Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Author Interview: Jamie Zunick: Speech Impediment Turned Writing The Best Way To Express The Sweetness of Life

She is one of those people who can’t not write.  Due to a speech impediment, writing has always been the best way for her to get out her emotions when she stumbles over her words.  She has kept journals for most of her life.  It’s not just about expression.  It was also her way to hold on to the special moments of her life.  She wanted to record and relieve the major moments of her existence.  Her journals are always very detailed.  

She records everything—where she was, who she was with, what they were wearing, what words were said.  Recording the events of a lazy Saturday afternoon usually takes up twenty pages in her journal.  This attention to detail served her well when she worked as a reporter for Hullfire, in Hull, England and The Los Alamos Monitor in Los Alamos, New Mexico.  She also published several works of poetry in various journals before publishing her first book.  The Sweetness of Life was published in March of 2014 and she is now working on her second book.  Currently, she is a teacher of basic math and English at a vocational college in Southern California. 

Welcome Jamie!

Your real name and pen name? 

Jamie Zunick (no pen name)

Best memories of childhood—

My family used to travel from Kansas City, Kansas, to Estes Park Colorado, or Saint Louis, Missouri, every summer.  I loved those vacations.  We never flew anywhere.  My family always embarked on long road trips.  My mother, father, grandmother, brother, two sisters, and I would be tightly packed in a 1970’s station wagon with no air conditioner for the long journey.  Though it sounds uncomfortable (which it was!), I can’t stay off the road now.  I am a life-long explorer.  There is nothing more satisfying to me than driving down the open highway to some far-off destination.  I love the sense of freedom that this mode of travel offers to me.
Education—I have a Liberty Arts Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kansas.  I also have certificates from the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics for massage and bodywork.  Chakra/Energy healing is still my favorite subject to study and practice.

Career during education days—

I wanted to work in television, publishing, photography, music, or film…I just love anything that is artistic and creative.

With my past speech impediment, I am just grateful that I can speak English!

Source of inspiration—

A constant insatiable need to continually see what is over the next horizon.

Hurts me most—

I am hurt most by violence of any kind.  It doesn’t have to be violence against myself, but anything that diminishes someone and kills the human spirit.

Biggest challenge—

I was originally diagnosed as “retarded,” as my first grade teacher said.  I think most of my life has been a continuing need to get rid of this label just in my own mind.
Living or dead personality—

I did a past life regression one day in which I found myself walking with Jesus Christ.  I would like to explore that more.  I would want to be a disciple, walking with Jesus again.

Favorite genre—

Comedy!! I love to laugh.  Laughter is extremely healing.  I tried to put a lot of humor in my own writing.  I have really learned to laugh at myself.  Why wait to someday look back and laugh?  Do it now!


I began writing as a child as a way of expressing myself so I wouldn’t have to talk.  My purpose is to share stories of hope and inspire people to tell their own stories without fear or shame.
Work published so far?  Articles, reviews, and interviews in The Los Alamos Monitor and Hullfire.   I have published poems in various journals over the years.  I have recently published my first book, The Sweetness of Life

Forthcoming writings—

I am currently writing a “prequel” to The Sweetness of Life.  This book, tentatively titled The Plan, takes place before The Sweetness of Life.  The Plan will detail my life in England and my journey through Europe.  It also focuses on my experience of backpacking alone across Malaysia.  I am also working on a novel that I hope to have published soon.

Future plans—

I want to continue with writing.  I would love to have a reality show that details my journey through America and the healing work that I do.

Four top most things you take care of while writing a book?  

Details, details, details….and then rewarding myself for taking care of the details.

How much real life goes into fiction writing?  

I think writers always do best when they write what they know.  This isn’t just focusing on our own lives, but being observant of life around us. 

High level of imagination important?  

I do think imagination is very important.  But I think it’s imagination that comes from continually asking “Why?”

Your dream destination on Earth?  

I have to get to Alaska! My goal has been to travel though every state in America.  Alaska is the last one I have left…then it’s off to Australia

Your origin of birth and other countries?  What did you like best?  

I was born in Kansas City, Kansas.  I have traveled and lived all throughout America.  I lived in England and traveled throughout Europe.  I spent some time backpacking alone across Malaysia.  The most exciting part of my journey has been all of the wonderful people I have met.  Experiencing other cultures has been the best education I could have ever wanted.  
Your favorite time of day—

Though I’m usually up writing until 2 or 3 am, I happen to be a morning person.  (I’m also very tired!)

Zodiac/sun sign: 

I am right on the cusp of Leo and Virgo.  I think that means I’m virginal and darn proud of it!  Honestly, though I am right on the cusp, I tend to have more Virgo qualities.

Favorite color:  

My favorite color is Rainbow.  I am a very visual person.  I am continually dazzled by any bright color. 

Favorite movie:  

Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman.  I love old movies from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.  Mildred Pierce, Gone With the Wind, Singin’ In the Rain…

Favorite food: 

I love anything spicy.


India makes me think of a spiritual pilgrimage, an opportunity to connect with the Divine

Sun or moon—I love the silvery glow of the moon.
Laughter or smile—Smile.  With a laugh, you’re already there.  A smile is a journey.  It can lead anywhere.
Morning or evening—I’m a morning person.  I love to be on the road at 5 in the morning, watching the sun coming up on the horizon.
Coffee or tea—Tea—but unsweetened please.  I don’t do sugar.
Mountain or sea—Definitely mountain (I’m an Earth person!)
Long drive or short drive—LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG drive to nowhere
Silence or conversation—Depends on who I’m with.  Silence is amazing with the right person.
Water or fire—water
Air or earth—Earth.  I love the ruggedness of the earth
Mars or Jupiter—Mars just simply because I know more about it.  Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot about Jupiter.
Tulip or rose—love them both
Red or blue—Blue for serenity
Left or right—Left.  I’m right-handed but actually much stronger on my left side.
Glance or stare—Depends on what I’m looking at.  Long stares at mountains so I can take in the expanse and majesty; short glances at people so they are not uncomfortable (but I still look!)

Technology—causes depressing isolation
Life—Ongoing learning processes
God—My best friend
Humanity—belief in goodness
Terrorism—atrocity against mankind
Racism—atrocity against mankind
Childhood abuse—crime against nature
Love—tenderness towards humanity
Old age—brand new adventure

Best quote: 

I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn't need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about—Henry Ford
Henry Ford also said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

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