A Series of Author Interviews...


Questions about writing or my books? Read On! You may find the answers you're looking for here!

In case you missed the various interviews posted on MAGIC HARBOR's Release Week Blog Tour, here they are - all in one place! This is the easiest way to read all five interviews together.


(*Links to the live sites are included if you'd like to check them out as they appeared on each blog. Special thanks to Giselle at Xpresso Blog Tours for coordinating the tour!)



 


Interview #1 by Character Madness & Musings Blog


Tell us about your newest book.


MAGIC HARBOR just released last week on October 10, 2019. It is Book Two in the KEEPER OF THE WATCH Series (but can stand on its own if you haven’t had a chance to read Book One!) The story began with Chase Walker discovering an ancestral watch in his recently deceased uncle’s belongings … and he can feel the power in it. He doesn’t know what to make of it until Alyx—a girl from another dimension—arrives and explains that the watch will give him the power to travel to twelve parallel worlds on pre-determined dates each month for one year. Two other people are searching for the watches. The hunters have destroyed all but three of the twelve original watches, and are now after Chase. Alyx saves him and convinces him to connect with his watch. Now that they are both keepers of the watch, they will travel to a different version of their reality each month of their eighteenth year. In MAGIC HARBOR, they discover a magical world, full of mythical beasts, magic spells, witches and warlocks. The hunter’s ‘other-selves’ are there:, but here, the ruling mage poses an even bigger threat. The Sovereign Warlock is set on keeping all the power for himself. Chase and Alyx want to help, but aren’t sure who to trust. The two discover their own magical abilities in this world, and do everything they can to help the people of Dune Harbor before their next scheduled jump-time. When two powerful wizards battle for control, Chase and Alyx may not be prepared for the losses to come.


Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing your book?


Finding time to write! I have a full-time job, so I find anytime I can to write. Early mornings on the weekends are my most productive writing times, but I also write a bit on week nights and sometimes even on my lunch break!


Tell us about your writing career.


I haven’t always had the confidence required to be a writer. I started dabbling in writing in my early thirties, but after receiving a few rejections, I stopped. Inevitably, writing called to me and eventually I continued down my writing path. It takes lots of patience and perserverance to become a published author, and this time I had both. My first contract was signed with Schiffer Publishing was for a children’s picture book, JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS. Not long after that, I signed with Black Rose Writing for my YA series KEEPER OF THE WATCH. MAGIC HARBOR, also published by Black Rose Writing, is my third published book.


They say Hind-sight is 20/20. If you could give advice to the writer you were the first time you sat down to write, what would it be?


Don’t give up! Rejection is part of this business so you have to learn to live with it. This business is very subjective. Perservere until you find that one person who is interested.


What was your most difficult scene to write?


It’s most difficult for me to write death scenes. So much heart goes into creating each character. In MAGIC HARBOR, the climax of the story ending in a battle between dark and light magic, there are some casualties. It’s always hard to kill off a character.


Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?


I believe themes are a big part of all stories. The overall theme in KEEPER OF THE WATCH is: Don’t give up! Chase is faced with a lot all at once. He turns eighteen, the uncle who raised him dies, he graduates from high school, and he’s faced with this big decision: become a keeper of the watch, or deny his family’s ancestry. Chase finds a way to stay positive through it all. In MAGIC HARBOR, the theme is: Things (and people) aren’t always what they seem. Faced with people they know—but don’t know—they aren’t always sure who they can trust. A sub-theme in this story is that there is the potential for both good and bad in all of us. Our circumstances, and even a slight change in our lives, could lead us to make a different choice than the ones we’ve made in our lives. I’m planning to tackle the important topic of school bullying in Book Three.


What are you working on now?


