Hanging with J.B. Jamison and his book, Disbelief
J.B. Jamison | April 1, 2019 | ImagiLearning
Paperback | $14.99 | 978-1-7320930-9-6
Ebook, $2.99 | 978-1-7329959-0-1
Agent Emily Graham is who she is today because of her family, because of her friends and colleagues, and because of her absolute belief that everyone should be treated fairly. She sees it as her role to make sure that those who do unfair things pay a price. She is a woman true to her beliefs.
But what happens when a group decides that their beliefs are the only acceptable ones and everyone else, including Agent Emily Graham, must bow their heads and surrender to them? What happens when, one by one, those things Emily believes in are shaken: her belief in family, her belief in friends and colleagues, and even her role as a protector of fairness?
Emily Graham has faced difficult times before, but in this third book of the series the greatest battle is a personal one. Will she bow? Will she survive? If she survives, who will she become?
In this third battle with a powerful enemy, Emily Graham is faced with completely redefining her life as she finds herself living in a world of…Disbelief!
John Jamison is a life-long believer in the power of stories. First as a pastor, then educator, creator of Centers for Innovation at multiple universities, Director of a national Game and Simulation academic degree program, a consultant for e-learning and brand development, John has used the power of story to bring about serious change and have some fun in the process.
John grew-up in a small river-town in Illinois, and describes his childhood as “kind of Tom Sawyer-ish with a blend of Wizard of Oz.” John says, “I grew up in a family of storytellers and liars, and I spent most of my time trying to figure out which was which.”
- How did you use different settings in the Emily Graham series to build suspense? The only conscious thought I have given to the settings for the Emily Graham stories is that I wanted them to live primarily in the Midwest. I’ve read lots of stories taking place on the East Coast and West Coast, or maybe someplace like Chicago. There is nothing wrong with that, but I’ve spent most of my life here in the middle and have come to believe we can be just as interesting or crazy as those other places. As for the specific settings in the first book of the series, Disruption, I started out only knowing that it focused on a towboat going up the Mississippi River. I opened Google Earth and realized that meant it must get started somewhere around New Orleans, and as I wrote the first chapter, I found out that I was right. From there, I just followed the boat as it went up the river. The key setting of the second book, Distraction, was St. Louis because that’s where I had read about the landfill that sparked the story. The new book, Disbelief, did not begin with that same kind of pre-defined place, but Emily was in New Orleans when it started, so New Orleans it was.
- What are some of the other locations you’d like the series to visit? I, personally, would really like to have Emily have a reason to go to someplace like Holly Bush, Mississippi. I don’t know why, but it just sounds like a place Emily would enjoy visiting and I’m guessing no one has written a story about them yet.
- How do you think Emily has matured or changed in ‘Disbelief’ since she was first introduced in ‘Disruption?’ I think Emily’s greatest growth has been internal. Not that much time has passed in the three stories, but she has been confronted by a lot of pain along the way. Her father’s condition, the death of a close friend, betrayal by more than one person she had placed great confidence in, have all made their marks on Emily. She has always looked at the world and authority with suspicion and more than a fair share of sarcasm. But, I believe she has become even more reflective through it all, asking questions about her role in the agency, who she can truly trust and rely on, and if there might be room for another person in there somewhere. On the outside, she’s still Emily. Inside, she is becoming Emily Part Two.
- What inspires you to write about these characters and stories? There are two parts to this answer. First, I love a good story, and to me, the best stories involve authentic characters experiencing authentic situations. There is a magic that exists as I sit and write the words that describe the story I am watching unfold in front of me. My only conscious thought is to keep myself out of the way and make sure that I what write does not sound written but can be experienced by the reader first-hand. I write because of the magic, the discovery, the fun and surprise of it all.
