    What questions do you think you were exploring while writing this novel? Did you find any answers?

I didn’t really have any specific questions I was looking for answers to as much as delving into themes of family and standing up for what you think is right, being brave enough to take a huge risk and sacrificing everything to make a difference in your own life and/or the life of someone you love, and ultimately, there are consequences to your actions and a learning experience that comes at the end of a journey that you use for growth.

4.    What’s next for you?

I have a couple New Adult (college age characters) manuscripts I’m revising and plan to publish on my own next year.

5.    Can you speak to anything unexpected you’ve learned during your path to publication? Either from the trade publishing side or through self-publishing?

This is a tricky question for me, (I’ve re-written this answer at least ten times.) but one I like discussing. I’ve done both trade and self-publishing  and while they each have pros and cons, I’ve found self-publishing gives me more satisfaction and less unexpected outcomes. You enter into trade publishing with certain basic expectations, like having your books in bookstores. With self-publishing, there are no expectations because anything that’s done is instigated by you, not someone else. What you put in is what you get out. You remain in control. Having a very entrepreneurial mentality about my writing, I’ve found I prefer having my books championed by someone who puts them first—top priority—and that person is me.

Fast Five

6.    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I have so many places! I want to see castles in Europe, the Acropolis in Greece, the Colosseum in Rome, the Great Pyramid of Giza. I want to go everywhere!

7.    What was the last movie you saw in the theater?

One Direction: This Is Us with my eleven-year-old daughter and two of her friends. I was kind of dreading it, but ended up liking those guys! They have a lot of fun together.

8.    What was your first car? How did you acquire it?

A used Oldsmobile Calais my dad bought me. It was silver with a burgundy pinstripe down the sides. You could take the key out while it was running. I killed the battery a few times doing that unintentionally.

9.    What is your favorite season?

Fall. I love the sound of leaves and acorns crunching under your feet and the chill in the air, the smell of smoke from burning leaves and fireplaces, eating chili and watching movies curled up under a blanket on the couch and the anticipation of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas – the holiday trifecta at the end of the year.

10.     Where would you rather live? The beach or the mountains?

Mountains. I would say the beach, but I get sunburnt every time I go to the beach even with 60 SPF! Plus…sharks.

Thank you so much, Jamie!



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Find out more about the LEAP OF FAITH blog tour at Shh Moms Reading.
Stephanie Kuehn

Stephanie is the William C. Morris award-winning author of Charm & Strange, Complicit, Delicate Monsters, and The Smaller Evil.

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Item Reviewed: Interview with Jamie Blair, Author of LEAP OF FAITH Rating: 5 Reviewed By: stephanie kuehn