Is Jamie Lake your real name? No, it’s my pen name. I write different genres and each genre, I have a different name. I do this because people know very clearly whenever they see a Jamie Lake novel, it’s going to be hot m/m fun and hopefully an emotional roller coaster, not a thriller or mystery or coloring book.
Are you a boy or a girl? What do you want me to be? I’ll be your fantasy, baby. No, but seriously. I’m a guy and a gay male who has an amazing partner whom I’ve been with for nearly 5 years. Some people still think I’m a girl no matter how many times I tell them, and I’m fine with that. I joke around a lot so sometimes, they might think that way. Women are a lot smarter than many so, I guess I’ll take that as a compliment.
What do you look like? Like many gay romance m/m authors and others of other genres, I write under a pen name and I also don’t have my photo out there for the public to see (at least for now). One day, I may. I do so to protect my privacy and for my family, not because I’m ashamed of the genre I write. Quite the contrary. In my case, I use the cover of my first book The Trainer. In real life, I was a male model when I was younger. I’m in my late 30s, I have dark hair and dark eyes but other than that, I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Since I’m not entering Mr. America this year, I hope that people enjoy my stories because they love my characters and what I look like doesn’t matter. I know, I know, classic “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” issues. Haha!
When did you start writing? I started writing m/m this year, a few months ago. But actually, I’ve dabbled in it about 10 years ago when I wrote a series of stories for the web. People liked them. I don’t why I ever stopped, nor do I know whatever happened to them.
What do you when you’re not writing? Well, I have a lot of pets that keep me busy. I also love spending time with the man in my life. We love to play laser tag, go to the movies, travel to Europe, all over the United States and Central America.
QUESTIONS ABOUT NOVELS
The Trainer says it’s inspired by a true story. Who’s true story and how much of it is true? It’s inspired by real people I know. The ex, Tim is based on a bunch of my ex’s balled into one. The real trainer is straight but I always wondered what it would be like if he wasn’t quite. And Chris, is based on a few people, including a little bit of me. The assistant, Jessica is exactly like someone I know and so is Mason’s ex.
Why are your books so short? I just believe that you don’t need to drag a story on to make it good. I think if a story is good enough, it stays with you. I don’t believe in filling pages with nonsense just to make it longer. Some books I read, I think to myself, “Enough already. Just get to the point.” And I didn’t want my readers to feel the same.
How did you come up with the idea for Boyfriend for Rent? I was kicked out of the house suddenly by an ex so that inspired the idea and I remember how humiliated I was. Well, my life is wonderful now and I found someone that really loves me and his life sucks so I got the last laugh.
How long does it take for you to write a novel? That’s a good question. My first novel that I wrote was actually Boyfriend for Rent but I didn’t release it until I had written about 4 drafts of it on my own in about a month and then worked with two editors to bring it to life. By the time that book was done, I had already written The Trainer, which if I recall correctly, took me less than a month, including time with the editor. I worked with two different editors on both of them.
What’s your writing process like? It depends on the book but lately, I come up with an idea, I write a very short outline that’s less than a page or two, then I sometimes write a screenplay version of it because it’s quicker to get through the first draft, then once I get the story straightened out, I start writing it in novel form. It goes through another polish, then it’s off to my editor and while they’re editing, I immediately start writing another novel. I use Google Docs to edit so we collaborate back and forth.
How do you write so many novels so fast? Well, first I get out of my own way and turn that critic off in my head because often times, the novels I thought were going to be crap, when I look back at them weeks, months or even years later, I’m surprised they’re pretty good. I also work very closely with my editors and sometimes co-authors because I really believe a book is a collaborative process. It takes a village to take a hunk of clay and turn it into a masterpiece. I have no ego about taking suggestions on making my novels the best they can be.
If you work with co-writers and editors, how much of the book have you written? I write every single scene in each of the books, every line of dialogue. I often say that I’m a great storyteller but there are other people, such as my co-writers and editors who are just stronger at prose than I am. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses. I also love the collaborative process, bouncing ideas back and forth and that I have final approval over every scene. I come up with the concept, I write the sometimes several drafts of the outline before I write the first two or three drafts myself, and then I send a list of edits of my own I’d like to see implemented to the editor or the co-writer and they do those along with their own magic filling out scenes, expanding the prose, strengthening sentences and even adding whole moments that we both agree would make the story stronger. I love the process!
What are you working on next? Well, I have about 10 first drafts of new romance novels I’ve written that need to be totally rewritten and then sent off to my editor. I try to release a new novel a month at least.