Based on the podcast of the same name, A Year and a Day: Divorce without Destruction provides information and tips for getting through a separation and divorce without destroying family relationships or the family finances. In North Carolina, spouses must be separated a year and a day in order to file for divorce. That year is a critical time during which important decisions must be made, either by the spouses or the court. If you’re facing the prospect of separation and divorce, take time to educate yourself about the process and how to prepare for it.
Jaime H. Davis is a North Carolina board-certified family law specialist and partner in the family law firm Gailor Hunt Davis Taylor & Gibbs, PLLC in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Jaime graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 with a bachelor’s in political science and English and attended law school at the University of North Carolina School of Law receiving her law degree in 2001.
Jaime’s practice incorporates all areas of family law, with a concentration in complex equitable distribution and child custody matters, including relocation and interstate cases. Jaime also focuses on family law contracts, including premarital, postnuptial, and separation agreements and property settlements.
She is a certified parenting coordinator and has been certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a family financial mediator. Jaime formerly served as chair of the Wake County Bar Association’s Poverty Issues Committee. She currently serves as an attorney volunteer for the UNC Chapel Hill Community Legal Project and The Child’s Advocate. Jaime also serves as a volunteer mediator for Wake County Family Court.
Jaime lives in Raleigh with her husband and three children.
We asked Jaime a few questions about her publishing journey and goals for the book.
SPARK Publications was invaluable in helping me navigate the entire writing and publishing process from start to finish. They walked me through the process from the very beginning. SPARK Publications helped me create the timeline that I needed to be able to complete the manuscript, provided excellent editorial services, and beautiful cover design and layout. They walked me through having the book printed and dealing with a traditional printer versus a print on demand through Amazon. SPARK Publications helped with marketing and designing my author website for me. The services offered by SPARK Publications are superb.
Was there a particular moment that SPARKed your interest in writing a book?
In 2017, I decided I wanted to create a podcast to provide tips and information for getting through separation and divorce, without destroying family relationships or family finances. The content from the podcast and the guests who shared their areas of expertise with me were so helpful that I decided to compile the information into a book so that it would be more readily accessible to a larger group of individuals. My hope is that the book would become a resource for divorce-related professionals and also individuals who were separating or dealing with child custody issues.
Now that your book is published, are you looking forward to any particular goals or experiences?
I am really looking forward to the book getting out there and into the hands of the folks who can really benefit from it. It contains a lot of really valuable information, and I’m just excited to be able to share that information with other people.
I think it’s really hard because people go into a separation or a divorce because emotions are running so high and people get in this “I have to win” mindset. But when it comes to your family relationship and your children, especially, there is no winning. It doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. You can get through the process and make sure that everybody is still OK.
What surprises did you encounter on the road to writing and publishing the book?
Even though I was an English major in college, legal writing is completely different than writing a book that is geared toward a regular audience, not geared toward being read by judges or courts. And so I found Melisa’s help to be invaluable in editing my writing to make it easier for the laymen to read.
How did SPARK Publications help in championing and publishing your book?
SPARK Publications did a great job making sure that I understood the process. You know, this is the first time I’ve done this. I’ve never written a book before, much less tried to get one published. SPARK Publications made sure that I understood each step of the process, how it worked, and what my reasonable expectations should be.
Melisa also helped me create a writing timeline that helped me figure out how many hours I needed to devote to writing per week to get the book finished by a certain date. And that was super helpful to keep me on schedule and to work backward from a deadline. It’s easy to get really stuck and get writer’s block and feel tired of doing it and not want to finish writing. When you know you’ve got a deadline and that if you meet these smaller deadlines along the way, you should be able to accomplish your goal. It was super helpful.
I found the editing to be superb. Melisa did a great job keeping me motivated. She would periodically check in with me just to see how I was doing and ping me to make sure I was still on track.
I was really happy with the design work; it was wonderful. I came to Charlotte to meet with the team and talk through my vision for the cover and the layout, and other sorts of design elements. The team did a really great job taking my thoughts and turning them into this cover and format that really captured the look and the vibe that I was going for in the book.
What advice do you have for other authorpreneurs and aspiring writers?
You really need to be disciplined about your writing time and, like I said before, create a schedule and stick to it. And it’s important to have the support of your family, whether you’re married, if you have children, if you have a partner. Having their support so that they can help you stick to your schedule is critical. Maybe they’re taking the kids out for the day so that you can get your writing block of time in. Having that time and support is so important.
Tell us about your future plans—what’s next for you?
I am planning to refocus some time back to the podcast and hopefully bring some new life to it this year. I didn’t get to record as many episodes last year as I had hoped because I was spending a lot of time focusing my attention on the book and getting that completed. But I really want to turn back to the podcast and release at least one episode a month this year. So that’s my goal.
What does success mean to you?
That’s a hard one to answer. I think that you can judge success by whether or not you are doing something meaningful to you. You are successful at something if you are able to complete it in a manner that brings you joy, and it hopefully can give information or advice or counsel to other people.