Monday, November 5, 2007

Writers in their own words-GCC

What the hell? To hell with it. The road to hell . . . . Go to hell.

As a writer, I've used these phrases often over the years. Usually under my breath (or even better, just in my head). In all sorts of situations. They fit a whole range of moments. Like when I decided, what the hell, I am going to write a book. Or, when said book wasn't panning out just as I'd imagined it. Or, when I'd done all sorts of nice, good things and wasn't getting appreciated. Or, the last one, maybe for the reviewer who termed my baby "maudlin".

Ah, but I digress.

Look at the pictures above. The lovely young woman on the left, Jackie Kessler, has gone to hell. And back. And keeps going back for more. And, in the process, has created quite the buzz with reviewers. (I know, her picture looks so sweet. You wouldn't even think she'd know words like Succubus and Incubus, now would you?) For example, "Kessler's raunchy blend of heaven, hell and eros makes for a wild thrill ride, and hot, tough-talking Jesse has gumption and sass." — Publishers Weekly.

Jackie's newest book, The Road to Hell, is in stores now and she's offering a chance to win an iPod Nano and three iPod Shuffles just for visiting her website and checking out the HIT THE ROAD section.

Let's hear from Jackie in her own words:

1.) How did you come up with the idea for this book? Are you more driven by plot or by character?

I wrote a short story published in FROM THE ASYLUM back in 2005, which was about a demon who gets downsized to hauntings. That, and Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN series, was the springboard for me thinking about changes in Hell's management, and that got me thinking about the purpose of Hell in the first place. And so the situation behind the Hell on Earth series came about. As for the heroine, Jezebel: I knew I wanted to write about a demon who leaves Hell and becomes a human -- and for me, there's only one sort of female demon, and that's a succubus. :) Jesse herself sort of pulled an Athena and sprang fully formed from my head.

The Hell series is very character dependent: it's Jesse's voice that carries the stories. Of course, the plot is vital...but it's how the plot is conveyed that makes the difference.

2.) Who's your favorite character in this book and why?

As much as I love writing as Jesse...I adore the incubus Daunuan. He's not plagued with human emotions (or a human conscience), and being an incubus, he's very one-track minded (cue cheesy 1970s porn music here). But he does have very strong feelings, and it's a blast writing about him struggling with those feelings, because he (and Jesse) insist that demons don't feel. They're both wrong. (No one ever said demons were the smartest creatures out there...)

3.) What's your writing process/writing environment like?

Write, write, write, get kids and husband ready for school/work, write, write, write, do my day job, lunch/write, do my day job, pick kids up and get dinner ready, family time, get kids to bed, write, write, spend time with Loving Husband, write, write, write, collapse into bed. Repeat. (At times, "write" is loosely defined as "ego surfing" and other Internet activities.)

4.) What's your favorite part of writing?

Getting lost in a scene -- that's when the words just fly from my fingertips. Sort of like being possessed, I'd imagine...

5.) What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about writing?

For the actual writing process? That came from Martha O'Connor, author of the fabulous Bitch Posse. She once told me that we should "write like no one's watching." And yeah, that's really it in a nutshell: be true to the story, and don't self-censor. There's time to make it purty, and marketable, after the bones are down.

So, check it out. What the hell . . .


Carleen Brice said...

Thanks for the interview. "Write like nobody' watching": excellent advice! I've not gotten into the paranormal thing, but Jackie's book sounds intriguing!

Tasha Alexander said...

Great interview, ladies!

Looking forward to the book, Jackie!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Carleen, I love that phrase, too.

One of the neatest things about being part of this Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit (GCC) is finding out about books I wouldn't normally pick up.

Tasha, the book sounds great, doesn't it?