I started writing KEEPER OF THE WATCH, BOOK THREE right after Book Two was set for release. I was 10,000 into the manuscript when I had an idea that intrigued me, so I put Book Three on the back-burner to begin writing a prequel to the Keeper of the Watch Series. This book takes place in the 1900’s, and will tell the story of the watches’ origin and creator, Elias Walker (Chase’s ancestor.) I’m very excited about it!


Is there a release date planned?


No release date is planned at this time.This book will be an novella, and I’m planning on giving it away for FREE to subscribers of my website as well as offering it for sale on Amazon.


Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?


Oooh, so hard to choose just one! I have to say that Chase is one of my favorites because I modeled him after a combination of my two sons. I guess you could say he’s like another son, LOL! I also love writing animal characters. I had so much fun creating the character Bo in MAGIC HARBOR. He is a half-Enfield (A chimera), half wolf-hybrid puppy that plays a huge roll in the story here in the magical world of Dimension 8. I love bringing them to life with actions alone since (of course) they have no dialogue.


Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?


Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, and Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe. I also loved The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner.


What are your plans for future projects?


There are potentially twleve books in the KEEPER OF THE WATCH Series, so that should keep me busy for a while! I would also like to publish another children’s picture book in the near future.


Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?


I love to hear from my readers! Stop by my blog (kristenljackson.wixsite.com/kristenjacksonauthor) or one of my social media pages to say, “Hi!”, or ask a question about one of my books. (Facebook: @kristenjacksonauthor; Twitter: @KLJacksonAuthor; Instagram: @krisjack504. Find me on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and GoodReads, too!) I promise I’ll respond as quickly as I can.

If you want to help a favorite author, leave a short review for any book you read on Amazon or GoodReads...or wherever you can! It helps authors get noticed and spreads the word about their books. Readers have the power to do that! Thanks for your help from authors everywhere!


Good luck with your newest release, and thank you for being with us today.


Thanks so much, Brandy, for having me as a guest on Madness and Musings today! It’s been an honor ‘stopping by’!

 

Interview #2 by The Cover Contessa Blog


Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 


The great thing about being a writer is that you can do something else and still be a writer! I’m a full-time teacher, and I do most of my writing on the weekends.

I didn’t always know I wanted to be a writer…or more accurately I lacked the courage to put myself out there and just do it. It took me a while to get over that. It takes great persistance to become a published author, and it’s a lot more work than most people realize, but having the best of both worlds truly is possible if you have the drive to do it.


What was the hardest thing about writing a book?


Finding time to write! I have a full-time job, so I find anytime I can to write. Early mornings on the weekends are my most productive writing times, but I also write a bit on week nights and sometimes even on my lunch break!


How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 


I’ve written five novels and a bunch of children’s picture books, but only three are published. My YA novels KEEPER OF THE WATCH and MAGIC HARBOR are both published by Black Rose Writing, an independent publisher based in Texas. My children’s picture book, JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS, is published by Schiffer Publishing, an independent publisher based in my home-state of Pennsylvania. I’m so thankful to both of them for giving me the opportunity to live my dream.

One of the favorite books I’ve written is an adult sci-fi novel called BENEATH THE WAVES. I haven’t found a home for it yet, but I’m not giving up!


Do you have a favorite character?


From my own books, I have to say that Chase—the main character in the KEEPER OF THE WATCH Series—is one of my favorites because I modeled him after a combination of my two sons. I guess you could say he’s like another son, LOL! I also love writing animal characters. I had so much fun creating the character Bo in MAGIC HARBOR. He is a half-Enfield (A chimera), half wolf-hybrid puppy that plays a huge roll in the story here in the magical world of Dimension 8. I love bringing animals to life with actions alone since (of course) they have no dialogue.


Where do you write? 

I write at home on the couch with a laptop. My favorite time of day for writing is in the early morning hours when the house is totally quiet and I’m the only one awake. I also do a lot of my writing in the mountains. It’s so peaceful there, the words just seem to flow.


When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 


I sent out query letters to both agents and small publishers and waited to see if I received any offers. After receieving contract offers from two small publishers, I was happy to sign with them to publish my books.


