Hi, Jackie! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work.
Hi, thanks for having me! I live in Gloucestershire and work in London (I’m a presenter on shopping channel QVC), but before that I worked in TV news for 20 years, ten of them as a news reporter on the then ITV breakfast show GMTV. When I started writing I decided to base my novels in a world I know very well, that of the morning television newsroom. I was very lucky to sign a three-book deal with Accent Press in 2015 for a series of “witty” (allegedly!) murder mysteries. I suppose they are “cosy” crime, really. The third in the series, The Development, will be out later this year. Outside work and writing I like making myself walk/run very long distances, although I’m currently being forced to take time out after a 100km (62 mile) event last year injured me slightly. I’ll be back though!
Which gives you more satisfaction – to write a first draft, or to finish the last round of editing?
Definitely the first draft! I’m always quite stressed until that’s done, but once I have that, even if it’s a pile of old rubbish, at least I then have something to work with. I quite enjoy whipping it into shape. Although, having said that, the last round of editing is rather nice too. It means that the hard work is over and all the fun of the book coming out is just around the corner.
What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas from?
I mostly get ideas while I’m driving! Working in London and living in Gloucestershire means a five-hour round trip drive to work, and lots of my ideas seem to come to me on that long commute. I listen to a lot of true-crime podcasts as I drive, and some are about miscarriages of justice and people in prison for crimes that many believe they didn’t commit. I was listening to one once and thought, what if a friend of mine was charged with murder and insisted she was innocent? Would I believe her, and how far would I go to help her clear her name? That became the plot of my most recent novel The Deadline. The opening of my new book, coming out in November, was inspired by me regularly driving under Clifton Suspension Bridge, which tragically is a well-known suicide spot.
Pick a random piece of writing that you worked on ages ago and that never saw the light of day. Now tell us about it!
Oh dear. Really? OK, well I used to write poetry. I thought at the time that it was quite amusing stuff, but looking back now it really wasn’t. One was about my moped, which constantly broke down. This is it:
My poor wee mo
Ped won’t go.
(And, errrm, that’s it. I gave up writing poems. I promise I won’t write any more.)
Do you have a writing routine? If so, can you tell us about it?
None at all. I work full time and completely random shifts – every week is different days and different hours. I squeeze writing in wherever I can – I might do none for two weeks and then write like a demon every spare hour for the next two. I prefer to write at my desk at home, but I can write anywhere really. The oddest place so far this year was on holiday in a rainforest in Brazil, when I was really behind and in danger of missing my deadline for my new book. (I made it, phew.)
What was the last book that you read and what did you think of it?
The Plea by Steve Cavanagh. I love listening to the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast, hosted by him and fellow author Luca Veste, but hadn’t read any of their books until recently. It’s a great legal thriller, very twisty-turny, and I really enjoyed it.
Who are some of your favourite unsigned and indie authors?
Debbie Young writes great, humorous short stories and has just released her first novel, Best Murder in Show. She also organises the fabulous Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which I’ve been lucky enough to appear at for the past two years!
What’s the best bit of writing advice that you’ve ever received?
Someone once sent me one of those picture quotes that said: “The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time. Unlike, say, a brain surgeon.”
What’s it like working with Accent Press? Tell us a little bit about your journey together.
They are a fabulous publishing company, small but punching way above their weight. I had squillions of rejections from agents and publishers initially, went away and re-wrote my book and suddenly started getting interest. In one bonkers week I suddenly had an agent and three offers of publishing deals. Accent offered a three-book deal so my agent grabbed it. I had intended the book to be a standalone and had zero ideas for two more books but I said yes anyway – I thought I could worry about the other two later! My first book became part of an Amazon promotion and hit number 21 on the Kindle chart on Boxing Day the year before last. It was one of the best days of my life and it’s all down to Accent taking a chance on me. I will be forever grateful.
How do you get the word out about your work?
I’m a big Twitterer. And as an ex-journalist, I know how to write a good press release!
Thanks again to Jackie Kabler for stopping by SocialBookshelves.com. Be sure to check out some of Jackie’s books on Amazon and to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow SocialBookshelves.com on Facebook and Twitter for further updates. I’ll see you soon!