Interview with Jack Bessie

When did you first start writing?
I hated English in high school and college, and even though I was competent, I never once considered being a writer! At 55 I suddenly got an idea for a detective story, and over a couple of weeks time, I evolved a complete plot. Being more compelled than anything, I made a skimpy outline, and started writing. Six months later, I had finished Makeshift Justice, a wicked tale about the cat and mouse ordeal between a detective and a serial killer. By then I had four more plot ideas, and started on the next novel. I've written eleven novels in the last six years, and have the plots for fifty more! I'd still rather be tortured than study English, but I love storytelling!
Many writers seem to write one type of book: what about you?
My first novel was a crime/detective/thriller. The second was contemporary romance with a bit of dark chick lit. The third was a Native American, spiritual, finding yourself story. Then I wrote a teen adventure/romance novel, The Shaman's Calling. Since then, I've written a shape changer romance, a religious/romance, a post apocalyptic romance, a regency romance, a medieval romance, a teen romance set a thousand years ago in a Mayan village. I'm writting a lot of romance, in all sorts of forms, but I will be doing more of my detective ones and a bunch more teen novels too! I like variety!
You're writing a lot of romance oriented material. Why should women read your work?
My writing tends to be deep and highly emotional. I do a lot of research, especially on the historical aspects, to get details correct. I studied psych and communications in college, and have lived all over, so I have a large stock of insights into people, and how they interact. All of my close friends have been women, I raised six daughters, and I've been married to my second wife thirty four years. I find that exploring women, and their relationships is hugely interesting and satisfying. (I have a wicked ex-wife, who comes in handy as a model for vindictiveness too!). The more blatently romantic my books have become, the more I've enjoyed writing them! You may be shocked by how sexy, slutty and emotional I get at times, but you won't be bored!
What are you working on next?
I just finished a historical romance set in medieval France, A Private Crusade. I've promised my fans the second of the Tribesman novels, (Nara's Journey; Disobedient Tribesman was the first), a contemporary romance/thriller called Dirty Secrets, another historic romance caleed To Fall In Rome, and the second of the Shaman's novels, The Shaman's Trouble. (I didn't intend to do anything past the Shaman's Calling, but I fell in love with Buffy and Gwen, the teen girls in the story). I've got twenty novels started, and thirty more plotted! I've been reading up on Roman history, when I'm not doing ten other things!
What do you read?
I read a lot of history and culture books, doing research for my writing. Last year I was a Judge for the Global Ebook Awards, (I am again this year too), and I read dozens of romance, teen and fantasy titles. If I'm not writing, I'm reading something.
Be honest: Do you really want to hear from readers?
Is the Pope Catholic? Yes, yes, yes! I want everyone to visit my website Jack Bessie's Duct Tape for the Soul at www.jackbessie.com You'll find all sorts of new and crazy things, some touching, some funny or satirical. You can e-mail me: jack@jackbessie.com. I'm working on a special fan page which will have another e-mail: fans@jackbessie.com. If you're dying to talk, send me your phone number, and a good time to call. (I have unlimited long distance!), I especially like to hear from people who are trying to write or get published! I love talking, and will talk to anyone! If you get a call, or an e-mail from me, it will be me! (I'm too cheap to pay someone else to pretend to be me!).
How do you approach cover design?
I design all my own covers. I have always hated covers that have no relationship to the book! I try to visualize a scene or a character, and then either pick a photo (from 123RF, a photo licensing service I use), or I have one of the illustrators I use to do an original piece from one of my crappy sketches. I want my readers to eventually have that moment in the reading, where they recognize where the cover scene came from!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I bought my first Kindle a couple of years ago. Got a new Paperwhite Kindle a year back, and read it most of the time. I can send my book manuscripts to them, to let the wife get the first reading! I still love print books, and have piles of them, but anytime I'm going to the doctor, or expect to have to kill time, I drag the Kindle along!
