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A whole new writing world for P.E.I. author


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Many Islanders know Jaime Lee Mann as a go-to person whenever a writing job needs to be done.

Since 2005, she has been a ghostwriter; penning everything from press releases and newsletters to content for the World Wide Web.

But with the recent launch of her first novel, Elora of Stone, the Prince Edward Island writer is finally seeing her own name on the front cover.

“I’m enjoying that I can take credit for this book that people are reading. I’m also proud of the other things that I’ve done but, of course, no one can know about them.

“So I feel proud. I feel excited. I feel content,” says Mann, whose book signing for her new children’s novel, Elora of Stone, is set for the Bookmark in Charlottetown on Feb. 13 at noon.

Her former English teacher, P.E.I. poet Hugh MacDonald, is also very proud of her.

“Jaime Lee was an enthusiastic, bright student who insisted that she was going to be a writer. And that’s what she’s done. I had a chance to read her book. And it’s very nicely done.”

Yet, ever since the boxes of books arrived from Blue Moon Publishing, she’s living in two different worlds.

“I feel like I’m living a double life because I’m still very busy as a ghostwriter. And it’s funny, because some of my clients are situated all over the United States and yet they have no idea that I have this novel happening. That’s because I have to keep a professional front.

“Therefore it’s never about me. It’s always about them.”

So, to be acknowledged as an author, in the other world, is reaffirming.

“It feels authentic,” says Mann whose foray into children’s fiction was inspired by the demands of her children for a nightly bedtime story.

The fun began one night five years ago as she was sitting on the floor of the bedroom that her daughters share. Casey, her four-year-old, was lying in bed on one side while Shelby, two, was in the other bed.

“I was rubbing Shelby’s back and making up what I thought was nonsense.

“I said, ‘Once upon a time there’s a little girl named Margaret and she lived in a land of sparkly trees and the clouds were purple.’ I was just randomly creating this fairy world and suddenly Shelby sits up and Casey starts asking for more.

“I had to stop because I was tired. It was also time to go to bed.”

Surprisingly, the same thing happened the next night.

“They wanted to hear the Margaret story again. So I made up a little bit more, dragging it out and speaking very, very softly.”

The following night they wanted to hear even more. That’s when Mann decided to write down the tale she had created.

“So I turned it into a little story about this little girl who went walking into the woods and tripped and

fell into a tree. Luckily, the tree wasn’t that firm, (so she) got sucked into this magical world.”

Eventually, Mann pitched the story to the publisher of Blue Moon Publishing.

“She liked it and asked me to write it for an older age range, so that’s where Elora of Stone came from.”

What’s next?

Mann has two new books in the works. Into Coraira, which will follow Elora of Stone as the second book in the Legend of Rhyme series, is coming out in the spring. Also, a children’s book about spiders, A Bug is a Bug is a Bug, is due out this summer.

“I feel like I was born to tell stories. And I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

AT A GLANCE

Up close and personal with Jaime Lee Mann

Favourite colour: Blue

Favourite food while writing: Apples and almond butter.

Favourite mentor: Hugh MacDonald.

Upcoming appearances: Feb. 7, Morell Library, 10 a.m.; Feb. 13, book signing at the Bookmark in Charlottetown, noon, Souris Library, 5-7 p.m. and Feb. 28, book signing, Indigo, 1-3 p.m.

 

 

Many Islanders know Jaime Lee Mann as a go-to person whenever a writing job needs to be done.

Since 2005, she has been a ghostwriter; penning everything from press releases and newsletters to content for the World Wide Web.

But with the recent launch of her first novel, Elora of Stone, the Prince Edward Island writer is finally seeing her own name on the front cover.

“I’m enjoying that I can take credit for this book that people are reading. I’m also proud of the other things that I’ve done but, of course, no one can know about them.

“So I feel proud. I feel excited. I feel content,” says Mann, whose book signing for her new children’s novel, Elora of Stone, is set for the Bookmark in Charlottetown on Feb. 13 at noon.

Her former English teacher, P.E.I. poet Hugh MacDonald, is also very proud of her.

“Jaime Lee was an enthusiastic, bright student who insisted that she was going to be a writer. And that’s what she’s done. I had a chance to read her book. And it’s very nicely done.”

Yet, ever since the boxes of books arrived from Blue Moon Publishing, she’s living in two different worlds.

“I feel like I’m living a double life because I’m still very busy as a ghostwriter. And it’s funny, because some of my clients are situated all over the United States and yet they have no idea that I have this novel happening. That’s because I have to keep a professional front.

“Therefore it’s never about me. It’s always about them.”

So, to be acknowledged as an author, in the other world, is reaffirming.

“It feels authentic,” says Mann whose foray into children’s fiction was inspired by the demands of her children for a nightly bedtime story.

The fun began one night five years ago as she was sitting on the floor of the bedroom that her daughters share. Casey, her four-year-old, was lying in bed on one side while Shelby, two, was in the other bed.

“I was rubbing Shelby’s back and making up what I thought was nonsense.

“I said, ‘Once upon a time there’s a little girl named Margaret and she lived in a land of sparkly trees and the clouds were purple.’ I was just randomly creating this fairy world and suddenly Shelby sits up and Casey starts asking for more.

“I had to stop because I was tired. It was also time to go to bed.”

Surprisingly, the same thing happened the next night.

“They wanted to hear the Margaret story again. So I made up a little bit more, dragging it out and speaking very, very softly.”

The following night they wanted to hear even more. That’s when Mann decided to write down the tale she had created.

“So I turned it into a little story about this little girl who went walking into the woods and tripped and

fell into a tree. Luckily, the tree wasn’t that firm, (so she) got sucked into this magical world.”

Eventually, Mann pitched the story to the publisher of Blue Moon Publishing.

“She liked it and asked me to write it for an older age range, so that’s where Elora of Stone came from.”

What’s next?

Mann has two new books in the works. Into Coraira, which will follow Elora of Stone as the second book in the Legend of Rhyme series, is coming out in the spring. Also, a children’s book about spiders, A Bug is a Bug is a Bug, is due out this summer.

“I feel like I was born to tell stories. And I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

AT A GLANCE

Up close and personal with Jaime Lee Mann

Favourite colour: Blue

Favourite food while writing: Apples and almond butter.

Favourite mentor: Hugh MacDonald.

Upcoming appearances: Feb. 7, Morell Library, 10 a.m.; Feb. 13, book signing at the Bookmark in Charlottetown, noon, Souris Library, 5-7 p.m. and Feb. 28, book signing, Indigo, 1-3 p.m.

 

 

Jaime Lee Mann holds Elora of Stone. The Morell resident is planning several book signings this month, including one at the Bookmark in Charlottetown  on Feb. 13 at noon.
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