Marissa Meyer: 0:00
Hello and welcome to the happy writer. This is a podcast that aims to bring readers more books to enjoy and to help authors find more joy in their writing. I am your host, Marisa Meyer. Thanks so much for joining me. I hope you guys are continuing to stay healthy and safe out there in your bunkers. A little bit of housekeeping today. We are now. Have you had more than 10 podcast episodes, which I'm super psyched about? Andi, I thought it was time to start asking you guys for your input. I really want this podcast to be something that you enjoy listening to and that you look forward to publishing every week. Eso I have put together a survey. You can find it at marissa Mayer dot com slash podcast. Eso Please go and fill it out. Let me know how I'm doing. Let me know what you think I can do better on but the end of that survey there is ah, space where you have the option to put in your email address to win. Ah, book. Probably. I don't know what the give away is yet, but you can get a signed book of some sort. Um, so again, that is it. Marissa Mayer dot com slash podcast Let's see one thing that is making me really happy this week. Um, and it's actually kind of a big thing today is that we just revealed my new cover art. My book, Instant Karma is coming out this November, and the cover was done by the amazing Vera Bras Eagle, who was one of my favorite graphic novel artists. Ah, and she's written some of my kids favorite picture books, and I really love her, and I really loved the cover Eso Please go look it up. Instant karma is the book, and it's now available for preorder as well. So super super exciting stuff. And of course, the other thing that I am so happy about right now is getting to talk to you. Today's guest, she is the author of the middle grade Far Fetched, which she wrote under the pen name Finck. A lot so that is currently a Barnes and Noble exclusive but will soon be available more widely. And this week she is making her why, a debut with the fun and a feminist contemporary book, The Life and medieval times of kit. Sweetly. Please welcome Jamie Pectin. Hello. Hi, Jamie. How are you? I'm good. Thank you. Good. You're holding up in your bunker.
Jamie Pacton: 2:24
I am? Yes. And I My bunker is a strange place because I already worked from home, and I already homeschooled my kids. And so not much has changed in my book.
Marissa Meyer: 2:33
I feel like it's been going on long enough. Now, where I've fallen to this, like, new Normal. Um, so So it doesn't seem quite as you know, panic inducing as it was two months ago.
Jamie Pacton: 2:46
Yeah, it's still really weird. Don't be ableto like, go pick up a pizza without, like, a lot of planning and effort, but yeah, it's definitely more normalized.
Marissa Meyer: 2:55
Yeah, well, good. I'm glad. I'm glad that you're you're doing well. You're celebrating your book lunch? Um, kids sweetly. I loved reading this book of the lead singer that. Yeah, I know. And I really think readers are gonna absolutely dig it. It's so timely and fun and just wonderful. And I can't wait to talk about it. Um, why don't you start by telling listeners what the
Jamie Pacton: 3:22
book is about? Sure. Okay, So it's about where the cops are. It's a Knights tale but also meets moxie. So it's about Kit to the 17 year old serving wenches, her official title. But she's a waitress at a medieval themed restaurant in the suburbs of Chicago. Um, it's called the Castle and Kits. So her uncle's her boss. He's the king there. Her brother is the Red knight, and Kit desperately wants to be a night. She's been trading with her brother for years. But at this particular castle, um, only, you know, cysts. Dudes are allowed to actually be nights, and kid is just over it. So when that she rides out in her brother's places, the Red Knight and, um, at the very end, they say something like, Let's come, May The best are the best night, where the best man, you know won the tournament. Kid whips off her helmet and says, I am the man, Um, and that becomes a viral video that starts this whole campaign to change things at the castle on. And then Kid is joined by several of her friends who are actually folks all across the gender spectrum on, they're all fighting to make things a bit more fair, Um, and a bit more historically accurate. So the book is funny, and it's that little tip. It's in the people history woven in, um, and it is feminists, but in a very intersectional kind of way. I mean, like It, of course, has still struggling with things in her own life, her family struggling with poverty. She's trying to get into a dream college. And then, of course, she's tryingto think you're out so complicated relationship she has with her best friend, who she's absolutely certainly never going to date, although she would desperately like to. So
Marissa Meyer: 5:04
I would desperately like to date him, too. Oh, so good. I absolutely
Jamie Pacton: 5:10
modeled him off of my husband. I will say that on He's a good human and I just I wanted away love interest. That was like, You know, he's got his own things. He's strong in his own right, but he also like he's there for kids dreams as well. Anything that's important to show.
