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Jamie Davis Interview

Jamie DavisToday we have the absolute pleasure of interviewing Jamie Davis. Jamie is a nurse, paramedic, podcaster, and author of three series: Extreme Medical Services, Broken Throne, and Accidental Traveller, which explore both urban and epic Fantasy.

Jamie, Can you talk a little about your relationship and experience with EMS and nursing as well as non-fiction writing, and how it led to writing your first fictional series Extreme Medical Services?

I fell in love with helping people as a health care professional, first as a paramedic and later as a nurse. This later developed into a passion for educating the next generation of healthcare professionals so I started teaching new EMTs and paramedics, then developed a whole channel of podcasts dedicated to news and education for healthcare pros. Eventually, someone dared me to write a book and I decided to take the way I learned and taught medication dosing to my students and write a short book teaching that method. It is a best-selling book and used by several paramedic and nursing programs to help students learn medication dosing math.

I enjoyed writing that book and self-publishing it. I also discovered the world of indie fiction authors. The following year, I discovered National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and decided to take on the task of writing a novel first draft in one month. That November for NaNoWriMo, I wrote the first draft of Extreme Medical Services where I combined my love for quality healthcare with my love for all things fantasy.

EMS is a thoroughly enjoyable read and one of the most unique series in the fantasy genre. For the uninitiated, how would you describe the series?

Extreme Medical Services (cover)I came up with the idea for the series by asking myself one question. What does a vampire or a werewolf do if they need to call 911 for an ambulance? The Extreme Medical Services series is the story of the dedicated paramedics of Station U who care for all the various supernatural creatures who live in secret among their human neighbors.

While EMS seemed like a natural hybrid of your own vocational writing and a fictional story, you have since moved in the direction of both urban fantasy and litRPG. What inspired you to jump headlong into more popular forms of fantasy fiction?

My Extreme Medical Services books are an offshoot of urban fantasy but do not follow all the expected conventions or tropes. I decided to branch out and write a pure urban fantasy series that met more of the reader-expected conventions. That series is the five book Broken Throne series.

While writing that, I started reading some gamer lit or litRPG stories. This type of story had appealed to me for a long time and I sought them out when I found them. One of the old favorites of mine is the Joel Rosenberg’s Guardians of the Flame series written in the 1980s.

I had some ideas for a book set in a game setting and decided to flesh the story out more. The genre had taken off and was very popular with voracious readers. Because of that, I moved the Accidental Traveler series up in my production schedule and asked my twenty-four-year-old son if he’d like to co-write the stories with me.

This served two purposes. I’d get to share my love for great stories and writing with my son, and he’d be able to help make sure the game elements of the story were spot on. That series has been extremely popular and spurred me to write a second trilogy with him to be released soon.

I actually began my journey through your work with Broken Throne, and I found Winnie to be an exceptionally strong and likable character. I always enjoy when a male author takes on female MCs and writes them with strength and confidence. Unfortunately there are not as many examples of this in the genre as readers would like, and most that do exist are not written by male authors. Was there any thought or inspiration behind your focus on strong women in so many of your novels?

The Charm Runner (cover)I have three kids, the younger two are daughters. I was a stay at home dad for most of their lives so I understand young women in a way most men don’t I think. I also think it’s important to write strong female characters and break away from the common tropes about women in fantasy (i.e. they always need rescuing).

In the second trilogy of Accidental Traveler, Hal’s daughter visits the game world after she grows up. I did this on purpose because there aren’t many female main characters in litRPG fantasy stories so I created a rich vibrant world (or tried to) and got people caring about the characters and world. Then I left a plot hole referring to the daughter as a child grown up. I’m getting huge positive response from reviews and emails from male gamers who can’t wait for the next trilogy and guessing correctly who will be the focus. That’s what I hoped for.

I confess to not having played a video game since Street Fighter 2 and having never gotten involved in tabletop gaming, yet I am finding myself immersed in your Accidental Traveller series. How would you describe this series to those unfamiliar with litRPG as a genre?

When an everyday guy with a boring life decides to play a bootleg copy of the world’s hottest game, he unknowingly gets sucked into the game world where he must become the hero of prophecy and legend, whether he wants to or not. It’s an epic fantasy tale with elements of roleplaying and computer games everyone will recognize.

In a few short years (2015-2017) you have written somewhere in and around fourteen novels, all of extremely high quality. That must be some kind of prolificacy record. What’s your secret?

I try to get better and a little faster with each and every book I write. I also dedicate three to four hours a day, every day to writing the next first draft. I love writing but in order to make enough money to live off of, I also treat it like a business and a job. I put in regular hours, assign myself certain tasks at different times of the day and that makes me put out regular content on a schedule. For the record, I know authors who put out 16+ books last year. My output is not the record by a long shot.

Who would you say are the biggest influences on your writing?

Growing up, I read a lot of Robert Heinlein, Piers Anthony, Andre Norton, and Anne McCaffrey. They shaped my love for sci-fi and fantasy books and taught me the importance of having characters you cared about and believed in, that you could root for. Later influences include (as I mentioned before) Joel Rosenberg, plus Robert Jordan, and David Weber.

Can you set the stage for what we can expect from you in 2018 and beyond?

Accidental Thief (cover)In 2018, I’m going to wrap up the current open story arcs in the Extreme Medical Services series with book seven. It doesn’t mean I’m totally finished with it but I’m finished with it for now.

Also in 2018, I’ll be releasing another trilogy of litRPG epic fantasy books with a swashbuckling feel that carries on some of the characters met in my first litRPG trilogy Accidental Traveler.

Beyond that, I have plans in the works for another, more traditional epic fantasy series called the Legion of Solon. I hope to start work on that later this year. And, I have a production calendar with another twenty book ideas including a dystopian future fantasy series, a post-apocalyptic fantasy spinoff of my Extreme Medical Services series, and a whole lot more.

Am I correct in assuming that you’ve gone the self-published route on all of this material?

Actually, I’m a hybrid author – I worked on the Broken Throne series through a small publisher. My main focus is on self-publishing. Successful indie authors make way more money from their work than 99% of traditionally published authors. “Why would I give away money to some faceless corporate machine,” I say! ?

Thanks again to Jamie Davis for this fantastic interview! To learn more about the worlds of Jamie Davis you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @podmedic.

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One Comment

  1. Jamie Davis says:

    Michael, thanks for the great interview. I hope everyone enjoyed learning a little more about me. If they have other questions in the comments here, I’ll stop back and try to answer them.

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