Once in a while I get an opportunity to interview someone whose books are a one-click read for me and today that's Jackie North, whose The Wrangler and the Orphan is already on my ARC TBR for the day I receive it! You can also access the reviews I've done for two of the other Farthingdale Ranch Books, The Blacksmith and The Ex-Con and her most recent book, The Ranch Hand and the Single Dad. It's not to say that I didn't also love the first book in the Farthingdale Ranch Series, but the blog is new and the book came out before I started posting, so you'll just have to believe me that The Foreman and the Drifter is excellent too!
Without further ado, let's get to know Jackie:
Indie or Traditionally published? - Tell us how this works for you…
Years ago, in the time before indie publishing was a thing, I wrote a story about a kid at a boarding school and his best friend who turns into a vampire. Not very original I know, but I also had a sense that the two young men were falling in love. This was before m/m romance, you see, and as I looked at the Query Catalogs that trad pub put out, I could not find the spot where this story and their requirements intersected.Nowadays, that kind of story doesn’t have to sit on one shelf in a bookstore, it doesn't have to fit one category. In a virtual bookstore, a single book can be tagged in multiple ways to be available for the different ways readers search for books they want to read.Plus, I love being in charge of my own book production, going at my own pace rather than the pace of someone who works for trad pub and thinks a book needs to take two years to hit the shelves.
Plot or Pants? Do you pre-plot your books, use an outline, fly by the seat of your pants or some combination of things? How do you keep track of characters in a series? Do you keep a journal of your character's statistics, such as hair and eye color, relatives, hometown, etc.
I am a plotter through and through. I like the structure of an outline (which I work through several times) and I like feeling I am prepared to write the story, much in the way, back in college, I studied and studied for every test because I wanted to feel prepared to pass.Plus, and I’ll be honest here, being a plotter gives me all the excuses I need to buy and use office supplies such as index cards, sticky notes, highlighters, special pens, special three ring binders, as well as rolls and rolls of washi tape!
My first gay romance under my Jackie North penname was Heroes for Ghosts - a gay m/m time travel romance. I’ve always loved time travel romances, and didn’t see many in the m/m romance community. I had a blast writing this one!
and then your most recent one..
My most recent gay romance was The Ranch Hand and the Single Dad, which is a sweet, soft romance about a ranch hand and yes, a single dad. They have a cute meet when the ranch hand, Clay, is sent to pick up the single dad, Austin, who has just been hired to be the ranch’s accountant. And then slowly, slowly, they fall in love.Austin’s nine-year-old daughter, Bea, steals the show in this one!You can order it here: https://readerlinks.com/l/1829715
Do you write full time or part-time?
I’m lucky enough to write full time. I retired two years ago and have been enjoying my life much more without the daily commute and meetings that felt foolish and a waste of time
Who’s your biggest supporter/cheerleader?
Wendy Rathbone, hands down. She always encourages me, beta reads for me. She’s a shoulder to cry on, and she’s an amazing writer. You can find her books here:
What made you decide gay romance was the genre you wanted to write?
Years ago, I’d gone to a Star Trek convention, where Leonard Nimoy was speaking. It was standing room only, of course!During the Q and A portion, someone asked Mr. Nimoy the following question: “Sir, have you heard of K/S and have you read any?”Everyone in the audience groaned and complained and with that kind of visceral reaction, I wanted to know what K/S was to have disturbed everyone so much.Mr. Nimoy, classy as always said, “Yes, I have heard of it, and no I’ve not read it, but I do know for a fact that Bill (William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk) keeps a pile under his bed and goes through it regularly.”I found out that K/S is the name for the romantic/sexual pairing between Kirk (K) and Spock (K) from the TV show Star Trek. To my amazement and delight, people were writing fan fiction about these two since the early 70’s, and I was totally on board with this. Back when I first started watching re-runs of Star Trek on TV, I knew, just knew, that there was something special about Kirk and Spock, and that they were totally in love.I started reading K/S fan fiction, and then writing it and moved on to S/H (Starsky & Hutch) fan fiction, and then on and on from there.It was only in the early 2000’s that I started messing around with my own characters and writing their stories.
What do your friends and family think of what you write; do they know?
My friends and family do know, and while my friends are supportive, my family is not. They either ignore what I’m doing or they try to convince me to write regular, straight “het” romance. There’s nothing wrong with writing het romance, it just doesn’t suit the way I like to develop a story.
What is your favorite thing about writing gay romance?
My favorite thing is that since the characters I write about are typically both male, they start off on equal footing. That is, there’s no obvious notion of who is the big spoon and who is the little spoon, the way there is in het romance. I have a more fluid area in which to write a story, and more options as to who the characters are and how they relate to each other. This makes for a more dynamic and in my view interesting romance!
How can we connect with you?
I would love it if readers would sign up for my newsletter - they will get a bunch of freebies, plus bonus shorts to the stories in my Farthingdale Ranch series. Plus I send out monthly newsletter with cover reveals, sales, and chatty fun things about my goofy author life.Readers can also hook up with me on BookBub, and join my reader’s group on FB, North’s Stars. https://www.facebook.com/groups/NorthsStars
Once again, thank you to Jackie North for stopping by! If you have more questions, you are welcome to leave a comment below or join Jackie's Facebook Group and ask there! Don't forget to mention that you found her through this interview!