Name : Myla Jackson
Age : Old enough to know better than to share that number (sigh…51)
Where are you from: Northwest Arkansas, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life ect :
I grew up number 3 in a family of 4 children. My father was in the USAir Force and we moved to places like Montana, Washington, California and Texas. I have a degree in Computer Information Systems and worked for eighteen years as a computer programmer and IT Manager. When I turned 40, I started writing as a challenge with my sister, Delilah Devlin. It took four years to decide that writing was the what I wanted to do when I “grew up”. Now I write full time and love my job!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest release BOOTS AND CHAPS is climbing the ranks at Amazon. This story is one based around the Ugly Stick Saloon in Texas. I’m building an entire community of characters that frequent the saloon and having so much fun dreaming up new stories.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
My sister, Delilah Devlin, and I were babysitting computer systems at the turn of the century (Y2K) when we looked at each other and asked ourselves Is this what we want to do the rest of our lives? As you might have guessed, the answer was a resounding No! Though I loved my career as a IT professional, I love better immersing myself in fictional characters, getting to know them and their situations. We started co-authoring books to learn the trade, going to conferences and meeting other writers. Soon we branched out on our own and began publishing. Delilah stuck with the erotica. I write both erotica as Myla Jackson and romantic suspense as Elle James.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my sister and I got our first request for full manuscript on the first book we co-authored. Sadly, that book didn’t sell, but that request gave us the confidence to keep going. We wanted to be published and we worked hard to get there.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always been an avid reader, especially of the romance genre. And I’ve always dabbled at writing. I was the one who wrote the scripts for the management roasts and plays we did at work. It seemed a natural progression to write fiction. I love crafting a story that makes my readers experience the emotion I feel while I’m writing.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I love humor and characters that come alive. Writing Suspense, I find myself leaning toward suspense stories and have to pull myself back to write the Ugly Stick Saloon without having a shooting or a kidnapping.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Sometimes a title is a cliché people recognize or a twist on a song title. Many times I hear a phrase that I think will make a great title and I’ll build a story around it. I find it harder to put a title on a story that is already written.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In BOOTS AND CHAPS, my message is not to be afraid of going after what you want. If you wait for the right moment, it’ll pass you by. Grab while it’s there.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The people in BOOTS AND CHAPS could be your next door neighbor, the guy you met at the bar, the woman you fell in love with. They’re characters for Anytown, Texas.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think the experiences in BOOTS AND CHAPS are based a lot on some of my own fantasies. I’ve always dreamed of being a stripper. Dreamed! Not acted on that dream… But wouldn’t it be fun to dance for three hunky cowboys?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
I loved Pamela Morsi’s Courting Miss Hattie. Not all heroines have to be beautiful to find love.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My sister, Delilah Devlin. She inspires me every day of the week. She’s warm, loving and giving in all of her knowledge. I couldn’t ask for a better sister.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Vince Flynn’s PROTECT AND DEFEND
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Vince Flynn is a new author to me, though he’s published many books. I’m looking forward to reading more of his political thrillers.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m writing the sequel to BOOTS AND CHAPS, called FREE RIDER.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I can’t imagine having learned as much as I have without the Romance Writers of America. It has been invaluable in educating me on how to write, edit, submit and market my books.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
That’s what I do. How many people can say they know what they want to be when they grow up? I want to be and I am a writer!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Not a thing. I love the way BOOTS AND CHAPS turned out.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I love telling stories. All the way back to 1st grade when I penciled a tale of a princess and a castle.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This book is about Libby, the bar tender at the Ugly Stick Saloon and the Grey Wolf twins, Mark and Luke. It will be a true ménage. The twins do everything together. And they want to do Libby.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Although this is my full-time job, finding the uninterrupted time to write can be challenging at times. And when I don’t have a deadline, self-motivation can be tricky. I like having a date to shoot for.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I love Jennifer Cruisie and Janet Evanovich. I like humor. I also love Gena Showalter’s paranormals. Her characters aren’t always perfect. Maybe that’s what I like about all of these authors.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but I love to travel and I like to incorporate some of the places I’ve been in my books. I still need to write stories in London and Rome, Sydney and New Zealand. Loved these places and hope to visit there again!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Samhain has great cover art designers. On some of my indie-published books, I do my own cover design. I enjoy coming up with the art. It’s yet another creative outlet for me.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The middle of the book. My mind is thinking ahead to the big finale. I want to skip from the start to the finale, but I have to work my way there.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned about other characters that work in the Ugly Stick and that they need their stories too!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Persistence is the key. If you really want to be a writer, then write! And write some more!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy the characters and stories based around the Ugly Stick Saloon. So far I have the following out and I’m working on more. Can’t get enough of the saloon!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?
Maybe be a graphic designer or a voice over artist, doing commercials on the radio.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
Come see me on my blog. I post excerpts all the time. http://www.mylajack.blogspot.com/