Jacqueline E Smith has written more than ten books till date and is already working on three more. Having won multiple awards for her books, Jacqueline writes several genres, including romance, fantasy, horror, and comedy. Apart from writing, the photography and travelling are her other passions in life.
In this interview, Jacqueline E Smith talks about her latest book, favourite authors, passions, the book closest to her heart, favourite genre to write, awards, advice for budding authors, and much more.
1. Let’s begin with a brief introduction of yours, and a brief overview of your most recent book—Broken Mirror.
Hi! I’m Jacqueline. I live in Dallas, Texas. I love books, animals, and scented candles. My most recent book is Broken Mirror. It’s actually a collection of eight short stories. There’s horror, there’s urban fantasy, there’s even a touch of sci-fi!
2. How many books have you written to date? Which one is the closest to your heart and why?
I’ve written eleven books so far and I’m currently working on three more! I love all my books dearly, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for my first book, Cemetery Tours. I actually wrote it to help cope with the loss of a loved one and it’s evolved into a series I’m very proud of featuring characters I absolutely love.
3. How much time do you generally take to finish a book? Do you follow a writing routine?
Oh goodness, it took me three years to finish Cemetery Tours, but it only took two months to finish Boy Band. It totally depends on the book! One of the books I’m writing right now, I’ve been working on for almost a year.
Whenever I get a new idea for a book, I start off by writing out every idea I have for the characters, for the story, for the setting. Then I make a writing playlist on iTunes. I also create a secret Pinterest board to help me visualize everything!
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4. Both “Boy Band” and “Cemetery Tours” are a series of books. Is there any specific reason behind writing a series?
I knew from the get-go that Cemetery Tours would be a series. I actually came up with the idea for the sequel before I’d even finished the first. Boy Band, on the other hand actually started out as NaNoWriMo project. I wasn’t even sure I’d finish it.
But then it turned into a story I really loved. And the way the story was playing out, I knew it would need a sequel. Then I figured it would need a third. And finally, a fourth. Stories absolutely take on lives of their own and as writers, we just have to let them evolve.
5. When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing for fun my entire life, but I realized I wanted to pursue it as a career when I was a junior in college. I had been sick with a sinus infection all spring break and I spend the week lying on the couch and reading romance novels. That’s when I found myself thinking “Hey, I could do this.” I’ve never looked back!
6. Whom do you consider your icons when it comes to writing? Any favourite authors?
My favourite author is Meg Cabot! I love her writing style. I love her books. I love that she loves cats. I honestly want to be her when I grow up.
Of course, I’m also a big fan of JK Rowling, Rainbow Rowell, Celeste Ng, Ashley Poston, Jen DeLuca, and Kerry Winfrey.
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7. What is your favourite genre to write? And why?
Romantic Comedy comes most naturally to me and it’s something I always enjoy. I love reading and writing romance. But I also love ghosts and the supernatural and horror stories, and I have fun writing those as well!
8. Let us know about the awards that you have received for your work?
I’ve won four awards for my standalone romance novel, Trashy Romance Novel. Three were for romance, but one, the Book Excellence Award, was for humour! That made my whole day! I love it when people think I’m funny.
9. Could you please share three pieces of advice for the emerging writers?
My first piece of advice is to read a lot! If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader!
My second piece of advice is to enjoy what you’re writing. Whenever people ask me how I come up with story ideas, I tell them “I write the books that I want to read.”
And finally, believe in yourself and in your story. You may find yourself feeling discouraged throughout your writing journey. That’s totally normal. And it’s okay! Just remember that you are important. You are valid. And the world needs your story! And you are the ONLY one who can tell it! You’ve just got to keep writing!
10. A quick-fire round (answer in up to 50 words):
Books that have influenced your life?
Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, A Ring of Endless Light
Things you love to do when you are not writing?
I volunteer at the Dallas Zoo! And I love photography.
What compliment do people give you the most?
I’ve had a lot of people tell me I’m fun to talk to. Probably because I say a lot of weird stuff.
What advice did you get that was the most rewarding?
Honestly, hold on to your rights! As an indie author, I own 100% of my stories, I get 100% of the royalties! Indie publishing isn’t for everyone, but I love it! It’s very empowering. And I like having control. But that’s just me!
11. What’s next for Jacqueline E Smith?
I am currently working on three different books, but of course, I have about twenty in the back of my mind! The only title I’ve released so far is Trashy Suspense Novel, which has been new and challenging but of, I’m loving it so much!
Find all the books by Jacqueline E Smith here.
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Virendra is a passionate reader and writer. He is currently working for two leading IT media portals. This blog is where he shares everything, whether it is a book review, technical article, author interviews, things he has learnt (and still learning). He also writes about his take on this world through unique, helpful and odd stories.