Marissa Meyer: 5:27
Yeah, no, he's a very endearing character. There's one part where Kit is thinking about him, and there's a line that something like he's just a miracle of a human. I loved that line. Um, and I He actually reminded me a fair amount of my husband as well. So yeah, eso I read somewhere that you were inspired to write this book after, Ah, riel life visit to medieval times. That is true. What was it about you going and watching this show that then kind of brought to life kits Story,
Jamie Pacton: 6:06
sir. Um, okay, so I know my husband is actually from the suburbs of Chicago, and there's this huge castle there. Um and, you know, for the 1st 15 20 years, our relationship, we drive past it, like on the way to my in laws house. And, you know, there's a castle, and I was always, like, I would really like to go there cause I love Renaissance fairs. I love medieval history, and I went to Marquette where there is, in fact, you know, the Joan of Arc Chapel is there. So I've got this, like, deep love for history and medieval things, but I've never been to this treason restaurant. And so, um, fast forward, you know, 2017 I'm still kind of reeling after the 2016 election. And you know my son, it was my youngest son we'd had this whole conversation for, You know, the better part of a year about feminism and all these things. And so we've got that sort of that dialogue going on, and then we go to the castle. Are you decided to just take him one nights were busy. My in laws, I'm like, You know what? I was gonna We'll go. We'll go hang out. We'll see this dinner theater. It'll be a fun, you know, just ridiculous night with my son. And he's all excited to eat turkey legs. And, um And as I was going and I was like, I know, I really hope we cease, um, you know, female in the heights or something like that. I had no idea what I was getting into, but, you know, we've been talking about feminism, and also, I just told was telling him about female that it's anyways to get their, uh um, it is, really if you ever have a chance to go. I know there's one in Florida, its extravagantly cheesy. It's so much fun. Um, you know, and especially if you kind of just lean into it. And so, you know, I bought myself like the night package was just where they'll give him a little cloak and, um, pretend tonight him. And, like, we bought the souvenirs. But as
Marissa Meyer: 7:42
Jamie Pacton: 7:42
there and, you know, the nights were writing out, like, on the one hand, I was having this very fun. Um, just, you know, mom and kid experience of fanfare in pageantry. And on the other hand, I was really annoyed. It was like there are no female nights out here. All of the women in this play are in this theater. Aren't, you know, serving food on and I think they've since updated it. I know there are queens now at the People Times, so the story has shifted a little, but there are still no female nights on. I did ask my server about that. That's like, would you like to do that? And she was like, Oh, yeah, totally would. But, you know, they won't let us. And on that, I just kind of like I was sitting there and, you know, stories come about like you don't expect to find them sometimes. And I walked out of medieval times that night with, like, a pretty fully fledged um story idea. Um, and it was nice because I knew from early on exactly what Kit wanted, you know, she wanted to have a night, and so everything else just kind of slotted into place from there. Um, but yeah, the book. Really? I wasn't I had just finished writing this huge, like, epic dark fantasy, which was I think I was still I was still looking for an agent at that point for a second agent because I had recently left my first agent and had this, you know, new book that I was hoping would be, You know, my breakthrough in fantasy. So I wasn't looking to write a contemporary. Um, but that's kind of the book that I discovered that I went there.
Marissa Meyer: 9:07
That's so funny how that happens sometimes. I was convinced that my first book would be high fantasy, because that's what I read all through, like my teen years. And then when the science fiction idea came for me, it was like, really science fiction. Um, how was it? Hard as you're sitting there watching the medieval times, and this story is kind of burbling up in your head. I must have been so hard to pay attention that you just imagine like kids had feeling or kids story filling your head.
