When did you start writing?
I spent most of my teenage years writing angsty poetry and horror shorts. It wasn't until 2012, after life settled down a bit, that I started writing novels.
What’s your favorite genre to write?
While I enjoy reading all types of stories, my favorite genre to write is thrillers. Some of my novels are romantic, others have SciFi/fantasy elements, but they are all high-octane thrill rides.
What do you do when you’re not writing or editing?
When I'm not what??? Honestly, there are not many occasions when I'm not writing or editing these days. I have three novels releasing in 2017 and two in 2018, along with a few sequels to write. So, writing and editing take up most of my waking, and sleeping hours.
Like me, you use lots of music while you write, what are some of your favourite songs or bands to write to?
I only write to dubstep (EDM). It puts me in a great mood, and there are very little words to distract me. Some of my favs are: Odesza, Hermitude, Ki: Theory, and Rogue.
What inspired Ashby Holler?
The inspiration for Ashby Holler is kind of unconventional. I was trying to think of something that hadn't been done yet, and drug trafficking Mack truckers in the 80's popped into mind. Since the topic was so grim, I wanted to go all out and make it as risque as possible.
I loved Sasha’s tough character, why write such a strong female that doesn’t fit into conventional roles?
For me, a strong female is a conventional role. My mother was a force to be reckoned with. She was my idol, the person I strive to be like, and I put her strength into everyone of my characters.
What does the future hold for Sasha?
Sasha's story is quite tragic, and unfortunately the future holds nothing good for that girl. She tends to run from her problems, or shoot them blindly, but she can't run forever. Everybody has to face their past, eventually.
You have a new sci-fi coming out...what inspired it?
Project Emergence is my YA debut novel. It tells the story of a group of teens escaping a dying Earth to start civilization on a newly terra formed Mars, and releases on March 14, 2017. I was inspired for this idea by the recent exploration of Mars, and my love for space set thrillers.
What do you love most about writing
Writing sci-fi is extremely difficult, and incredibly fun! What I love most about the genre is a writer can only be limited by their imagination. Tech and science is boundless, much like magic, so you can push the limits on your character's abilities, within scientific reason of course.
Any advice for other writers?
The publishing industry is constantly changing. What may have worked five or ten years ago, probably won't work now. If you’re really serious about becoming an author, be prepared for a long ride down a bumpy road of rejections and always stay open to learn new tricks to improve your craft.
Find Project Emergence
Find Ashby Holler Series
More about Jamie Zakian
Jamie Zakian is a full-time writer who consumes the written word as equally as oxygen. Living in South Jersey with her husband and rowdy family, she enjoys farming, archery, and blazing new trails on her 4wd quad, when not writing of course. She aspires to one day write at least one novel in every genre of fiction.