Name Abbie Jackson
Where are you from
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc
Well, I spent 13 years working in a Pathology Laboratory for the largest hospital in Queensland. From there, I began my family, so left Pathology behind and began betareading and editing so I could stay at home with the kids. I have 4 young children now, ages 4, 3 and 1yr old twins. Now, I write, run my own business from home and raise my gorgeous kids.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My first publication, Shannon’s Legacy, is being released as part of an anthology, called Second Chance Café on 13th November. It is available for pre-release orders now on Amazon
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’m a very late bloomer to writing. I only began writing a few months ago, when I happened to join some author friends for lunch and was offered a spot in their anthology. I never really considered submitting a story for the anthology, but then an idea came to me, and I just ran with it. Shannon’s Legacy was born. It has been a very steep learning curve for me and I have so much yet to learn.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Ah, I think the day the other ladies in the anthology all provided such wonderful feedback for my short story. I was so nervous about what they would think. So, the day I was offered a spot was a huge celebration for me, and a wonderful motivator to begin my writing career.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
That’s a difficult question. The title of the anthology is called Second Chance Café, but I don’t generally like to take literal approaches to titles. So, I thought about what that meant to me and what was most important to me. That was, of course, my children. So, I created the concept of a mother fighting against the odds for the love of her family. My medical background helped to shape her illness and my eldest son was the inspiration for the little boy.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I think it’s too early to say. I know I prefer writing in the third person, but I look forward to having a lot of diversity in my genres and writing styles. I will most likely settle into a favourite one day, but at this point, I’m loving changing things up and pushing the boundaries.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
That was really difficult for me. I struggle with titles. I really don’t think my story could have been called anything else though.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely! This story touches on so many different topics and I think each reader will take something different from it. The one thing, however, that is so important is that destiny/fate (or whatever you like to call it) is not always beyond your control. Sometimes, you need to step up and make things happen for yourself!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Shannon’s Legacy is a work of fiction. While the subject matter will be real for some readers, and the characters are slightly based on people in my life, everything else is fiction.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, not in this book. While cancer touches so many lives these days, and I have far too many friends that have had to fight this battle, Shannon’s story is entirely made up.
I did draw on my own experiences of an operating room and hospital wards to colour certain scenes, and the characters are loosely based on people in my life, I think each of the characters act and respond in their own unique way.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’ve always grown up reading fantasy, thanks to the influence of my big brother. So, R.L. Stein, Roald Dahl (when I was younger), Stephen King, Anne McCaffrey and Anne Rice are all massive contributors. Thanks to my betareading, I am experiencing genres that I wouldn’t normally choose for myself, and really enjoying them. So, I look forward to expanding this list considerably over the coming years.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently I’m reading ‘Double Take’ by Kendall Talbot
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes! I recently discovered G.R. Thomas, who wrote ‘Awaken.’ I so hope there’s a sequel to that one.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Big things! I have signed up for NaNoWriMo for the first time and am really pumped about it. I have several projects to work on, firstly my Crime Trilogy that I have been plotting for a while, called Dealer Always Wins. I’m also working on writing a Children’s Series called Pippa the Pirate.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My friend, Joe. He has been such a massive support to me and my family and we wouldn’t be the same without him!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I really do. I can’t believe I didn’t start writing earlier, especially considering I’ve always loved to read. So, to spend my days reading, writing and editing is really a dream come true.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I don’t think so. I didn’t plot that book, it really wrote itself. Even though you’ll need a big box of tissues nearby, I find it quite uplifting. Life doesn’t always turn out the way you expected!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mum and my brother are both authors. It’s in my blood. I don’t think I would’ve lived my life without writing something.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! ‘House of Cards’ is the first instalment of my WIP trilogy – Dealer Always Wins. It follows the story of Will ‘Ace’ Avery, the top homicide detective in his unit who returns from a leave of absence following the suspicious death of his partner. Going against orders, Ace begins investigating the murder and discovers a horrifying conspiracy. As the bodies begin to pile up, will Ace and his new partner be able to unravel the web of deceit in time?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Just finding the time to write! As the mother of four very young kids, it’s really hard to get into the zone during their nap time. It takes a lot of dedication, planning and commitment to open that laptop and type every day. But it’s so very rewarding.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Ooooh, choosing one favourite is difficult! I’d probably have to say Anne Rice. I just love how she creates a world I can become totally immersed in, how she makes me care about the most heinous characters and even grieve their losses.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but I do miss travelling. So, hopefully in the future…!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A friend and colleague, Duncan. He’s so talented.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Just finding the time. It took me about a month to write the 12k word short story and a few weeks back and forth with my editor. So, with my time constraints, it’s not a quick process. But I keep plugging along.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Not from writing the book so much, but more collaborating with such experienced authors. I’m still learning all the behind-the-scenes work that goes along with self-pubbing and the promo. I can tell I’m only scratching the surface at this stage and look forward to continuing my education.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Link in with a writing group. What you can learn and share with each other is so valuable. Even if it’s simply critiquing each other’s work, or giving a much needed pat on the back. It’s so wonderful to share these experiences with other people that share common interests and goals.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Support the writing community by purchasing books. Books are so cheap, whether they’re in print or e-versions. For the effort, time and love that goes into each story you pick up, you are helping to support the entire industry.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Ummmm, no! I’d take a guess at Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Suess.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Haha, everything! I’m a very emotional person. Most of the time you’ll find me laughing.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Oh my goodness, that’s too many options! If I could only pick one, it would probably be Jesus. I’d find out exactly what he wanted written in the bible, straight from the horses mouth!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Well, that’s really up to my kids. I guess I just want to be remembered as a nice person with good morals. So, something along those lines would be great.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Yeah, heaps. I love to dance, read, hike, play/watch most team sports. You name it, I’ll give it a go – at least once.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love Bones, Castle, Grey’s Anatomy and NCIS. With films, I’m quite eclectic. Pretty much anything except horror. I’m a total sook when it comes to horror.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Italian and Asian cuisine. I love bright, happy colours. I love any music that makes me want to get up and dance or sing at the top of my lungs.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I always wanted to be a Vet, ever since I was little. The last few years, I’ve had the drive to become a midwife, but the hours would never work for my family. Now, as a writer, I can live vicariously through my characters and be any profession I want!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do! Please check out my brand new website www.abbiejackson.net.
Second Chance Cafe is currently available for pre-orders on smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588802
Thanks for having me Fiona. It’s been a pleasure.