What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?


I’ve always been an avid reader, so of course I read every chance I get. My family and I love to visit the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, where we own a small cabin with a creek that runs right through the back yard. We take our four large-breed dogs with us every weekend through spring, summer, and fall. It’s a place where we can go and just relax with nature. We love kayaking and sitting by the campfire.


What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?

 

Don’t give up! Rejection is part of this business so you have to learn to live with it. Writing is very subjective. Perservere until you find that one person who is interested.


Are you working on anything now? 


I started writing KEEPER OF THE WATCH, BOOK THREE right after Book Two was set for release. I was 10,000 into the manuscript when I had an idea that intrigued me, so I put Book Three on the back-burner to begin writing a prequel to the Keeper of the Watch Series. This book takes place in the 1900’s, and will tell the story of the watches’ origin and creator, Elias Walker (Chase’s ancestor.) I’m very excited about it!


Tell us 5 things that make you smile


Family, Dogs, Pizza, Daisies, Sand between my toes


Tell us 5 things that make you sad


Rain, Cold, Cruelty, When a favorite character dies in a book or movie, When it’s time to close up our cabin for the winter


If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?


Ireland. I love a hint of magic in a story, and Ireland is a place filled with mythical Celtic folklore. It would also be a lovely background for a book because of its raw beauty. I mean, castles and fairies? Come on! Send me there now!

 

Interview #3 by Movies, Shows & Books


What are your Top 10 Favorite Quotes from Magic Harbor?


1. “Chase!” She lurched back up, for once unsure what to do. Glancing down at the knife and blade disc she clutched in each hand. Both insignificant pieces of metal, of no help to her now. The creature began rising into the clouds, size shrinking with each flap of wings, carrying Chase with it. “Chase!” –Alyx, Chapter 10


2. “You don’t know me. Not really. You know only shadows of me. My other selves. But that’s not me here.” –Liz, The Hunter, Chapter 32


3.Chase took first one step, and then another. On the third step, the world in front of him shifted. As with both the strange tree back at camp and the mysterious castle-like building in town, everything around him began to shimmer in and out of focus. His head began to spin, the evanescence of the forest in front of him had him blinking. Everything seemed to appear and disappear before his eyes, until the waves passed and he could see. –Chase, Chapter 15


4. “I told you, I’m sorry. You’re going to forget everything I’ve told you soon. It’s the berries. They’re magical. And you’re under his spell now.” –Mason, Chapter 21


5. “You’ve never felt the heat of the all-powerful energy pumping through your veins, taking control of your mind and kidnapping every thought, until that’s all you care about. Only that, and gaining more power.”–Liz, Chapter 32


6. Chase could still see through the portal into the living room at Dune Haven as if through a tunnel. He watched Alyx disappear from the center of the circle they had cast on the hardwood floor into bursts of sunbeams and shoot through the rectangular opening like a cheap back-yard firework. Once through the passageway, the light swirled until she regained her solid form. His mouth dropped open. The air around her shimmered in visible waves, like heat coming off the blacktop on a mid-summer day. Once everyone was through, the portal dissolved into vapor as if it had never been there at all. –Chase, Chapter 41


7. Their lips touched, and Alyx felt her body lean forward. The kiss was as gentle as a butterfly’s wings, and yet it set her entire body on fire. His indrawn breath had her tilting her head to get closer ... –Alyx and Chase, Chapter 42


8. He shook his head. “I don’t know what we’re supposed to do. I’m starting to wish I’d never chosen any of this. The watch. Being a keeper. Traveling the twelve dimensions. All of it.” He shoved the journal at Alyx and paced. –Chase, Chapter 49


9. “No. Your best friend isn’t here. He lives back in your home world, D-6. These people, no matter how familiar they seem, are strangers.” She placed her hand on her hip and blew at her bangs. –Alyx to Chase, Chapter 51


10. A spark leapt out of the stream of contained lightning, striking Chase’s left arm. He swatted at it, jumping backward. The tiny spark traveled down his arm and into his watch, which began vibrating and humming. Staring down into the watch face, his eyes widened when the electrical stream erupted from the watch. Heat engulfed his wrist as the watch took on a life of its own. –Chase, Chapter 76

 

Interview #4 by Viviana MacKade


- Do your books and your teaching job feed from each other, or do they stay separate?


