This wraps it up!

Welcome everyone to the last day of the Mystery we Write Blog Tour. Jackie King is in the garden and she’ll be entertaining us for the next little bit. Everyone have some wine or other beverage and fill your plate with hors d’oeuvres, settle in and let’s get started.

Mary: Jackie, before telling all about you as an author, please tell us about you… Jackie. Where you grew up, your background etc.

Jackie: My earliest memories are of listening to or imagining stories. Mother was a single, divorced parent back when such a status raised eyebrows. She was an actress, a story-teller and a writer in Beaver, a small town in the Oklahoma panhandle. (To earn a living, she also taught school.) When I was very young she couldn’t find a teaching job, so we lived on government commodities; forerunner of food stamps.

Mother could concoct a story about any subject, and she told my sister, brother and me, an exciting tale each night. She also read books from the library to us. I don’t remember having any toys, and entertained myself during the day by telling stories to myself. I starred as the heroine, of course, and was most usually, a princess. Because of Mother’s artistic temperament, we moved around a lot. (Translation: her teaching contract was often not renewed.) This may sound hard, and sometimes it was, but life was also exciting, adventurous and fun. Although we were usually cash-strapped, we never considered ourselves ‘poor.’

I started college at 16, and was married by 18. (What can I say? My brain hadn’t stopped growing by that time, at least according to Dr. Phil.) During these two years I studied journalism at Oklahoma University because writing had always been my dream. For the next 30 odd years I was a happily married wife and mother of three children. I also worked full time as an accountant and was too busy to write.

Mary: Now you can tell us all about your writing. What do you write? And how long have you been writing?

Jackie: Mystery and romance are my choice of topics. I love mysteries because these stories end with justice, at least mine do. I started writing again when I found myself suddenly single. (I was happily married…guess he wasn’t.) My first published novella, FLIRTING AT FIFTY, is a humorous account of my divorce. (The divorce wasn’t very funny, but who wants to read about that?) This tale was included in an anthology titled CHIK~LIT FOR FOXY HENS, stories for women of a certain age.

My cozy mystery THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE features Grace Cassidy, who also found herself suddenly single…and broke…and friendless in a strange town. I always have fun writing my stories; I make my characters very human and show them, warts and all. Grace gets through life by making lemonade from the lemons that come her way.

Mary: Is there someone who inspired you to write? If so, who and why.

Jackie: When I was about four years old, my mother told me I would be a writer when I grew up. (I doubt if she thought it would take almost 50 years for that to happen.) Perhaps I told her some of the stories I wrote in my head. I never doubted her, even though I worked in the corporate world for many years to pay bills.

Mary: The Inconvenient Corpse I don’t know about anyone else, but that title alone is a hook. How did you come up with the title?

Jackie: The first scene of the book flashed into my mind when I was vacationing in northern California. That was my first experience of staying in a Bed and Breakfast, and I loved every moment. Like my character Grace, I had walked through a historical Victorian neighborhood and down to the beach. After returning I stretched out on my bed and began daydreaming:

What would I do if I were stranded in a strange town with no friends and no money? Oh, and I’ll throw in a corpse—a naked one—in my bed. Could I survive using my own determination, brains, and moxie? I felt impelled to write the book to find out the answers. Plus, I added an older teenaged son and a cat to make Grace’s life even more complicated, and thus more interesting. The title came from a bit of dialogue spoken by Theodora, an aging school-teacher, who called the victim, “That most inconvenient Mr.…”

Here’s the opening scene from the book:
“Grace Cassidy stared at the stranger’s body. He was about sixty, pot-bellied, naked, and very dead. She knew he was dead because his skin was the color of concrete. Worst of all, he was lying smack dab in the middle of her bed.”

Mary: Can you tell us a bit about your book? And other books? Where can we purchase them?