Jamie Pacton: 9:34
It definitely did. I mean, I was taking notes on my phone, but it's also it's not home will say when you know, paying attention. You just kinda have to cheer loudly. And my kid was so into it and like it was just, you know, screaming for whatever our night was. Um, it was a pretty like, I don't know, There are some parenting situations where you really need to be present attending closely. This was like just your loudly and like click cups, and that I did. I did leave with notes on my phone, and then I went back to my in laws at night, and I wrote just a few notes. But actually, and I like to tell this story. The I like kids voice was so very strong in my head from early on, with that, like first line about the Red Knight only fighting on certain days of the week. Um, some of that is largely unchanged from like a few sentences that I wrote down that night. You know,
Marissa Meyer: 10:23
she's a great character. I connected with her so deeply. Ah, you know, in that great way were some characters like you both want to be them, and you just want to be friends with them and hang out with them. Um, and I felt that way with kids. She's so funny. Her sense of humor is just fantastic. Have you been back to medieval knights or medieval times? And I e did
Jamie Pacton: 10:46
Okay, So I went to, you know, the one time I discovered this story, and then I went back next to my husband, came with us this time. So is after Kid had already been bought, and I think I was done with copy at it. So I had already seen, like, the arc cover, But I didn't have our action. Um, because my plan was to actually take the finished book. You know, an almond launched a go to medieval times, like stand there with my book, like a work. Do
Marissa Meyer: 11:10
you have any? Oh, no. And I actually
Jamie Pacton: 11:14
through this process, I've met other people who actually know who are wenches in real life for people who are queens in medieval times. And you know, there they've been lovely, but we had all these. I'm still like get kid into the castle Brill, which have not come through because the pandemic. But, yes, I take go back. And it was very strange because it was like I was seeing the story everywhere, as opposed to, like, kind of having a form and arrive in my head. It was like, Oh, that person over there could be kids, or I wonder if all these servers
Marissa Meyer: 11:44
Jamie Pacton: 11:44
hang out after the You know.
Marissa Meyer: 11:46
That's so awesome. I love it. Would you like if you were working at the castle? What would you want your job to be?
Jamie Pacton: 11:53
I would. Zef. Let's see me. Ah, now or me at 17. At 17. I would have definitely wanted to have been either a night or, um someone related to, like, horses or something like that. Um, now I feel like I Teoh um hey, get vertigo and things like that. So maybe I wouldn't want to be a
Marissa Meyer: 12:17
nightmare that I want to be,
Jamie Pacton: 12:18
like someone, like taking photographs or, you know, queen up in the stands. But I definitely wouldn't want to be a serving lunch like I was a server for so long and I'd like to never, ever do that again. Um, but I would love to be part of the show in some way. But what about you? What would
Marissa Meyer: 12:34
you dio Oh, gosh. Queen got going way. I just want to sit on my throne into people. What? Todo solid choice for sure. Life goals. So I This is I'm sure this is super naive, but I am so surprised that even here in 2020 girls really still aren't allowed to be nice.
Jamie Pacton: 12:59
Yeah, um, I What
Marissa Meyer: 13:03
Jamie Pacton: 13:04
learned in the process of all this is like some of the things that I imagined and rode into Kit just based on some of my initial either clues or research or talking to people I actually like. Got a lot of that really right. And I find that so depressing in this big I can't believe that, you know, it's still like, just, you know, cysts, then could be nights. Um, And like I said, some of the people and of the work of the actual medieval times are working to change that. But there are some pretty, like, deep corporate structures, um, that are holding on to this idea that, you know, in the Middle Ages will Lehman fought. And here's what women did, you know? And so it is really this sort of, um, dinosaur of the thing that that is going to take some time to change with. That said, at Ren fairs, there are some female nights, if you look it up, there's some amazing women out there doing really cool. I mean, you know, they're jousting, they're riding his knights, and I was just e mailing list someone on this learning about talking to one of these jousters Ah, but in in the dinner party circuit, at least I have not sounds that that's changed very much. And even in rent bears, it's the rarity that you see a few mil night and I think that that should just like we should just do away without altogether. Would whoever wants to be a night, let them look invites?
