This afternoon we have author Trish Jackson in the hot seat. So grab a cuppa and settle in.
What’s your favorite type of takeaway? (Yes, that means take-out in NZ speak)
Cat, thank you so much for this fun opportunity. I was a little worried when I saw the word 'interrogation' rather than 'interview', but then I remembered you write about an FBI agent... I don't do a lot of takeaways, but when I do, I like Jack-in-the-Box's 'Sourdough Jack' – a burger in a sourdough bun.
Describe your current mental status.
Well, I think I'm sane most of the time, but we all think we're normal, and really, what is normal? Do I howl at the full moon? Of course. Doesn't everyone?
I know how I do what I do … but how do you do what you do?
I write romantic suspense thrillers and romantic comedy fiction. Like you, I am a pantser, which means I write by the seat of my pants as opposed to creating a careful plot plan first. I've tried plotting, but it doesn't work for me. I get a new idea, sit at the computer, and start typing. I sometimes worry a little about where these characters come from, because some of them are more than a little weird.
Could you tell us a little bit about your latest work?
My romantic comedy, Backwoods Boogie is about to be released on November 14th. It's the third book in my Redneck P.I. Mystery Series, about Twila Taunton, who is proud to be a redneck, her tangled love life, and the cases she solves as a private investigator in small town USA, together with her Harley-riding, hard-drinking Great Aunt Essie and her dog, Scratch.
In Backwoods Boogie she is determined to get the British tea shop owner off a trumped-up murder charge. She brings in computer hacker and farter of note, Gasser Cunha to access certain computer information. In the course of her investigation, she discovers an illegal puppy mill, where a bunch of dogs are being abused. She calls on her long-distance lover, Harland to help rescue them.
I am an animal advocate, and although the book is written in fun, it carries a series message about animal abuse.
This series is such a blast to write, and I often find myself chuckling at the quirky characters and new bizarre scenarios.
My other series, the Zodiac Series is seriously scary romantic suspense. Each primary character or heroine belongs to a different star sign in this series, and exhibits the typical traits associated with her sign. Capricorn Cravings was the first, and the second book in this series, Aquarius Addiction will be released in January 2015. I have just completed the third one, Virgo's Variant.
Do you enjoy the editing process?
I do enjoy it, because that's when the draft is fleshed out and it actually begins to read like a real story. It's the most exciting part of the writing process for me.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I could probably be very happy living in Hawaii. It's gorgeous, the ocean is warm, the weather never gets cold, and it's far enough away from the rest of the world to not be affected by wars or strife.
What is the most random thing you have ever done?
I've done a few of them, but when we lived in South Africa, my husband and I packed up our car with a couple of small tents, and drove with our three kids to Namibia (the neighboring country) with no clue as to where we would stay. We just stopped wherever the roads took us, and camped on some very wild and remote beaches. The gravel roads tore up our tires and a lot of those small towns didn't have the right size or type of tire so we spend a fair amount of time in places we hadn't planned on visiting, but it was a wonderful, memorable trip.
If you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?
I love animals and love to go horse riding and hiking. We live close to several state forests (public lands), and my husband and I love to explore them. We often see deer and raccoons, and have come face to face with black bears on three occasions. One time it was a mother with two babies, and we were able to watch them play from a reasonable distance without the mother becoming alarmed.
Who is your ultimate character?
Rhett Butler. He is sexy, smart, and knows what he wants, and ultimately, he doesn't take sh*t from Scarlet.
Whiskey or Bourbon? Red or white wine?
My redneck P.I. character, Twila Taunton likes bourbon, but me, not so much. I prefer rum and coke, also known as a Cuba Libra, and red wine and chocolate are my weaknesses.
Have you ever been to New Zealand? And if not, why not?
I have two nieces who live in New Zealand, and a visit to them is definitely in my future plans. What I've seen about New Zealand is that it is very beautiful, with high mountains and white sand beaches. They also have the All Blacks and I am a South African supporter… 'nuff said.
What’s in your pockets? (Or handbag, whatever you carry your stuff in. Are you apocalypse prepared?)
Recently a friend bought me a very expensive and beautiful handbag. The only problem is that it's way too big. I tried to make it work, even stuffed a hand towel inside it to add bulk and stop it from caving in, and thought about adding a wine bottle. Eventually I had to give up and go back to my old bag. I felt really bad telling her, but I just don’t need to carry round a gazillion things. You can't carry chocolate with you because it melts, and I'm not the hip flask or even the coffee flask type of person. All I need is plastic, tissues, a hairbrush and lipstick, my Kindle, and I'm good to go.
What’s the hardest thing for you when it comes to being an author? (For me it’s marketing but for others it’s the actual writing …)
Marketing is definitely the hardest part of being a writer. The actual writing is fun. I don't think we'd do it if it wasn't. I could go on about the trials and tribulations of trying to promote one's work, but it would be boring.
Thank you so much again. This was fun.
Trish Jackson grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe, Africa, which sparked a love of adventure and suspense. She moved to the U.S. in 1990 and lives on 81/2 acres in Florida.
Trish writes provocative and poignant romantic thrillers/suspense and politically incorrect romantic comedy, focusing on animals, astrology, and the passions, dreams, and tragedies in the lives of country folk in small towns.
She loves country living, horse riding, chocolate and all animals.
The third book in my Zodiac Series, Virgo's Variant has been accepted by the Kindle Scout program, whereby readers get to review the first 5,000 words, and vote. If the book gets enough votes to be published by Amazon, the readers who voted get a free copy. Here's the link to my book, which goes live on November7th.