Author Spotlight – Jackie Kennedy
Meet UK Lesbian Fiction Author Jackie Kennedy (Affinity Rainbow Publications)
Our reviewer Valden had this to say about Jackie Kennedy’s work:
Jackie Kennedy first book, Denial, was published in 2013.
If you haven’t read it, then I promise that you will find yourself reading a real cracker of a story. Jackie has the ability to write characters with beautiful interactions and to make them all so real-life. She manages to capture the worries, the passion and the angst between them. I suspect that you will find yourself thinking about some of the situations long after you finish the book.
Jackie Kennedy has a signed paperback of Denial to give away to one lucky reader – the draw is open to readers worldwide.
For a chance to enter the draw, answer this question: Your favourite author is in town, and hooray! – has a few spare hours to spend with you. How would you spend the time? Would you show them the sights? Chat about their books? or come up with something more exciting?
Giveaway ends Sunday, 15 July, 3 pm UTC.
We spoke to Jackie Kennedy about her books and her writing plans for the year.
(a) Tell us something interesting about your last published book.
Writing Denial, I wanted to take the reader on a complicated emotional journey. The novel took a long time to write. I read somewhere that a first novel can take up to ten years and wouldn’t be shy of a million written characters before full editing was complete. This was true for me as Denial wasn’t short of either.
(b) What got you into writing?
As for my writing ambition, I wasn’t sure if I had enough chutzpah to do more than tinker away at it. I’d worked on Denial for a while, and it wasn’t until the end of Gina Dartt’s incredible J/7 Just Between and Millennium fanfic series left me so bereft, I decided to have a go at writing J/7 fanfic myself – which with all the techno babble wasn’t easy – but I loved it.
I put two standalone J/7 stories on the Athenaeum site, which is an amazing online source of fanfic and original writing, and received really heart-warming responses. So much so, it encouraged me to put Denial on the site. Unbelievably, I struck gold! It spent 47 weeks on the top-25 list and set a one year record for total hits. To say that I was chuffed would be a true understatement especially as it led to Affinity publishing the novel.
(c) Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?
For my writing style, I wrote Denial after work and at weekends and in isolation. After it was published, I took a creative writing class. It was an absolutely brilliant eye-opening experience. It helped me explore and shape my creative style and just being around like minded people was incredibly stimulating.
As a project manager, I know it’s all about planning, but as all PM’s know, most plans never survive past the first days of execution as change is inevitable. And the same applies for writing, I learned that creating a detailed plan isn’t the best for me as I’m strong on character development and it can stifle the shaping of a character if the focus is on sticking to plan.
Apart from that, one of the most important things I took from the writing class was to break with convention. I found it really freeing to stop focusing so much on plot and instead let the characters come to life; shaped by their own volition. And what I love most, is the unexpected character who has a minor role but ends up taking a pivotal one. This thrills me no end. Isn’t that true magic?
(d) If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
If I had the chance to do it all again, would it be different? Some days definitely – some days not. I have a gregarious personality, but I’m intensely private, particularly when it comes to talking about myself and writing. Don’t get me wrong, I find it an absolute pain in the butt as it’s really difficult to kick, but I’m trying. So, probably un-kinking that earlier would have benefited me hugely as a writer.
(e) What is next for you? What is your next project?
Next for me is to get Betrayal over the line and relax by sticking my nose in lots and lots of books. A pleasure denied during the writing process as it’s too enjoyable a distraction.
VALDEN’s REVIEW of DENIAL
As the story begins we meet Amy, originally from Scotland, and her fiancée Josh who are living in Florida. Josh’s twin sister, Celeste, is a Doctor and comes home to Florida after working with Medecins Sans Frontieres in Nigeria. She is about to go to Somalia. Celeste and Amy find they have a deep connection between them that they cannot explain, and there the story begins. It is an emotional rollercoaster, full of twists and turns, and I suspect you won’t be expecting the story to follow the path that it takes. This is a long story which if you enjoy a longer read will give you pleasure. I will be re-reading it very soon!