Interview with Stephanie Dragoo Jackson

What motivated you to become an indie author?
There was a story I wanted to tell, and I didn't want to wait on traditional publishing to enable me to tell it! The independent platform makes publishing easier, faster, and more in my control as the author.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the third book in the Exceptions series! It will be the final installment that will resolve the drama my characters have experienced so far.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many, but some of my favorite fiction writers are Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Orson Scott Card, C.S. Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, and Flannery O'Connor. For nonfiction, I love Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, A.J. Jacobs, Malcolm Gladwell, and David Foster Wallace.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Singing (with a guitar or even karaoke), watching movies, tap dancing, traveling, and spending time with my husband, family, friends, and cat.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually, I find classics I've wanted to read for ages, or I get a recommendation from friends who have good taste in books.
What is your writing process?
Most of my stories have to sit in the "crock pot" of my mind and stew for a long while. It helps to talk out the plot with someone (like my husband or a writer friend) while on a walk or over coffee. If there are several concurrent storylines (which is often the case), I will draw out a flowchart with stick figures and arrows. The actual drafting happens in random scenes I decide to write on their own and then put together later.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis -- It is a tender, beautiful, and insightful story about a woman who cares fiercely for her younger sister and will do anything to defend her against the tyranny of divine beings.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald -- The story of shallow, flawed people shrouded in some of the most gorgeous writing, it is a masterful portrait of the vanity, excess, and intoxicating style of the Roaring 20s and the ideals of the 20th century.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling -- When Harry actually enters into the adult battle against Voldemort, he also faces the barriers of institutional evil, exploring and proving that sometimes the greatest harm can be done in the name of law and order. Also, magic is cool.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt -- This is a recent favorite, and I found myself wanting to linger inside this world far longer than the page count would allow. The beautiful, detailed portraits of a young man's vacillation between black-market crime and sophisticated art society are rich and satisfying scenes full of vivid life.

Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott -- The most helpful, engaging, and lovely book on writing I've ever read. Lamott has a compassionate spirit and generous, practical advice for anyone looking to put a pen to paper.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Android phone. Sometimes I use a Kindle Fire or iPad.
What do you read for pleasure?
I majored in journalism, so essays and long-form journalism are delightful to me. This includes works by David Foster Wallace, Malcolm Gladwell, David Sedaris, A.J. Jacobs, Stephen King (not the horror novels), and Lauren Winner. I also enjoy a good op-ed or blog.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing allows me a space to create people, situations, and scenes that have never existed before they emerged from my own imagination. It's like magic. If I can create a character or plot that connects with a reader, I feel like I've done something extraordinary--creating something out of nothing. It's a thrill like nothing else in life.
Published 2016-11-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Spark White Light
Series: The Exceptions. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,830. Language: English. Published: November 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
What do you do with your unanswered questions? As new dangers emerge, it's time for Ellie to go out on her own, for Haven to discover a new land, and Lex to befriend a stranger who knows too much. Meanwhile, Rey travels home again to reconnect with the past, and Rollin wanders the streets. In this sequel to Dream Blue Sky (The Exceptions Book 1), these friends must learn to fight for each other.
Dream Blue Sky
Series: The Exceptions. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,170. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » General
It hadn't happened in a long time. But now that shy, awkward Ellie Caulder is starting seventh grade at a new school, it's back. She's never told anyone her secret power--wouldn't they just call her crazy? Still, she can't help but hope that meeting a friend with an extraordinary secret of her own might lead them to discover who and what they really are and how to escape the dangerous truth.