Jackie: As I said, Grace Cassidy finds herself alone in a strange town. She has no credit cards, no cash, no resources, and no job skills. Fleeced and abandoned by her husband, she is also the prime suspect in a bizarre murder.
Buy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

I also have published 5 novellas that are part of a series called The Foxy Hens series. I’ve mentioned the first. The next three are historical mysteries set in Oklahoma Territory at the time of the Land Run in 1889. The last one is a contemporary mystery set in Tulsa, where the heroine tangles with a serial killer. It’s not a cozy.

All of my books are available in trade paperback or on Amazon Kindle or B&N Nook for $2.99 each.

Everyone okay? Let’s take a bit of a stretch break, grab some more refreshments if you’d like.

Mary: Jackie, when it’s time for some ‘me’ time what do you do? Travel? Cook? Do you have a favorite recipe you could share with us?

Jackie: My favorite thing is spending time with my family and friends. My only nonfiction book, Devoted to Cooking, is a collection of family stories written with my daughter (a chef), Jennifer Sohl. I enjoy cooking, but she’s the family star in the kitchen. Because most of my best friends are either writers or avid readers, there is always lots of lively conversation at gatherings.

Mary: If there is one thing you could tell a new author what would it be?

Jackie: Never give up on your dream. The most successful published writers are those who are the most disciplined. Make up your mind to write every day (at least 30 minutes) and to submit what you write. This is a sure-fire formula for success.

Mary: Where can people find you? Do you have a web site, Facebook, blog? Tell us, please…

Jackie: Thanks, Mary, for inviting me into your garden and letting me chat with your friends and readers. I’ve loved every minute. I can be found at my website:
www.jacqking.com

My Blog: Cozy Mysteries & Other Madness
Blog url: http://bnbmysteries.blogspot.com

I’m on Facebook as Jacqueline King, and would love it if readers would “friend” me.

Thank you, Jackie, for joining us today. Drop by often and say ‘Hi’.

Comments

Jean Henry Mead said…
Great interview and I loved your book, Jackie, especially your quirky character, Theordora. :)
Marja McGraw said…
Wonderful interview, Jackie. Your background really gave you a leg up on your writing. I was a divorced mother of one, and it seems like there were always things happening that wouldn't have happened if I'd been married. I'm glad you can view your life the way you do, and I'm heading off to order your book right now.
Jackie King said…
It's been fun, and I'm going to be lonesome unless y'all (Okie dialect.) visit me on my blog COZY MYSTERIES AND OTHER MADNESS. And you can be sure I'll be checking in you the new blogsites that I've discovered!
Hugs,
Jackie
THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE
Jackie King said…
Jean, thanks so much. I'll tell the real-life Theodora. (Can't tell you her name, but her initials are Peggy Fielding; my teacher, mentor, and friend.)
Cheers,
Jackie
Jackie King said…
Marja, totally agree about single (divorced) mothers. Very little sympathy and huge problems. Good thing women are so resourceful!

Thanks for buying my book! Hope you like it.
Best wishes,
Jackie King
Beth Anderson said…
Y'all would be surprised to hear all the bad things about being a widow, too. Man, you'd think things might lighten up a little but noooooo, and especially men will cheat you blind when there's not another man around the house, even if he's comotose 24/7. That alone really amazed me. But on to better times, right? Writing helps a lot, and Jackie, great interview as always. Mary, I just copied your black beans and rice recipe. ;-)
thx so much for your encouraging words to write everyday! much appreciated!
Anne K. Albert said…
You always make me lol, Jackie! You take a tragedy and turn it into a comedic scene. You're an inspiration!
jenny milchman said…
So many writers' earliest memories involve stories--or story-telling. I love your advice to writers, and second it. Never, ever give up.

Although, as one wise author once said, If you can *not* write, don't.

'Cause there are easier ways to make a living ;)
Mary Martinez said…
I've been out of town. Thank you everyone for dropping by. This has been a great tour. It was nice to meet everyone.

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