Thursday, June 10, 2010

Get To Know Jacquie Rogers!!!

Oh-Da-Lolly, Golly, What A Day!!

Are you hangin' in, hangin' out, and hangin' on, TLN'ers?! Well, rest easy, because the weekend ain't more than a hop, skip, and a sashay away!

Let's get in the groove and welcome this week's Featured Author, Jacquie Rogers!

Known to many and respected by all, Jacquie is the author of Down Home Ever Lovin' Mules Blues and Faery Special Romances. When not saddled up at the writing desk, she's helping to man the helm of 1st Turning Point.

It's my pleasure to have Jacquie here today. So, snake a cookie, top off your cup, and we'll get down to the nitty-gritty!

1)If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Country girl escapes into the exciting metropolis of Seattle, then spends the rest of her days writing about the country. Even she has no idea why. She lives with her knight in shining armor and is protected by a ferocious lioness named Annie.

2)Using three words, describe your voice.

Heartwarming, whimsical, fun.

3)Novice writer to Published Author: How has your writing grown?

As a novice writer, I tried to do everything correctly and follow all the rules. This is good training, but doesn’t make for a very fun story. Once those craft rules were internalized to the point that I could use them, bend them, and break them as if I were playing a violin concerto (I wish!), then I could let my hair down and write the stories the way I envisioned them. And as a side benefit, I’m more engaged in what I’m writing because, well, it’s more interesting to me.

4)Tell us a little about 1st Turning Point. What was the driving force behind launching the site?

Ann Charles wanted to start a blog about marketing and promotion because we both had been studying these subjects and wanted to learn more. There’s a ton of information out there but no one put it together in a way we could digest and apply to our careers as fiction authors. I didn’t want to get involved with another blog, though, because I have several of my own plus I contribute to Texty Ladies and Unusual Historicals. Besides, the idea seemed too big for a blog. So I said I’d buy in only if it were a full-service website, thinking she’d bow out and that would be the end of that. Instead of bowing out, she got all excited about the things we could do. So we came up with the nautical theme—charting the course and all that. I found a graphic of an old map, and we came up with the name 1st Turning Point.

1st Turning Point seemed to be a good name because in a manuscript, often the easy part is the setup, but once you hit the 1st Turning Point, that’s when the ship can hit choppy waters. And on the business side, once you hone your craft to the point where you could make a sale, then you’ve hit the 1st Turning Point in your career. Hence, 1st Turning Point. By the end of that fateful day, Ann had secured the domain name and I had sent out a bunch of emails to savvy writer friends who could contribute interesting and informational articles to be published on Wednesdays. I figured two or three people might bite. Ann would write an article for each Monday and I’d do Friday’s article.

But every single person I asked on board agreed!!! So before we even launched, we had eight columnists. As of this writing, 1st Turning Point has a staff of nearly 50columnists, deckhands, and reviewers. Our site’s first birthday was May 1. And yes, we were pretty flabbergasted that the site took off the way it did. Now we have a Forum, a Featured Artist spotlight, we do website reviews, book video reviews, and we launched the first class of the 1st Turning Point Campus. We’re looking to do a series of webinars this fall with PIVTR, and I host a podcast every month called Meet the Parrots, which features knowledgeable guests on topics pertaining to marketing and promotion. And we have other things in the works.

Next time, I'll tell you about how the Parrots were born. By the way, there’s a contest on the home page, so you might want to check that out.

5)What is your favorite aspect of writing?

Story. All that other stuff is necessary busy-work to get me where I’m going. I remember as a kid, we’d go on family drives, and Mom would make up the first paragraph of a story, then each person in the family would make up a paragraph to add to it. Those were the best stories ever! So I guess my favorite part of writing is getting to use my imagination to go where I can never go, in a time out of my realm of existence. I love letting my mind transport me from this world to the story world, and it’s all that much better when others can come along for the ride.

6)What's up next for you? Any news you'd like to share?

1st Turning Point has taken a huge amount of chunk out of my fiction writing time, so I don’t have any new releases this year, although I’m going to advertise Faery Merry Christmas, a Kindle novella, later on. But there’s another venture I’m really excited about right now. I’m co-writing a non-fiction book with Ann Charles and the working title is Nail It! The Secret to Building an Effective Fiction Writer’s Platform. We hope to submit the proposal in the next week or two.

