Thursday, 19 December 2013

Guest Author: Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald

 Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Fifteen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including the romantic mysteries THE INFERNO COLLECTION, THE DROWNING POOL, THE TRUTH SLEUTH and DEATH LEGACY. Her most recent release is her prize-winning sensual historical romance THE CHEVALIER available as an e-book in all formats at: http://steamereads.com.au/product/the-chevalier/
Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies.

Q:  Thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell our readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing?

I write in many genres. I’ve written children’s books as well as young adult fiction. However, most of my novels are written for adult readers. I enjoy reading romance in particular and so I write a good deal of romantic fiction. I love romantic suspense as well as romantic mysteries. I do enjoy contemporary romance. But I particularly love historical romance.

Q:  Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?

I write every morning, starting about 6 a.m. I think it’s important to be disciplined as a writer. You can’t be a writer unless you write.
Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?

I don’t outline with short stories but I do with novels. Of course, you never know when characters will decide to rebel and take on a life of their own.

Q:  What qualities do you instill in your heroes?

They must have sex appeal. This may sound shallow, but if we are honest, men need to have some sort of magnetism that draws a woman. Looks matter, though the hero doesn’t have to be a “pretty boy.” Usually my heroes are rougher, tougher, physically and psychologically. They must show respect for the heroine and care about her feelings and well-being. This does not mean they are always tender. I also think a good hero will be flawed, far from perfect. But by the end of the novel, he should make amends with the help of the heroine for his errors in judgement.

Q. Coffee or tea?

Both. Coffee first thing in the morning so my mind is as sharp as possible. A variety of teas during the day and evening.
Q. Beach or countryside?

Again, I love both. But I look out on the Hudson River and have a view of Manhattan where I live on the cliffs of the New Jersey side. I guess you’d say I’m more of a beach person. I love the Jersey shore in particular.

Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?

Again, both. My romantic mystery series is set in New Jersey, a state I have lived in my entire life. However, I was an English major and a Social Studies minor as an undergraduate. I have graduate degrees in English and Library Science. So you might say I have travelled to exotic places through reading and book adventures. I do considerable research for all my novels but the historicals in particular. THE CHEVALIER, for instance, is an historical romance set in 1745 in the era of the second Jacobite rebellion in Scotland and England. These were turbulent, unsettled times, romantic by their very nature. My hero, Gar, is a British officer, my heroine, Madeline, is both Scottish and French. Their relationship is passionate from the first but they are separated by the politics of the times.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

I’m surrounded by interesting people, their lives, their stories. I also read nonfiction as well as fiction and gain inspiration from that. And there is the inner workings of my own imagination of course.

Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.

I’m not certain that I would. My husband urged me to take an early retirement so that I could write, and I followed his advice. I have no regrets.

Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?

I hate rejections, but it’s part of being a writer. As a writer I tend to be sensitive, but I know that not every editor will like my work. Fortunately, there have been enough acceptances so that I have kept on with my writing.
My advice to novice writers. First, take some writing courses. Learn how to write properly before you break rules. Make time to write each day. Expect to edit your own work. You never get it just right the first time. Write, put the work aside, and then come back to it at a future time, so that you can do a proper edit before you submit you work. There are always mistakes.

Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?

I enjoy reading so many different authors that I can’t pick out just a few. At this time, there are a great many truly talented people writing wonderful books and short stories.

Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?

I tend to fixate on one novel at a time, although, I have worked on short stories intermittently with my most current romance novel. For example, I have a collection of romance stories of varied heat levels out right now as an e-book on Amazon from a small publisher entitled BEYOND THE BO TREE: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DTV0750

Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?

Like all writers, I’m not always “on.” When that happens, I spend more time on social networking and also actively read the books of other writers.

Q. What motivates you to write?

It’s something I’ve wanted and needed to do since I was a young girl. I’m a creative person and this is a major way of expressing creativity.

Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?

Know what that publisher does and does not publish. Read their books. If the publisher only does noir mysteries then don’t submit your romance there. Do your homework so that you don’t waste your time.

Q: Is there anything you would like to share with us about upcoming releases?

Right now I have six new short stories that will be published in six anthologies in different genres by a variety of publishers.

I also hope to see a new edition of my historical sensual Regency TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS published soon. The novel was endorsed by Jayne Ann Krentz, one of my favourite romance writers. Mary Balogh read the manuscript early on providing invaluable editorial suggestions and insights.
Also, the fourth Kim Reynolds romantic mystery novel is now in the edit phase and hopefully will be published sometime in 2014.

Elizabeth: Well, you have two of my favorite authors as acquaintances,  how wonderful. I think I've read Mary Balogh's entire back list this year.  It would be  a dream come true to have Mary Balogh read a manuscript. I am so jealous :-)

Q: Can you tell us a little about your current novel? What inspired you to write this story?

