Can you tell us a little bit about your series, If Only and my favorite, The Illumination Paradox?
I can do better than that! I'll include a couple of links here to interviews where I answered questions about both!
watch?v=R7onsBvKfYs & https://www.youtube.com/ edit?o=U&video_id=Gyp6RThupUI)
I will say this much, If Only is about a love sick couple, who are separated first by an argument, and then by fate, and their struggle to get back together, despite medical odds. I'm hearing from readers that it puts them in the mind of Gayle Forman's IF I STAY, which is a huge compliment!
Lumière is about a girl with a secret. A secret so devastatingly big it could cost her her life. She must keep the secret at all costs, or face persecution from the public. After a tragic event, sees her mother executed for a crime she did not commit, the girl finds herself alone and on the run from the authorities, for something that is not her fault. All the while, she is busy searching for her father's long-lost invention, which, if she can just secure, and use, she's convinced will cure her. But just as she's about to uncover the machine, she arrives to find it being stolen by a peculiar-looking, young man...one Urlick Babbit, she later learns...and she must chase him off into the darkest, most dangerous part of her world, in an adventure to retrieve it, where nothing is as it seems.
Do you remember the title of the first story you wrote?
Yes. It was called, Slendor's Mountain. My version of Walton's Mountain, (I'm dating myself here...terribly... but...) about a family with ten kids, and the trouble each of the kid's got into. I wrote several books in that series, each featuring the antics of one of the kids. I was in grade three at the time. Each was fully illustrated.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I write every day, so, pretty much, my schedule is always the same. I get up, shower, eat a protein shake, and get to work. I write from about 8:30 am until about 4:00 pm when my youngest gets home from high school (he has sports after...which buys me another hour, or so of writing time, YAY!) I've recently added a BIG WALK or a WALK JOG session first thing in the morning, as I've decided all work and no play is making Jacqueline a mad woman.
Where do you find inspiration?
In other books. In the glorious words, and turns of phrase, written by other talented authors. When I'm stuck, or uninspired, that's where I go. I often cruise the internet looking for newly talked about great reads, then I'll click on the "Look Inside" provided by Amazon, or I go to my bowing shelf of favourites, and select from there, re-reading passages I've highlighted throughout their pages. Some favourites are Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants, and her new one, At The Water's Edge. Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, CHIME, Mudbound, and most recently, I'll Give You The Sun, by Jandy Nelson. (BIG LOVE.)
What have you learned about publishing that you didn’t know about when you first started writing?
That there is no logic in it, whatsoever. In other professions, you can study hard, achieve top grades and accolades, win awards, graduate first of your class, and be guaranteed to land the job. In the world of publishing, you can do everything right, kill yourself putting in the hours, study under the greats, win awards, graduate top of the class, be sought after by top agents, be requested by top editors...and still come up with nothing but a goose egg. It's the only profession I know of where hard work, smarts, and dedication don't pay off. Many say luck plays too much of a factor, but I don't believe in luck. I think people are manufacturing their own luck in publishing these days, in more ways that one, including algorithmic
manipulation. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I'm never NOT writing, according to my family, but when I'm officially not, (bunny eared fingers around the word, officially) I love spending time with my family. I love to watch my youngest son play sports and play his trombone (what a funny sounding instrument...makes me laugh every time--high school is infinitely more interesting with music in it...my other kids didn't play instruments.) I'm filled with happiness whenever the older kids come home for a visit, too, rushing around like a mad fool buying all their favourite foods to stock up the cupboards, and fixing beds. It's like my own special Christmas. I also love to go for long walks and listen to books on audio (see, still working...) and play with my dog. I love dogs. And horses. And chocolate. And my kids!
Can you tell us about your future projects?
Hmmmm... let's see, what can I say that won't give too much away, (taps chin)...
I'm currently finishing up my departure book. I call it my departure book because it's a departure from both YA and Fantasy. I've written a women's fiction romance, about a girl who longs to be a successful romance writer, but so far, her work is falling flat. It isn't until she's forced to work for the Heart Mender's Society (thus, the name of the book) as a counsellor to six newly widowed young men (where it is her job to teach them how to find joy in living again) that she figures out what's been missing, not only from her work, but her own life, as well. I like to think of it as Best Friend's Wedding meets Bridget Jone's Diary, and I'm looking forward to sharing it soon.
Also, I'm kicking around revisiting a super dark and daring piece I started writing back in 2010. I think it might finally be the right time for it, with all the attention horror has been getting lately. I like to think it might fit into the Dread Punk Craze, too, that's on the verge of exploding. Or so I've heard.
I can say this much, it includes another distinctly drawn world that plays like a character within the book, like the way the Commonwealth does in Lumière.