I am very pleased to introduce my guest, Jackie King, to my blog today. I recently became acquainted with Jackie on Facebook and a group on Caffeine Nights Publishing. It has been a privilege to get to know her and to read her book The Inconvenient Corpse. I reviewed this book in an earlier post. Please help me welcome Jackie.
Bio: Jackie King loves books, words and writing tall tales. She especially enjoys murdering the people she dislikes on paper. King is a full time writer who also teaches writing at Tulsa Community College. Her latest novel, The Inconvenient Corpse is a traditional mystery. King has also written five novellas as co-author of the Foxy Hens Series. Warm Love on Cold Streets is her latest novella and is included in the anthology The Foxy Hens Meet a Romantic Adventurer. Her only non-fiction book is Devoted to Cooking. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation and Tulsa Night Writers
1) Jackie, Will you tell us a little bit about your book The Inconvenient Corpse and how it came about?
My writer's mind can sometimes be a bit of a cesspool, I think. Unusual questions and ideas and thoughts often float (or flash) through my imagination. This has been true as far back as I can remember. My earliest memory (I must have been about three) was lying in bed imagining myself a princess. Sometimes with beautiful blonde hair and sometimes with beautiful black hair; never red, my natural color. (God forbid we women should like anything about ourselves, even as a toddler.)
Anyway, the opening scene for The Inconvenient Corpse came to me as I reclined in my room at a Bed and Breakfast in Northern California, not far from San Francisco. I had spent the morning wandering through the Victorian neighborhood and traipsing down to the ocean.
My mind filled with questions. What if I found a dead body lying on the bed? I wondered, and what if he were a naked male? And what if his clothes couldn't be found? Oh, I'll make it worse! What if I were stranded in this strange town with no friends, no money and no job skills? Could I survive using my own determination, brains and moxie?
These are the questions that started me plotting The Inconvenient Corpse. The story was close to my own experience as a woman who unexpectedly finds herself single again. I felt impelled to write the novel to learn the answers. Later, I added a teen aged son and a rescued cat to make Grace's life even more complicated and perhaps more interesting to readers.
The Inconvenient Corpse began with the following sentence, then I built the whole book around these words.
"Grace Cassidy stared at the strangers body. He was about sixty, pot-bellied, naked and very dead. She knew he was dead because his skin was the color of concrete. Worst of all, he was lying smack dab in the middle of her bed."
2) Do you have any WIP? If so, anything you can tell us about?
I'm almost finished with the second Grace Cassidy mystery with the working title Skeletons in the Closet. The story begins where the last book ended and in the same setting. My subsequent books in the series will move from one town to another, as Grace's developing vocation, a professional Inn-Sitter, requires. Grace also begins to grow and change from a helpless socialite into a strong woman.
3) Have you always wanted to be a writer? If so, have you written anything else?
Yes. I majored in journalism at the University of Oklahoma, then dropped out of school to get married. I had three children and became bogged down with life. In my late 40's, much as had happened with my character Grace, my husband unexpectedly moved out of our home. At that time I asked myself, "What is it you want to do when you grow up? The answer was, "Write!"
I have written five novellas published by Diva as part of 'The Foxy Hens' anthology series and one non-fiction book, Devoted to Cooking. These are available in paper for $15.95 and on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook for $2.99.
4) What do you do when you are not writing?
Spend time with friends and family, read, watch movies and occasionally try to make a path through my messy house. (I like to call this disarray, artistic clutter.)
5) What challenges have you faced getting your book published?
The usual problems: After submitting and being rejected by the large New York publishers, I decided on a small regional publisher, Deadly Niche Press.
6) What type of research did you do before writing your book?
I spent a week traveling to various Bed&Breakfast establishments in Northern California. One inn employed an inn-sitter and I spent a great deal of time interviewing this charming woman. She gave me many of the ideas for my first book and for the series as a whole. Also, because Grace had to be a good cook, I bought a Williams-Sonoma Cookbook to find good things for her guests to eat.
7) What gives you the most pleasure in life?
Family and friends, books and movies; in that order. Oh yes, and daydreaming. Most especially daydreaming.
8) Who is the biggest supporter of your writing?
My friend and writing partner in the 'Foxy Hen Series,' Peggy Fielding and my friend and alpha reader Judy Rosser.
9) Who designed your book cover? Did you have any say in the final result?
Most New York published authors have little input into their cover art; but authors with small regional presses have some say. The cover was the brainchild of Dan case.
10) How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Check out my website: http://www.jacqking.com/ and my Facebook page. Thank you got the interest in my work.
I wish to again thank Jackie for stopping by today and answering questions for us. Please feel free to leave a comment or a question for Jackie. If you leave a question, make sure you stop back later to get your answer. Also, if you are so inclined, feel free to follow my blog.