I read TOM JONES by Fielding many years ago, loved the novel and the movie version. THE CHEVALIER is in that tradition-- lots of fast-paced adventure with a lusty romance full of energy.
I’ve always been fascinated by British literature and history and taught Brit Lit for a  number of years. You could call this novel my tribute to that tradition.

Blurb: The Chevalier is a sensual historical romance set in England and the Scottish Highlands in 1745 at the time of the second Jacobite Rebellion. The romantic involvement is between a French aristocrat who is part Scottish and a British army officer who finds her as desirable as she finds him. Try as hard as they might, their overwhelming passion for each other cannot be denied. Unfortunately, people and events come between them and nearly destroy their relationship. Madeline--young, romantic, passionate, impulsive--and Gareth--world weary, cynical—meet in a time of political upheaval. They are on opposite sides. Yet there is a strong and immediate attraction between them. Madeline's mother wants her to marry her Highland laird cousin, Andrew, but Madeline's heart is with Gar.

From Chapter One:

London, 1745

She found her warm shawl and moved with agility across the room and out the wide doors. There was torchlight to illuminate the walkways through the shrubbery, but the garden was deserted. Madeline bravely continued forward, shivering in the evening chill. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she could see the tall figure of a man off to one side looming near a carved bench, his leg raised as he leaned forward on it. She decided to simply walk past him.
     "I wouldn't go walking through the hedge." His voice was deep, resonant and pleasing to her ear.
     He had actually noticed her. She quickly turned around. "Why not?"
     "It is not the sort of thing a young lady should do if she is unescorted."
     "Then perhaps you might escort me?" She was glad that it was dark so that he would be unlikely to see how red her face was, for she was certain that it had colored deeply. In her whole life, she had never been so outspoken.
     He let out a rumbling, surprised laugh that came from deep within his chest. "You would compromise your reputation if you took a walk in the maze with me."
     "Would we get lost?" she asked in a soft voice.
     "Most assuredly, I do not know the way. And you would certainly be lost."
     She stared into his eyes with interest. "I was told that you are a notorious rake. Is that so?" She was mortified by her own audacity.  What was wrong with her? Mama would slap her if she knew how badly Madeline was behaving.
     He laughed again with a surprised sound that had the clarity of a bell. "You are either the most innocent chit imaginable or the most accomplished flirt I have ever had occasion to meet."
     He sounded amused but she regretted her foolish remark. Surely, she had been taught better. "I am sorry. I truly did not mean to behave in an insulting manner."
     He smiled at her in a forgiving manner. "Who protects you?"
     Her brows rose questioningly. "Why do I need protection?"
     "From men like me, of course," he said with a disarming smile that took her breath away. "We are prone to snatch away the innocence of young maidens. Who are you?"
     "I am Madeline de Marnay. My father, Etienne de Marnay, was the Comte de Sarnou, French Deputy Ambassador to England. He died six months ago."
     "My condolences. And you have not returned to France, Mademoiselle?"
     "No, my maman is ill and does not wish to leave England quite yet. But when we go, I believe it will not be to France but to Scotland."
     He narrowed his jewel-like eyes. "Why Scotland of all places?"
     "Maman was born there. She still has family in the northwest. My grandfather was the chief of a clan in the Highlands but he supported King James against the Elector of Hanover and was forced to flee with his family or be arrested for treason." She was telling him more than she ought. Why did she have the unfortunate tendency to babble when she was nervous?
     "So your mother wants to return to the Highlands, but why?"  His tone was cool, disinterested.
     "The Highlands will always be her home. And now that Papa is gone, she wishes to be buried with her own people."
     Gareth Eriksen shook his head. "She is picking the worst possible time to go to Scotland. Tell her that the Young Pretender is on the march with a Highland army. Soon, they'll be facing a large British force and the danger to anyone caught in between could be devastating. She would be risking your life as well as her own."  His fierce frown was magnificently masculine and she let out a small sigh of admiration.
     "Prince Charles Edward might make a fine showing, don't you think?" Madeline was unable to restrain the enthusiasm from her voice. The passion she expressed for the cause masked the strange, disturbing feelings for the handsome stranger that so heated her blood.
     She hoped that he could not read her mind; she would truly die of shame if he had an inkling of how desperately she wished to caress his cheek with the tips of her fingers. And Mother of God, if only this virile man would crush her into his arms and kiss her—perhaps even make love to her! Where were such wild, outrageous thoughts coming from? She must be mad!”

Buy Link: The Chevalier

Book cover URL:
Author’s links:
Beyond the Bo Tree
Death Legacy
The Chevalier
The Third Eye

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