Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is Jackson Baer, and I’m thirty-four.

 Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Woodstock, Georgia, and I now live in Cartersville, Georgia. I’m a little less than an hour north of Atlanta and about an hour and fifteen minutes south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I was born and raised in Georgia, spending the first seventeen years of my life in Woodstock. As an adult, I’ve lived in Oklahoma, California, Connecticut, Oregon, and now in Georgia for the past four years. I graduated from Oregon State University after going back to school when I was twenty-seven.  I’m about to celebrate fifteen years of marriage, and we have four kids. Our youngest is eight and our oldest is about to turn fourteen. We’ve got a busy house, and we lucked out with two boys and two girls. We also have a one-eyed pug named Lilo.

 Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve recently finished my second novel, An American Family. It’s a contemporary fiction with a strong mystery/suspense theme throughout. I am seeking representation for the book while writing the sequel. My first book, The Earth Bleeds Red, was published in 2013. I started a business the same year, and that took up most of my time. It’s at a point where I can write now and have started writing again only this year. I missed it dearly and didn’t realize how much it meant to me.  The Earth Bleeds Red  will be released as an audiobook in the beginning of 2018, so I am excited about that.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in 2010 during my first year at Oregon State. That is where I discovered my love for reading and writing. I decided to major in English and wrote my first novel while attending the university.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’d say when I signed the contract to publish my first novel, back in early 2013. That’s when it hit me that I had taken the next step in my writing adventure.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I loved writing for my classes, and I wanted to see if I could write a book. I’d written many short stories and felt like I was improving in my writing. I sat down and wrote The Earth Bleeds Red in thirty days, not including all of the editing, but still, it poured out of me. I am a night owl, so I often wrote until three or four in the morning.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title came to me for both of my books before I even started writing them. I had the general idea for the story and where I wanted to take it. I sat down and plotted out where I thought the book would go. The title was the easiest part for me.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I like to edit as I go so that it’s not so overwhelming at the end of the book. It also helps the story grow inside of me, and I often find myself dreaming about it. I think about it when I run and in nearly all of my free time that’s not with my family. Thankfully, I work from home and for myself, so I get to review my stories quite often.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

It’s hard to put an exact percentage on it since it is all fiction, but there are elements of truth within everything I write. Most of it is made up, but I like to include little stories from my actual life like an accident or a funny story from my childhood. For example, the book I just finished has a one-eyed pug just like we do in real life. It also has a kidnapping, cheating, and other unseemly circumstances which are not true.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I write from locations where I either currently live or have lived. I’ve also traveled all over the United States, taking more road trips than the average person. While I do most of my writing from home, I also go to random coffee shops or restaurants to write. For the book I just finished, I made the two and a half hour drive to Auburn, Alabama to gain inspiration since the main character went to Auburn. I spent the evening writing at a Starbucks near the campus.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 The publishing company designed my first cover, and I’ve just started seeking representation for my new book, so that won’t be handled for a while.

 Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That life is messy. We are all flawed people who have done things we are not proud of. I think that’s what we all have in common, our flawed nature. I try to write my characters with real flaws and struggles that people actually deal with in real life. Everyone is an alcoholic, addicted to pills, lies, cheats, or has dealt with the loss of a loved one. At the very least, we all know someone who struggles with these pains.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

My favorite author is Joyce Carol Oates. Her book, Them, is my favorite book. I enjoy the way she delves into the details of her characters. I also like Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, Zora Neale Hurston, and Anita Shreve. I recently read Shreve’s book, The Stars Are Fire, and absolutely loved it.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

That’s tough for me because when I decided to write, I just did it. I didn’t really tell anyone besides my wife, kids, and immediate family until after I started writing. By then, it was too late. I never needed the push over the edge. I did have one professor in particular from Oregon State who really encouraged me in my writing. His name is John Larison, and he’s an author as well. He told me to just keep writing, and he also braced me for the reality of the publishing world, that it was tough to break into that world. He was right.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, though I love my current career as well. I started my own thrifting business back in 2013, and I love that. I see myself doing both as I am now. We’ll see where life takes me.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

In my first book, yes. I’ve evolved as a writer and feel like I am still growing and working on my craft. I write each day, usually in the morning and at night. As of now, I wouldn’t change anything about my latest book. I am head over heels for her. Ask me in four years, and I’ll probably answer differently. The only thing that is permanent is change, at least that’s what they tell me.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

 I’ve actually learned a lot about punctuation within quotes, amongst a few other grammar rules. I knew the basics as I was an English major, but there are so many rules regarding grammar that I find myself messing up more than I’d like to admit. I have a friend who is an editor at HarperCollins, and she has helped me immensely with things like that.

 Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

In The Earth Bleeds Red, I’d like Mark Ruffalo to play the main character. In An American Family, I think I’d go with a younger, serious version of Jim Carrey.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write. There are always excuses not to, but we make time for what we want to make time for.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 I write with a mixture of drama, suspense, and mystery. I don’t include much gore or anything too profane, but there is some color and raw attributes within the stories. I like to tug at the heartstrings a bit as well.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 I just finished The Girl On The Train and really enjoyed it. I am reading Calling My Name, by Liara Tamani right now, and it’s good so far, very different from what I normally read. It’s her first book, and it’s a beautiful novel so far.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 I believe it was called, If I Had One Wish, and it was in middle school, I believe.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 I like slapstick comedies like Dumb & Dumber and Dodgeball. Movies like that and playing with my kids make me laugh. I don’t cry very often, but in real life, I am not a fan of death, like most people.

 Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I’d like to meet anyone who lived prior to cars, electricity, and all of the other modern conveniences we have today. I think it would be fascinating to see what life was like without our current distractions.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 I am an avid runner.

 Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

 The Office, This Is Us, Dateline NBC, American Housewife, Criminal Minds

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 Cheese pizza, red and blue, and indie rock; particularly when they throw in a violin or a mandolin or some other pretty-sounding instrument that you don’t find in everyday music.

 Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

 Read.

 Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

 Loving father, husband, and son.

 Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

 www.JacksonBaer.com

https://twitter.com/JacksonPaulBaer

https://www.facebook.com/JacksonPaulBaer

https://www.amazon.com/Jackson-Baer/e/B0060BDIM0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Bleeds-Red-Jackson-Baer-ebook/dp/B07691YYPJ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=