My guest author this week is Trish Jackson. Trish has the singular honour of being the first author I’ve interviewed who knows how to shoot a UZI submachine gun, let alone sleep with it under her bed. There must be a book in there somewhere. But, for today, welcome Trish! Tell us a bit about what you’re working on these days.
First, a big thank you to you, Mary for having me on your blog and for asking such thought-provoking questions.
I'm currently writing a new romantic suspense novel, Impassioned. This is a very intense story revolving around my protagonist's relationship with a serial killer. I'm also working on edit-1 from my publisher of my upcoming romantic suspense/comedy novel Kickassitude. This is a sequel to Redneck P.I. and every time I read it again, it makes me smile.
Are you character driven or plot driven?
I am a mixture. In fact, my recent blog post is about left-brain and right-brain influences on writers, and includes a test readers can take to determine where they fit in. Redneck P.I. and Kickassitude are character driven. Why? Twila Taunton is a redneck, and proud of it. She's totally uninhibited and politically incorrect—such a joy to write through her eyes because it gives me so much freedom. Even though I'm the creator, I can't wait to find out what she gets up to in the next novel in the series. I have some ideas already cooking in my mind, but I have no real idea where she will lead me.
Impassioned, on the other hand, is mostly plot driven. Why? Riley Shaughnessy has taken great steps to hide her dark past from the people in her current life. The abduction and murder of her assistant by a serial killer forces her to face her worst fears.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Personally, I'm mostly a pantser.
I'm definitely a pantser—meaning I write by the seat of my pants. Why? When I'm ready to write a new novel, the idea has been bubbling around in my head for a while. I sit down and start typing, and the ideas just keep flowing as fast as I can type. It seems like the characters come alive and I am just the scribe. Usually, so we are told by the infamous "they", right brain people are pantsers and left brain people are plotters, and I'm kind of a mixture of right and left, but I never plot before I write.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors on what has worked or not worked for you when it comes to your writing?
Join a writers’ group, or several of them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Book Blogs, etc. and ask your fellow writers' opinions about anything. You'd be surprised how much you can learn from other writers' experiences, and make new friends at the same time.
LOL! That’s what these guest blogs do for me! It’s my personal writers’ group! So, in your experience, what would you say is the best formula for putting yourself “out there” in front of your readers?
Marketing is the hardest part of being a writer. Writers are not necessarily good at promotion and I have yet to find the best formula, but I'm working on it. The Internet has changed the writing industry exponentially. Not only has it created so much more competition for writers, the marketing process has also created a necessity for writers to become technologically proficient.
I'm just getting organized for my first blog tour this fall. How much influence do blog tours have in your view?
I think blog tours are some of the most influential marketing tools available today. I am working to get on as many as I can because they expose you to new potential readers and help get the word out about your books to different audiences.
When did you first “know” you just had to be a writer/author?
I have always enjoyed writing. My mother is a published short-story writer and my father always encouraged me to write. I always wrote about things that happened in my life.
In 1991, I just decided I wanted to write a novel. I saved up to buy a computer—they were very expensive in those days—and once I started typing, the words just flowed, and I was smitten.
I grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe, Africa, and lived through many adventures that sparked my imagination; including having to keep a loaded UZI by my side every night in case of an attack by armed terrorists. I love animals and my grandchildren, and am happiest in my country home in Florida tapping out a new novel on my computer keyboard.