Growing up with a fascination for space and things that fly, Jamie turned that love into a career as an Aerospace Engineer. Combining her natural enthusiasm for Science Fiction and her love of reading, she now spends a lot of her time writing Middle Grade and Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Jamie lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband, Andrew, their son, and their dog Rogue (after the X-men not Star Wars although she loves both). When she isn’t being a Rocket Scientist by day and a writer by night, she can be found catching up on the latest sci fi TV, books, and movies as well as spending time on Twitter (maybe a little too much time :-P). And no, the rocket science jokes never get old!
Through Snowy Wings Publishing, Jamie is the author of Tracker220 (October 2020). She also has two female in STEM short stories published in the Brave New Girls anthologies and two engineering-centered nonfiction pieces that published in Writer’s Digest’s Putting the Science in Fiction.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m an Aerospace Engineer by day and a writer by night. I’m a sci fi and fantasy nerd. I love to watch it on tv, read it in books, see the latest movies, and even cosplay at cons. I’m an active volunteer and participant in the Society of Women Engineers and do whatever I can to support women in STEM. And I spend entirely too much time on Twitter so don’t hesitate to reach out there.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I think a lot of people knew from childhood they wanted to be an author, but I am not that person. I actually hated to write growing up. I used to sit at the kitchen table and cry because my ideas were dumb and spent entirely too much time fretting over what to write for assignments in school that were likely supposed to be fun. I didn’t start seriously writing until I was well into my 20’s. And it as only after reading a lot that the ideas started flowing. After finding some critique partners and joining some writing organizations I finally decided I wanted to publish. And here I am about 10 years down that road.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
Yes I pretty much read what I write. MG and YA sci fi and fantasy as well as paranormal and the occasional adventure book.
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
Young Adults. The recommended age range is 13-18 but other than some mild swearing and some light romance (kissing only) there’s no explicit content.
What is your current release or project?
I just released my first YA sci fi TRACKER220. I’m also in the middle of a MG STEM sci fi book.
Tell us about the key characters
Kaya Weiss – 16 year old artist in a world where paper is disappearing due to tracking chips in everyone’s heads that allows you to communicate and look things up in the blink of an eye. She’s strong, she knows what she wants, but she’s struggling to find her Jewish Identity especially when it conflicts with her tracker.
Harlow Green – Kaya’s boyfriend. He’s a tall, muscular soccer player, who goes along with the gang.
Bailen Overland – 17 year old techie nerd. He is part of the Ghosts, a rebel organization that opposes the tracker technology
Peyton Overland – a literal female badass who doesn’t take any shit from anyone. She fixes flying motorbikes and could make you question the things you are most sure about with a single look.
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
When everyone has a brain-interfacing tracking chip, one glitch threatens the entire network. Kaya Weiss is that glitch.
Through thoughts and blinks, Kaya can access anyone or anything on the tracker network. But the authorities monitor everything—where Kaya goes, who she talks to, and what she searches. And without the ability to turn it off, Kaya and her family can’t observe a tech-free Shabbat. To fix the glitch, the authorities slice into her skull to reset her tracker, leaving Kaya to question more than the system’s invasion into her faith.
Kaya won’t be a lab rat again.
Evading the authorities requires some serious tech skills the rogue underground Ghosts can offer. But Kaya’s not sure she can trust them—even if their top tech wiz, Bailen, has interest in her running deeper than her bum tracker. Kaya must decide if gaining freedom is worth losing her tracker’s infinite knowledge—because to take down the tracker network, she must betray the only tech she’s ever known.
Share an excerpt
“Come on, Kaya. You know you want to.” The black box in Troy Ackerman’s hand flirted with me like a bad boy. Half thrill ride, half arrest warrant.
We were going to get caught. No question about it.
Masking your tracker signal got you a date with the authorities at best, and at worst… I didn’t want to think about it. I wasn’t lucky enough to stay out of trouble. I was never that lucky.
Troy held the radio wave generator between his thumb and index finger as if he were expecting me to take it at any moment. While his bulky torso was slightly intimidating, his height wasn’t.
The buzz from falling off the tracker grid—pure silence and vision devoid of popups and apps—wasn’t worth the risk of losing control, losing the connection and security of the network. If the authorities showed up, brain probing us to check for tracker glitches would be the least of our problems.
Troy waved the box in my face. “You sure? It’s such a rush!”
I shivered despite the bonfire blazing in front of us. “I’m good. I don’t need a record.”
“Wasn’t it just Yom Kippur or something? You should be good on the sin front for a while.” He thrust his hips toward the box and my best friend Lydia let out a quick giggle, batting her long lashes at him.
Ugh! Of all the boys why did she have to be into him? “You know that’s not how it works.”
That little box was trouble. Worse than Pandora’s. My muscles tensed at the thought of all the chaos about to be unleashed. At least if I refused to disrupt my tracker signal, I wouldn’t have to lie about breaking the law.
Trekking into the woods to watch everyone attempt to beat the record for longest signal disruption was insanity. Why couldn’t we hang out at the fly-in theater instead? Anything other than pursuing a one-way ticket to tracker juvie.
But the guys loved the thrill of tempting fate—the ultimate game of chicken. At best, they had about five minutes of interrupted tracker signals before the network alerted the authorities.
I leaned into my boyfriend, and he put his arm around me wafting the comforting sea breeze scent of his aftershave in my direction. Harlow would never ditch me. But most of his friends wouldn’t hesitate to use me as authority bait if the agents showed up. Not if—when.
“Looks like your girlfriend’s afraid of getting caught.” Troy should have known by now his taunts wouldn’t work.
And yet, my insides warred. I twisted my hair back into a stubby ponytail wishing I hadn’t recently chopped off ten inches. By the time I let my hair go, the rule-follower piece of me prevailed like always. “I’ll watch for now.”
“Maybe after you see how it’s done?” Harlow squeezed my shoulder, making my muscles tense more. Their stunts were dangerous enough without him dragging me into it. Last time, we’d spent an hour trying to evade the authorities and nearly missed curfew.
I shook my head.
“She’s a wuss.”
“Stuff it, Troy. If you want to scramble your brains, fine. I’m out.” It shouldn’t be a fight to do the right thing.
“It’s just a little signal interruption. But if you want to be a wimp about it…”
A blinking chat bubble appeared in the lower left-hand corner of my vision with the initials H.G. for “Harlow Green.” I thought about the message and blinked twice in rapid succession to open it.
H.G.: You don’t have to if you don’t want to.
There wasn’t a chance Troy could talk me into it. But Harlow’s support gave me extra confidence, even if it only came through private chat. He cared too much about his image to say anything in front of the guys.
As I minimized the message to save it for later, a second icon appeared to the left of Harlow’s message, with the initials T.A.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, then let the message enter my mind. As the message opened in my line of sight, an image of a chicken emerged. It flapped its wings and ran in circles.
Instead of collapsing and disappearing like normal, the image of a bomb exploded, obliterating the circling chicken. When the fake dust cleared, the picture was nowhere to be seen.
Laughter drew my attention to the crowd.
Great. That wasn’t so private.
Do you have a favorite scene?
Definitely the flying motorbike chase underneath the St. Louis arch. It’s fast passed, has some great tension, and it’s explosive (literally).
What advice would you give a beginner?
Write something that you’re excited about. Just put your butt in the chair and write until you finish it. Don’t worry if it’s good or not just finish it. Then find some critique partner to help you polish it up.
Social media links:
Blog link: https://jamiekrakover.blogspot.com/
Main Street Books – if you buy from Main Street books I will sign your copy.