“If you have a story that is crushing your heart, then write it,” Jamie McGuire told the crowd at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa on Tuesday. She visited the campus to talk to the students about writing and her bestseller, Beautiful Disaster.
I was there to talk to her.
Sometimes my personal and professional lives intersect, when it happens, it’s awesome. This was one of those times. You see, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a fan of Jamie’s writing. She has storytelling skill that is hard to find, one I can only hope to emulate in my own writing. Meanwhile, her story of self-publishing turned runaway success isn’t just a great Oklahoma story. It’s a great story in general.
And all of that is why Travis (aptly named, huh?), one of KFOR’s photographers, and I made the hour and a half trek from Oklahoma City to Tonkawa to find and interview Jamie.
Jamie met first with NOC’s book club, and then with a a larger crowd at the student union on campus. She treated the crowd to a reading of the prologue of Walking Disaster, the much anticipated sequel to Beautiful Disaster. That book hits the stores April 2nd. She also talked movie news, her current work in progress (the forthcoming Red Hill), writing tips, and the journey that took her from Oklahoma regular gal to international celebrity. Know what else I noticed about her? Despite all the success, she’s just a regular, down to earth person. I watched her be friendly to everyone, and make time for all her fans. At this book event, that meant she made time for a lot of people!
Would she self-publish again? Yes. Does she regret the path she took to published author? Nope. Does she encourage other writes to “just do it”? You bet.
“You don’t have to be the best speller. You don’t have to be a literary genius to write a book,” she said. “Don’t let ‘you’ talk yourself out of something you that you want to do.”
Of course, this is only party of the story. You can watch my interview with Jamie McGuire tonight at 9PM on Freedom43TV.