Author Interview With Joe Jackson

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Next up for a good grilling is indie author Joe Jackson. Go grab yourself a drink, sit back and read on to find out what makes this author write.

When did you decide to become a writer?

After seeing the movie “Aliens” in the theater when I was younger. I took an immediate interest in alien species and science fiction, and started writing short stories about an alien world.

What genre are your books?

They are Fantasy now, though originally they were more SciFi back in the day.

What draws you to this genre?

I like the elements of the fantastical: magic, dragons, gods, and demons. I still thoroughly enjoy SciFi, but that genre requires a lot more research and peer reading to know what you’re talking about and craft a believable story.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I ran AD&D campaigns for years, and would tell my online friends about some of the story arcs I came up with. They told me to write books about them, so I finally bought a laptop, sat down, and started doing just that.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Unfortunately, only part-time. Got a 9-5 job that pays the bills for now.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write whenever I can, which is usually on lunch break or when my work is done for the day but some silly little thing called a clock says I can’t go home yet. Sometimes, I will write on my laptop while watching sports or after my girls are all in bed.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Life experience has finally gotten me to a point where I think what I write is more mature, more realistic (even in the Fantasy genre), and contains themes and emotions that readers can easily identify with.

What have you written?

I currently have two complete novels self-published: Salvation’s Dawn and White Serpent, Black Dragon. They are the first two books in my Eve of Redemption series. The third is complete in rough draft form, and book four is nearly halfway done.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?

I always write an outline, which is more like a 10-page synopsis of how I want the book to progress. But I often end up veering off the path and exploring new ideas and options that come up while I’m writing. In short, my outlines are important, but not straightjackets.

How do you market your books? Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

Mostly through word-of-mouth, which got me nowhere. I am now utilizing social media, but still only having very limited success.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future? What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

When it comes to marketing, build your audience and hype your books well before you release them. Get as many reviews in before you release as possible, so when your book goes live, people see it already has, say, 50+ (presumably) positive reviews.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?

While she is one of the greatest sword-fighters on her world, the way she overcame a childhood of abuse and became a staunch defender of the common people is her major accomplishment. The more she comes out of the protective shell she developed over the years, the more reasons she finds to defend others, and the brighter her inner light shines.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Killing a character I really enjoyed fleshing out.

Which writers inspire you?

Tad Williams, Raymond E. Feist, and RA Salvatore would have to be tops on the list. Williams’ descriptions, Feist’s broad-scale combat and politics, and Salvatore’s brilliant close-quarters combat descriptions are the basic foundations of my writing style. I’m not saying I live up to any of the three, but that’s who I’ve drawn from primarily.

What do you do to get book reviews?

I offer free copies in either PDF or Epub format, though finding a good Fantasy reviewer pool has been a lot tougher than I expected. I also request reviews from any blogger I see that enjoys Fantasy, has a decent turnaround time, and doesn’t charge.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

Fairly lackluster, and I think that hurts sales. So it’s a nasty cycle.

What is the current book you are promoting?

I’m still promoting the first novel of my series, Salvation’s Dawn. White Serpent, Black Dragon works as a standalone novel, but readers will learn a lot about the world, its pantheon, its peoples, and its conflicts if they start at the beginning.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast?

I think Zoe Saldana would make a great Kari; she emotes so well and is athletic enough for the part. There are a lot of characters in the books, so I’ll spare you a complete list.

What is your next project?

The next project will be Book 5 of my series, entitled “The Huntresses’ Game.” It’s a turning point in the series, and if it comes out on paper the way it plays in my head, it should knock my readers’ socks off.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

Never stop chasing your dreams, even if no one else cares.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?



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