Interview with Jonathan Jackson

What are your five favorite books, and why?
I began reading for entertainment when I was around 13 years old. It started with Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Piers Anthony quickly became my favorite author and I've read everything he ever wrote and published. I later became a fan of "true crime" types of reads or those that were much more than fantasy. Harlen Coben, Stuart Wood, and John Patterson filled that niche, among others, and my goal has been to read everything written by them as well. Now that I'm in my middle age, I will read anything that can snag me in the first ten pages. If not, I won't continue.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything as long as it can capture my interest in the first ten pages. I prefer not to read satanistic horror or porn. My current favorites are the Steven King DRAMAS, not horrors. He's a brilliant dramatic writer.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an old school Kindle that I love but an iPad gets used more just because I can do more with it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I've not been marketing much, if at all; Just word of mouth and light social media. I'm building up a collection of works and then I'll blast the world with five or six at once. That should happen by the end of July 2014.
Describe your desk
I have a desk? I think that's the thing holding up all of my junk and old mail. I work from a laptop and prefer to work in public settings. Watching people and crowds will spark ideas in my character development and sometimes influence a story line. After all, I'm sure even James Bond picked his nose at a stop light once in his life. Right?
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Southern, and I refer to my type of writing generally as Southern Fiction although the stories are far reaching.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in my current style, for publication, when my children were born. It was a "bucket list" thing. I had no idea what I was doing or what I wanted to write about. I bought a cheap laptop computer and made a single page outline of a story. Then I added and added to that outline until it became six pages, then finally it grew into about 300 pages. It was a horrible story though. As I said, I didn't know what to do. I've matured greatly since then, as a writer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book. Tough question considering I have three going at the same time and will probably wrap up at the same time. I like stories that offer redemption of some sort to the main characters - not necessarily victory, success or a happy ending, but a redemption. That is a common thread in most of mine if you assume that all people are flawed and have a minuscule amount of psychological baggage.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Easy, no publisher, agent or editor wanted to touch my first novel. Got 41 rejection letters. They were all polite but loud and clear. I wrote for years and never wanted to publish. Computer is just full of stories, novels, screen plays, etc. I started publishing because one story was based on a true story and I did it to honor the people I wrote about. Now I just enjoy seeing it on the computer screen at vendor sites.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Just starting out with Smashwords, ala this interview. I'll let you know later.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Escapism, venting, and being able to manipulate readers into thinking one thing then surprising them with something else.
What do your fans mean to you?
They keep me cool when it's hot out..huh, oh that kind of fan. I love them all, especially those anal enough to correct my grammar and punctuation. (Said no writer ever...)
What are you working on next?
Living.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to list and I'm sure I'd leave a few out and offend them.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
God
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about writing. I carry a small pad everywhere I go to scribble ideas in. If I'm not writing or working my profession, I'm spending time with my family.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Chance usually.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I was 13 and it was good. I may revive it at some point and rewrite it as a middle aged, experienced writer would do it.
What is your writing process?
Outline, outline, outline. Then I fill in the gaps with body and storyline. Character development gets a lot of thought at first, but is dynamic. Once the story is complete, then and only then do I go back and read it completely. This is followed with editing for structure and rewriting for content and character development.
How do you approach cover design?
Like a tiger stalking an elephant, optimistic but overly cautious. I design my own covers to reflect an element of the story but not give away the entire story line. I hate movie trailers that show every good scene in a movie in 30 seconds and leaving nothing to enjoy when you buy a ticket.
Published 2014-06-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Out of Order
Price: Free! Words: 27,670. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Charlotte is brilliant for her teenage years but her intellect doesn't serve her well. She's too smart for her own good and ends up homeless in the streets of a big city.
Turnbull: Based on a True Story
Price: Free! Words: 76,850. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
Theo, a turn of the century, South Carolina Preacher's son came from barely anything. Eldred, raised by share cropper parents, came from even less. Their paths overlapped for decades until one ended up dead along a deserted road and the other was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Prison.