Jamie Loreth: “Trust in yourself and your beliefs”

Be passionate about what you want to do. Write what you know. Trust in yourself and your beliefs. I had no idea when I started writing, this would come from it. But from coming up with the title, to purchasing a pink blanket in a local shop and keeping it with me while I wrote, […]

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Be passionate about what you want to do. Write what you know. Trust in yourself and your beliefs. I had no idea when I started writing, this would come from it. But from coming up with the title, to purchasing a pink blanket in a local shop and keeping it with me while I wrote, and then the idea of The Pink Blanket Campaign coming to me, I learned when you believe in something and you believe in yourself, the universe has an amazing way of bringing everything together.

As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie Loreth.

Jamie Loreth is the author of The Pink Blanket, the first novel in the forthcoming series, and the Founder of The Pink Blanket Campaign — a campaign intended to help women fleeing domestic violence. Jamie, since a young child, has carried the desire to be a writer and she has forever hoped to one day be able to offer some form of “positive hope or change in the world.” Fortunately, those two passions collided when she made the decision to chase her dream of becoming an author. Caught in an unhealthy marriage herself and watching those close to her suffer in abusive relationships, the story line for The Pink Blanket started to blossom. Today, she has now published her first novel and is working to create a platform that will provide Pink blankets and essential necessities and assistance to shelters for women fleeing domestic violence.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the “backstory” about how you grew up?

I grew up in and around a small community in Saskatchewan, Canada. Living on farms and in communities where entertainment options were few, my imagination was always at work. I was an avid reader from a young age and was always writing in some form: songs, poems, stories, and scripts for home videos.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story?

It was books in general. I read everything. I loved the ability to get lost in a world that wasn’t my own. It was as I got older; love stories became my go to. Most often, I think it was because I always seemed to find myself in unhealthy relationships. I was always looking for that happy ending, that perfect couple. Something that would give me hope of finding real love one day for myself. I was inspired by the ability that words on pages were able to take and pull one’s thoughts into a completely different moment. That a story can move a person in such a way it becomes a brief escape from your everyday life. For me reading was that recharge to keep going.

What was the moment or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

I was living in a very unhealthy marriage. I was soon turning forty. And I had always dreamed of being a successful author. One day, while delivering mail (I also work as an on-foot letter carrier for Canada Post), I had a talk with myself — a person has a lot of alone time during delivery, and I asked myself if I was okay with never going after my dream? How would I feel if I missed out on something because I was too scared to try? Because at this point, I had nothing to lose.

At home, my partner told me all the time: I was useless, I was forty years old with nothing, I sat on my behind every day and did nothing. None of it was true, but when someone tells you those things enough times, you start to believe them. And pretty soon, your self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence have been swallowed up and all that remains is self-doubt and a battered soul. I also, had two kids, who watched me living this way, and I could see what it was doing to them. I hated it. I hated that I didn’t have the courage or strength to show myself, or them, I deserved better. And I hated that I was showing them, this was acceptable behavior. When an idea for the story line of The Pink Blanket drifted into my head, I started researching how to write a novel. I would google everything: How people without a degree can write a book. How to publish a novel. Self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. Authors who became successful without a degree. I researched for months. Then, I started researching for my novel as I had never been to Italy or Chicago. The only thing I did know was abuse: mental and physical, both directly and indirectly as I watched other women close to me living the same nightmare.

While writing, the idea of being able to afford to supply women’s shelters with Pink Blankets came to me. I have always wanted to help the world in some way. And when everything started coming together, I knew this was what I was meant to do. The blanket would be given to the women for when they arrived, as many come with nothing, for the women to keep for themselves. It would offer them a form of comfort and a symbol of hope. Something to wrap themselves in or their children, knowing it was from someone who cares, someone who wants to help, to show them that there are people who want to help them in finding that better life. The life they deserve.

What impact did you hope to make when you wrote this book?

Writing this novel, it was my escape from my life. It was like my therapy. I was getting a story out there, that would hopefully offer that brief escape for someone else for whatever reason, and if by chance, maybe someone reading it could find the courage in themselves to go after what it is, they want in life. Though The Pink Blanket is a work of literary fiction, it touches on a very important topic. Domestic abuse remains hidden behind to many doors and that needs to be addressed. No one should have to live in the fear of being abused in any form, especially by those we love and should be able to trust.

Did the actual results align with your expectations? Can you explain?

While The Pink Blanket Campaign is currently in the production stages, so far everything is moving in the right direction at a much faster pace than I ever anticipated. I never expected it to be an actual thing for a very long time, if ever, as it was only an idea in my mind that if I could become a successful author, and eventually be able to afford the ability to bring the campaign to fruition, I would then be able to supply shelters with the blankets and a basket of necessities for the women fleeing domestic violence.

