This Author Spotlight features Fantasy author Chris A. Jackson. Chris has six independently published novels of fantasy: A Soul for Tsing
Deathmask (Florida Writers Association, 2005, Second Place Novel of the Year)
Weapon of Flesh (USA Book News Best Books Awards 2005, First Place)
and The Cornerstones Trilogy: Zellohar
co-authored with Anne L. McMillen-Jackson. The first two of Chris's Scimitar Seas novels, Scimitar Moon,
published by Dragon Moon Press, have won sequential ForeWord Book of the Year Gold Medals in Fantasy, and made the finalist lists for the USA Book News Best Books awards. Chris also has three audiobooks of science fiction-satire, Cheese Runners, Cheese Rustlers and Cheese Lords available for download at www.jaxbooks.com.
1. How did you get into writing?
My first attempt at authoring a novel came about from game-mastering a role playing game campaign. The game lasted two years, and the novel turned into a trilogy. It is finally in print (after many rewrites and help from my wife and coauthor, Anne L. McMillen-Jackson), as the Cornerstones Trilogy.
2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
Best: Writing allows me to be creative and earn a living at it. What could be better…
Least: Marketing has become such a huge part of being an author in the current marketplace that it takes up far too much of my time and effort. I love going to conventions (I live for my fans), bookstores and signings, but the day to day online effort is taxing.
3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
I write from an outline, but the outline, and the novel, never fail to evolve during the writing process. My fiction is primarily character driven, and sometimes these characters come to life to such a degree that they begin to evolve into people I did not expect. This is good, for the more real they are, the more the reader will love, hate, and identify with them. I do try to write every day, but it is not always possible. I average anywhere from one to five thousand words a day, but I don’t set a word count as a goal.
4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
Jaqueline Carey, Elizabeth Moon, Joe Haldeman, George R.R. Martin, Steven Brust…
5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
Inside, but I would turf that one to my editor…
6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
Kill them all! Once again, I bow to my editor.
7. What is your latest book about and how did it come to fruition?
My most recently competed novel is the fourth in a series of pirate fantasy (The Scimitar Seas novels), and will be coming out in September of 2012 at Dragon*Con, from Dragon Moon Press.
8. What’s your current writing project?
I am currently in the midst of another pirate story for Paizo Publishing, in their Pathfinder Tales label. The working title is Star Crossed, and its tentative release is April 2013.
9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Elizabeth Moon and George R. R. Martin.
10. Who or what inspires your writing?
Sailing, dreams, insomnia and lots and lots of coffee…
Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
All of my work can be previewed on my website: www.jaxbooks.com. They are available through the publishers, and, of course, Amazon.com.