Jamie Raintree, local author, wasn’t a person who was writing novels with a crayon at a young age. Although she wrote a couple of short stories throughout high school, her creative juices needed a kick start to start flowing. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWrimo) was that kick that she needed. She signed up, wrote a novel in a month, and hasn’t stopped since.
“I think right about the time I discovered National Novel Writing Month in 2008, that was the first time I really realized that normal people could write novels because for some reason I always thought that you had to have a degree or some kind of qualification,” Raintree said.
Raintree writes women’s fiction about women searching for truth in love and life. Her edits from the agent and editor are coming back soon and she is in the beginning stages of another novel. She is represented by Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary Management.
“Once I get through all the editing phases of my previous book, then this one I’ll really dive into and get serious about it. I’d love to have a first draft done before the end of the year. That’d be great,” Raintree said.
Raintree’s daily writing is squeezed into the cracks of her very busy life of managing a household, a marriage and two young children, and she also serves as the workshop coordinator at Women’s Fiction Writers Association. But she makes sure that it fits and gets a little bit of work in every day.
“The cool thing is that I got a gym membership and since they have a cafe here, what I do is drop the girls off at daycare and get a short workout in and then I’ve got an hour to two hours to work here undisturbed,” Raintree said.
Selena Laurence, local author, met Raintree through Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers when they were both looking for critique partners.
“She’s a perfectionist. Jamie will take however long is required to craft the fine grained details of a stunning story. And it’s always worth every one of her efforts. Her work is outstanding,” Laurence said.
Raintree thinks the hardest part about being a writer is making the time for it. Fiction writing is not a nine-to-five job where you clock in and out to be paid for your time.
“It took a long time for my family to really get there with me where they started to take it as seriously as I do. Luckily, now, they’re very supportive and we find ways to fit it in and it’s become an important part of our family, just like a regular job would be,” Raintree said.
Alyson Walker met Raintree at a NaNoWrimo write-in last November. She believes Raintree has the will and drive to accomplish anything she puts her mind to.
“Jamie puts in the necessary time to get the job done. She makes time when others might make excuses. Even when she feels like she might hit the wall, she perseveres,” Walker said.
Raintree loves the rich literary life of Fort Collins. When moving from Arizona, she was ecstatic when she found out the city has three libraries and lots of chances to connect with local writers.
“It’s so great. You just don’t often get a chance to hang out with your people. We’re a unique set of people. So being able to hang out with people who really understand you is fantastic, and it’s so great to live in a community where there are a lot of writers,” Raintree said.