Thanks for having me as a guest today, Viviana! I’m honored to be featured on your blog.

My love of books and writing absolutely plays a big part of being a teacher, and vice versa! It would be impossible to completely separate two things I’m so passionate about. The crossover happens most with my children’s picture book, JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS. Since I teach pre-kindergarten, a big part of my day is dedicated to reading picture books to childen. As I’m reading, I’m always researching and looking for new ideas and topics that are needed at these early ages. I look at it as my job as a teacher to instill a lifelong love of books and reading in my students.


Since my certificate for teaching is in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education, I enjoy writing for older children as well. With my teaching experience, I especially enjoy booking school or library visits where I get to interact both as a teacher and a writer with young adults and children. I’m much more comfortable speaking to a group of children than with a crowd of adults! I like to use my young adult novels KEEPER OF THE WATCH and MAGIC HARBOR (Book Two) as inspiration for helping kids come up with ideas for writing. My favorite part at the end of each session is to brainstorm with the group to come up with book ideas. Children’s imaginations are like no other, and I always leave in awe of their creative ideas. Of course, I’m always hoping to inspire some future writers, but in reality they can use what we talked about in any writing they do for school, work, or any kind of writing that interests them. I recently visited fourth grade classrooms at a local school. We talked about MAGIC HARBOR’s upcoming release, and the children were so excited when they found out was centered around a world of magic and mythical creatures like chimeras. They were so enthusiastic about my book that I left feeling completely inspired by them. It was a very positive experience for me, and hopefully the children as well. That’s why I love writing for kids! It’s very rewarding to see that spark light up a child’s eyes. And to hear them talking about my books? Well, there’s no better feeling in the world!

 

Interview # 5 by The Avid Reader


1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?


I would choose a dog. I’ve been a dog-lover all my life, and I currently have four large-breed dogs. (One Bernese Mountain Dog, two Newfoundlands, and one Saint Bernese.) I can’t imagine a life without dogs to come home to!


2. How many hours a day do you put into your writing?


That’s a hard question for me to answer because it varies. I work full-time, so I write on my lunch break, in the evenings, and mostly on the weekends. I guess you could say I grab writing time whenever I can.


3. Do you read your book reviews? If yes, do they affect what you write in the future?


Yes, I do read the reviews. A great review makes my heart smile, and a poor review, though admittedly painful, can also be very helpful. I want to know what my readers are thinking. Reviews are also the life-blood of a book. More reviews equals more exposure, so bring on the reviews … good and bad—though hopefully more positive than negative, LOL!


4. Do you leave hidden messages in your books that only a few people will find?


Yes. In the Keeper of the Watch series, there are some hidden tributes to my dad who passed away 5 years ago last month. He was the inspiration for the series because he loved to wear a watch and always knew what time it was. He also loved astrology, so there are lots of references and names that come from the stars. His favorite constellation was Orion’s belt, and that plays a huge part in the hunter’s storyline.


5. Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Magic Harbor?


In Book One, Chase Walkerhas just become a keeper of his family’s ancestral watch. Chase has recently turned eighteen-years-old and a lot of things happen to him at once: The uncle that raised him dies unexpectedly, he graduates from high school, and finds himself alone. While going through his uncle’s belongings after the funeral, he discovers an old watch. The watch calls to him, and he fights the connection. He’s this popular football player from high school who has no idea what to do next in his life. That’s when he meets Alyx.

