A creative haven that is more chaos than order. It features a stuffed Piglet, a lava lamp and more often than not a very comfortable cat sprawling with his tail dangling down onto the keyboard.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Silsbee, Texas and then Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Silsbee was a rather hateful, small-minded small town situation I couldn't wait to escape from. It wasn't easy being the geek before geekdom was cool. It wasn't easy being the most hated person in my school. So Silsbee gave me drive and ambition and taught me to fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to my writing. Baton Rouge taught me to adore Louisiana. There's just something about going over the bridge at the Sabine River that brings a sense of complete calm over me. Baton Rouge and New Orleans were home to me most of my adult life, so that unique flavor of living impacts my writing on every level.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first poem when I was four years old, about a Christmas tree. I got into so much trouble because I did it on the back of my mother's favorite piano sheet music. I still have the thing, framed here in my office.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Over the River, Through the Woods is my debut novel publishing-wise. It, like most of my novels, was inspired by a dream. In this case, a nightmare that someone I loved was struck by a drunk driver, was in a coma, then when they awoke, went missing. The dream was so vivid that when I awoke, I immediately started putting it to paper.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Finding out I could publish for free! Seriously, my novel that's currently under representation with L. Perkins Agency ("On Deployment"), has yet to be placed with a publishing house after fifteen months. That breeds a lot of frustration for a writer. So, I stepped out on my own with "Over the River, Through the Woods," and I don't regret it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I get in the groove and lose myself in the process, coming up for air 60+ pages later.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! I wouldn't be a writer without my readers.
What are you working on next?
A romantic suspense called, "The House." It features a forensic psychic medium and skeptical sheriff's deputy who are trying to find the truth in a seemingly open and shut case with ghostly overtones. It takes place here on lovely little Whidbey Island, Washington, and is a bit of a love letter to the place I love more than anything on earth.
Who are your favorite authors?
Maya Angelou, Iyanla Vanzant, Frank Herbert, Stephen King, Colleen McCullough, Patricia Cornwell, Phylippa Gregory.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That first cup of coffee. Seriously, the idea that I've got so much ground to cover marketing-wise, and have fresh ideas to pour out onto my current manuscript. Wakes me up with a smile every morning. Well, that and my three cats.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Since the publication of "Over the River, Through the Woods," I spend nearly every waking hour marketing. When I'm not doing that, I do research for my current manuscript. All work and no play makes Jacqui a very busy girl.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not really. It was such an integral part of my education, though. I had three teachers in junior high who let me spend the entire year doing nothing but writing short stories. That they believed in me and my talent still moves me today.
How do you approach cover design?
Well, as a graphic artist, I have a certain vision. For "Over the River, Through the Woods," I knew the concept would be a snowy scene with a bridge over a frozen river in the midst of a forest. That's the concept I ran with. I draw on elements from the story, naturally, but it's more nebulous than specific. Of course, it has to be appealing and eye-catching as well.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"Dune," by Frank Herbert, "On the Road," by Jack Keruoac, "Yesterday, I Cried" by Iyanla Vanzant, "Wouldn't Take Nothin' For My Journey Now," by Maya Angelou, and The First Man In Rome series by Colleen McCullough. I like a sprawling, visceral read. Go saga or go home.
What do you read for pleasure?
Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Phillipa Gregory, and various titles by Max Lucado.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.