Monday, January 23, 2012

Interview with Jamie Haden, Author of Spirit Seeker

Jamie, it’s great to meet you! What can you tell us about you that we wouldn’t already know from your other interviews?

Oh my goodness. Let’s see. To tell you the truth, I have a very unhealthy obsession with Chanel No. 5. I used to wear Coco, but a few years back my husband surprised me with a bottle of No. 5. Since, I’ve been in love. I wear it if I’m going to the beach or simply swimming in the pool.    

Speed Answer Challenge:

Chocolate or Vanilla:  chocolate
Favorite color:  purple
Astrological sign:  Aquarius
Favorite season:  fall
Sports car or All-terrain vehicle: sports  
Watch TV or Go for a hike:  hike
Favorite animal:  eagle

Tell us a bit about your book, Spirit Seeker.
Spirit Seeker is the story of sixteen-year-old Talisa Santiago.  Life is strange and difficult for Talisa. She was born in the desert underneath the full moon in January—the wolf moon. However, she left the desert with her mother when she was a young girl. She remembers bits and pieces of her past but it isn’t until she and her mom move to a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that she feels fate has finally called—secretive and mysterious he stands alone on the edge of the bank. Her friends tell her to stay away; she hears rumors that he is dangerous. Still, she can’t resist. Whether Talisa realizes it or not, she knows a thing or two about boys like Jag Chavez. Fate is funny that way.
For the first time in her life, Talisa meets kids just like her—Native Americans who know the way of the spirit. The closer she gets to Jag, the more she realizes he is hiding a dark secret. He may have the markings of the Thunderbird, but he is named for the powerful Jaguar. Together they embark on a journey that will haunt her forever.

What inspired this story? And what’s the driving force behind the rest of the series?
 Definitely my daughters.

A couple of us authors were talking on Twitter the other day about how our characters/books take on lives of their own. Like one character in my YA series loves Lady Gaga and I can’t stand her! You mention that you let Talisa have her own Voice. Have you experienced anything like we have? LOL! #FellowWritersMustJoinTogether

                Good question. Talisa lives on a remote island without a computer or a cell phone. She hates shopping and isn’t into new trends. She doesn’t wear any makeup, and dreams of going to college and becoming a doctor.
                As for me, I couldn’t live without my laptop. I love shopping, especially for shoes. I splurge on expensive make-up and dream of moving to Spain. When I was Talisa’s age I wanted to backpack through Europe with my friends.  
I have a harder time writing action than dialogue too! Sometimes, it’s just brutal! How do you get through it?

I’ve recently read quite a bit of noir crime fiction. Action is certainly the hardest to write, in my opinion. I’m a literary fiction girl at heart. What a thrill to read some hardboiled noir that leaves you exhilarated and utterly miserable at the same time. I love it!    

What can you tell us about the rest of the series?

The following books are all completely separate. They are stand alones and will each have a different theme.   

Where can readers purchase your book?

Spirit Seeker is available at Pill Hill Press and most online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc.

May we read an excerpt from the book?

I was only five when I first saw the dead man. I was awakened at midnight by the sound of beating drums.
Before me were two men with their bodies painted, wearing masks, dancing around the grotesque corpse. Their long, thick hair flapped against their backs as they moved in perfect rhythm. In and out, they went into a trance. Shadows appeared through the smoke. I could see the dead man’s spirit hovering around, waiting for redemption. His side had been torn in half, mauled it seemed by a wild animal of some sort. In the background there was a woman stirring a paste. I smiled when she looked at me. It was my mother.
She went to the dead man and began rubbing his ragged, maggot-ridden side with the magic potion. Her long hair flowed into his wounds. The two male dancers began stomping their feet, waving their hands, and chanting foreign sounds only the spirits could understand. The ceremony took most of the night. By dawn, the drums finally stopped beating. And the dead man woke up. He staggered as he stood, walking out of the tent with a limp. The miracle workers removed their masks. I watched my mother with perfect clarity. She was mesmerizing. Her beauty was extraordinary. Divine. The way she carefully wiped the paint from their sweat filled faces and soaked their bloody, battered feet in buckets of warm water was a ritual my mother knew all too well. The two men she cleansed were my father and grandfather. She handed each of them a peace pipe. That was the last memory I have of my father. After that, I don’t remember ever seeing him again.
Although I do know the moon well, the lullabies sung to me as a child were never from storybooks that promised goodnight wishes to the beautiful planet. Instead, at night, when the stars shone upon me, I would recite a sacred prayer to the hidden sun, the earth father—the almighty jaguar. I would gaze into the night sky and dream of the jaguar’s spots shinning above me. I would wish into them and fantasize childlike dreams. I knew the jaguar had a sacred power in the earth and the animals that lived upon it. I just never knew I was creating my own destiny so long ago.

Where can your readers connect with you on the web?

Thank you so much for asking

I had a wonderful time today! Thanks for taking a minute to chat with me!

And thank YOU Jamie for letting us chat with you! If you'd like to hear more from Jamie, we'll be talking with her live this Wednesday at 3:30 PST on our Blog Talk Radio show. To set a reminder for the interview click here.


  1. Sounds good! I have a curiousity for Native American themed books. There's something about superstitious magic that entices me. And chanel no5 IS a classic, my mom used to wear them too. It's just so subtle and sexy & never wears off.

  2. You had me from Native American. I love and respect the culture and history of our nation's first peoples, so any time I see a book about that world, I'm definitely interested.