Marissa Meyer: 14:22
Yeah, in this day and age, and you and you make some excellent points in the book to that, you know, there were women, warriors and fighters. Um, and, you know, maybe they weren't being knighted. Or maybe they were actually don't know. Um, but but it's not. I mean, it's not like all the women throughout these hundreds and hundreds of years just stayed home and cooked all the time. Like there were women out there fighting for their country and
Jamie Pacton: 14:48
their people and they were traveling. I mean, like Telser does shows us a little bit about, like with the wife, bath and stuff. But I mean, women like the Middle Ages. And I think maybe this is one of the larger points and that is trying to get a crossing kid. Is this like the Middle Ages were so they were diverse, you know? They were buried, They It was a huge fan of time. There's no monolithic like this was the Middle Ages, you know, and it's just the multi pipe on version of it or whatever, but yeah, I mean, I don't think women were being knighted per se, but there were Queens leading, you know, people like leading armies into battle. And there were, um, you know, just fighters who would pick up some words and, of course, all the Viking lawyer women. And I mean so it's really it's a lot. Um, it's a lot more interesting. You know what I studied. And, um, even in college? No, thanks.
Marissa Meyer: 15:39
Yeah, and of course I mean, I think Joan of Arc is probably the most well known. Um, Who is your like, Do you have a favorite, like, totally badass female from history?
Jamie Pacton: 15:50
There are. So there's a few that kit lists on her wall of amazing women. I think some of those women are incredible. Um, I am sort of drawn in history to some of the queens and like, um, both for military prowess and for some of the scheming they ended up doing and just some of the like, the leadership that they could out there in the midst of all of this. Um, so but,
Marissa Meyer: 16:14
yeah, I have a friend of mine gave me the book. Rejected princesses. Um, yeah, and it's a compilation of both fictional and nonfictional females from all over the world, uh, all different time periods, But just, you know, they who did things that would not make them a Disney princess, essentially. But in a lot of ways, they were just awesome. You know, brave, bold heroines. Eso It's been a really fun, fun book to be perusing lately. I think you'd like it.
Jamie Pacton: 16:47
I think I'm gonna really I just looked it up. I will definitely order that. I love Mackenzie's, um, saying this. The women in history. But she did. It's called bygone badass broads. It's great, you know, it's got lots of little snippets. And I guess you know, to your question of Do I have just one? I do not have just one woman that I, you know, it's think is remarkable. Um, but like once used everything about it. And once you start peeling back the layers of history, that's where it's, um, it's just surprising to see women across the world, actually. So this is not just women in Western Europe, you know, it's living in Asia and South America who were doing fierce like old things and changing history, and we just don't get to hear about it is often you should, you know.
Marissa Meyer: 17:37
Yeah. Do you? I'm a believer that books can change the world on and can change things. They plant seeds and our our minds. They change the way we think about things, and that can go off to have really big consequences. Is there any part of you that's hoping that kids sweetly and her story is actually going to go and actually start making some of these changes that happen in the book. Yes, Eyes. The easy answer. I
Jamie Pacton: 18:07
has been reluctant to talk too much about this, just cause it feels like such a bold hope. But what I dio like my modest hope is that we will use to start having more conversations around like this notion of the Middle Ages or around like, um, kid gets into this a little bit, and I sort of talked about this occasionally on social media. But so much of what's presented as history, you know, like what my my son is reading or things like that is just it's stuff that's been recorded, um, by people with agendas, you know. And so it is not value neutral. You have to think about. You have toe, um, look at different sides, and this is why it's so exciting that there's so many different narratives coming out of like communities all over the world. And from what color and things like that, we're getting different stories that have been told, and I think history deserves the same treatment, you know, I think we need to rethink You know what? It what life was like in England in the 14 hundreds or something like that. Eso Yeah, I I do hope that it starts a conversation that if it did change things at medieval times, like if just that one very modest goal, it would be phenomenal. I would love to take my son there, You know, in a couple of years when we can all leave our houses again, Um, and he can
Marissa Meyer: 19:23
Jamie Pacton: 19:23
female nights writing out. Um, um I would love for, you know, people who would have been lunches to actually have a chance at being a night. Um, can, like, I was sort of working on some of these things with the people I know who work there, but we're all sort of about a halt. Um, but yes, my secret goal is the kit sweetly gets a movie deal or a Netflix deal, and then it gets, um, you know, talked about enough and enjoyed enough that it's like, Oh, you know what? That really isn't fair. And that kind of enters into our consciousness that that's something that even in a cheesy dinner theater we can be talking and thinking about gender differently, you know?
