Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Interview with Gemma Jackson

Gemma Jackson was born in Dublin and became a nomad at the age of 17, setting off to see the world and try her hand at every legal job under the sun. Her idea of a good time was to wake up not knowing where she was. She has been an air hostess and sheep herder, written scripts and sermons for a TV Evangelist, and books have been her constant companions throughout her life. She says the best of both worlds for her would be ‘have computer, will travel.’ 

You say you have always dreamed of becoming a published writer, so tell us about the excitement of getting that ‘call’ when you sold your debut novel. 

My ‘call’ was actually an email I had to read at least five times before I understood that I was finally going to be published. Then I had to lie down on my fainting couch and peel grapes.

Were you in the NWS before getting published, and did you find it helpful?

The NWS saved my sanity. I was a member for three years. The detailed reviews of my books were invaluable. What was beyond price however was meeting the amazing RNA members. The information and knowledge they shared so willingly was priceless. I actually fought for this book. In the past when I received a response, I filed it away and started on something new. The NWS informed me of the error of my ways. I discovered I’d been shooting myself in the foot for years. It’s a wonder I’ve a leg to stand on!

Tell us something of the genre in which you write. What is it’s special appeal for you?

My upcoming book THROUGH STREETS BROAD AND NARROW is set in Dublin in the 1920’s. I grew up listening to stories about that era. When I sat down to write I discovered I had a fount of knowledge in the form of memories available to me. I’ve read extensively in this genre but failed to find a novel based in Dublin. I hope I’ve discovered a ‘niche’ market.

Writers are always asked where they find their ideas. Would you like to share any tips with us on how you found the inspiration which has brought you such success?

Reading and listening to the radio believe it or not. So many people are bemoaning the passing of the ‘good old days’. I listened and thought, I know about this. I sat down and wrote the book which finally elevated me into the life I’ve dreamed about. I’m still pinching myself.

Do you have to juggle writing with the day job? What is your work schedule?

Gemma's dream is 'Have computer, will travel'.

I’ve been a nomad most of my working life. I’ve retired now and treat writing as a job. I write every day from early morning till about five in the evening. I find writing the most satisfying job I’ve ever had.

How do you feel about producing a synopsis. Does it come easy to you?

I HATE IT. When I attended RNA lectures on the craft of writing, others in the group seemed to shrug and say we know how to do this. It isn’t necessary to cover synopsis. WHAT!!

What do you do when the going gets tough? 

It’s so hard to remain positive. I try to step away and sulk. I go to the sea. It’s only a few steps away from me so that’s no hardship. I always have my tea makings with me on my travels and will stop off anywhere to brew up.

Who is your favourite hero? 

Do you have all day? J.D Robb’s ‘Rourke’ of course. Linda Howards McKenzies. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, but in the books not on screen. Generally, its the hero of whatever book I’m reading. So what next?

Can you tell us a little about your work in progress?

I’m hoping my first book will be the first in a series. I’ve completed my second MS with this idea in mind.

Ivy Murphy is born in the Dublin Tenements. When her mother abandons the family Ivy, at the age of nine, becomes the family’s main earner. At the sudden death of her father Ivy’s life takes an unexpected turn. Ivy forms a friendship with Livery owner Jem Ryan and together the two determine to break out of the poverty they were born into. Through Streets Broad and Narrow is a story of strength and determination. Ivy Murphy is a heroine who meets life with her head held high and her chin out. 

Thank you Gemma for sparing time to talk to us today. We wish you every success with your books. Best wishes, Freda 

Find out more: 
Publisher: http://www.poolbeg.com 
Blog: http://www.gemmajacksondubliner.com 

Interviews on the RNA Blog are carried out by Freda, Henri and Livvie. They are for RNA members, although we do occasionally take guests. If you are interested in an interview, please contact: freda@fredalightfoot.co.uk 


Romy Sommer said...

Hi Gemma - I am so excited to see you on the blog today! We met at the RNA conference in Greenwich a few years ago and every now and then I look at your business card and think "I really must get in touch!"

Well done on your debut novel. I love the 20s and really look forward to reading this.

Unknown said...

Thanks Romy, I remember you vividly. I've enjoyed getting your updates.

I'm all over the place at the moment being interviewed on radio, television and featured in newspapers. It feels surreal. It is however costing me a fortune. I'm off tomorrow to do a book signing tour and more interviews. The price of trying to get people to buy my book.

I can't believe I've finally succeeded.


Unknown said...

I'm having difficulty accessing this site. I tried so many times to respond to your comments about the NWS but I seem to be doing something wrong.

Here's hoping one of these two comments will succeed in appearing.