Bio/Contact




Who is Jeramy Gates/Jamie Sedgwick?

BIO:

I'm married with three children. I was raised on a ranch in Montana, but now live in Northern California surrounded by grapevines and redwood groves. I write mystery, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy. 





The long(er) version:


My grandfather was a musician -a 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

8 comments:

  1. If you enjoy restored classic cars then you really should try to attend "Cruisin' the Coast". Think of a 7days block party from one end of the Gulf Coast in Mississippi to the other end. There is nothing like it. We have classic cars from all over the country. Your '73 Charger would just love to be showed off. Www.cruisinthecoast.com. Kathy Starling owner of K Starling Arts.

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    1. Sadly I don't have the Charger anymore, but I always have my eye out for the next one. Sounds like an awesome cruise. I'd definitely like to check it out some time. Thanks for the head's-up!

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  2. Firstly, thank you for your books... I started reading Tinker's Daughter by fluke through my kindle and have now got some of your other books in the library - can't wait to read them.
    My question - when you're coming up with a new character, what are the questions that you ask them so that you have a clear idea of what/who they are like? I sometimes see them in my mind before writing but they're not always forthcoming about their peccadilloes and wants. Any thoughts/suggestions? Peter (London)

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    1. To be honest, I don't do much outlining on my characters or stories. I probably should, but it seems to work best for me if I leave a lot up to the imagination, letting it work while I'm writing. That being said, I do go into a story with a few general ideas. For a main character, I have in the back of my mind certain life-altering events that helped make this individual unique. Along with this background, comes a sense of emotion(s).

      Since you've read Tinkerer's Daughter, I'll use that as an example. Breeze's background is one of solitude, abandonment, and rejection. Even Tinker is reluctant to take her on. This makes her socially awkward and desperate for acceptance. The fact that she develops certain gifts is really secondary to Breeze. This is simply another avenue to getting the acceptance she craves. And she's relatively fearless because she has already faced her fears. Some might even say she's a little reckless...

      Of course, a character like this must eventually achieve some or all of her goals, and then you have to decide if this character has the depth to be a hero all over again with a new set of challenges. (In other words, is it time for a new series? lol)

      At any rate, that's my very long-winded answer. To sum it up: Every character has a past. The high points and low points -and the character's reactions to those- are the individual's defining moments. One set of events may create a hero in one person or a villain in another. If you know what those events were and how your character reacted, you really do know your character inside and out. What flavor of coffee he or she prefers is arbitrary.

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  3. I just finished your Clockwork Legion book...I started with Tinkerer’s Daughter and could not stop! I enjoy your writing style and your version of the steampunk genre...not all are to my taste. I am hoping you will tell me that another book in the Aboard the Iron Horse series is coming...I don’t want to be left hanging! Once again, it has been a pleasure to read your books and I plan on checking out your fantasy detective series.

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    1. Hi Sherri. I'm thrilled that you enjoy these books and yes, there is definitely another coming soon. I hope to have it out by the end of the year, but in the worst case it should be out by spring 2018. Definitely take a look at my Hank Mossberg series! I think you'll find there's nothing else like it out there. Of all my characters, Hank has some of the most dedicated fans.

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  4. I just finished the Tinkerers Daughter series, and loved it! Being visually impaired,I cannot read text and the even the best screen reader software offers flat narration and often misprounced words. I have "looked" through your many book summaries and would love to "read" more. Do you have any plans to publish audiobook version of your other books? I would love to "hear" more. On another note, I hope that you avoided harm during the recent Santa Rosa and vicintity fires. I too live in Santa Rosa and fortunately did not suffer more than the stress that all of us endured. I especially appreciated your sharing the interaction between you and your young daughter. I see a bit of Breeze in her.

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    1. Hi Chard. Thanks for your message and your compliments. We're all safe and sound now after that brief scare. I'm very proud of the way my daughter handled everything. It was certainly a little traumatizing for her, but life has a way of doing that to us. I hope this experience in coping with adversity makes her a stronger and more confident adult someday.

      I do plan on doing more audiobooks, and I need to get to work on it soon. I'll post here and in my newsletter when I get things moving. Stay safe!

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