Alyx Eris is from another dimension and, unlike Chase, she was raised knowing all about dimension travel, the watches and keepers. Her parents have trained her all her life for this year of dimension travel, and she is skilled in combat of all forms. She is Chase’s opposite: socially awkward and a fierce loner. She enters Chase’s life when she saves him from the hunters.

The Hunters a man and a woman, have been hunting the watches since their invention, partially out of hatred for the watches inventor, and partially because they want to steal the ability to travel to parallel worlds. In Magic Harbor, we get a little of their back-story to explain this obsession these two have with the watches. They exist in every dimensional plane. Even if they die in one world, their ‘other-selves’ will live on in another.


6. Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?


I am currently working on the prequel to the Keeper of the Watch series which tells the story of Elias Walker, Chase’s great-great grandfather and his unique power to travel to the twelve dimensions. This novella will tell the whole tale of the origin of the watches and how keepers came into being. After that one is finished, I’ll get to work on Book Three in the Keeper of the Watch Series.


7. Do you allow yourself a certain number of hours to write or do you write as long as the words come?


I definitely write as long as the words come. I find that I can’t force it, but when I’m on a roll it’s awfully hard to stop!


8. Do you have a certain number of words or pages you write per day?


I don’t have a set number of words/pages per day. Someday, I hope to retire early from teaching and make writing my full-time job. When that day comes, I’ll absolutely set more strict rules for myself. Right now, I squeeze in writing time whenever I can, and I’m happy with whatever amount I’ve written.


9. What inspires you to write?

It can be the simplest thing! As I’ve mentioned, my dad inspired the Keeper of the Watch Series. After he passed away, I asked my mom for one of his watches. I put it on my wrist, and thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to write a story about a watch with powers?” That’s how easily an idea can spark. I have a children’s picture book called JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS about a little girl who loves to wear socks. The inspiration for that story was my mom. She loves to wear what she calls ‘Fun Socks.’ (Socks with pictures on them.) That’s was sparked the idea for that story. Just simple, everyday things can trigger a ‘bigger’ idea.


Would you rather...


Read fiction or non-fiction? Fiction


Read series or stand-alone? Series


Read Science fiction or horror? Science Fiction


Read Stephen King or Dean Koontz? Dean Koontz (His earlier works hold a special place in my heart!)


Read the book or watch the movie? Read the book!


Read an ebook or paperback? eBook


Be trapped alone for one month in a library with no computer or a room with a computer and Wi-Fi only? In a library with no computer


Do a cross-country book store tour or blog tour online? Blog Tour online



 

Kristen L. Jackson, author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH


Keeper of the Watch Series Prequel...Coming Soon! Find out how it all began...

KEEPER OF THE WATCH, Available Now: Black Rose Writing Amazon Barnes & Noble

*Book Two, MAGIC HARBOR, Available Now: Black Rose Writing Amazon Barnes & Noble


Can Jocelyn always match her socks to her mood? Great way to teach social/emotional skills to preschool children!

Kristen L. Jackson, author of JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS Available Now: Amazon Barnes & Noble Schiffer Books


Find Me On: Facebook: @kristenjacksonauthor https://www.facebook.com/kristenjacksonauthor Amazon: Kristen L. Jacksonhttps://amazon.com/author/kristenljackson Twitter: @KLJacksonAuthor https://www.twitter.com/KLJacksonAuthor Tumblr: https://kristenjacksonauthor.tumblr.com Good Reads: Kristen L. Jackson https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomkristenjackson Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/AuthorKristenLJackson Instagram: @krisjack504 https://www.instagram.com/krisjack504 Yahoo: kristenjacksonauthor@yahoo.com Website: https://kristenljackson.wixsite.com/kristenjacksonauthor Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristen-jackson-036604126/ CLICK HERE TO READ THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS OF KOTW FOR FREE!


You can find copies of all three of my books at this Little Free Library in Reading, PA!

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