About Jaclyn Weist:
Jaclyn is an Idaho farm girl who grew up loving to read. She developed a love for writing as a senior in high school, when her dad jokingly said she was the next Dr. Seuss (not even close, but very sweet). She met her husband, Steve, at BYU, and they have six happy, crazy children who encourage her to keep writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to have adventures in Australia, they settled back down in their home in Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding her kids to various activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do next. She has published six books in a year, and her mind is still reeling from the awesomeness. Her books include The Princess and the Prom Queen; Magicians of the Deep; the Luck series—Stolen Luck, Twist of Luck, Best of Luck, and Just My Luck, a novella.
What inspires you to write?
My kids are a huge inspiration. But I also love to look at dreams I had as a child and come up with new twists on stories. My first published book came from a writing prompt “The Worst Day Ever.” I wanted to know what would happen if someone had NEVER had a bad day and suddenly had their luck taken away. It was a short story at first, but had such great feedback I decided to try it as a novel. It’s now three books and a novel, and I’m working on another one right now.
I also look at fairy tales and legends from different parts of the world. Right now I’m more focused on Irish mythology, but I love all kinds.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am totally a seat of the pants writer. Outlines stress me out when writing. I love to pick a character, a world, and just run with it. I will write down things like class schedule, friends, and basic things like that, but I don’t do much more.
When I wrote the Atlantis series, I felt confined as I kept to the rules that we’d made up together. I was happy that my characters could do what they wanted, as long as I followed the world building we’d come up with.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I always talk to my characters and try to figure out what they’re doing.
I still remember the first time my character disagreed with me and did what he wanted. He was supposed to be a minor character and he laughed at me and because one of the four main characters of my luck series.
This is one of the reasons I’m a pantser when it comes to my writing. The characters do whatever they want and the end of the book changes from what I expected every time.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing! Never stop. Attend conferences for writers to learn the craft. Find other readers to help challenge yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Know your genre. And most of all, enjoy it!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I used a publisher for my first book and I got really frustrated with how little control I had in when things happened. When I found mistakes, it was hard to get them fixed. My second publisher has been amazing and does a great job with marketing.
When I was able to get my rights back for my first books, I decided to go on my own so I had total control over my books. Now I have the option to fix things, and I get all of the royalties.
I would explore cost, control, and what you’re comfortable with. If you want all the control, self-publishing is the way to go. If you want help with cost on edits, cover, formatting, and advertising, a publisher might be the way you want to go. I’d still love to go with a publisher at some point, but for now, I’m happy where I’m at.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think publishing will continue more toward self-publishing, although it still my dream to get a contract with one of the big five.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: YA Fantasy, MG Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print