Darly Jamison is a Midwestern girl who lived as a Southern Belle in a previous life. She has an incurable addiction to John Hughes movies and is possibly the only person in the history of the world to be fired from the library for reading on the job.
When not writing, Darly can be found hanging out with her husband and children or trying to perfect her chocolate cheesecake recipe.
Her debut novel STRAWBERRY WINE will be released through Kensington Publishing in February 2017.
Hi Darly, thank you for joining us!
“Thank you for having me, Gabby.” She looks around the virtual coffee shop we’ve met. “I love what you’ve done to the place!”
I chuckle. “We aim to please, Darly! So tell, me how did you start writing?”
“Actually, that’s a funny story! Several years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with entire sentences going through my head. The ironic thing was that they all rhymed and made sense. The sentences just kept repeating themselves, so I jumped out of bed to document them. When I was finished, I was surprised to find I had an entire children’s story written down! I called the story Suzi Boo and the Missing Shoe and I tucked it away and forgot about it. Then a few years later after a particular slow night at work, I browsed the internet and found Wattpad. That discovery forever changed my life. A free place to go to read AND write stories? I signed up right away and lurked around for a few weeks before deciding to write something of my own. I dusted off the children’s story I wrote in my sleep and decided to post it, even though there really isn’t a place for that genre on the site. But I’ve had several people read it and I’ve received some wonderful comments. Then another story came to mind. Several years before there was a country song that really resonated with me. It was a story of first love and the lyrics were bittersweet. I’m not sure why, but I always wondered about the couple the songwriter wrote about. I wanted to know more about them, but once the song ended, so did their story. I specifically remember writing two names down on a napkin along with the title Strawberry Wine, just like the song that inspired it all. Finding Wattpad gave me a reason to write the story I always wanted to read. Last year, I entered that short story into a contest sponsored by Kensington Publishing and Wattpad and I found out in April that it won! I was assigned my very own editor who encouraged me to double the original story’s length. Now my debut novel sits at roughly 90,000 words and in February 2017, it will be available at all major book stores!”
Wow. Over 90, 000 words! That sounds quite interesting! Is the story still available on Wattpad?
“Yes, it is! I am currently reposting the original chapters. But keep in mind that the published book will not only be professionally edited, but double the size!”
Can you share the story blurb and maybe the link where readers can find it:
“Absolutely! Here’s a little teaser along with the link:
Small-town girl, Addison Monroe, has plans to make the most out of the summer before her senior year. Once school begins, she’ll be bogged down with the stress of college applications, making her precious free time a distant memory. Her vacation would consist of sizzling days at the beach, rowdy bonfires at night, and avoiding the bully who’d been her date to junior prom, no matter how hard he persisted.
Falling in love had not been on the agenda.
That changes when college man, Jake Grady, enters her life. Employed by her grandparents to work at the family farm for the summer, Jake ignites feelings in Addy she’s never known before, and is dying to experience again. She begins to fall fast for the sexy Texas cowboy and soon realizes that once break ends they will be forced to say goodbye forever.
Follow Addy as she stumbles through a summer of first loves, first times and first heartbreaks, and find out why the summer she turned eighteen became the most memorable summer of her life.
What is your favorite genre to write? Only Romance stories?
“Hmmm. Good question! I’ve written a variety of stories from action to mystery/thriller and I’m aching to write a YA horror next. But no matter the genre, there will always be a little bit of romance included. I can’t help it…I’m a girl!”
Hahaha…I hear you. Now that you’re getting published, please tell us how is it been like? Has it been challenging?
“The biggest challenge I’ve encountered so far is finding the time to do everything I need to do. I work full time nights in the medical field, so that means I’m awake while everyone else is asleep. When I get home from work, I get my kiddos ready for school and once they’ve left the house I get to go to bed. I typically only sleep for a few hours before I wake up to take care of the house, run errands and start dinner before my husband and children reappear. In between all of that, I still write stories for Wattpad as well as stories I hope to pitch to Kensington. To say the least, my schedule is chaotic!”
I’m impressed at the way you manage your family, your job and writing on Wattpad, on top of it all! You’re super talented and multitasking, too. Taking advanatge of that, what could you advice to aspiring writers?
“I still have a hard time calling myself a writer because I think of myself as a reader! I guess these days I’m both. Writing is a journey of discovery. I’ve found that I unintentionally include a little piece of myself in every tale I tell. I’ll be the first to admit I am not the best writer, but each day I try to improve. From my very first story to the one I’m currently working on, I can see gradual progress. So my advice to new writers is to write! Every day, even if it’s only a little bit. Slowly, you’ll see yourself grow and your skills begin to advance. And this next tip is nearly impossible, but try not to compare yourself to other writers. There will always be someone smarter, prettier or skinnier than you, and there will always be someone who writes better, too. But only YOU can tell the story you want to tell. I think author Neil Gaiman said something along those lines and it’s true. Whatever story you come up with will be unique, just like you.”
I loved that line! It’s so true. Do tell us, where can readers find you?
“Readers can find me everywhere! I’ve recently begun a new blog series on my website called Wattpad Wednesday, where I feature a new Wattpad story every week. You can find it on my website. I’m also on Twitter and I have an author’s Facebook page, too.”
Awesome. Thank you Darly for meeting up with me and letting us know more about you and your writer’s journey. Congratulations on your upcoming book! I can’t wait to get my hands on it 🙂
“Thank you, Gaby, for inviting me for this interview! It’s been a pleasure to answer all of your questions. If it’s alright, I’d also like to include the link to my email subscription. Readers who sign up for my newsletter will be the first notified when I give away FREE STUFF and they’ll also get to check out the new cover of Strawberry Wine before anyone else! Just click here! (and don’t forget to add me to your contacts or I might go straight to your SPAM folder).
Thank you everyone for stopping by to learn more about me and Strawberry Wine!