Books may well be the only true magic.

—Alice Hoffman, American novelist (b. 1952)

Editors should be able to write too.

I’ve been writing all my life. I’ve even tried my hand at fiction, although I’m not working on anything currently. A lot of what I write now is book jacket copy (or marketing copy packs) for different publishers. I’ve also written scripts, articles for local publications, and all sorts of marketing copy. I also write voraciously about my family history, with the intention of creating a narrative for my son and his cousins.

I have particularly enjoyed writing about my travels too, which have resulted in a travelogue disbursed to friends (and which may someday result in something more). Here’s a little example:

We took a trip to Paris this spring, and I’m thrilled to report we had a grand time, in spite of the fact that neither of us speaks a lick of French. The thing is, most of Paris is subtitled. It’s the number-one tourist destination in the world, for pete’s sake, and, trust me, most of those tourists do not speak French. Of course, we learned the language quickly: le bridge, le bottled water, le apartment, le mobile phone … But seriously, the French have laws (laws!) about this sort of thing (zis Franglais, eet must be stopped!), so it’s a wonder we weren’t deported.

There are about 87 million native French-speakers, which actually puts it ’way down on the list of world languages. Chinese, of course, is first, even if you only count Mandarin, at 873 million; English and Spanish are neck and neck, each with around 350 million native speakers; then there’s Arabic, and Portuguese … French is actually twelfth on this list, after Russian, Japanese, and German, among others—but really, do you want to learn to speak Russian? Nah. My too-brief visit to Paris, on the other hand, has me considering French classes, because I want to go back.

One burning question you may have had that I am pleased to be able to answer: do they really wear berets in Paris? Absolutely. The young, the old, men, women—there are lots of berets goin’ on. Simple, classic, oh-so-chic. I’d read that Paris is a city of fashion, of careful dressing, and it’s true. You see older women in the shops, all dressed up in hose and heels and a skirt, buying their groceries—no running down to the convenience store in your sweats on a Saturday morning, oh no. Paris is simply not a casual city. You can immediately identify the tourists: we’re the ones in the comfortable shoes.

My primary delight in writing these days, though, is my blog, where I discuss writing and editing, books and authors, words and language, and publishing … not necessarily in that order.

On occasion, I write middle grade chapter books with Tim Conrad. It’s a lot of fun. 🙂

Game Plan
Go the Distance
Breaking Free

“Thanks to my editor, Jamie Chavez, who, besides being a joy to work with, inspired great ideas for the beginning and ending and a whole lot in between.”

Mike Mason, Author

“I’ve worked with Jamie on four novels and have grown immensely as a writer because of her guidance.”

Kimberly Stuart, Author

“To [my] editor, Jamie Chavez, who keeps pulling me out of literary ditches and putting me back on the right path.”

Golden Keyes Parsons, Author

Your article in the MTSU magazine was outstanding. You did a great job with all the personalities you had to interview and work with.

Linda Hardymon

“One of an author’s strongest assets is an editor who is so smart, savvy, and insightful the author is grateful for the redirection and counsel. Thanks for your deft hand and thoroughness for the sake of story.”

Cynthia Ruchti, Author

“Thanks so much for your help. This was the least painful experience I’ve had—you were a delight!”

Hugh Halter, Author

“Wow! Your copy gave me goose bumps! We all love it and wouldn’t change a thing.”

Amy Quicksall, Marketing Manager