I seriously LOVE this series. Interview posts are so revealing and interesting at the same time. I am looking for more applicants to continue this series so if you are interested get in touch! Without further ado, here is the interview with this weeks Neverland Blog Tour.
Hi Jackie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Thank you for having me! I’m a journalist, TV presenter and author. I’m currently a presenter on shopping channel QVC, which is the most fun job in the world, but before that I worked as a TV news reporter and newsreader for 20 years, including nearly 10 years on GMTV. I was lucky enough to sign a three-book deal with Accent Press in 2014 for a series of murder mysteries set in a TV newsroom – a long-held dream fulfilled!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I just love writing so much, so as long as I can keep on doing it (and, ideally, keep on getting published!) I’ll be happy. In a dream world, there’d be a TV series or blockbuster movie based on my crime novels – got to have dreams, eh?
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Cora Baxter is a TV reporter who works for a breakfast TV news show in London. She ends up getting dragged (generally accidentally!) into various murder investigations. She also has an “interesting” love life which doesn’t always run smoothly – in the past this has partly been due to her decision not to have children. She also has a quirky group of friends who keep her on her toes.
Would you mind sharing a favourite quote from your book?
I quite like the opener of my new book, The Deadline:
‘You stuck your what to your WHAT?’ Incredulity in her voice, senior producer Samantha Tindall stared at Cora Baxter, who had her jacket on, ready to leave the newsroom after her early morning shift in the studio.
But I’m not telling you what Cora stuck to what – you’ll have to read the book to find out!
Where do your ideas come from?
The newsroom stories in my books are almost entirely based on my real-life experiences as a TV news reporter. The murders are clearly fictional, but I have always been fascinated by crime and what makes people commit it, and am an avid watcher of crime dramas and documentaries, reader of crime novels and listener to real-life crime podcasts, which often spark ideas for books.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’m a planner. I like to plan the entire outline of a book and most of the chapters before I start writing it properly. However, things often change as I go along, and characters take me off on tangents and to places I wasn’t expecting to go. So maybe a bit of both!
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I have a full time job, and live in Gloucestershire and work in London, so can spend up to five or six hours a day commuting. Hence I simply don’t have time to write every day. My job is four long days a week though, so I have three days off, and that’s when I write. I’m an early bird, so I prefer to get most of it done in the morning and early afternoon. I’m not much good at anything after about 6pm!
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
No. I just sit down and write until I can’t do anymore. Sometimes that will end up being several thousand words in one session, sometimes just a few hundred. I don’t beat myself up about it – I know that if I have a deadline to meet, I will absolutely make it. Years of being a journalist was good training!
How much research do you do?
A moderate amount. Because my novels are based in a world I know very well, the day to day stuff is easy to write. It’s been a few years since I covered a murder as a reporter though, so I have a friendly former police officer who helps refresh my memory on court and police procedure. Other than that it’s just research into specialist areas that arise, like DNA and a number of other scientific topics for my new book The Deadline – I have a science degree so I had some knowledge but needed to brush up.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
When you get stuck on a plot point and you just can’t seem to find a way out of it. I’ve been known to leap out of bed in the middle of the night to write notes when the solution suddenly comes to me.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
I haven’t so far, but I’ve only written two books at this stage so there’s still time! (I’m now crossing my fingers, arms and legs in the hope it won’t happen to me…)
What book/s are you reading at present?
Unless I’m on holiday it’s mostly audiobooks, in my car on my long commute. The most recent two have been The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish and The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I love my job in TV – it’s really a dream job. But I think I would have really enjoyed being a police officer too, ideally a detective in the CID.
Are there any more ideas for future books on the cards?
The Deadline is the second in the Cora Baxter Mysteries series and I have been contracted to write one more so that’s the next thing I’m working on. But I also have an idea for a psychological thriller so I’d like to write that at some point too.
Advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up, and grow a thick skin. I had so many rejections from agents and publishers before I finally got my three-book deal, and it would have been very easy to lose confidence in my writing and quit. I’m so glad I just picked myself up after every knockback and carried on. The day I saw my first novel, The Dead Dog Day, on the shelf of a book shop made every single minute worthwhile.
Jackie Kabler worked as a newspaper reporter and then in television news for twenty years, including nearly a decade on GMTV. She later appeared on BBC and ITV News, presented a property show for Sky, hosted sports programmes on Setanta Sports News and worked as a media trainer for the Armed Forces. She is now a presenter on shopping channel QVC and has a three-book deal with Accent Press for her Cora Baxter Mysteries, a series of murder mysteries set in a television newsroom.
Don’t miss this giveaway to win 2 signed copies of Jackie’s books, a Nails Inc nail polish set and a cosmetics bag. Open internationally, you can enter up to November 6th.