Faery Special Romances is still effective in giving us a platform to raise neurofibromatosis awareness. And Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues has an awesome cover that attracts attention wherever it’s seen. If you like cowboys, mules, skunks, and fun with a little danger and a lot of romance, you might wanna give this book a try.

Thank you, Sarah, for asking me to be on The Lovestruck Novice today. I enjoy reading your blog and visit often. So, in gratitude ...

Contest!!! One commenter will win a signed copy of her choice:
Faery Special Romances or Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues, as well as Justin Saragueta’s new CD, gueta. (USA mailing addresses only) Winner will be announced Monday, June 14.

Huzzah! Another awesome prize up for grabs! Talk about a fine and dandy way to kick off the weekend!

I'd like to thank Jacquie for dishing up some fabulous advice and for offering up such a killer giveaway. If you'd like to learn more about Jacquie Rogers, head on over to her website!

Here's a big ole THANK YOU to you, TLN'ers! I'm feeling a little country-ish this week. So, slip on your rhinestoned jacket and let's hang out with
MEL TILLIS and a few of his friends singin' COCA COLA COWBOY!! I just love this song! It's sure to waltz across your heart, too! See ya Monday! ((hugs!))


MarthaE said...

Hi Sarah and Jacquie - Great interview! I do love the cover on DHELMB. Is that the same or has it updated? I didn't remember those remarkable shoes!
1st Turning Point is doing an awesome work. I can imagine how time consuming it must be.
Glad to hear Jacquie's getting in some writing time. Best wishes on all your endeavors.

Carol North said...

Hi Sarah and Jacquie:
Wow! Two of my favorite people got together.

Love the interview and learning about the birth of 1st Turning Point.

The non-fiction ms sounds like a winner. Good luck with getting it placed.

dawn said...

I have to say, I absolutely love the covers on Jacquie's books.
Her whimsical humor is a breath of fresh air

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thank you, Martha, Carol, and Dawn. :)

The cover is the same. Cover artist Deborah Macgillivray asked me if I had an idea what I'd like on the cover, and yes I did! In fact, I'd purchased the photos a year before when I happened upon them when I was looking for something else--and before I'd even considered submitting the mule book. So I sent them to her and in 30 minutes, she had designed the ideal cover, and I fell in love with it. By the way, she named the book, too. I'd called it The Matchmaking Mule, but that was so boring.

Thanks for the kudos for 1st Turning Point. We work really hard on the web site and it's important to us that people have a place to share their information, and learn about marketing and promotion. I should mention here that Deborah Macgillivray is the one who guided me through the promotion waters for my first book, so she contributed greatly to my education on the subject. She's a terrific author, too, so multi-talented.

As for the non-fic book, Ann and I are still working on the proposal, but we plan to get this thing published by hook or by crook. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jacquie,

I did enjoy your interview, and especially also your answer about the story behind the cover art.

Deborah Macgillivray rocks.

You have a pretty interesting family, too. Would you care to share anecdotes about them?

DR. NORM said...

The interview with novelist Jacquie Rogers is an interesting story, demonstrating the growth of idea, personal determination, and perseverance.
Sarah's questions were thoughtful, and allowed her guest to respond in thought-filled detail.

John Klawitter said...

This is a very good interview. Interesting, bright, informative.
John K

John Foxjohn said...

Hey Jacquie,

It’s my turn to visit you. Great interview, but how could it be anything else from you.

It was interesting to see how 1st turning point came to be.

One of these days, I hope to have the honor of meeting you in person.

John Foxjohn

Celia Yeary said...

Sarah and Jacquie--good morning! Loved your interview. About #3--I've mulled this over so many times: when I knew nothing about "the rules", I just wrote. Those ms--about a dozen--were my best and most creative. I did not know how to publish anything. Of course I had to change many things to make them presentable, but now that my head is full of "the rules", I'm often stymied.
I'm one of your loyal fans of 1st Turning Point. Keep up the good work. Celia

Chassily Wakefield said...

Excellent article, Jacquie! And I love the paragraph-per-person idea, I'm stealing that for my family's next road trip.

Wendy Delaney said...

