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Friday, August 31, 2012

Jacki Kelly speaks on the writing process


Today we are sitting down with Jacki Kelly, whose first Passion in Print book  - The Sweet Road Home -- will be released Nov. 17.


Colleen: Jacki, thank you for spending some time with me today. First, tell us why do you write?

Jacki: I’ve always been that person that cheered for the underdog or saw a news story and wondered how it turned out. Writing gives me the opportunity to tell their stories and end them the way I think they should. It gives me the chance to live in the world that I built. 

Colleen: Where/when do you like to build those worlds? Do you write everyday? 

Jacki: The majority of my writing is done in the evening, between 7 and 10 pm. That’s when the pressures of the day have subsided enough to allow me to be most creative. I write or do something writing related every day, whether it’s revising, editing or research.  I even write on vacation. I can write almost anywhere. While I do most of my writing at a desk, it’s not unusual to see me writing in bed, at the airport or even on a beach.

Colleen: What is your least favorite book you wrote? 

Jacki: I really don’t have a least favorite book. If I don’t like it, I keep revising until I get it right. I have some manuscripts stuffed in my desk drawer right now waiting on my attention. No one beyond my critique group will lay eyes on them until I think they are the best that I can do. 

Colleen: Well, I would love to take a peak at them! So are you a plotter or pantser?

Jacki: I’m definitely a plotter. I need to know where the story is going and how I plan to get there.  I’ve found out the hard way that this also makes me much more productive by not spending time dreaming up scenarios that don’t mesh together at the end. Even though I have an outline, my characters have been known to highjack my manuscript and take it in another direction.

Colleen: Last question - do you listen to music while you write? 

Jacki: Yes, music helps to set the tone for the scene I’m writing.  My music choices vary depending on what I need to accomplish that day.  If I’m writing a love scene then I might pick something mellow and relaxing. If it’s a conflict scene I’ll chose something more upbeat, maybe something with a lot of bass. Believe it or not each of my manuscripts has a theme song. A song that I play before I sit down to write that helps bring those characters to life and to ground me in the story.

Jacki Kelly has been writing since her fourth grade teacher made her keep a journal for a grade. Now she does it to keep track of all the fascinating and heartbreaking moments that life throws our way. Poetry, personal essays, short stories and novels have all occupied space in her heart and her hard drive. Jacki can be found at http://jackikelly.com/ as well as on twitter and facebook.


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