I was SUPER reader. That’s how I started. I found such fun within the pages of Kathleen Woodiwiss, Joanna Lindsey, Jude Deveraux (to name a few greats from the 70’s and early 80’s). And then it happened. I tried reading a really wacked plot and told my hubby I could even write better that this. It was November 1982.
And he dared me!
What do you write?
Historical Romance! All the way!
How long were you writing before you sold?
Two decades and two. 22 years. Geez. That makes me feel old!
Tell us about your first sale, “the call” and the first book you sold?
It was Lady of the Knight. March 2004. 8:30 am. (They rushed it out seven months later!) I was a Postal Manager and at work. I’d just called the crew together – over the loud speaker – for a safety talk I had to give. The phone rang while they assembled. When my agent asked if I had time for her, I handed the talk to my supervisor to start without me, and told Elizabeth, “For you, I always have time.” When she told me it was Kensington, I told her I had to sit down now. (I did. I was shaking). When I whooped at the end of the call, I was plenty loud, too. Pretty much interrupted that talk!
Do you have a favorite book you’ve written, or a favorite hero/heroine?
My upcoming one, set for 2010: THE KNIGHT AND WHITE SATIN. (That’s the title at the moment, anyway.) It’s thoroughly amazing. I’ve read it through seven times since I wrote it, and it’s still amazing. I don’t know how I wrote it. –took me 8 days, BTW. My hero’s name is Payton Alexander Dunn-Fadden. My heroine is Dallis Caruth.
What’s your writing schedule like?
Ah-oh. I’ll have to confess. I’m really “bad Jackie”. I do research, read history books, pore over castle pictures, watch castle and knight documentaries…envision my opening scene…the hero and heroine…their physical characteristics and mannerisms…in short, I do everything BUT write. And before I know it a deadline looms, and I panic. Bad Jackie. A couple of weeks later, I have a book. I don’t know how it works, it just does. (It’s emotionally exhausting, too)
Where do you get your ideas?
I am clueless, except for all the down-time I just described. That’s when they must be building.
Do you plan out your books? Do you plot ahead of time?
Plan? Me? Heck, no. I haven’t even unwrapped the last two years of planners I got. I stay “in-the-moment” until I’m ready to type. And I haven’t got a clue what is going to happen or how. It just does.
Who are you favorite authors/favorite books?
From when I was a reader (circa 70’s and early 80’s – and I still have the first editions on all these)
Joanna Lindsey – FIRES OF WINTER
Jude Devereaux – The “VELVET” series, and BLACK LYON.
Kathleen Woodiwiss – THE WOLF AND THE DOVE.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I do research stuff…and needlework. I’m a bona-fide counted cross-stitch addict. It’s beyond the point where I need therapy. My hubby is just grateful my threads are only $.33 each – but I have all the colors. And all kinds and counts of fabrics, and patterns, and… I’m addicted. It probably shows!
What advice can you give aspiring writers?
Never give up. Ever. Just keep submitting and honing your craft. And then keep submitting some more. Getting published takes four things:
1 – talent
2 – persistence
3 – timing
4 – luck.
All it takes is your writing in the right hands at the right time. Period.
I had well over 300 rejections. Well over. I had to cease counting and toss them. The bad Karma was too big. Do you know how many people told me to give up? Me either.
Give us your first line (or a favorite line) from your current work in progress and/or a blurb?
How about one that’s already done – since I’m not in progress on much. (ha-ha)
Here is the opener from KNIGHT AND WHITE SATIN:
And I’m teaching a historical research class for LOW County RWA this month!