What moment let you know that your book had started a movement? Please share a story.

When I teamed up with Lamourie Media, it was during our introduction meeting they asked what my long-term goals for The Pink Blanket were. After I explained my idea of being able to supply shelters with the blankets, Tracy started rolling ideas out within seconds, making me see this was something that I didn’t need to wait to afford to do on my own. She made me realize there are so many platforms and opportunities to ignite such an amazing cause now, not later.

What kinds of things did you hear right away from readers? What are the most frequent things you hear from readers about your book now? Are they the same? Different?

My book is just starting to get out there, so feedback is limited. Most readers have told me they can’t wait for the next one in the series, so that is encouraging.

What is the most moving or fulfilling experience you’ve had as a result of writing this book? Can you share a story?

Holding my book in my hand. I cried. It was the result of so many things. It was proof that if you truly want something, if you can find the courage, ignore your ego, and give it your all; it can happen. To me, it also signified the fact that I had found my strength again. That no matter how much of a failure my husband tried to make me feel I was; I was not. And not only did I write the book, I discovered how passionate about being a writer I truly was. I have so many stories to tell. But The Pink Blanket holds something special; it brought me to what it is I can do to help women and children who are fleeing domestic violence. To help women who find the courage to go after a better life.

Have you experienced anything negative? Do you feel there are drawbacks to writing a book that starts such colossal conversation and change?

As things are still in the production stages, I have only encountered positive experiences. Finding and joining up with other people who are incredibly supportive is encouraging. I am simply grateful to be able to bring the Pink Blanket campaign to life and to do my part, however I can. I don’t think there can be anything negative in writing a book that creates opportunity that helps or promotes good. It’s all in perspective. People can find negative in anything if they look hard enough; it’s those people you have to silently step around and keep working to create positive change and, if you’re lucky, change their perspective.

Can you articulate why you think books in particular have the power to create movements, revolutions, and true change?

Books can grasp the attention of diverse populations and they have the ability from numerous marketing platforms to reach the world over. When a “good book” is discovered, its reviews and sales tend to spread like wildfire, therefore, bringing the knowledge and need of a movement to so many people. When people are united together with a common interest, amazing things can happen.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?

Well I’m not there yet, but hopefully one day. Regardless, for where I am at, I believe it was due mainly to believing in myself and the passion I have always held for writing. Once I convinced myself, the only way to succeed was to try; determination and discipline to stay focused were major factors. I needed both, every day, to get me through the moments when my ego would take over and try to talk me out of it. Especially during the editing stages.

What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career? Can you share the lesson(s) that you learned?

The biggest challenge I learned from was overcoming my fear of failure. Once I learned to change my focus over to believing in success rather than failure, it was then, I was able to announce to those whose judgements, I feared the most, I had written a book. I was definitely still anxious to hear their responses, but when everyone had only encouraging words and I started getting great reviews on my novel, I realized I had been my own worst critic. It took getting past the idea that what other people thought defined my success. Some days I thought I was crazy to think I could actually write a book that would be good enough anyone would want to read it. But the thing is, you can never please everyone, so as long as I was satisfied with the work I had done, then I would let the universe take care of the rest. In my heart, I knew I was meant to do this. It was a dream that refused to fade and a story I couldn’t keep to myself. This was my chance so I took it. Now, I can’t imagine having not written The Pink Blanket and I look forward to publishing many more novels. And I am so exited to get the Pink blanket Campaign going.

Many aspiring authors would love to make an impact similar to what you have done. What are the 5 things writers needs to know if they want to spark a movement with a book? (please include a story or example for each)

Be passionate about what you want to do. Write what you know. Trust in yourself and your beliefs. I had no idea when I started writing, this would come from it. But from coming up with the title, to purchasing a pink blanket in a local shop and keeping it with me while I wrote, and then the idea of The Pink Blanket Campaign coming to me, I learned when you believe in something and you believe in yourself, the universe has an amazing way of bringing everything together.

The world, of course, needs progress in many areas. What movement do you hope someone (or you!) starts next? Can you explain why that is so important?

It would be really wonderful to see more opportunities for support offered for men who have the tendency to be abusive. As well as, for young boys who portray signs or are subject to that behavior . There is no excuse but, maybe if we could increase opportunities for men who want to get help, who truly want to change their unhealthy behavior, domestic violence could see a decrease in cases or the severity of situations at minimum.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: J. Lynn Ady and Twitter: @JlynnAdy1

Thank you so much for these insights. It was a true pleasure to do this with you.

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