An Interview with Jamie Dickerman: First Book Dreaming Out Loud

Michael F. Shaughnessy – Every day of my life gave me ideas for my first book, “Dreaming Out Loud.” It is based on the lessons I have learned in life, the struggles I have overcome, and the dreams I still have faith in–despite circumstances.

Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico

1) Jamie, I understand that you have just gotten your first book published. What is the exact title of the book and what is it about ?

I have now published two books. The first was published in December 2010. It is titled “Dreaming Out Loud.” Basically, the title sums up much of what the book is about. It is a collection of short stories, poetry, and daily devotions. The book is a literary collection that is meant to inspire others, and it also deals with the struggles of life and keeping faith in optimism.

2) Where did you get the idea for this book?

Every day of my life gave me ideas for my first book, “Dreaming Out Loud.” It is based on the lessons I have learned in life, the struggles I have overcome, and the dreams I still have faith in–despite circumstances. I write almost daily, and the works presented in this book are compiled from the around mid-2009 to 2010. I had always wanted to be a published author, and one day I just decided to go for it. So I sorted through my written works and compiled them into a book.

3) Who is the publisher and how difficult was it to get a publisher?

Amazon is the publisher of my book. I have attempted a few different methods of selecting a publisher. It is often a difficult process, and I have received my share of rejection letters. A professor of mine recommended that I give Amazon a chance, so I did. Overall, I was very pleased with the way Amazon handles publishing.

4) I hear that you are also quite the photographer and artist. How did you get involved in these fields?

I have always been involved in the more creative aspects of life. From the time I was a child, I would write poetry and take pictures. For me, it’s a way of self-expression. There is so much beauty in life, and creating a work of beauty–be it writing, art, photography, music, etc–is a way of capturing and sharing that beauty. Photography was an early interest of mine, and it is one that I would like to pursue more in the future. While I have always enjoyed different lighting techniques and shooting interesting angles, my major in college was journalism. Because of that, I got to take a few photography courses, and I was inspired to become even more creative and artistic in my shots. My photography has now been published various places, and that is a huge accomplishment for me. Other than that, I am also highly interested in music. I have very little actual musical talent, but I have collaborated with a couple of local musicians and written lyrics for their songs. Creative endeavors are freeing and allow for each person to express their individuality.

5) Tell us about your undergraduate education and how well you feel it has prepared you for these endeavors.

My undergraduate degree is in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. It may not seem very artistic or even inspiring to some, but for me it was the perfect fit. Journalism allowed me to expand and improve my writing skills, as well as my photography skills. Also, political science encourages critical analysis and an in-depth thought process. So, both academic fields have prepared me to take an analytical and thoughtful approach to life and then write about it, photograph it, and bring out the beauty within it.

6) Is there going to be a follow up book?

My second book, “Facing the Storm” has already been released. It is a novel with elements of tragedy, family, faith, and forgiveness. After that, however, another work similar to “Dreaming Out Loud” will be published. This new collection of poetry and short stories is currently without an adequate title, but it is almost completed and will be released likely by the end of the summer. I also have another novel that is in the finishing stages, but to allow time for editing and such, it will not be published for a while.

7) Who are some of the authors, or people who have influenced you?

Oscar Wilde, Emily Dickenson, Charlotte Bronte, and Nathaniel Hawthorne are among the classic writers who have inspired me. However, there are some more recent authors who have had an influence on me. These include Karen Kingsbury, Mary Higgins Clark, and Nora Roberts. All are incredible, and their ability to spin a story always amazes me. The classic authors/poets intrigue me, and their writing calls to something inside of me.

As far as people who have inspired me, I would say first and foremost are my parents. When I was five, I told my father I would be an author. He never stopped believing in me. And, then there’s my mother. She has read everything I’ve ever written. She is my biggest fan, my strongest supporter, and my best friend. My sister and brother are also my support system. Other than that, I would say the two who have influenced me the most are Candice Roberts, my high school English teacher, and Dr. Patricia Dobson, one of my college professors. They have both believed in me and my writing from the beginning and have always offered encouragement.

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May 27th, 2011

Michael F. Shaughnessy Senior Columnist

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