About J. A. JACKSON:
J.A. Jackson is the pseudonym for an author, who loves to write deliciously sultry adult romantic, suspenseful, entertaining novels with a unique twist. She lives in an enchanted little house she calls home outside Oakland, California with her husband and Big Sally an American scent hound. She was born in Arkansas and comes from a family rich in story tellers. She spent over ten years working in the non-profit sector where she wrote grants, press releases and contributed many stories to their newsletter. She was their Newsletter editor for over ten years. She loves growing roses, a good pot of hot tea, chocolate, magical stories, suspense stories, ghost stories, and reading Jane Austen again and again in her past time.
What inspires you to write?
Many things inspire me. Ideas for my books can come from places I’ve traveled. Places I’ve lived. Tidbits of odd knowledge I pick up while reading throughout the day. Odd questions that fill my mind when I have one of those “what if moments”. But as always I must say I do take a lot of my inspiration from the grandiose landscape of the magnificent State of California. For example for my book the Grand Hotel my inspiration came from walking past the regal old Sir Drake Hotel on Powell Street in San Francisco one night. The flickering lights coming from welcoming door gave me a “what if “moment. From there the ideas for The Grand Hotel was born.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process really depends on the book and the moment. By this I mean if I’ve had a rough day at work – because I still work an eight hour job – my writing process can be somewhat cloudy and not focused . However, for the records I do write a rough draft outline on a standard writing pad. In generally I do write every day and the story propels my writing process. For example, if I’m have just started a brand new book. I am first jotting down the main characters, minor characters and their names, flaws, details such as family, no family etc. If I’m at the point where my story has taken hold then I looking at my plot points, sub-plots points, elements of the unexpected in my story. Once my story has taken hold I’m writing, daily. Whether it be a chapter or scene I am writing. Making sure my characters are propel my story forward.
Finally once my story is complete I go back over it check for content, revise, edit, revise and edit.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Sort of. What I do is to think of my character’s dialogue, point of view, flaws, desires, hopes and dreams. Sort of like having an interview with your character and finding out about them.
What advice would you give other writers?
Persevere! Then never stop believing in yourself. Next I would say always listen to the voice within. It is your number one fan and keep pushing yourself to completion of your novel. Because you really are more capable than you know. Believe in yourself. And finally I would say remember NO is not fatal. Ignore the folks who say no because somebody will say yes.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried the New York Publishing way and mailed my query letters out to numerous agents, well over 200. I had a whole lot of them turn me down. However, I had several agents who ask for my first book called. They all said that I needed to tighten it. One agent asked for it back a second time, but then turned it down. Another agent worked with me to tighten it. However, after tightening my first book almost three times for her, she later told how the publishing industry was changing. She was honest and forthright with her information. Since I have always had an independent streak. I felt confident that I could self-publish my book, on my own. However I was a little scared because my first book was over 100,000 words. And the second book that I was writing at the time was just as long. So I decided that I needed a short book to publish as my very first self-publishing project. And I sat down and wrote, A Geek An Angel and the Deceiver. A book with less than 150 pages, which I wrote in less than eight weeks. Self-publishing my first book was a wonderful success and made me feel confident with the self-publishing process. And I’ve been doing so ever since.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Book publishing is changing. The future is coming and as a self-published author – I’d like to think that one day I will be considered a big/or small business. The future looks bright and holds a lot of promise. I am looking forward to an adventurous wonderful and fantastic ride.
What genres do you write?: Contemporary, Fiction, Suspense, Romance, Drama, Mystery, Paranormal, Adventure, Sultry,
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print