I’m so excited for today’s post! A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to interview Jaime Lee Mann, author of the Legend of Rhyme series and I’m so excited to share it with you guys!
How did you go about building the world in the Legend of Rhyme series? Did you have a clear vision of what you wanted before writing or did you build it as you wrote?
Interesting question! The world that I built was definitely based on the place where I grew up, but the vision didn’t become entirely clear until I continued writing. To be honest, the world is still revealing itself to me as I continue to add bits and pieces and explore additional realms.
Did you feel any pressure as the series went on to build the world even more?
I wouldn’t say that it is pressure I feel, as much as a strong need to get the story out of my head. The world continues to build itself in my mind as the characters show me what they want to be doing and where they want to be doing it. (Sounds crazy, but it’s true!)
What was your inspiration when you were writing?
When I’m writing I find inspiration everywhere! I wrote much of Elora of Stone and Into Coraira outdoors, either on the grass under a tree in my yard, on the red rocky shore below my parents’ house, or on a sandy beach. Nature would be my greatest source of inspiration. That and my beautifully imaginative children!
What’s your favorite kind of scene to write?
I love writing scenes with new magic spells! I also love writing the pixie scenes. And the scenes with Grimblerod. I don’t think I have a favourite kind of scene to write, but I can tell you that looking at that first blank page is my favourite. Writing the first draft of a story is my absolute greatest joy.
Do you have a favorite line from any of your books?
Oh, I don’t think I could pick just one favourite! But I do always share this little blurb from Elora of Stone when I’m reading to students:
“Come with me,” the toad croaks. “I want to show you something.” He hops off into the woods, and I follow him. He’s not a dragon, but he is a talking toad.”
As a middle grade writer, what do you strive to get across to your readers?
The underlying message throughout the Legend of Rhyme series is that things are not always as they seem. I also just really want kids’ imaginations to be stretched!
What’s your favorite part about writing for young readers?
Hands down, my favourite part about writing for young readers is when I get to read to them! Seeing the reactions to the story in a classroom setting is a feeling I never expected when I started writing.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I knew when I was about nine years old that I wanted to write! When I was in high school, I had a creative writing teacher who told me that whatever I chose to do in the future, I had to keep writing. I never forgot that and here I am!
Do you like to outline the plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I always outline the stories so I have a guideline to work with and I always start with the ending! There’s no guarantee I will stick to the outline (my characters always have their own plans) but I do always start there.
What books have influenced you as a writer?
The Chronicles of Narnia and everything by Dr. Seuss
Thank you so much to Jamie for all of her wonderful answers and to Talia at DigiWriting for setting our interview up.
Be sure and check out the Legend of Rhyme series!
About Elora of Stone, book one in the Legend of Rhyme series
Four-year-old Asher Caine vanishes while playing near the woods one day with his twin sister Ariana. Eventually, his family believes him to be dead. In the Kingdom of Falmoor, twins are cursed. Ever since the evil sorcerer Larque turned the good witch Elora to stone, all twins in the Kingdom are doomed to be separated, either through death or mysterious disappearances.
Now about to turn thirteen, Ariana learns that her brother is alive, and she must find him in order to save Falmoor. With their magic blood and powerful bond, the Caine twins must release Elora from her stone imprisonment. Only then will Larque be stopped from spreading darkness throughout the kingdom.
Will the twins find each other in time? Can they save Falmoor from evil and remove the curse of the twins forever?
About Jamie Lee Mann
Many years later, Jaime Lee’s children would beg her to tell them stories at bedtime. Sometimes her stories were silly and sometimes they were magical.
The girls loved one of her magical stories so much that Jaime Lee decided to write it down. That story would eventually become Elora of Stone, the first novel in the Legend of Rhyme series.
JL (as her family calls her) lives in a pretty house in Prince Edward Island with her husband and two daughters (who are still little girls for now).
She writes every day and plans to do so for as long as people love to read her words.
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @JamieLeeMann