Marissa Meyer: 20:03
Absolutely. No. That's my do new dream to I got somebody, seek it sweetly, kid a movie deal and be able to go to medieval knights next time I'm in Florida and just put
Jamie Pacton: 20:15
that out there in the universe and hope
Marissa Meyer: 20:17
Yes, yes. Uh, I
Jamie Pacton: 20:20
want, like, I know Amy Poehler's making moxie right now. Oh, puds about
Marissa Meyer: 20:24
a little marks. Yeah, Yeah. So funny. Yeah. No. Well, I guess I but I loved this book. I hope it gets a lot of great traction. And there really are just so many wonderful things to talk about to explore inside of it. Um and even, like, you know, on the surface, you know, talking about girl nights in this, you know, female, that wants to be a night. But you could go deeper than that. It's it's you have, you know, people of different gender identities and sexualities. And, you know, there's talk about class and poverty and diversity, and it's a really wonderful cast of characters that you've built, Um, and all kind of fighting for the same thing, you know, to be seen and to be a part of this story, which is makes it a really powerful read kind of. But in the the guys of this very sweet, cute story,
Jamie Pacton: 21:19
yeah, yeah, you know, it's been kind of marketed as a romcom.
Marissa Meyer: 21:23
Jamie Pacton: 21:24
that, but it's not just that s Oh, I you know, I don't know it when people ask about the romance in our
Marissa Meyer: 21:31
Michael. Yes, there there's other
Jamie Pacton: 21:35
things. And I mean, my one kind of regret with this book because, you know, there's only I don't know. We're close toe 300 pages there, 400 pages maybe like I would have loved to write more with the other nights. But there's also stores there that aren't mind to tell, you know. And so, like, I I had someone write about like, Oh, I really wanted to see a trans night be the main character like me dio I would love that, but, um but again, that's not mine to tell. So here's a rich cast of characters. We can imagine these other stories and yeah, but But thank you for saying that about some of the other heart issues that grapples with because I think that's kind of something you can do in contemporary that you can. Life is complicated. People have more than one problem going on at once, you know? And so you can kind of address that in the stories we tell.
Marissa Meyer: 22:22
Yeah, um, so to kind of switch gears a little bit, because in a question that comes up all the time, is when did you know that you wanted to be a writer? And I feel like so often people and myself included, Say, Oh, I always knew that I wanted be Writer wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid. Um, and that was not your story. Correct? Yeah. I mean, I was
Jamie Pacton: 22:45
always writing, So I have the A list of 10 kids. And so I was always inventing like stories and place for them and making them perform. And like my version of the wind in the Willows. And, um, I was a pretty relentless, like, older sister in that regard. Um, and so I was writing stories, and then I'm high school. I was doing a lot of extremely deep and meaningful poetry.
Marissa Meyer: 23:08
May 2. I
Jamie Pacton: 23:10
have no books that I'm like, Oh, boy, Oh, boy. I thought especially really something. Um and then so. But I was also interested, deeply interested in ecology and biology. And so when I went to school, uh, which college I was actually intending. I either want to be a marine biologist or a brain surgeon who also wrote books. And coincidentally, I see more and more people these days in my twitter and stuff who are in med school but also writing books, and I Look, I admire them greatly. Um, yeah, I went to college and I worked in the biology lab for two years. I was on sort of biology track. Then I just kind of did miserably and chemistry to and e Didn't the biology have my my job? They were studying bacteria cultures, and my job was to help them long data, which is very boring. And then also to do, like, wash dishes and take things to the autoclave and sterilize them on. I broke a lot of dishes, so these air huge flasks that are as big as my torso, and there were hundreds of dollars and I kept dropping them. So that's when I had a revelation that I was not meant to be a brain. Very serious about that. And so simultaneously. You know what? I was taking the science classes. I was taking English classes and history classes, and I was really enjoying those. So I switched from, like by analogy and premed to English and then with history and philosophy miners on and I took some ready classes in college. And then I, um e cut done with college, and I very much just had no job prospects. So I was waitressing, and I worked in a pen store and I worked as a nanny, and I didn't want a story school. And it
Marissa Meyer: 24:49
Jamie Pacton: 24:50
like I was really putting off my next steps in my career. Um, because I couldn't figure out what I want to do. Number one, because what I wanted to do was be an author, but I didn't know how to do it. So this is like early 2001. Probably. I'm so in the days before you could just go into a Twitter pitch contest or even, really, you know, agents eso It took a long time not only to finish the book to finish writing a book because I was working and hanging out and being 2035. Um, but also, just because I didn't understand sort of infrastructure, um, you know, to get out there and I worked at Sourcebooks. Doesn't turn back in 2003. Um, and I loved that job. I think I would have stayed in publishing as a career. Like if they'd had a position after that internship. Um, but it just didn't work out that way. So anyways, I ended up coming around for a while and eventually got a masters in English. Now I teach English, figured out the writing thing along the way.
