Jackie lives is Wisconsin and has done for most of her life. She’s married to a wonderful man but also shares her life with her dog, three cats and cockatiel. As you can tell she is a big lover of animals. The most recent addition to her household is a cat that has only been with them for three weeks. Jackie had to live trap and catch her because she was afraid of the poor cat having to spend a frigid Wisconsin winter outside and alone. The cat is still afraid but the family hopes she’ll settle in her new safe and loving home soon. In addition to caring for animals, she is also a brilliant mother and has two sons, and they have made her the proud grandmother of several grandchildren whom she loves dearly. She has a spunky mother, and a wonderful father who is in heaven.
Jackie also has two sisters and a brother, and just like her, they are very creative. Jackie has written for many years and even published a short story. Like many of us writers, Jackie spent many years working hard to travel down the traditional route of finding an agent and a publisher. But now she is a fan of the Indie authors as she has found so many excellent writers who have been overlooked and now they have a chance to be discovered.
As if being a mother, wife, grandmother, daughter and writer wasn’t enough, she also works part-time with the elderly, and she loves it. But there is even more to the talented woman; she worked as a police, fire and 911 dispatcher for twenty years. She even finds time to keep a lovely home and is working on a Japanese garden in her yard.
Somehow, and I’m not sure how, this talented and busy woman found time to sit down and interview with lil’ old me. And I couldn’t be more excited!
1.What are you working on right now?
A novel. Every year I hope I have more time, but this year won’t be the exception, I’m afraid. I’m only about half done, but want to publish it before year’s end.
2. Can you tell us a little something about it?
Tentatively, it’s called The Bridge. It’s a supernatural thriller (I hope it will thrill the reader) that questions where we go after our physical bodies die, or if we can’t wait that long, are assisted by the heroine to live elsewhere.
3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I need to create and am not totally happy until I do. Writing fills that need. Plus, I like a challenge so that when I’m done I can look at it and feel a sense of accomplishment. I also have so many things going through my mind that aren’t the usual things you bring up in conversation, so it’s a nice outlet for my wonderings and curiosities. I write because at one time it seemed like a safe venue to explore different ideas. Okay, so I was a little naïve. I found out it takes a lot of courage to be (as my favourite author, Stephen King, says, truthful) honest in writing because that entails keeping others’ opinions where they belong-far, far away. I think anyone who creates, often has someone looking over their shoulder, be it their spouse, best friend, or worst enemy. We’re always wondering what ‘they’ will think; if they’ll like it, hate it, or worst of all- be apathetic over our wonderful, jaw-dropping, beautiful prose.
My inspiration comes from all those wonderings and curiosities. I’m also inspired by others’ work, thus The Shuffler’s Dance and The Time Keeper’s Dance. I got addicted to The Walking Dead, which surprised me. I’d never been a fan of zombie novels, but I was always interested in apocalypse-type ideas. What would happen if the end of the world came? How would I and my loved ones survive? I like to juxtapose the horror of an apocalypse with the heart and soul of human beings. I try to have ‘good’ characters that exemplify humans that retain their compassion even though they are confronted by evil or the unimaginable.
4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?
I need coffee, but I’m afraid I’ve never tried Jaffa cakes! Sorry, I’m not from the UK, but I did my research and I could try them if I ordered them from Amazon. I just may have to! Other than that, I like to nibble on something like almonds. Chips, especially the cheddar & sour cream variety, are my weakness, but I’m trying not to indulge too often.
5. What is your favourite book?
I can’t name just one, but a few of my favourites are: Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series and The Stand, To Kill A Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind. I recently read Innocence by Dean Koontz. It was wonderful, and I keep hoping I can write a book that others will remember long after they finish it, as I did reading that book.
6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?
I admire Dean Koontz for the heart and soul he puts into his characters, his love of animals. I admire Stephen King for his perseverance through the early years when he was criticized by literature snobs and horribly judgmental folks. He kept doing what he loved, and as we all know, he laughs all the way to the bank. That took a lot of courage, and there are many other writers now who do that day in and day out. If you want to avoid stereotypes and cardboard characters, they have to be like real people with all their frailties and imperfections. After a while, the characters almost take on a life of their own. They tell you what you’re going to write, and that’s when we have to listen. That’s what I admire about these two writers.
7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?
Hmmm, I’m not a party animal. I suppose that, in itself, could be annoying to some. I can be somewhat introverted until you get to know me. That could cause me to appear a little bland, but my husband says my language is sometimes too colourful. Aside from French in high school, that’s as foreign as it gets. I have so little time now, but the things I’ve loved to immerse myself in are: gardening, watercolor painting, nature, saving animals, and homeopathy.
8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?
Please visit me at: Smashwords.com/profile/view/JackieMason or follow me on Twitter at JackieMason1111 or look under AuthorJackieMason. Creating a website is one of those things I plan to do but haven’t gotten to yet.
9. What are your writing plans for the rest of 2015?
Finish The Bridge.
10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?
I’d have to say I’m undecided since I’ve never tried them. (At least I’m not apathetic. I hate that A word! 🙂
To follow more of Jackie’s work please use the links below:
Twitter: @JackieMason1111 or AuthorJackieMason
It has been an honour to interview Jackie, she leads a colourful and creative life fuelled by love and nurture, and for such a busy and lovely person to take the time to do this interview, well I couldn’t be more grateful.