Welcome to Jennifer Jakes, the author of RAFE’S REDEMPTION, and more recently, TWICE IN A LIFETIME.
Jennifer, after reading your website I’m inclined to ask different sorts of questions of you than I usually ask of my guests. When the Ozark Creative Writer’s conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, was visited by David Morrell, who is the author of—or as he says the father of— Rambo from First Blood, he advised that until a writer digs into the darkest part of himself/herself she will not become the writer she is intended to be. I believe you do a bit of that in your writing.
Q. Where did you go within yourself as an author to “dig out” the characters for your books?
A. Well, I like my stories to have a darker edge or some danger. The few times I’ve had an idea for a lighter story, the characters always take off in a tension filled direction – someone dies, or is about to get killed, or a devastating secret is looming. Happens every time. So I’ve decided I’ll get more writing done if I just go with what I’m good at! J
Q. Do you have a certain ritual to put you in the mood to write? Music, meditation, reading, etc?
A. If I’m stuck or want to get in the right frame of mind for a scene, then music helps. I usually have a song or two for each story.
Q. Give us a little background on how and when you began to write, the successes and failures of your career and where you are now.
A. I began seriously writing about 5 years ago. Up until then, I just had a stack of notes in an envelope labeled: The Story I’ll Write Someday. That story eventually became, RAFE’S REDEMPTION, my debut novel.
Q. Why would anyone choose to be a writer when it’s such a tough career?
A. I think because we have stories in our heads that have to come out.
Q. Tell us how you manage : Promotion? Research? Writing?
A. Promotion: This is the most mentally draining for me. When I promo – which for me means a Blog Tour – I can be on 2 blogs a day for up to 4 weeks!
Research: Since I’m a Civil War re-enactor, that research is easy – I live it during the summer. My latest story, TWICE IN A LIFETIME, is a pirate historical so I did have to research that time era and ships etc etc.
Writing: That’s the fun part. I do seem to be more creative in the afternoon and evening so I try to write then if possible.
Q. What is your opinion on where publishing is headed today?
A. Oh, if I knew that I’d be the richest woman in the world. I will say that my motto follows the “Don’t put your eggs in one basket” theory. I’m not putting all my books in one publishing basket – meaning I have one novel with The Wild Rose Press, a small press and now I’ve self-published this short novella. I can say I’m not looking for a contract with one of the Big 6 publishers nor am I looking for an agent.
Q. How do you feel about the emergence of e books and indie publishers?
A. I am ALL for them and have been since before it was a popular idea.
Q. I tend never to read books in the genre in which I’m writing for fear of subconsciously using something I shouldn’t. How do you feel about that and what do you read?
A. Actually, since I mostly write Western Historical and there are not a lot of authors writing that genre, it’s not a problem. LOL I tend to read authors I really like no matter what genre.
Q. What is your favorite non-writing pastime and why?
A. Watching TV. I love finding a good series or movie with a great plot.
Q. If you could tell a novice writer three absolute things they should do for success, what would they be?
A. Learn the craft. Think outside the box/or the Big 6. Don’t give up.
How about a blurb from your latest book?
BLURB – TWICE IN A LIFETIME
Be Careful What You Wish For. . .
No-nonsense stuntwoman Isabella Douglas will do anything to stop an unwanted divorce and reclaim the happy life she had, even allow her old friend to concoct a magical spell to turn back time. But when the spell goes awry, Izzy finds herself trapped aboard a 1768 Caribbean pirate ship with a captain who’s a dead ringer for her sexy as sin husband, Ian. Convinced he’s playing a cruel joke, she’s furious – until she realizes he doesn’t know her or believe they’re married.
Captain Ian Douglas does not have time to deal with an insane woman who claims to be his wife; he has to save his kidnapped sister. But as Izzy haunts his dreams and fills him with erotic memories he can’t explain, he’s forced to admit he feels more than lust.
Trapped in a vicious cycle of past mirroring present, Izzy knows they only have days to find Ian’s sister and prevent disaster from striking a second time. If she doesn’t, their marriage will be destroyed again – along with the man she loves.
Here are Jennifer’s links, check out the hot candy blog, you’ll like it.
.99 cents on Amazon
.99 cents on SmashWords
Great questions, Velda. And the don't put all your eggs in one basket comment is food for thought for a very new author. Now that I've had my first success, the choices I'm having to make for future titles are a lot more varied.
Hi Mac-Thanks for stopping by today. And yes, I think the choices authors have now are exciting -and a little scary – but with research we can make the right decisions for us 🙂
Readers want good stories, no matter the format. Thanks to writers like Jennifer, ebooks are good, solid reads that stand up to comparison with print books. I'm looking forward to reading this book.
Thanks, Kellie! 🙂
Aw, *blush* thanks, Megan! I appreciate it! 🙂
Thanks everyone for visiting the blog and reading Jennifer's super answers. And thanks to Jennifer for coming back and interacting with comments. Look forward to more.
I'm really looking forward to reading this story. 🙂 I can see how promotion could be draining. But you make it look easy. Good luck Jennifer!
Hi Lynn -Thanks so much! And thanks for stopping by today. Happy holidays 🙂
Great interview, Velda. Count on you to 'dig deep'. heheJennifer, always a pleasure to see you. You're doing awesome! Merry Christmas to you both.