Monday, October 31, 2011

Partner on the Path--Jaime Callahan

Jaime Writing
Let's welcome another hardworking member of the #wipmadness gang!

What resources have you found most helpful on your writing path?
There are so many great blogs -- author blogs, agent blogs, editor blogs, and anything by anyone who’s in the business of writing. There is a wealth of knowledge out there that’s being shared freely. My favorites are the Book View CafĂ© (, the Writer Beware blog (, and the blog (

What’s the most encouraging thing you’ve experienced along the way?
I think that the people are the most encouraging thing. There are some bad apples, naturally, but most of the folks I’ve interacted with have been nice and extremely willing to help out others.

Favorite children’s books? Authors?
My favorite children’s books are by my favorite author, Diana Wynne Jones. All of her books are fabulous, but my favorites are Howl’s Moving Castle, Dark Lord of Derkholm, and the Chrestomanci books.

What keeps you going when you feel like giving up?
I let myself imagine what it would really feel like to give up and never finish writing anything. It’s a deeply unsatisfying thought and that usually spurs me onward.

If you could choose to live any place on the planet, where would it be?
Oh, gracious, I’m going to have the most boring answer ever, but I really like where I live now (the East Coast). Sometimes I think about living some place a little more rural, but I love being only 15 minutes away from the bookstore and the library.

Describe your fantasy writing space?
Some place I can sit down! I do a lot of my writing while standing up, so I’d love to have a big comfy chair. I’d probably never get to use it, but at least it would exist!

What obstacles have you overcome in order to keep writing?
Lack of time. I really have to squeeze writing into any spare time I can scrounge up. Some days I would really rather just collapse in front of the television, but nothing will get written that way! My other biggest obstacle has been how critical I am of my writing. I’m still working on that one.

What one word describes your writing process?

What do you appreciate the most about being part of the children’s writers community?
The best thing has been how encouraging I’ve found other writers to be. Everyone that I met online has been so supportive, and it really helps to know that other people are cheering you on. It is definitely worth it to join a writer’s forum, follow the writing hashtags on twitter, and just get out there and meet other writers.

Best writing advice you’ve been given?
Just get it written. It can be fixed later. (Some day I will actually listen to this advice.)

What do you like to keep in mind while drafting a story?
I always try to think about the relationships between my characters. I love to read about people navigating the treacherous waters of human interaction, regardless of genre, so that’s something I really want to try to get right in my stories. It can be hard because relationships are rarely straightforward love or hate -- they’re more like tangled balls of yarn.

How will you celebrate the publication of your first book?
I honestly haven’t thought about it. It’s so far in the future! I’d probably just do something quiet and low-key with my family, maybe go out to a restaurant or have a cake or something. That sounds so dull, but it’s the truth.

Social media presence? Please share your links
Twitter: @jaimecallahan


  1. Love the advice - and I'd be celebrating in exactly the same way if I published too, you can't go wrong with cake :-)

  2. Hi, Jaime! I love your answer to the "one word" question: scattered...uh, this is me too! Some days, I'm all over the place.

    Look forward to getting to know you better! Thanks, Angelina for sharing the interview with us!

  3. You write standing up? I can picture that at a counter, but yeah, overstuffed chair STAT!! Nice interview, gals. And heck yes to a slice of cake. =)

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  5. @Girl Parker Right??? You write standing up???

    Wow, Jaime, that's inspiring. Much better for overall health, since many of us spend so much of our work days sitting down, then we squeeze in sitting down writing time.

    I love what you say about relationships between characters - "a tangled ball of yarn." So true. It's something I'm not the best at and need to keep trying for.

    It's so nice getting to know you! And I adore Howl's Moving Castle. The book is much different than the movie, but I love them both.

    Thanks for the interview!

  6. Ooooh, loved reading this interview, Jaime. It's so interesting to see what we all have in common with each other--or not! Love that tangled ball of yarn too. So true. And I do a lot of stand-up writing too (often in Tree Pose), that I'd love to do sitting. Unless I get myself a treadmill desk someday. That could be worth it. Cheers!

  7. Hi Jaime! Great interview! Glad to get to know you a bit better. :)

    I understand the obstacle of being too critical of our own writing. I find it tough to lock my internal editor out of the room and just trust my gut and write. I really need to remember that writing advice you mentioned: just write it--it can be fixed later. Good advice, that!

    Thanks, Angelina and Jaime!

  8. Thank you so much, everyone, for the great responses! I was very nervous about this interview, since I've never done anything like it before, and I appreciate the comments so much. You're all perfect examples of the kind of supportive, generous people that make up the writing community.

    And thank you, Angelina, for the opportunity!


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