Today, I feel very honored to host the award-winning author Jackie Weger. Jackie has been writing for the past 30 years on and off and has published 16 romances with Harlequin. Nowadays, she’s an indie author and doing quite well, seeing that she has regular sales and hundreds of reviews on Amazon. Her most popular novel to date, The House on Persimmon Road, has won an RWA Maggie award.
When she’s not totting her snake gun and writing tongue-in-cheek posts to expose the monstrous buckets of BS she comes across online, she pays it forward and supports fellow indies through the writer group eNovel Authors at Work.
Still thrilled to have connected with her only recently, I’ve invited Jackie to have a chat with me on this blog as to find out more about her and her upcoming novel, “No Perfect Secret”. The book will be released next week.
Incidentally – and if you are an indie author you want to read this:
The book tour for the release is being organized by Book Partners in Crime Promotions; a promoter with a difference. For just $25, they didn’t just recruit 25 bloggers for the tour and set up an enticing Raffllecopter, but they also submitted Jackie’s big news as campaigns on the super-duper crowdspeaking platforms Thunderclap and Headstarter! (If you’re an author and you’ve never heard of crowd-speaking before, trust me, you want to know what my post about Thunderclap is all about!)
So, who is Jackie?
A South Alabama USA native, Jackie Weger has been writing novels off and on for thirty years. She enjoys destination travel–going to new and strange places, meeting the natives, learning their customs, their foods, how they survive good times and bad. She lived part of one winter with trappers in the Louisiana Swamps, volunteered at a sister of Mercy Mission in Colon, Panama–and had one of the most interesting conversations in her life with an old man and his dog as they sat on a bench waiting for a train in the Village of Versailles. Jackie loves books, coffee, tea, cats, gossip and all things Southern.
Here is my real bio.
I suffer from a multiple personality disorder. As soon as I put my fingers on a keyboard those dang personalities get loose and get inside my books and I’m stuck with them. They are crazy, eccentric, and mouthy. Some are funny, some are sad, but they all have one thing in common–all are like teenagers! They think they are entitled to be front and center on every dang page. It is all I can do to keep them from making fools of themselves or me. Some are older than a century, some younger than five. The only time they leave me alone is when I go to Bingo or crabbing in a Matagorda estuary.
Available for Preorder till 9/24/14 here
$2.99 or FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Secrets can be splendid or chilling, wonderful or disastrous.
Anna Nesmith’s husband has secrets, layers of them. But even a dead man cannot keep a perfect secret. Anna must sort through the lies to find the truth of the calamity that has befallen her. Investigator Frank Caburn wants to help and more—he wants Anna in his life, in his home and in his bed. But trust is only a word and Anna is vulnerable. Caburn’s elderly bosses make things worse, forcing Caburn into silence to avoid a scandal in a city lies. Adding to Caburn’s woe is a cross-dressing dominatrix with OCD, a purple-haired hacker on parole and Anna’s backstabbing mother-in-law. As they pick through the rubble of Anna’s imploding life Caburn wonders if each new discovery will bring them closer together or forever keep them apart.
Hello Jackie, and welcome to my blog!
Thanks Fros, I’m very happy to be here.
Tell us, what has inspired you to write this book?
I get the basis for many of my books from small local newspapers. In my local weekly I read a plea for airfare to take some orphans to a conference that brought ‘hard to place’ orphans together with prospective adoptive parents. I had no idea there were such events or even orphanages. Now I do. The Reluctant Hero was born out of that tiny plea for funds. One might still find a similar notice in a weekly, but savvy caregivers and agencies would also use crowdfunding on sites such as ThunderClap or headtalker.com to raise the airfare. I once read an astonishing tale about two wives and their children showing up at a man’s funeral. Neither wife had a clue the other existed. That incident was the seed for No Perfect Secret.
I mention ThunderClap and Headtalker because those are two new resources for indie authors. I hired Book Partners in Crime Promotions ($25) to help me launch the release of No Perfect Secret on September 24, 2014. BPiC made the title a ‘project’ on those two sites. The snag is before ThunderClap or Headtalker will throw their support behind a project/book, the author must pull in 100 supporters who simply click the Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr icons. Headtalker only requires 50 supporters. I am so learning that rounding up those 100 supporters is a campaign in itself.
What other writing have you done?
I sold a few books to Harlequin. I’ve written articles for trade magazines. I love our ebook universe better, though.
For someone who has more than a million books in print worldwide, what you said about Harlequin sounds terribly humble, I must say! Any hobbies or interests that you enjoy in your spare time?