Describe your desk
Desks. Plural. I have a large computer dest, where I do all my actual writing, an antique writing desk, that holds a file caddy, piles of papers, and Beatnick, my desk cat, when he's in the room. I have another desk where I actuially write outlines longhand, make notes, read, eat and where Beatnick comes when he's feeling ignored. (At twenty pounds, it's honestly hard to ignore him!). The walls of my study are covered in fabric wrapped bulletin boards which are covered completely with papers, notes, back teasers, lists of projects, etc. Every surface is piled with mounds of papers, files, books, and stuff! If I had a maid, who cleaned, I'd be ruined!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the corn fields of Ohio: small town/country. I've lived in a bunch of big cities, (Houston for one, and that's BIG), but was never an urbanite. I think the slower pace of life in my childhood allowed me to study people more deeply, and I've always been inclined to note the uniqueness of others. This has let me craft some amazingly sharp and interesting characters in my novels. Hillbillys, whores, farmers, rich, poor; I've rubbed elbows with all sorts of interesting ones. That's a critical thing, if you wish to write, and tell good stories!
What attracted you to smashwords?
I had originally thought to publish only on Kindle, but when I saw that Smashwords made it possible for my work to be converted to all sorts of ebook formats, and made available to many other outlets, I couldn't pass that up! I've recomended it to several other starving authors, and indie writers, and will continue to do so!
Published 2014-01-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Maria's Quest
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 109,290. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Maria Lynn was fifteen, the victim of abuse from other kids. She thought her life could get no worse until she awoke, bound, in the back of a strange man’s car. Abandoned on a world of elves, having been told she was a princess on a distant world, she had to risk a perilous journey to get there, or stay with the elves she had come to love. Could she survive her quest, or it’s success?
To Claim the Elvin Princess: Warrior
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 136,200. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Having survived his capture by the barbarians, Rasten continues to develop his skills as a warrior and commander, still plagued by Princess Amein’s abnormal Elvin jealousy. As the barbarian princess Shocara advances her efforts against the Elvin, Rasten’s sight discovers a new and disconcerting complication: thousands of changelings, are living among the Elvin as Elvin. The sexy saga continues.
Cat House
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 117,460. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western, Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
A hair raising romp in the old west, where by a stubborn madam is determined to resist an evil rich rancher, who wants her whorehouse for his own gain. Miss Kitty drags her bedmate, Sheriff Hendricks, into the fight, forcing him to choose between the law and his favorite female's life! A wicked tale of life in a whorehouse in Wyoming, in the late 1800's! Get ready for some wicked excitement!
The Wicked Elf
Price: Free! Words: 3,570. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00)
Not all elves are cute and loveable! Ducky Tanner finds this out the hard way, when a more despicable version of the small creatures takes up residence in his wife's garden! The battle is certainly amusing. A wicked short story!
The Man Who Chased Pigs
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,860. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
A Novella exploring the perils of playing God with animals, wherein a group of dedicated researchers accidentally make a group of chimps into geniuses far smarter then themselves. The facility's animal technician, Rupert, and the staff psychologist, Sandy, find themselves having to stand up for moral values, to protect the chimps, and become more than a bit attached to each other.
The Wizard's Daughter: Cursed & Clueless
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,500. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Fantasy
Elisa Deibelman wanted to be just an ordinary girl. Unfortunately, she was the daughter of a wizard. It was hard enough being accepted in school as a teen, without magic! Elisa was already frustrated, when something wicked occurred and she discovered she was the target of a sorcerer, and not a good one either! Could her sister Missy and a sorcerer girl named Tara save her butt from an evil fate?
To Claim the Elvin Princess: Apprentice
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 136,200. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Rasten knew he had an odd name, but no idea why. Only when he was 21 did an Elvin Princess arrive, to take him to his fathers world. Half Elvin, the son of a renowned warrior/sage, he found learning the craft almost as hard as avoiding the luscious Elvin females, who all wanted him or his child! Battling the barbarians would seem easier, at least until he confronted their Princess... A sexy saga.
A Private Crusade
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 135,560. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical
A tale of Dark Ages French life, where an evil Duke and his even more evil heir oppress and brutalize their people. When an ex-Templar knight arrives, none are more excited that the Duke's neglected young wife, and his sexy 15 year old daughter. Perhaps Sir Andre might stay a while and rearrange some things? A wicked bit of plotting, desire and castle intrigue. Unabashedly flirty and romantic!
A Touch of Faerie
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 116,510. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
(5.00)
Megan wanted to be a simple Irish girl. Instead, she had been abused all her childhood for her "Faerie" looks. At 15, she dared to seek the land of Faerie, wanting to see the Queen, and gain her insight regarding whom she might marry. The Queen, obeying God in ways unknown to Megan kept her a season in Faerie. Returned home, marked and with the ability to heal, her life becomes even more amazing!