Marissa Meyer: 25:47
So it was It was a journey, a journey. And, you know, I
Jamie Pacton: 25:51
also like my writing really picked up. So I have two kids and my oldest just severely autistic and nonverbal. And so when they were little, you know, head up. I was in grad school, I was teaching online, and I had these kids. Um, And so what I would do is I would drive around with, um until they fall asleep in the back of the car. And then I'd write, like parking a grocery store parking on, and I'd write on I was writing for magazines at the time, but also writing fiction. So I wrote, like, 10 novels in their early childhood years because it was kind of this thing that I was doing for me, but also, like with the hopes that I would help my family, Um, which was kind of a big motivation, you know? So that is all come together now, you know, a decade later is lovely on. Strange for me to tell you this I think that I saw you, um, back in 2013 maybe at the 3 p.m. Ws the Pacific Northwest writers The sensation. That was my first conference. I was like a finalist in their contest, and I feel like I remember you were there. Doing an event like this is early back when, like your first book came out,
Marissa Meyer: 26:50
I did do a pee in a I was probably there. I don't remember. I was a long time ago, but I was talking
Jamie Pacton: 26:58
about one of my friends who, actually her book came out last year, and now she's a bestseller. But I met her that year and I was telling her I was doing this, and she's
Marissa Meyer: 27:05
like Oh, I think we saw. Oh, I think you're so funny then
Jamie Pacton: 27:10
It's just a weird, long journey. And that's what I tell people. When they asked me about publishing advice, I'm like, Well, just be prepared for it to be It could be very long. It could be very short. You never know. Yeah,
Marissa Meyer: 27:22
well, it's true. And everyone has a different story, a different path that they took to get there. There's no there's no right or wrong way.
Jamie Pacton: 27:28
Well, it literally the only thing you control is the work you do. I mean, I have I'm actually sitting at my desk looking at my typed up kids weekly marketing promo plan that I made back in like, no December. And we'll talk about things you can't control. Like global pandemics. Yeah, no kidding. I can only control writing the next book hands. You know, just enjoying this debut process is different as it is.
Marissa Meyer: 27:53
Yeah. How What has it been like trying to do your debut here in
Jamie Pacton: 27:56
the midst of all this? Um I mean, honestly, mostly it's been OK because there's been so much like an outpouring of support from people like virtually, um, so I feel like I got contacted to do some kind of kinds of events or panels that maybe would have been off people's radars before. Um, I'm definitely bombed about, like the school visits and, like, not getting to go to L. A. And some of these just larger events that I've looked forward to. Um, but I don't know, right and still interacting with readers. Um, I'm still sending out pre order stuff. Um, so logistically, it's a little trickier, but also with some of my parenting commitments. It's actually easier for me to do that because it's hard to find care for my son. Sure, so I don't know. It's been a strange thing, but again, I just kind of it's out of my control. So I'm rolling with it, and I'm hoping, you know, book to or book three. There will be offense maybe.
