I am so happy to have Jacqueline Paige here today on Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf to talk about her work. I just read and reviewed From Beltane Magic and really enjoyed it! I can't wait to pick up The Solstice Heat to find out what happens next!
Check out my review here: From Beltane Magic Review
1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I never know what to say for this question that won’t sound boring. I am a mother to five, grandmother to one, a wife and the manager of a busy café & eatery. That list takes up around 15 hours of each day so I write during those hours I should be sleeping. I tell everyone I will sleep in the next life. J
2. When did you know that you wanted to write professionally and how did you take the leap to get into the business?
I have always wanted to write and attempted it every few years, but this was before word processors and spell check. The process of using a typewriter and re-typing pages with mistakes on them took up more time than I had to offer when my children were younger.
When all of the kids were finally in school and I didn’t have to chase each moment I was home, I started writing again on the super fast computer with no white-out and re-typing! I still didn’t send it anywhere though at this time, the reasons I’ll explain further when I answer the next few questions.
3. Can you tell me a little bit about From Beltane Magic and what inspired it?
The actual writing of From Beltane Magic started as me getting the last word in with one of my friends. She was going away for over a month and I felt like I was going to be lost without her at that time. When I asked her what I was supposed to do without her for that long, she jokingly told me to write a book.
So when I sat down to write enough of something to send her when she returned home, I was surprised an actual story just started flowing. I didn’t plan Beltane or the books to follow. I could never have dreamed I would write an entire series.
By the time she returned I was half way through the second book, The Solstice Heat. Both of us were shocked with what I had done.
4. What sort of research was involved to learn and incorporate so many varied traditions, “talents” and rituals into your story? And was any of it hands on?
When I sat down to write this “joke” book and it started to flow onto the page, I had to stop long enough to figure out what I knew that I could relate enough to so it wouldn’t be some random stuff in paragraphs. Prior to this time I had spent two years traveling to various pagan festivals where I was a vendor with the handmade jewelry I made. I learned so much in this time about all the different spiritual paths out there and met so many amazing and wonderful people, it’s not surprising my characters formed so quickly on the pages.
5. What do you hope that readers take away with them after reading your book?
I’d like to think that everyone is accepting of people or beliefs that are different, but life experience has proved otherwise for the most part. If the readers could take one thing from this book I would hope that it would be just because someone or what they believe are different doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing or wrong. How boring would life be if every single person was exactly the same?
6. I find it interesting to know what environment authors find most productive… Do you use a pen and paper or laptop? Quiet room at home or bustling café? Basically, what gets your creative juices flowing?
I don’t have a preference really. If the idea comes to me, I write. I have a laptop for those times I’m sitting at my desk as well as a netbook that allows me to sit in any corner anywhere. When I have trouble with a scene or I’m not quite sure where I’m heading with my present story plan I will grab a notebook and pen and lounge somewhere to resolve it. I have even been known to wake up with an idea in the middle of the night and write it down then… in the dark. I’ve gotten really good at writing in the dark and translating the lopsided scribbles the next day. ;)
As far as having quiet while writing … I still have four of those children mentioned in the beginning at home, so quiet is a foreign thing to me. I will plug in the earphones and blast the music to drown out everything if I really need to focus. The only time I need quiet and no interruptions is during the editing process and then all of my family knows to hide.
7. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I was told that I lacked detail in the surroundings of my books. It made me go back and read some of the published ones I had out there at the time, second guessing myself for a short time. Even though they told me this, they still bought more of my writing so I wasn’t sure what to think after that. I purposely don’t over describe each building and shadow in my stories and have been told it’s easier for the reader to take something that way and relate to it more. Everyone has their own opinion I suppose.
The best compliment I’ve received, I believe it was after my third book, was I reminded the reader of a young Nora Roberts. (I think they meant her earlier works and not actual age with that) I don’t think I could receive a compliment any better than that!
8. What book is currently on your nightstand? And who are some of your favorite authors?
I have two books right now, one for serious reading and the other to entertain. The serious one is the last book released by Jean M Auel, The Land of Painted Caves. I love this series but with the time crunch in my world I can’t just sit down and read it all at once. The other book is Lori Foster’s a Perfect Storm.
My favorite authors are many. At the top of the list it would have to be Laurel K Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan.
9. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I have no free time at this point in my life, so when I do manage to grab a few moments (while I’m awake) it would be to go on a road trip with the kids. Our road trips involve an unplanned outing announced two seconds before we pile into the car and we end up … where ever.
This could be hiking a trail, or just driving around and when we’re energetic enough we’ll go to the thrift store clothing warehouse and see who can try on the craziest outfit. We’ve even been known to be the annoying family that has to walk through the toy department and push every single ‘try me’ button on the toys. My partners in crime are usually my 21, 18 and 15 year old. We are still trying to teach the 12 year old “proper” social behavior and don’t want to be the bad examples in her life just yet.
10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Yes. Just keep writing! At some point you will read what you wrote and just know its good enough to submit to a publisher.
11. What can we expect from you next?
The second book in the Magic Seasons, The Solstice Heat was just released in March. The third one , Harvest Dreams will be out in May this year. Presently the fourth book is sitting on my editors desk but I don’t have a release date for it yet.
I also have the second book in The Hidden Senses trilogy, Dream Visions coming out in July of this year and I’m writing the third one at this time.
The list of possible releases is rather long; Awaiting re-writes at this time is the first book in my shifter trilogy, Animal Heart and the first book in another trilogy The Witch Descends.
On the submission editors desk is After the Silence, a very different story for me of weather chaos and survival in the new world. And another first genre type for me is waiting the aye or nay, The Cross Over Huntress, a story of alternate realms.
And now for a little bit of fun:)
This or That?
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Sweet or Salty? Sweet
Beach or Lake? Lake
Winter or Summer? Summer
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Zombies or Vampires? Oh, that’s a tough one. Vampires.
Country or City? Country
Shower or Bath? Bath
Morning or Evening? Evening
M&Ms or Skittles? M&M’s
Trains or Planes? Train
Comedy or Drama? Drama
Thanks so much for having me here today!!!
Jacqueline Paige is a world class multi-tasker being a mother to five adventurous and unpredictable children, a cafe manager and having a colossal imagination that allows her to step outside of reality into a world of paranormal romance —with just a touch of suspense.
Jacqueline lives in Ontario, Canada and avoids the ever changing weather of the region she lives in by creating other worlds to fall into in her stories of all things paranormal.
Her first book was published in 2009 and since then has published ten. She is always writing and currently has more than a dozen stories in one stage or another of the writing process.