Bio/Contact




Who is Jeramy Gates/Jamie Sedgwick?

BIO:

Jeramy Gates is the author of multiple Amazon lists bestsellers in the Mystery & Thriller genre as well numerous Science Fiction & Fantasy novels published as Jamie Sedgwick. Jeramy spent his childhood on a ranch in the Montana Rockies, but now lives among the grapevines and redwood groves of northern California with his wife and three children.

 





The long(er) version:


My grandfather was a musician -a great man who could sing and also play the guitar, piano, and the fiddle. He had a band and they occasionally performed at dances in town. My grandmother -who died before I was born- was a writer, and had sold several short stories in her time. I didn't learn about them until I was in my thirties, so there's little hope of ever finding them now.

Perhaps it was genetics or something in my environment, or a little of both: I developed an affinity for literature and music at a very young age. I knew by 2nd grade -when I penned my first short story- that I would be a writer. I wrote my first novel in 5th grade. I had suffered various traumatic events in my early childhood and this fueled my love for books. I found that when reading a good fantasy story, I could disappear into another world. I could forget my pain and anxieties, if only for a little while, and become a sword-wielding warrior or a knight in shining armor.

At the age of 12 I found myself living in Oregon, far away from everyone and everything I had ever known. During that time, my mother found my notebooks full of stories about knights, dragons and magic swords. She was (and remains) a devout Jehovah's Witness, and was infuriated to discover that I had been writing fantasy stories. She threw my notebooks in the trash and called the church "elders" to our home for an intervention. I was never given a clear answer as to why my fantasy stories were evil, other than some fuzzy explanation about "magic" being a tool of satan. No one has ever given me a coherent explanation as to how fantasy stories correlate with real-life paganism or satanic worship. It didn't make sense to me then, and it doesn't now.

Needless to say, this did not end my fascination with literature and fantasy, it only drove me underground in my pursuit. It didn't help matters that I now lived nearly 1,000 miles away from my friends and family, and I was not allowed to make friends unless they were of our faith. As an outsider in a strange new place with a single working mother, this meant I spent most of my time alone. The books that had been my childhood refuge were now my lonely companions as well.

Things were not to end there, however. By the age of 15, I was living in northern California with my father, and by 17, I was homeless. I had been shunned by my parents and much of my family for leaving the faith of my childhood. I was once again in a strange place with no support structure whatsoever; I had no one to turn to, other than a handful of friends who could offer nothing more than a couch to sleep on for a night or two.

I managed to complete my senior year of high school working full-time as a cook while renting a room in a drug house. (I wasn't an addict -this was simply the only place I could afford.)  I had always dreamed of going to college to study writing and journalism, but it simply was not an option. I (barely) graduated from high school in 1990. 

In my early 20s, I began to claw my way out poverty using the only means available to me: I worked two full-time jobs (80 hours per week), and with my girlfriend rented out a rat-infested cottage that had been converted out of someone's garage. Between our three salaries, we were eventually able to upgrade to more reliable vehicles, and move into a nicer place. It was during this time that we had our first child.

I went through many different careers in the following years, but continued to write as a hobby. I racked up dozens of well-deserved rejections for my stories. I continued to write and study while bouncing from career to career, often writing late at night after the kids went to bed, and occasionally taking vacation time (once it became available to me) to stay home and write. I finally sold two short stories in (or around) 2008. 

By 2010, I had begun to realize that publishing was not what it had once been -or at least what I had been led to  believe it was. I was told not to submit my stories to publishers. You need an agent now... Publishers don't deal with writers directly. So I courted the agents: I made sure to read their articles and blog posts (which was an actual requirement for some of those egomaniacs -if you wanted them to read your submissions). I commented on their posts, along with the thousands of other fawning writers desperate for their approval. But no agent was interested in me because I didn't write about love triangles between werewolves, vampires, and teenage girls. I was writing steampunk, and What the hell is that?

After receiving half a dozen rejections for my latest novel at the time, The Tinkerer's Daughter, and even some hate-mail from one particular literary agency in England, I chose to self-publish. Thanks to Amazon and the Kindle, The Tinkerer's Daughter went on to be a best seller. I completed that trilogy and went on to publish another steampunk series and quite a few other titles, eventually expanding into the mystery and thriller genres.

As of 2019, my books have been downloaded by more than a quarter million readers and I work full time as an author. Though I struggled through some challenges, my life has gotten better every year as an adult, and I truly believe that it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from: If you have a dream, never give up on it. Things may not turn out exactly as you imagined, but you will achieve things that will surprise you.

 

You can contact me directly at:
jeramygates@sbcglobal.net