As tradition dictates, we’re starting the month with an interview. You’re in for a treat this year – two YA authors in a row! We’re starting the year with Laura Jackson (no relation to the Jackson Five). Here she is:
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Laura. I’m the librarian at an elementary school in a suburb of Houston. It’s a busy, fun job. I also love the Houston Rockets and trees.
Why did you start writing?
I’ve always liked imagining stories. I love to people watch and wonder what their backstory is. It’s also therapeutic in a way to flesh out characters who are facing issues that I may face—or issues I see in the world.
How did you start writing?
I’ve always written. I have stories I wrote for my dad when I was in elementary school. I started writing novel-length works in 2010ish. In 2014 when I realized I needed to write YA, I became more serious about it.
How did you select your genre?
When I started writing, I tried to write a sweet romance. It was horrible! Well, it was good idea, but I didn’t write it well. So, I thought about my favorite authors and books. 85% of them were YA, so I decided to try a YA. It just flowed, and I knew I had found my genre.
What is your writing day like?
Random. I work with kids all day, and while I love it, I’m often drained physically and emotionally when I get home. So, sometimes I write and sometimes I don’t. One goal I have for 2015 is to write more consistently.
How do you organize your writing (outlines/note cards/post-its)?
I have these scraps of paper that have random words written down. Example: Lindsey. Biological dad issues. Mom never around. Covington. Sutton. Boston. Hamptons. Masquerade. That’s my outline/brainstorming. And I write from that.
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you?”
That she didn’t like her name and I should change it. It just didn’t sit right for over 15,000 words. 🙂 I’m still not sure if it’s the final name. Sometimes you have to get to know your characters before you can give them names that reflect them.
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters?
I have them in my head. And when things happen in my life or I see people/situations, I’ll think, “Oh, that’s what (insert name here) is going through, thinking, etc.
What does your work space/office look like?
I write in my bed or at the kitchen table. Maybe one day I’ll have an office, but I think I’ll still like being surrounded by pillows best.
What is your go-to snack when writing?
Anything! Reese’s peanut butter cups. I need a healthier option. Any suggestions?
If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why?
Just read Susan May Warren’s newest book Always on My Mind. I just love the way Susan can create such a dynamic cast of characters. That whole series is a must-read.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?
The Emotion Thesaurus has been helpful as I’m learning to show instead of tell how characters are feeling.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for having me. 🙂
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog! Have a blessed day!