Second, I write the stories I write because they are based on real things that either have or could actually happen today but are things we just aren’t talking about. We have so many vulnerabilities today, even in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois, yet we ignore them. We have major infrastructure weaknesses that one hijacking could turn into a disaster. We have towns and cities built upon radioactive and biochemical waste dumps that are a step away from disaster. We have built our lives around technologies that do wonderful things, but also could easily be turned against us with a few lines of well-placed computer code. Most of us do not even know these things exist even when they are buried right underneath us. I write my stories, first, to entertain, but I also to hopefully lead to a reader say, “Hey, is this real? Is that landfill really there?” I believe we face some things that require some serious thinking about. It seems were are very good today at voicing opinions and responding to those we agree or disagree with, but I wonder if we are losing that ability to really think? My dream is that something in my stories might spark some thinking. Thinking is good.
- You also write children’s stories under the pen name Pops Jamison. How does writing your process differ for those books? My writing process is essentially the same. My first step for either genre is to allow an idea to ferment in my mind until it comes to the point where it becomes “real” to me. Once it is real, all I need to do is sit down, watch the story unfold, and write down what I see and hear. It’s the same for both. My children’s books are shorter, but I have to be more careful with language since my young readers can be so literal at times. I can use fewer words and let the illustrations do their part. Fewer words means less time spent editing, but more time picking and choosing the absolute best word to spark the synapses. But the actual writing itself process is pretty much the same.
- What’s next for Emily? Emily’s number one rule for life is to NEVER ask “What’s next?” The question has never, ever, led to anything good. All I know right now is that she is ready for whatever the next story brings.
J.B. Jamison | June 8, 2017 | ImagiLearning
Paperback | 978-0998888521 | $14.99
eBook | B0711HHS9G | $2.99
In the midnight darkness north of New Orleans, the towboat’s routine trip up the Mississippi River becomes something far more deadly. Captain Charlie Graff is suddenly thrust into the middle of one of the most twisted domestic terrorist plots ever conceived. He has to use his skill as Captain to protect his crew, his boat, his river, and his country. But he is not alone. On land, already overwhelmed FBI agent Emily Graham finds herself thrust into the role of leading the pursuit of the terrorists. Her journey leads to dead ends and dead witnesses. She discovers her trust in her team-members is wrong, the terrorists are not who they say they are, and that the people who actually initiated the attack don’t even exist. This tense, fast-paced thriller is a thousand mile journey with more twists and turns than the river that carries it. A story that begins and ends with betrayal. Betrayal that has but one goal: Disruption.
This is how you kick off a series. I instantly connected with Emily. She is smart and can hold her own with the guys. Yet, at the same time I liked seeing her struggle to care for her ailing father. It showed that she as not perfect and more relatable.
The concept for this story is intriguing and scary at the same time. I can see why Mr. Jamison's father who is a former tugboat captain did not want to spend much time thinking about the idea of this story too much until years later. It really could happen. That is what makes this book so intriguing. In addition to the fact that Mr. Jamison brought to life this story with engaging characters. I can't wait to read the next book and see Emily in action again.
Anyone looking for their next great read should pick up a copy of this book. You won't regret it.
J.B. Jamison | April 12, 2018 | ImagiLearning
Paperback | 978-1732093027 | $14.99
eBook | B07C37M4CH | $2.99
There have always been people warning us that technology could not be trusted. “Someone might use it against us!” they said. “Someone might find a way to take the things we have created to serve us, and use them as a way to destroy us!” they said. Today, it looks like those people may have been right. A small group of men with the power to do anything they desire, has chosen to use that power to make their empires even larger. After ten years of preparation, the attacks begin. But, something goes wrong. Once again, Agent Emily Graham finds herself in the role of having to uncover the truth of what is happening, who is behind it, and how to stop it. And once again, she discovers that, sometimes, what you see and hear is not reality. It is just…Distraction!
Emily is back. She is getting stronger with each book.
Calling all techno thriller readers. This book will be right up your reading alley. It starts out with a bang. Here is the opening scene: Two guys are attending a baseball game. They press a button on and people all around the stadium start falling down as their pacemakers stop working. EMTs are scrambling to get to everyone. The two men walk out of the stadium.
Emily is on the hunt. She seems to be right on the tail of the hackers. The tone of this book is fast paced. There is not a dull moment to be found. The plot is one that I do really like to read. So I was very engaged. Plus, it helped that I like Emily. The story had a good ending. There is nothing worse to read a book only to get to the ending and have it be a let down. Mr. Jamison knows how to write and he proves it with this series.