A Just God Would Punish That! A Hilarious look at Teenagers
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 136,420. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Teens, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
Jack Bessie and his wife raised five bio kids, and then adopted six more. This book is a collection of two page humorous essays on every possible aspect of herding teens. Grouped by subject; school, sex and dating, self esteem issues, chores, and more. The titles of each piece are things the teens actually said, snide, stupid or absurd. A funny, and deeply personal look at life with teens.
Disobedient Tribesman
Series: Tribesman, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 169,340. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Set in a Mayan village in 1000 AD, the story of Tark and Nara, two teens who give in to their desires, and break their tribes Taboos. Their efforts to manipulate the tribe and especially Nara’s father, the village elder, into giving Nara to Tark have wickedly bad consequences. A timeless story of first love, desire and teenaged ignorance, this is the first of a three volume saga.
Kaniya's Vision
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 170,610. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
The story of a Native Hopi, college educated, living among the whites, homesick for her people. When she sets out to fulfill a vision, her teen daughter Kayah is dragged into her mother’s affairs. Kayah’s boyfriend Tim, a native Hopi, being raised by white, fundamentalist parents, adds to the upheaval, when he decides to renounce his parent’s religion, to become a medicine man!
The Jealous One
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 129,890. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
(5.00)
Mark Rubin has a heart attack, and a Near Death Experience. Having to choose to accept his guardian angel, transformed into a cute woman, or to be done with this life, he says yes, forgetting he has a wife! Caroline has no desire to share him with Selena, his new companion, and she’s tormented by her own naughty secrets and guilt! What was God thinking?! The answer will set your socks on fire!
The Saving of Jake Harper
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 140,070. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
The story of a dubious bounty hunter and slave catcher, living a century from now, after the collapse of civilization. Catching a cute girl of fifteen, an escaped slave, he labors to return her to her old home, only to have to rescue her from her father! Elena wears down Jakes reluctance, and motivates him to fight the slavers. Elena’s urge to stay a virgin gets worn down too, with sexy results.
Secret Nature
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 132,580. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00)
Lydia Lucero is a Siskatorini, a shape changer, 26 and crazy with her urges for a mate. She finds the perfect one, Paul, but he’s a lost one, raised with no knowledge of his nature or abilities. Worse, Lydia must deal with the fact that he has a wife and children. Desperate, her guilt at being the wicked other woman makes her miserable. Teaching him his secret nature turns out to be the easy part!
The Angel's Punishment : Winner of the Gold Award for Best Faith/Religious fiction in the 2015 Global eBook Awards
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 129,190. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Long ago the angels rebelled, and were made to choose their punishment. Kythoran choose to be human, to learn why human love had been denied them. He resisted his instruction, until at last God gave him Millie, a soul who had committed suicide, commanding him to love and heal her. Cute, flirty, irresistible and sexy, he is doomed to learn the hard way more about love than he ever thought to know!
Failure of Judgment
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 133,730. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00)
Rebecca Meyer-Owens was a snobby, Yale educated lawyer. Transplanted to Arkansas, working to seek new trials for innocent prisoners, she and her daughter are abducted by a man she’s freed from prison. Left pregnant by her captor, when he frees her by killing himself, she must reorder her life. Work, life, love, nothing was what she thought it was! A deep look into a woman’s needs and fears.
Makeshift Justice
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 142,700. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
(5.00)
Mario LaCone is an aging detective, plagued by strange dreams, and scared by the long ago murder of his young wife. When he starts trying to solve the abduction of two girls, his adversary is too smart, it seems, to yield to Mario’s efforts and is soon understood to be a serial killer. When Vali snatches Mario’s grand daughter, the case takes on even more urgency. A wicked, twisted thriller!
The Shaman's Calling
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 123,370. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Gwen is a mess! A moody teen, she moves across the road from Buffy and Moon, Native Sioux, working to become medicine men like their father. Buffy instantly attaches herself, eager to help. Taking Gwen to the Spirit Realm, they discover that Gwen was once a shaman, and has crazy abilities! Astounded by this, Buffy suffers much, for sticking her nose in Gwen’s affairs! Serious teen adventure!
A Stately Affair
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 116,460. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency
Elayne is the daughter of a duke. Becoming involved with a rake like Kelby, seducing him, causes her much embarrassment and regret, when he tells her father, and gains her hand! Having thought to merely play with him, she suddenly finds herself desperately needing him, when she’s abducted by wicked thieves, twice! From the manor to the slums of London, a sexy, tense 18th century tale.