I don’t have any spare time! I enjoy having a vegetable garden. I enjoy destination travel and immersing myself in the culture, food and lifestyles of ordinary people. There are so many small pockets of America we never see because we travel interstate highways or the Internet highway. Right this minute I have on my calendar weekend destination sites of small communities within 50 miles of my house. Every single one has a miniscule museum, a café, antique shops and a wealth of local characters to explore.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters, or do any of them have traits you wish you had?
I think every character in a book reflects some facet of the author. The good guys have the morals or skills or jobs we most admire and the bad guys don’t.
What are you working on at the moment? Tell us a little about your current project(s).
I don’t like to share my WIP. I’m superstitious.
I fully respect that. On to the next question then: which are your favorite authors, and what do you love about them?
My favorite authors are those that entertain me. I have a new favorite author every dang day. More often than not, I’m reading new writers. There are some wonderfully talented indie authors. Three recent stunning reads come to mind. A Gourmet Demise by L.A. Lewandowski. NanoStrike by Pete Barber, and The Angeli by Amy Vansant.
The talent of these indie authors left me breathless.
What genres do you read mostly, and what are you reading now?
I read across the spectrum. I like a well-told story. Erotica and shape shifter tales don’t appeal to me. Yet, that is not to say I won’t discover a fabulous read among those genres.
Do you have any advice for other indie authors?
I might. But why would another author listen to me? I am only a year or so into indie authorship. I have learned a few of the ropes. I have learned to think for myself in the digital world. Anybody can call himself/herself an expert. But–they ain’t listed in the Yellow Pages under Expert. I’m my own expert. David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible is my indie bible. I follow Indies Unlimited. I listen to Martin Crosbie. All of the basics are covered by those three links. Those basics are the foundation of any indie author’s successful career. An indie author would have to be extraordinary or lucky to reach best seller status when bypassing the basics.
One of David Gaughran’s best suggestions is putting a gentle plea to readers to write a review at the end of the book. I share that gem every time I write or guest blog. Here it is:
Thank you for taking time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated.
Does it work? Yep. My three indie titles have above 670 reviews—since January of 2014.
That’s an awesome tip – thank you Jackie! Are there any sites or writing tools that you find useful and wish to recommend?
I have already mentioned helpful sites. The single most useful writing tool in my universe is a dictionary. I own twenty-five pounds of the things—all are on my desk. When I look up a word, I highlight it with a yellow marker. Because when I can’t spell a word—I never can. I have to look it up every dang time I want to use it. Highlighting it saves time and aggravation. I do not trust WORD. Ever.
Tell us about your website/blog. What will readers find there?
I have two websites. I am only now learning how to use them effectively. One critical thing I have learned is that every mention of a book and every cover needs to be linked to the book’s buy page on Amazon. It is nice to have followers, but it is important to drive readers to sales venues. On both sites I share what I have learned. eNovel Authors at Work gets more traffic because there are upwards of thirty indie authors in the group. The site has a Useful Links page where I post the most reliable promotion sites. I research the sites and talk with the owners. My other site is Accent on Romance. If you want to know the truth, they are time sucks and pull me away from my writing schedule—which at the moment has gone up in flames.
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Every single person on earth owns a superpower. It is called a brain.
I totally agree with you! Tell us, how would you like to be remembered?
I would like for one person in my life to think of me as a sweet old lady. But! It ain’t gonna happen because I am sixteen parallel universes from sweet. Plus, I wear a snake gun on my hip to shoot people who annoy me by Eating Stupid for Breakfast.
Love that last phrase (laughs). Jackie, it’s been a great honor and a pleasure to have you here today. Thank you so much, and good luck with your new book!
Thanks, Fros for this opportunity! Can I just say, I wish to invite everyone who reads this to enter the rafflecopter for my Release Day Blitz on September 24th for a chance to win some goodies. Good luck everybody and “see you” there! (details below under Jackie’s links).
Connect with Jackie
Google + http://bit.ly/1qh5MvF
Release Day Blitz
Fun/Free Books/Gift Cards
Join the Blitz Here on 9/24/14
Other than the above invitation, Jackie has also provided the below links to the two crowd-speaking platforms that will post the news of her latest book on Facebook and Twitter on the big day. Please consider joining either of these campaigns. It’s free, takes only a minute, your FB and Twitter accounts will be used only once by these sites for the specific post and Jackie promises to return the favor if you use these platforms too for your own events at anytime. Thank you!
Support Jackie’s campaign on ThunderClap
Support Jackie’s campaign on Headtalker