Interview with JIrwin

What motivated you to become an indie author?
It truly seemed the best route for the Edensville High Series. God had given the beginnings of it to Jackie years ago, but it took the added elements of Mike to give it life. Being able to write what is given to us by God is a valuable thing. Yes, it's based on true life events that happened thousands of years ago, but how can we relate those Biblical things to the busy lives that we have today? Where some mainstream publishers, agents or distributors would balk at the thought of taking something so controversial and getting on board, indie publishing allowed us to do what we have been called to do. Share the Word through real life stories to help people relate in a real sense. Thus helping them to have a relatable relationship with God, a more intimate feeling that He didn't just drop us off to fend for ourselves, but He is always with us.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords allowed us to utilize our other God given talents and the talents of those around us. By allowing us to produce our own cover, we were able to take the picture that God had given us the vision for and not rely on someone that has no relation to the book, never read it or probably never will. Smashwords helped us to bring to life the characters by affording us to luxury of it. We were then able to choose and set our own prices, where young adults could afford them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I, Jackie, live to write! I breathe writing! If my fingers aren't on the keyboard at least once a day I feel lost! Ideas are always swirling in my head. I try to write them down because I can chase a rabbit quick and lose focus or I'll tell Mike because he is great with remembering the storylines and helping to keep the characters straight for me! He isn't much on being behind the computer, but I couldn't do this without him as a writing partner. He totally amazes me with the concepts that God gives him! Some of these characters are totally straight up him and I love it! Being able to work with him on this project is like a breath of fresh air. Bouncing ideas and concepts off of him, makes it real for me. He has lived a different life than me and helps to give me a different point of view and that is an awesome plan! Having our daughter edit for us has also become one of the greatest blessings that we have. The Edensville High Series is truly a blessing to our family and its what we love to do!
What do your fans mean to you?
First we would be nothing without God, but the way He lays it upon the hearts of the readers and touches them has been an awesome experience. To have a concept start in my head, tell it to Mike for his input and write it down for people to actually want to read is so humbling for me. I use to say I write because all the characters are in my head and they get to arguing if I don't put em down on paper...that's not the case now the readers give me a reason to want to put them down on paper/computer. When I hear the fans/our beloved readers talk about the characters as if they are real to them and know them that is like the greatest response I could ask for!! Something God gave me to do and them catching the vision of it is more than I have words for....and trust me I usually have plenty of words!! So I thank all that have read the Edensville High Series, supported us as we stepped out in faith and believed in what God gave us to do......Thank you.
What are you working on next?
We are constantly working on the Edensville High Series, but there are other works in the making. We plan on adding a series just for the Blackhearts too. There are stories to be told there as well! We have a Christmas book ready to be edited now, from the point of view of the innkeeper's wife (no there's never been mention of him having one in history but that's what makes fiction so wonderful!) And we have a widow's biography that we are working on and a cookbook! So Smashwords will be getting a lot of business through us!!
Who are your favorite authors?
Growing up I always loved Kathleen E. Woodwiss, she literally brought people to life for me. Her books effected me and I would become so saddened when they ended. I wanted more! I wanted the characters to never end! I wanted to live in one of her books!!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have ideas to write down! Just yesterday after Mike left for work (5am) I was praying and an idea hit me for a Christmas play....within 30 minutes I had the concept from the Lord jumped up and by 1p had received a 3 act play and wrote it down!! Can't wait to publish it as well!!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am married to may best friend...we don't have to say anything at times just being in the same room is an amazing gift, but we do love spending time with our first granddaughter, Lovey. She brings a joy to our lives that surpasses all things we have known before!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually don't have time to read now. I'm too busy studying or writing myself. But when I did, it was usually just searching on my eReader (Nook) and if the cover, title and description was something that caught my attention then I would download it. A book has to grab me in the first ten pages or so, even then I won't give up on it I'll read on a little more just to prove myself wrong...hoping that its a good read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I've written all of my life...but yes the first full story I remember vividly I am actually going to publish at a later date. My style and education thru the years have grown immensely so we have plans of rewriting it so that we can publish it. Its a secular love story called My Confederate Love written about the Stones River Battle where we live in Tennessee.
What is your writing process?
Prayer....lots and lots of prayer....I only turn the tv on IF I am needing to hear music, most of the time I'm okay with total silence in the room or office depending where I am writing. I don't like a lot of background noise, it muffles the vision. I know that might sound funny, but its true!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Outsiders in seventh grade did it for me. I couldn't believe these kids were so real, they actually were leading 'adult' lives to me and they were my age! Come to find out in latter years, its Mike's favorite too!
How do you approach cover design?
The cover design is usually given to me in a vision....We are photographers, so as I'm writing and thinking the character through it comes out of their characteristics. Our daughter has her Master's in Theater and Fine Arts and has helped like you would not believe! She has so many friends from college that she made a few phone calls and said Hey my parents need some models to help with bringing characters to life for this book series that they are writing. Those 'kids' showed up with the only question being when and where do I need to be!! From the photo shoots we have been able to get the covers and go from there! To see the characters you can go to www.edensvillehighseries.wix.com/edensvillehighseries So through these photo shoots we have the covers to the next 10 books!!
Describe your desk
A complete mess! I am not one that can have everything neat! I am a genius at being a creative mess! But I can tell you where that little piece of crumpled up paper is that has my next idea on it and what it looks like, what color the ink is that I wrote it in and if the paper has lines!! Just don't ask me where my pen is though....I lose those all the time!!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm southern....Mike is Mid-western/West Coast....between the two we have some really different background stories! I love to hear every detail of him growing up in Colorado, Arizona and California....He on the other hand married Dixie.....I am straight up Southern! Not country...there's a difference and if you are from here you know it!
Published 2015-06-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Edensville High Series: MIRIAM Book #3
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 53,090. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion
Miriam Marah is tough, callous and independent. She use to be such a nice down to earth person, but since what happened freshman year took place she has become someone she doesn't even recognize, but how can she stop it? She is who she is because of it, right? Will Miriam let the past rule her future? Will she let what happen to her ruin the lives of those closest to her?
The Edensville High Series: Eve Book #2
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,740. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Contemporary
Have you ever wondered what you could possibly have in common with Adam, Eve, Miriam, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob or Noah from the Bible? Or better yet. What do they have in common with you in this the 21st century? I mean that book is literally thousands of years old, right? So how could you possibly learn anything from them?
The Edensville High Series: Adam Book #1
Price: Free! Words: 55,250. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
What if the people you were taught about in Sunday School were suddenly just a group of high school students themselves? All just trying to survive their teen years like you? What if dealing with sex, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure and bullying was an everyday struggle for them too?