"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Interview With Author Jackie King

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.


  1. Great interview and insight! Eva always seem to ask the questions the reader wants to know about our talented authors! Jackie, I love how open you are about your research; it makes the finished product seem so much more authentic! It is an interesting facet to know you even took your time to research the meals that are prepared in your tale! I am looking forward to reading your novel now, more than ever! Can you tell me if your book is available in Canada? I am going into town tomorrow to visit the two bookstores there, (yes, small town!) One is Chapters/Indigo, the other deals in the rarer and difficult to find. I hope to discover your book among the 'easier' to find, as I am anxious to read it!
    Great interview...
    Great Blog!
    Cheers to you both!

  2. Thanks, Amarissa. (What a perfect name for a heroine! I have it in my 'writer's notebook' for use in the future.)

    I'm pleased (thrilled, actually) to know you want to read THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE. The book is available on both Amazon.com and Barnes &Noble, plus bookstores everywhere. The e-book is $2.99 and trade paperback is $15.95 US.

    I'm not sure about Canada, never had reason to check, but I'm contacting my publisher Deadly Niche Press, and will let you know as soon as I hear back.


  3. Love you're questioning process, Jackie. How much fun is that, eh :)

    And so lovely to meet a fellow daydreamer . . .

    All the best with the book, Jackie. Great title, and love that first line.

    Another top interview, Eva. Fascinating stuff.


    PS. Jackie, I'd never had put you for having a 'cesspool for a mind'. Still, live and learn, eh :)

  4. Hi Ian, I checked out your interview with Eva and see that you're a writer AND a 'House Husband.' ...i.e.You have your plate full as Grandma would have said. Judging from your picture, Grandma would also have said, "This one is full of pi** and vinegar." And that's a good thing with three kids to look after. (From experience...)

    I love meeting another author; I'm an anglophile of long standing, so let's keep in touch.

    As for your 'P.S.', I often surprise people, even close friends. But that's what writers do, isn't it? We think all sorts of things in the privacy of their minds.

  5. Whoops! Got my verbs tenses messed up in that last post. Guess I need to start with clicking "Preview."

  6. Haha! Love it! Whew... more than one daydreamer! I just realised after reading the above comments that I should have had someone tell me I was creative, not bored, in Elementary school; after all, that's when I started the daydreaming process! (and it has never ended!)

    I love watching the looks and hearing the reactions of some of my family and friends when they have read some of the stuff I have written! What did they think I was... a prude? lol!

    Jackie, I am sure that if your book is available in the United States, it will be available in the 'Great White North' as well! Thank you for inquiring for me.

    From what I have read so far, I believe I will enjoy your novel! Wish me luck on finding it tomorrow! Keep the imagination going!


  7. From one dreamer to another, good luck always.

  8. Eva, I wanted to say thanks, and that I love the name of your blog: Eva's Sanctuary. So appropriate. Books have always been my sanctuary, and I know the same is true for millions of other readers. I always feel sorry for people who don't like to read, and I especially feel sorry for those who don't know how to read. What a tradgedy.
    My best to you and to all of your readers,

  9. Jackie King said...

    "From one dreamer to another, good luck always."

    Thank you, Jackie! Loads of luck to you as well! (Not that you need it!) I also agree with your comment above... I have a 14-year-old daughter who will not pick up a book to save her life. (Not yet certain she is really mine! lol!) I only pray that one day she discovers what she is missing out on!
    All the best,

  10. Jackie, thank you so much for the kind words and for the opportunity to interview you. I also thank everyone else for their kind words. Reading is not only a passion for me; but a love affair of books. I would not survive without them. Best to you always.

  11. Wonderful interview, Jackie! You sound like a perfect role model for "Grace." I'm enjoying the book. Best of luck with it.
    Pat Browning

  12. Great interview!
    Two questions--was anyone interesting with you at the B&B? And whose feet did you use for the cover on Corpse?
    I love it!

  13. Smalltownworld, you made me laugh! The truth is often sooooo dull. I was touring with a friend (also a writer) who is very interesting, but alas, a woman. (So wish I could have told you it was a tall, dark, handsome stranger, pirate, or plumber.)

    And those feet! I get so many questions regarding those feet. Someone wanted to know why they were so suspiciously pink. Good makeup artist at the mortuary, I said. (i.e. lied.) As to who the feet belong to, you'd have to ask Dan Case, publisher of Deadly Niche Press.

    My comment: Nothing is more fun than chatting with smart readers.

  14. Pat, Thanks for stopping by.