Jamie Hitt ditched the corporate world to continue her true passion of writing when she went back to school for her Masters in Humanities with an emphasis in Creative Writing. The Things Friendship Brings was inspired by her daughter, and her dedication to bringing the topic of embracing diversity through the lens of a children’s book is utterly charming. We were lucky enough to sit down with Hitt to discuss what children’s books she has loved from the past, and what inspired her throughout her journey to writing The Things Friendship Brings.
- What is your favorite childhood book?
Just one? That’s hard. I’d say either The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, or the Redwall series, by Brian Jacques. I have always been drawn to fantasy and adventure, both as a child and an adult. I devoured these books as a kid and got lost in the magic, action, and mystery. There’s nothing like a good children’s book!
2. How do you select the names of your characters?
It depends on what I’m writing. In this book I went for pure alliteration and syllable count. (I’m a sucker for alliteration!) In my other works, sometimes a name will just come to me and sometimes I set out to find the perfect name depending on where the character is from, what their motivations are, and what a particular name means. It can sometimes feel like naming your children!
3. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have three children’s chapter books that are finished and a completed Young Adult novel, that I have shelved for the time being. I am also halfway through a Middle Grade fantasy novel that I am writing with my daughter, which I am really happy with so far. I also have two sequels written for The Things Friendship Brings, one of which I am currently illustrating, and the other which is still in the editing stages. So, that’s seven!
4. What is the first book that made you cry?
I’m not sure if it’s actually the first, but the first that comes to mind for me is Redwall, by Brian Jacques. That was one of my all-time favorite series when I was a kid, and I devoured every one of his books. I almost always ended up in tears at some point while reading them, but they are so good. They are full of action, adventure, mystery, and tragedy – the whole gamut of great story telling. I am looking forward to introducing my kids to those books!
5. How do you combat writer’s block?
When I find myself at a point in my writing where I feel a little stuck or unsure, I’ll just step away from that part for a while and either work on another part of that story, or even a completely different story. For me, it’s important to just keep writing something, to keep the imagination flowing. Then I’m usually able to go back with fresh eyes to figure out how to get through the part that had me stuck.