About Nikki Jackson:
Nikki Jackson considers herself to be an Indie Writer, Journeyman and Traveler. She’s camped out in the Grand Canyon just to see the sunrise over a stupendous backdrop and she yet dreams to travel to Mount Everest, not to climb any part of it but to simply stand at the North Base Camp and take it all in, in person. Nikki’s love of adventure was inspired at an early age at the local library where she spent summers reading about young travelers going cross-country and around the world. She loved the adventures that took her out of the bottom bunk of her bed (her favorite reading spot) and had her soaring across the clouds to lands filled with wonderful and diverse people. It was then and there Nikki decided she wanted to be a writer – she wanted to have the same effect on people reading books had on her. The Heart’s Journey Home is the beginning of the adventure.
What inspires you to write?
I’d have to say being an avid day-dreamer inspired me to be a writer. That and being a voracious reader. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a reader. I grew up during the time where you went to the school library once a week and picked out a book and had to write a report on it. That was the beginning for me. During summer vacation my two sisters and I walked to the neighborhood library once a week to check out a book. Right across the street was the Harbor Theater. We’d go to the library and then the movies. I was messed up from there. As far as I’m concerned movies are books that have been infused with light, sound, motion and color. I daydream stories and adventures in my head and they come out through the point of a pen.
Tell us about your writing process.
Because The Heart’s Journey Home is a series I had to do an outline of sorts just to keep everything straight. The novel has a main storyline but then there are a number of sidelines that are started in book one that will be completed in a future book down the line. So I have a journal with tabs that reminds me where I opened a mini storyline and a reminder that I have to close to loop. I ‘character out’ all my characters before writing – I really have to feel comfortable that I know enough about them to paint the picture for the reader. Each main character has a tab in my journal with: current, age, date of birth, height, weight, hair/eye color, likes/dis-likes, personality traits, etc. I really have to have a comfortable vision of each character before I can start the writing process. I can’t tell you how I agonized over their names, the setting, their homes. I spent three years writing the book and a year of that went into research alone. I’m an old school writer so I write long hand on yellow legal pads first then I type the story on my laptop. the goal is to eventually be able to just sit in front of the laptop and let go.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I believe as a fiction writer you must keep a running dialog with your characters and you have to be a good listener as well. An outline is a fine tool (emphasis on tool) but don’t let it hem your characters in. Be fluid, open and look for the surprises your story has in store for you. Look at writing as you sitting in front of life being played out in front of you and you’re just there taking notes. The secret is you think you’re writing the book and the truth is your characters are, and they’ll writer a better story if you let them loose.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. Write. Write. Select cautiously who you want to share your work with and don’t throw in the towel if someone doesn’t like something you wrote. Hey, I don’t like cheese but a large segment of the population can’t get enough of it. It’s all about taste.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I knew going in I wanted to self publish. I don’t have the patience to send my book around and wait for folks to either reject it outright or tell me where to ‘fix’ it. Also, from the time the book is accepted by a publishing house it’s about a year before it actually shows up in print. I wanted to write the book and hold the finished product in my hand four-five months later. I’m pleased with my choice.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think indie publishing is here to stay. Sure it creates a scenario where you potentially have a lot of bad novels out there but there’s tons of great novels that wouldn’t have seen the light of day so it evens itself out. I’m hopeful, I’m looking to make a future self publishing my novels. I’ll let you know how it’s working out for me.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Young Adult, Chick Lit, Contemporary Teen
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.