CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Jamie Carver (The New Girls’ Patient by Ruthann Jagge)

Jamie is a small-town girl who’s trying to better herself in spite of her surroundings and circumstance. She’s on her own at a young age and needs to support herself despite having few advantages in life. Her life changes when a patient dies and leaves her a hand-written recipe book. It’s not what it appears to be on the surface, and others want it more.

Book Excerpt:
Jamie needs to support herself and applies for a housekeeping job at the hospital, hoping there will be time for daydreams later. She’s unsure of her future in Crees Crossing, and the options are limited. The pleasant, reserved young woman catches the eye of an older nurse, eager to retire, who notices she’s a hard worker, intelligent and reliable, and always kind to the state-funded patients living on borrowed time. The hospital is known locally as God’s Rural Waiting Room. The residents are admitted by an uncaring family or the court, with the ultimate intention of a more humane passing. The nurse suggests Jamie fill out the required paperwork and sign up online for an accredited nursing class, offering to add her personal and professional recommendations to the process.

The girl doesn’t own a computer, so she stays on after her shift, eating jelly sandwiches while studying alone in a small office with management approval. She completes the required clinical work, passes her exam, and starts earning a slightly better salary to the hospital soon after.

The first few months in her position at Mercy Care are tough. Jamie is the unofficial new girl. She’s assigned the dirty work others neglect but doesn’t miss a shift, does her job well, and gains respect as a valued employee. The run-down facility relies on her. Patient care is minimal but consistent, and Jamie’s confident she’s chosen a solid career path to build on, hoping for more education and experience. She makes a couple of friends at work, sharing stories and making weekend plans with them at lunch. They discuss their love lives over tuna salad, or rather the lack of, due to only a few young men worth dating in the entire country.

Meghan: Jamie, thank you for agreeing to sit down with me today. What is one word you would use to define yourself?

Jamie: Fearless

Meghan: What does the plot require you to be? How does this requirement limit you?

Jamie: To rely on what I know, not what I see. My trusting nature limits me.

Meghan: What is your quest?

Jamie: To live every day like it’s my last, because it may be.

Meghan: What do you like about the other main characters? What do you least like about the other main characters?

Jamie: It’s always nice to have friends, but when some reveal their true nature, it becomes hard to not be angry at yourself for being naive. I dislike selfish people.

Meghan: When was the last time you lied? What made you do it?

Jamie: Probably to myself, because I believed life would be easier if I did the right things.

Meghan: Who have you betrayed lately? What happened?

Jamie: My friend Lila. I should have been a better friend, and she was hurt because I wasn’t.

Meghan: Would you say that you are an optimist or a pessimist?

Jamie: Optimist

Meghan: What is your superpower?

Jamie: I’m a survivor, and I’m able to think through hard situations. I’m resourceful and decisive.

Meghan: What is your biggest secret?

Jamie: I’ve read “the book” and understand more about the contents than I let on.

Meghan: Do you live in the right world? How necessary are you to your world?

Jamie: No. I want to live elsewhere, but my roots are deep in Crees Crossing.

Meghan: What is your role in this setting? Are you okay with this role or would you like it to change?

Jamie: I’m okay with my role for now, but have every intention of changing it, as soon as possible.

Meghan: Did you turn out the way you expected?

Jamie: No. I never expected I’d be faced with a situation so terrible, that it would change everything I believe to be real.

Meghan: What, if anything, would you change about your life?

Jamie: I’d like to continue my education, find love, and learn what true peace is.

Meghan: How do you feel about your author?

Jamie: She is bold, and understands not only what makes me tick, but also how to tell my story with unflinching style.

Meghan: If the two of you got together for coffee, what would you want to say to them?

Jamie: Thanks for giving me, and all the girls out there working hard to better themselves, a voice.

Boo-graphy: Ruthann grew up in Upstate New York, where October is magical. She writes dark speculative and horror fiction. Her work is published in numerous successful anthologies. Solo and collaboration projects will feature in 2022 and 2023. Extensive travel, superstition, and backyard boogeymen influence her characters and settings. She lives on a cattle ranch in Texas with her husband and his animals. A large, blended family keeps her sane most of the time.

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