Where do you get your story ideas?
One thing is I observe people. Sometimes I listen in on conversations in restaurants. I talk to people in general. Once I was standing in line at a supermarket. The lady in front of me had a container of ice cream. She explained it was her daughter’s favorite. Her daughter, she explained, had died tragically young in an auto accident. She brought the ice cream to the cemetery. That sparked the idea for an award-winning horror story called “Mother Love.” I also read a great deal of nonfiction as well as fiction and that sparks ideas. For example, in my latest novel DEATH LEGACY, I had read about an intriguing real life spy case, a murder mystery that was never solved. It was the initial springboard for the novel.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t. I’m experimental with my writing. I write first person point of view as well as third. I write humor as well as horror. I believe writing should be pleasurable play with words as well as work.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I try to write through it. If I’m stuck in one project, I move on to something else. I’ll come back to the earlier work at another time.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I do not believe precisely in formula writing. I tend to be an out of the box writer. I want my work to be original and my characters unique. I try to write a variety of literature in different ways. However, with genre fiction, mysteries and romances, for example, there are certain conventions that do need to be observed.
Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?
I confess to outlining the plot before I sit down at the computer. However, the main characters need to live in my head for quite a while before I start to write a word.
Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?
I think critique partners are great. I know lots of people that benefit from working with other writers, but I work alone. Until I sell a book, no one sees it except editors, not even family or friends.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?
Believe it or not, poetry is the most challenging form of writing for me. Poetry should consist of the best words in the best order. It keeps my mind sharp and boosts my brain power.
Multiple award-winning author Jacqueline Seewald has taught creative, expository and technical writing at the university level as well as high school English. She also worked as an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Eleven of her books of fiction have been published. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications. She enjoys spending time with family and friends when she isn’t writing. In addition, she is a playwright, a landscape artist and loves many types of music.
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