Jamie Carie was born and raised in the small, historical town of Vincennes, Indiana. Her parents accepted Christ as their Savior when she was six and her dad subsequently quit his job as a welder and started a church. After marrying and deciding to homeschool her boys, she began writing skits, poems and articles for her church and school. When her oldest son turned five, she began to write novels in earnest.
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Question: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Jamie Carie: I was born and raised in the small, historical town of Vincennes, Indiana; I am the oldest of five children. When I was six, my parents accepted Christ as their Savior, which changed everything. Excited about Jesus, my dad decided to take a giant leap of faith, quit his welding job and start a church.
Some of my favorite memories of growing up are the road trips I used to take with my dad, driving to home Bible studies across southern Indiana where he would preach. After a night of teaching and ministry, we would drive home and talk of things beyond earth’s bounds - creation and the fall, God and Jesus and the rapture, the earthly walk compared to the spiritual walk, and how we are born for more than what we can see or touch. The highlight of those nights was stopping at a truck stop where my dad would spend a little of the offering basket on two slices of pie and a couple of Cokes. Nothing ever felt so special as a middle of the night slice of pie with my dad.
Q: How did you become interested in writing?
JC: As I grew closer to God and developed my own relationship with Him, I discovered a heart welling with songs and poetry. In high school, I sang in a band with my brother and our friends, writing most of the band’s lyrics. Music is one of my life-long passions!
After college, I married, had a brief stint as an office manager and then, after having two sons, decided it was more fun to stay at home with my boys. I homeschooled for five years, joining a wonderful group of families in a supportive co-op. Teaching in the co-op opened new avenues of creativity and I began writing skits, poems and articles for my school and church. When my oldest son turned five, I began to write novels in earnest.
Q: What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
JC: I had been reading romance novels for years when I felt the Lord’s desire for me to loosen my grip. I tried reading Christian romance novels, but found that I couldn’t relate to the saintly characters, so I decided to write a story of my own --- the kind of story I wanted to read.
Snow Angel was born on a frosty night in an old farmhouse in Fishers, Indiana, where the cold, wood floorboards gave plenty of motivation for the snow scene. I’ve always had a romanticized view of Alaska and I wanted to explore that. The research was in-depth and phenomenal, giving me more plot than I knew what to do with. Then, I just fell in love with my characters. I couldn’t wait to see what they would do next and how their story was going to turn out.
Q: What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
JC: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. “ (Eph. 3:17b-19, NIV)
I believe in the power of fiction. Love stories are over done, but that’s only because they are so needed, so grasped at. Elizabeth’s story is the story of the church, a flawed and fallen bride; Noah is the savior. It’s so simple . . . and yet we seem to need to hear it again and again. It never loses its power. It’s the story of the cross.
Q: Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
JC: Simply that we can never out-run, out-sin, hide from or hinder God’s love. God is love and we can make the decision to reject Him, but His love is still there. All He wants is surrender --- total and complete - but so few can trust that much. I struggle to trust that much.
Q: Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?
JC: I love chapter one --- the snow scene. I rewrote it so many times, pouring countless hours over each phrase, and now, I’m pleased with it. It’s about the best writing I can do. I also love the climax at the end of chapter 17, when Noah finally understands. When he chooses the side of love over the side of hurt. When he allows himself and his dreams to die so that she can live. I am undone when I read it. God gave me that scene, pure and simple. Then, there’s the end, the last few pages. I pretty much sob over it each time, it’s so full of beauty. The beauty of surrender, the beauty of Noah’s land and the auroras, the beauty of Elizabeth’s repentance, and the beauty of God’s love for the both of them. My sister says I write the best endings of any author she’s ever read. I get teary-eyed when she says it, not because I think I’m so great and agree with her, but because I’m so undeserving of what God poured through me on those pages.
>Q: What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
JC: I don’t want to write a fluffy, take me out of my routine for a few hours, kind of story. Unless it’s really well written, I’m bored when I read that. I want truth. God’s truth. Leaking out through the words and pages and seeping into hearts. I want powerful words that build powerful characters and “story,” the kind that heals and encourages and lifts up and gives hope to the weary. If I deliver any of that, it’s straight from the Spirit of God.
Q: How does the book intertwine with God¹s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
JC: For the last several years, I’ve mostly been a mother and wife. I’ve worked in church nurseries, I’ve led a woman’s Bible study, and I’ve done craft outreaches and church newsletters and brochures. While these are certainly fine things, I’ve had this internal straining to make a written impact on the world for the kingdom. (Try being pregnant for eight years!) I’m never so alive as when I’ve written a poem or a song or a chapter. It’s the only thing I’m really good at.
Q: Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? What is it and why is it important to you?
JC: This changes monthly, weekly, for whatever I’m currently needing most in my life. The Word is my healing, the constant in my life.
Q: Are there any authors that either influenced you personally or influenced your style of writing? Who are they and how did they influence you?
JC: Laura Kinsale. She’s secular, but my goodness, that girl can write! “Flowers from the Storm” is my favorite novel of all time. I’ve studied her work paragraph by paragraph. She has the perfect balance of description of setting, characterization, dialog and plotting, combining them seamlessly. She’s pure perfection. Francine River’s “Redeeming Love” is, in my opinion, the boilerplate for Christian romance. I wish she’d write more of them! I’ve lent that book to women and gotten it back with words like, “I got more from that book than I do reading anything nonfiction. I know I’ll be okay now.” That’s the power of fiction in action. I love the books of Isaiah and Hebrews, so poetic to me. Oh, and Frank Peretti, he really impacted me early on.
I sometimes throw myself into the classics and read Dickens, Victor Hugo of “Les Misérables,” Alexandre Dumas of “The Count of Monte Cristo” (great movies), lots of Jack London during the research phase for “Snow Angel,” Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” (of course) and many, many more. Then I’ll switch gears and read Sue Monk Kidd, Barbara Kingsolver, Nicholas Sparks, Ted Dekker, current bestselling fiction. Then I’ll dapple in some non-fiction, like Beth Moore, Joyce Meyers, Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Mansfield’s biography on Derek Prince (wow, that made my childhood make sense!), Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meal Cookbooks. And then for fun I’ll occasionally throw in a chic-lit by someone like Jennifer Weiner. I’m basically always reading just about anything I can get my hands on.
Q: When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
JC: I love spending time with people: my husband, my kids (when they’re not fighting), my sister, my parents, my neighbors and church friends. I love shopping, especially shoe shopping, a bit of a problem really, as I get a little breathless at the sight of a red patent-leather, stiletto pump. Eating out and the dieting roller-coaster that follows, gardening --- I love flowers, dressing up and going out, anything artsy like movies, plays, musicals, symphony, opera, ballet, museums, concerts, live bands, etc. Oh, and I love to inspire other artists! My church has agreed to start a writer’s group where I hope to encourage other Christian writers.
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