So Amy(AL Jackson) was kind enough to stop by and do an interview for me. I happen to love this woman to bits. She's such a kind and generous lady and I loved getting to know her over the last few months. We became great friends, so when she agreed to do this interview I was fangirling all over the place. I've enjoyed talking to her about anything and everything. She's been so open with me and I love that. So let's get started, shall we?
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
I used to write a lot in college, but at that time, what I wrote looked a whole lot more like poetry than novels. It was about ten years later that the idea for Pulled kept nagging at me and I finally sat down and began writing again.
2 . How long did it take you to write your first book and how old were you?
It took me about a year and I was 30.
3. Are any of your characters based on actual people you know?
Oh for sure. I figure I better not tell you which ones ;)
4. What is your writing style like?
I tend to have a fairly lyrical flow to my words.
5. Where is your favorite place to write?
I normally write in my office just because it’s quietest in there, but I really love the moments when I prop myself up in bed and write.
6. What is the biggest challenge you have faced while writing?
It’s definitely pushing myself to finish a project. It takes me a long time to write a book, so sometimes in the middle it can get a bit discouraging. But I’m always so thankful when I’ve pushed through and completed it.
7. Do you ever plan to write outside of the current genre?
I think I will probably always write some sort of romance. It’s what I love to read and what I love to write. Love is what makes the world go round, you know? As far as delving into a romance subgenre, I do have a paranormal romance series that is partially written that I hope to publish it one day.
8. Who are your inspirations?
Janet Mitchell, author of White Oleander, is one author who has really inspired me. Although we write in different genres, reading her books encouraged me that having a unique writing style is okay and I didn't have to put myself in a box as an author.
9. What is the one thing you love most about writing? What is the least you love about it?
I love the feeling of completing a book. If often can make me really emotional when I finish, just because I’ve spent so much time with those characters, but it’s so amazing to bring their story to an end. What do I like least? Probably the amount of time it takes me to write.
10. Do you find publishing a book to be easy?
No. I put so much effort into the process of writing, rewrites, editing, and planning, so I tend to place a lot of pressure on myself to make the book is just right.
. 11. What goes into writing a book and how do you ensure that it is complete?
It takes me close to a year to write a full manuscript. Once it’s finished, I do a personal edit, and then it goes through two or three editors, and then it’s back to me for rewrites and then another edit. Then it’s a proof edit and hopefully goes through the hands of some pre-readers before it goes to print. Then I stress and finally say it’s complete!
12. What is one piece of advice you would give to new authors who are trying to get published?
It probably sounds cliché, but don’t give up. Publishing is a very competitive world and at times can be discouraging, but if you truly love writing, then keep at it.
13. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Most of my free time is spent with my family. I love going to the movies with my boys or out to dinner with my husband. Of course for my relax time, I curl up with my tablet to read a good book, and I try to go out with my girlfriends every couple of weeks.
14. Out of all the books you have written and published so far, which is your favorite and why?
Pulled will always be my baby since it was my first, but When We Collide is my favorite. It was the hardest to write, but it’s a story that’s close to my heart.
15. Which of your characters do you most relate to?
Probably Elizabeth from Take This Regret. I was a young, single mom myself, and I used a lot of my fears and insecurities during that time for inspiration.
16. What do your family and friends think about your success?
My family is incredibly supportive. I work long hours, and they’ve all been understanding and have encouraged me to pursue this dream since I began.
17. What is your biggest fear?
Losing someone I love.
18. What is your favorite genre to read?
19. If you were handed a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Probably pay off my house and put the rest in savings/invest.
20. Between Pulled, Take this Regret and When We Collide each of your characters face a tremendous amount of heartache, pain, grief and emotional turmoil. Was there ever a time while writing each of these amazing stories that you had to stop writing and ask yourself “Do I really want to do this? Haven’t they suffered enough?” and what was your first thought when you finished each of them?
I had this feeling a lot when writing When We Collide. It was such a heavy story and very difficult to write, and there were a lot of days I wanted to quit, but it was also the book that I felt the most triumph in the end.
21. Do you enjoy torturing your readers, putting them through such devastation and heartache? Just curious, I love it, but I am curious what your thoughts are when you publish them and if you’re scared of their reactions.
LOL. . .no, torturing my readers is never my intention, but I do want my books to mean something and these stories are just what come naturally to me. I’m writing the Take This Regret prequel right now that’s just for fun for those who wanted more of Christian and Elizabeth. It’s a lot of fluff and sweetness, and writing that comes so much harder for me.
22. Where can your readers stalk you?
All over the place!
On my blog at www.aljacksonbooks.com
Thank you Amy! It was a pleasure doing this interview with you! J
Thank you so much for having me on Annie!
Take This Regret:
There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives. For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth.Christian Davison has a plan for his life. He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm. Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life. For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgiveable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate. Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?They say everyone deserves a second chance.
When We Collide:
William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.
Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.A.L. Jackson gives you an intimate look into the lives of a family bound by an unseen connection in this romantic thriller with a supernatural twist.