Interview with Jessie Anne Wallace

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am fortunate to live in a beautiful place and have a wealth of people who love me.
What is your writing process?
Having raised several children (double digits) I find it easy to become sidetracked. My rule is that I have to sit in front of the keyboard for a couple of hours every day. Sometimes I write a lot, sometimes not so much. I give myself Sundays off and I often work in the wee hours of the morning.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I do not. I do not remember learning to read but I know that I enjoyed the comics in the Oregon Journal. This was delivered to our rural Oregon farmhouse. I graduated from the comics to columns and then to news articles. I do remember being surprised when I found out that "grownup" books didn't have pictures. I wasn't sure that was much to look forward to.
How do you approach cover design?
There has to be symbolism. People may find it odd that I've chosen a sunflower for the cover of "You Don't Know Jack" when the story is so dark and gritty. Child abuse and neglect teach a a child how to grow just as sure as the sun expects the sunflower to follow its path across the sky. Given the topic, the sky behind the sunflower IS cloudy.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am an omnivorous reader, excepting science fiction. I particularly like murder mysteries and thrillers, which I was weaned on, but I also love biographies. I enjoy studying religion as well.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have both a Nook and a Kindle. I use the Nook more often but I have more books on the Kindle. I'll never get to them all... *sigh*
Describe your desk
My desk is cluttered. It often has a large tabby cat (Toonces) sleeping on one side. But, I know where everything is. At least, I pretend to.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a small cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon. While I like people, I also value my solitude. It gave me time and a place for pondering and that is essential to a writer.
When did you first start writing?
My English teacher in high school let me know that I could. I owe a lot to Marilyn Savage.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"You Don't Know Jack" deals with a community's efforts at foster parenting. I have long been involved in many aspects of caring for society's throwaway children. We have had some horrific experiences and some that were beautiful. Many well-meaning people simply don't understand these children.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I want Jack's story out there.
What do your fans mean to you?
I prefer to think of them as students. I don't need fans but Jack does need people to understand him. I am very gratified when people learn from me.
What are you working on next?
"Searching For Sarah" deals with sibling splits. "River of Rubies" deals with a woman facing her agonizing death from ALS.
Who are your favorite authors?
Harper Lee is in a class by herself. Stephen King baffles me as to how he can continue to put out such a huge amount of really good stuff. Alexander Dumas and the Bronte sisters defined eras I can know only from their words. Edgar Allan Poe had such a beautiful mastery of the language, as do many poets. Hope Edelman gave a me a great deal of comfort and Kay Redfield Jamison taught me so much more than I knew I needed to know. Steinbeck used a harsh crayon to color gritty pictures I will not forget and Pearl S. Buck opened doors to me. I grew up reading about Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March in "Little Women" and reading over and over Laura Ingalls Wilder's beautiful stories. James Herriot wrote of beauty in the Yorkshire Dells, where I have never actually been. Ah, so many choices....
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have grandchildren. They are smart, talented, and beautiful. That second sentence should be all superlatives...
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Sometimes I'm looking for a topic, sometimes they're recommended, and sometimes it's luck.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a short story about a car crash I had been involved in. My English teacher encouraged me, a first.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Watching the characters come alive.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Couldn't possibly narrow it to five.
Published 2013-10-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

You Don't Know Jack
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 141,870. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
A rural Oregon community struggles to provide care for its foster children. The personalities and rules often make it difficult to make children (and foster parents) safe.