This week, the Dames are pleased to turn the spotlight on multi-published author Jacqueline Seewald. Welcome, Jacquie, and thanks for joining us.
Tell us about your latest release.
My mystery novel THE TRUTH SLEUTH is now available in Thorndike large print as part of the Kennebec Superior Collection: http://thorndike.gale.com/upload/currentcatalogs/2012%20Feb%20Catalog.pdf (page 30)
Here are some reviews:
“The talented Seewald puts her heroine through the wringer with a romantic dilemma, a job she doesn’t like, two mysterious teen murders, deadly school politics, and financial hardships. Readers will enjoy the continuing adventures of Seewald’s conflicted psychic.”
“The Truth Sleuth packs a double whammy. Not only is the solution to the murder unexpected, but the sleuth’s personal life is just as surprisingly complex. Add in a colorful school setting and a protagonist with special gifts, and you get a winner.”
Toni L.P. Kelner, New York Times Bestselling author
“Who better than a psychic reference librarian to untangle a complicated romance and decipher a mysterious death? Jacqueline Seewald has written one for the books!”
Molly MacRae, award-winning author of Wilder Rumors and Lawn Order
“An attractive but demanding administrator, troubled students, along with her lover’s angry ex, complicate Kim Reynolds’ life. Author Jacqueline Seewald understands the ins and outs of high school politics and routines.” Susan Froetschel, author of Royal Escape
“This is an engaging paranormal amateur sleuth with one romance going on hiatus and another beginning while Kim changes jobs. More a character study than a mystery …readers will enjoy the Truth Seeker as Kim is forced to find herself with new employment and new relationships.”
Genre Go Round Reviews
THE INFERNO COLLECTION and THE DROWNING POOL (books one and two in the Kim Reynolds librarian mystery series) are now available from L&L Dreamspell in all e-book formats including Overdrive, Kindle, Nook and Kobo
THE DROWNING POOL has also been published as of February 1st in a paperback edition from Harlequin Worldwide Mystery:
Impressive reviews and congratulations on the e-book releases and the sale to Harlequin. You are a multi-published author with everything from poetry to essays to novels. In other words, a busy woman and I see from your bio that you’ve been a teacher, a librarian, and an educational media specialist. Do you have a day job now and if so, can you tell us about it?
I took an early retirement so that I could write fulltime. My husband was actually the one to urge me on. I have no regrets. It’s what I always wanted to do.
I took an early retirement too, although it was more for health reasons than wanting to write fulltime. Luckily, writing turned out to be the offshoot of not having a job to go to every day.
Who’s in the driver’s seat when you’re writing, do you guide the characters where you want them to go or do they drive you?
That’s a tough question. The characters tend to live in my head for a long time before I actually start to write a novel. They become very real to me. I set out a plot but it’s always flexible. It has to work well with the characters.
Flexible plot, I like that and it certainly works for me. In fact, the one time I wrote down and outline for a book, it didn’t take any time at all before the characters convinced me to throw it away. I’m a firm believer in if the characters aren’t happy, neither is the writer!
Can you share little bit about what you’re working on now or what’s coming next?
The next novel to be published is DEATH LEGACY. Five Star/Gale is publishing it in hardcover.
The release date is March 21st and it will go on sale April 11, 2012. It’s a romantic mystery thriller, fast-paced with lots of action.
Congratulations again! It’s sounds intriguing and I’ll be sure to be on the lookout for it. How long have you been writing?
I started writing fiction and essays back in elementary school. I always loved to make up stories. My mother bought me my first typewriter when I was eleven and she taught me how to touch type.
Since you were eleven? Wow, after all this time, where do you find inspiration for your writing?
I find inspiration for writing by observing people and the world around me. I’m also a voracious reader of fiction and nonfiction and that sparks ideas as well.
You’ve written in many genres. Is there one that you prefer over the others? Why?
I suppose if I had to select just one genre it would have to be romantic mystery fiction. By this I mean I prefer mystery novels with an element of romance and humor.
I like a little romance with my mystery too—and my suspense, horror, sci-fi, etc. The romance always seems to add that extra something that pulls me into a story and keeps me there.
What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have any habits or established routines that work best?
I get up very early in the morning. My mind works best and is sharpest at an early hour. I’ll work for a few hours before breakfast and then return for several more hours afterwards. Usually I knock off around eleven and start doing the mundane part of life like shopping, cleaning, etc. After dinner, I’ll go back to working at the computer for another hour or so.
I am not a morning person but I wish I was. I envy people who can get their mind going—especially the creative side—that early!
Promotion is a big part of being a writer. Your backlist recently was re-released as e-books by your publisher. Has this changed the way in which you promote?
Not really. I try to do some blogging. I also keep a presence on Facebook. I’d like to do more to promote my work but I find it difficult—just my personality.
Well, I know how that is. When I wrote my first book, I chose to go the e-book route simply because I thought the promotion would be easier. It didn’t take me long to figure out that promotion on the Internet is hard too.
Who or what has been the biggest influence in your writing career and why?
Without a doubt, my mother most influenced me. This was by example. She was a woman who loved to read. As a child, one of my favorite activities was going to the library with her. She made each trip a fun experience, an adventure. She was also a great storyteller. She didn’t write, but she should have.
My mother is an avid reader, too, and she instilled that passion in all her children. As a matter of fact, my sister, Christy, and I took her to lunch last week for her birthday and we were talking about what we remembered from our childhood. For both of us, it was the trips to the library every Saturday and what fun they were.
Who are your favorite authors, the one you read when you should be doing something else? Why do they appeal to you?
I have a great many favorite authors. I read both mystery and romance and love romantic suspense. I’m very fond of Jayne Ann Krentz—one reason I asked her to read and blurb my historical romantic suspense novel TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS. In mystery, I appreciate Sara Paretsky who started Sisters in Crime. I read her novels regularly and am impressed by her social message. I was honored that she wrote the initial blurb for THE INFERNO COLLECTION.
An honor, indeed! What do you consider the single most satisfying aspect of being a writer?
Having my writing published and being paid for it. That’s when I knew I was a professional, that I had finally arrived as an author.
Great answer, Jacquie. I know I felt the same way and I think the majority of authors do too. There’s just something about receiving that first contract and holding your first book in your hands. And it only gets better from there!
Thanks again for joining us. I’ve enjoyed finding out more about you and hope you’ll come back and visit with us often.