Marissa Meyer: 28:53
Yeah. Now, of course, is it's, you know, this is just the start of the career. Eso there's There's plenty of time for that. Um, yeah. Uh, What are you working on next? I just turned
Jamie Pacton: 29:07
in. Let's see, on Friday or no Thursday. Yeah, Thursday. I just turned in my seconds. So the draft of book to, um, like the development. A little credit version to my editor. So that's another contemporary. It's called Lucky Girl, and it's about a 17 year old in a small town of Wisconsin who she is a lot of ticket as a minor. And then she wins, like $58 million. But she can't tell anyone she's one, because if, well, two things one. It's not her birthday yet, so she wants to wait till birthday. And then she realizes, um, that if you buy a lot of ticket as a minor on the commission finds out, they'll just take the money, honey. And in fact, you're guilty of a mister Meaner. So, Josh, the whole book is kind of her scrambling to figure out what to do with this huge money. And does she give it up? Or does she ask her ex boyfriend, who she's trying to get over to cash? It were cause he's 18? Or does she asked her mother and her mother's order, Um, on her mother's like her are girls. Dad has died, and so her mother has filled the house with, like other people's personalized like mugs and mouse pads. And you know all those things that you find at thrift stores. Sometimes eso Jane doesn't want to give it to a mother her And so it's a strange book. It's totally different. Think it. It's kind of an anti Rome calm because she is. This is about Jane and her ex boyfriend holding It is kind of the book about getting over that high school boyfriend, the one you were with and I didn't do that. And Honey, say goodbye to love but also trying to solve this ridiculous problem. I struggled a lot with book to Cause. Kit is such a like a run off like a rocket with again with clear goals, and this book is a whole different. But, you know, they got sold before Kit. So what? I'm also writing. I'm writing another way fantasy. I'm about 30,000 words into that, and it's kind of my secret project that's, you know, I go back to you have been planning it for a while, so we'll see if that takes off. But
Marissa Meyer: 31:05
I love having a secret project
Jamie Pacton: 31:07
on the back burner. Well, it's interesting to you. I don't know if you feel this way, but it's so different. T write a book that's already like under contract, you know? So I sold book to two page Street on, you know, just like a chapter and a proposal on. And then I had to write the book. And with this one, um, it's not sold, you know? My agent hasn't even seen it yet. Um, so I just get to play and make it is weird or is in whimsical is I want to because there's no expectations for it at this moment and I will
Marissa Meyer: 31:36
get Yeah, no, it's true. Once, once you have a contract and you feel like there's someone watching over your shoulder waiting to see what you're to get, it completely changes the process.
Jamie Pacton: 31:47
Or you just have to adhere to the outline. You've given that
Marissa Meyer: 31:49
Yeah, right toe to some degree, for sure there
Jamie Pacton: 31:54
was a presence in this one to you. Yeah. Yeah, That said, it's also a wonderful thing to not feel like you're operating alone in the cold. And so you do have a contract. So yes. Ah, challenging. Interesting crosses pandemic. So
Marissa Meyer: 32:09
also pandemic. Well, I think it was a lucky girl. Was that the triad. That's I too. Yeah, I know. I think that sounds. It's a great premise.
Jamie Pacton: 32:18
Thank you. And, you know, it's kind of I mean, I guess, like with Kit, it's funny, but it's also got this kind of, like, deep vein of like, some very hard, very sad things. I e. That's where I'm gonna live was a contemporary writer, but I think that's how I move through. The world is like, There's a lot about life is very funny and amusing and delightful. And there's a lot that's very hard. And like we can talk about both, you know?
Marissa Meyer: 32:40
Yeah. No. And as a writer, I think it could be fun to kind of balance both of those things within one story, too. All right, so we are going to wrap this up now with a happy writer. Lightning round. Okay, You ready? I'm ready. What book makes you happy?
Jamie Pacton: 33:02
Um oh, gosh, I really love Well met agenda Lika and I really love basically any kind of romance. I'm reading. They You deserve each other right now and it's cracking the of
Marissa Meyer: 33:13
I am listening to well met on audio right now on, and it's fabulous. I love it, I will say, trying to listen to well met and read kit sweetly, sweetly the same time There were times where he started to get the confused. My wires were getting crossed. That's funny,
Jamie Pacton: 33:30
cause Jen and I actually we think of we just did an instagram of it. And we think of each other is like, you know, kids that, like teen sister her care, but only a red, red, white and royal blue.
Marissa Meyer: 33:42
No, but it's on my list.
