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

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Interview with Author Jackie Gamber

Bio: Jackie is an award winning author and freelance editor. She writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as, numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud. She is the author of the fantasy novel Redheart, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea Store.com where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion. Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly Award for Imaginative Fiction. A veteran of the USAF, she is now, among other things, a rosarian, a professional BookTaster, and an avid believer in imagination.

1-I understand your book is part of the Leland Dragon Series. Please tell us a little bit about your book Redheart.
   I'd be happy to! In "Redheart", Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit inside her village fence. When danger erupts in Leland Province, Riza is threatened. Kallon is the only one with the power to save her, but to do so he must confront his past and the future he stopped believing in. He must claim his destiny.

2-What made you decide on YA fiction?
   I'm not entirely sure I decided on YA- sometimes I think it decided on me. Much of my work is themed with self-discovery and fortitude in the face of fear. What my characters battle within themselves, especially in Redheart, are closely identical with the challenges of a YA readership.

3-Have you always wanted to be a writer?
   I think I have always wanted to write; at least as far back as I can remember. It took me a long time to realize I could actually take a stab at this whole "being published" thing. I often wish I'd started trying sooner, but I'm happy to be a part of the industry, in whatever way I can best contribute. After all, the publishing industry creates books and I adore books.

4-Do you have any WIP? If so, can you tell us about it?
   Currently I'm working on the second installment in the Leland Series, but I have a couple of novels that are first drafts awaiting a good edit that will come along soon; one about a girl in the 60's who finds herself in a "mental rest home" surrounded by patients who believe there's an otherworld battle going on at Serenity Gardens Hospital-and they just might not be as crazy as they seem.

5-Who has had the most influence on your writing?
   There are so many authors I admire for what they can do, and in reading their work, has made me desire to write my own best work. But to pick one name, I would have to say Ray Bradbury. His writing is filled with real people, real feelings, and deep truths. I know he makes up stories, just like the rest of us--but I believe him.

6-What has been the most difficult area of your writing?
   My biggest challenge thus far in my writing career is hanging on to the reason I started. I began with an idealistic, "I'm going to make a difference in the world!" sort of enthusiasm, and, as with any important endeavor in life, my enthusiasm has collided with realities. I've had to learn my limitations, what is within my control and what isn't, and what being a writer really means to me. I've adapted and adjusted, but I can still make a difference in the world, and as long as I remember why I started.

7-Do you write full time? If not, what do you do to fill in your spare time?
   I do write full time, as much as any profession can be full time. I also home school (I'm down to one high school teen now), maintain a semblance of an organized household, and putter with flowers. I've finally learned to knit, and I'm about to embark on my first cross-state motorcycle trip. Today, Arkansas. Tomorrow, the world!

8-Who is the biggest supporter of your work?
   My kids and hubby are all in a tie for that, really. But my husband, Dan, has been my rock. On bad days, when words don't come easily, or criticism has been harsh, or I'm battling my self-doubt demons, I flounder as though I've never made it through a bad patch before. He keeps bringing me back to my center, reminding me why I'm doing what I'm doing. And why I started.
He's definitely made a difference in my world.

Available now through Seventh Star Press (http://www.seventhstarpress.com/) and ebook at a special rate of $1.99. Book 2, Sela, to follow in summer of 2011 and the third book of the series in summer of 2012. Visit Jackie and her BookTastings on the world wide web at http://www.jackiegamber.com/.

I wish to thank Jackie for taking the time from her busy schedule to stop my blog today and sharing of herself with us.


  1. Great interview! She was honest, I especially appreciate what she said about wishing she'd gotten started sooner (don't we all?). Blogs and tea - she's a woman after my own heart!

  2. Very nice interview. And the book cover is really awesome. I love the overlapping/intermixed images.