Jamie Pacton: 33:43
That probably is like, I mean, that's such a delight of a romcom. That's the book. Probably everybody needs to read right now. Just a be buoyed by love. You know
Marissa Meyer: 33:51
I love it. I'll put it on. I'll move it to the top. I've heard a lot of amazing things in today. Uh, sorry. This is supposed to be lightning round. What do you do to celebrate an
Jamie Pacton: 34:04
accomplishment? Um, in non pandemic life, I definitely go pick up dinner. Um, every book sale that I get, I buy myself a new Kate Spade back. So that was a fun thing. I was doing just cause I always wanted to win, and I never bought myself alone. And so I have three lovely bags now. Um, but yeah, I just I don't know. I treat myself a little bit and I try to look, just, you know, we have a night of gin cocktails and dinner and this lovely
Marissa Meyer: 34:33
Kate spade and gin cocktails. You're speaking my language. How do you feel the creative? Well,
Jamie Pacton: 34:41
um, I take time off of social media. I read a lot. I will Definitely. Especially when I'm done drafting a project. I like to just take, like, a week or a month or however long. I need to just read books again. Um, I like to go outside, and I don't know. I'm doing lots of random new hobbies, Like a morning to play the ukulele. And I'm trying to learn to dance based on my tic tac watching. Uh, so I
Marissa Meyer: 35:09
Jamie Pacton: 35:09
know, just things in life that art, um, producing something creatively, I think tend to fill me up.
Marissa Meyer: 35:16
Jamie, you and I are kindred spirits. I am also learning to play the ukulele. Are you? Yeah, going Well, I've I should say I've been taking lessons for two years now, actually. So I guess I'm kind of to the point where I guess I can say that I play the ukulele. Um uh, yeah, but it's I don't know, I I'm still struggling to like Think of myself as a musician, but I love it. I love the instrument, and it's been super fun. Yeah, I
Jamie Pacton: 35:45
am just a the point like so again, my husband air learning lower on quarantine. I could get through somewhere over the rainbow. I can play a Radiohead song. There's a couple others, but yeah, I don't know the notes or anything, but I tried to play the guitar for a long time, and my hands are kind of small, so I like that you could laying easier.
Marissa Meyer: 36:02
Yeah, just four strings. It's nearly is intimidating. That was
Jamie Pacton: 36:07
Yeah, but lessons for two years is awesome. But you know, all sorts of songs.
Marissa Meyer: 36:13
If I have my notes in front of me, I could do pretty good, but I need to start memorizing. Thanks. Like if I don't have my notes that I am totally lost. But anyway, um ok, kicking Excite way Should have just started with the lightning round Lightning lightning grab. What advice would you give to help someone become a happier writer.
Jamie Pacton: 36:39
I would definitely kind of what I talked about before. Understand that there is just this so much you can't control. And so, you know, write what you want. Um, and it's a fine stories that bring you joy. And that's kind of what I've been thinking about, as I think about, like, writing really hard, dark, you know, fantasies or something. I was like Right now I need to write a book that makes me joyful and so I can put that joy on the page for other people. So I would say No, let go some of the control on and occasionally give yourselves breaks like there's lots of important and interesting conversations happening on Twitter and on Instagram. But give yourself breaks from both Sometimes, um, to just kind of, you know, enjoy your life for your process. Um, and also just be kind to yourself, because there's a lot of rejection and a lot of heartache that goes into this business. And that doesn't have to be where you land every time you sit down to write No.
Marissa Meyer: 37:37
Yeah. Lastly, where can people find you?
Jamie Pacton: 37:40
Sure, my website is um, Jamie packed in dot com. So it's J m i e p a c t o n dot com. And then I met Jaimee packed in says same spelling at Instagram and Twitter and then all my website to if you really want to see my Pinterest boards, things like that, there are links there.
Marissa Meyer: 37:59
Thank you so much for joining me today. Go. It was so much, um, readers definitely. Go check out the life and medieval times of kits Sweetly. It is out this week. Um, and now more than ever, if you can support your local indie bookstore, we definitely encourage you to do so. Please subscribe to this podcast, so you will always be in the know about new episodes. You can also find us on Instagram at Marisa Meyer author and at Happy Writer podcast and one more time. If you would go fill out that survey for me and let me know how I'm doing and what you would like to see done differently in future episodes. You confined that survey at marissa Mayer dot com slash podcast. Until next time, stay healthy and cozy out in your bunkers and whatever life throws at you today, I do hope that now you are feeling a little bit happier