What a terrific interview, Sarah and Jacquie! And I can personally recommend Downhome Ever Lovin' Mule Blues. How can anyone not fall in love with Socrates? :)

Wishing you and Ann the best of luck with Nail It! Sounds like it will be very helpful to so many of us working to build our platform.

Amanda Forester said...

I've found the articles on 1st turning point very informative and helpful. Thanks for all you do!

Sarah Simas said...

Wowza! Jacquie, you're definitely adored by all! :) Thanks for bringing a party to the TLN Hot Seat. It's always a blast meeting new peeps.

I enjoyed your anwers, too. LOL Although I LOVE your bio on your web-page. The boo-boo in the water with your "hubs" had me rolling! Too funny!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thanks for stopping by, Anonymous. :)

My family . . . yes, they're interesting. The one who's the most public, though, is Mercedes Christesen. She is my publicist and she's also the patient advocate for the neurofibromatosis patient counseling in Boise. And of course she hooked me up with the Children's Tumor Foundation, and the royalties from Faery Special Romances go to them. We work together to raise neurofibromatosis awareness, and it's really needed because there are more babies born with NF than cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined, yet nearly everyone has heard of those to disorders.

Anyway, Mercedes radiates sunshine and charms all who meet her. I think she's amazing!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Dr. Squawk!!! Thanks for your comment. (Norman is our Forum moderator, and his title is Dr. Squawk. He's also a columnist and a tremendous help at 1st Turning Point.)

All these things--1st Turning Point, the book, the podcasts, et al--do take a huge amount of time. I hardly ever get to play spider solitaire anymore! LOL. But the payoff is incredible because Ann and I have met so many wonderful writers through 1st Turning Point and have made some friends that will be lifelong, for sure. Not to mention that we (meaning the swabbies, er, co-captains, the entire crew of columnists and reviewers, and all the deckhands) are getting a grad school education and then some on marketing and promotion.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thank you John and John!

I'd love to meet both of you. Ann will be meeting with J. Foxjohn in Orlando and I'm jealous. She taunts me with it all the time, the wench.

John K has been instrumental in my own learning and has introduced me to some outstanding writing books. He has an interesting way of writing because he writes a book, records the book, and also writes a screenplay for every story. I'm gonna try that. I think it's a great idea.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Celia, that happened to me, too. It's awful because before, you could just sit down and the story would spew out, but then you get all these rules in your head, and every time you start to write, you think, "I can't do it that way."

I suffered from that for a year, but you just have to keep pounding out the story and work through it. It ain't pretty.

Thanks for being a 1st Turning Point Parrot!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Chassily, you'll have a blast playing that game. The key is to keep it fast-paced and don't let anyone ponder. They have to take up where the other person left off within 10 seconds. It's really a hoot.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thanks for the rec, Wendy. And Socrates thanks you, too. I'm a little jealous, frankly, because he gets more fans than I do by far.

You're welcome, Amanda. Thanks for stopping by!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Sarah, you're such a sweetheart! Thanks for making me feel so welcome at The Lovestruck Novice. You do a wonderful job with your blog. I definitely could learn a few things from you.

People who can't see very well should never get intimate in swimming pools. I learned my lesson. LOL. My dh actually thought it was pretty funny, although he did have to give the guy a glare or two just for the sake of propriety, I guess. I will be eternally mortified.

Ann Charles said...


As always, your posts make me smile and chuckle, and give me new ideas (you should be careful about giving me ideas ;) ).

Sarah, you have a knack with asking questions that encourage entertaining answers. I can honestly say that Jacquie is not only a great author, but almost always a great "time" when I hanging out with her. That's why I loved the idea of hooking up with her for 1st Turning Point. That, and I wanted to steal from her brain on promo and marketing. Turns out I got wayyyy more than I bargained for out of the deal.

Thanks for a wonderful interview!

Ann Charles

Jacquie Rogers said...

Well, lookee here, Cap'n Ann! Thaks for stopping in.

Ann has an informative article on platform-building (yes, we're writing a book on that!) at Romance University today called To Build or Not to Build—The Platform Dilemma for the Unpublished
so if you're interested in a preview, take a look, and let her know what you think. :)

Cari Quinn said...

Loved the interview, ladies! Looking forward to checking out your work, Jacquie. :)

Candy Thompson said...

Great interview! I really enjoyed it. I've enjoyed reading your books and would highly recommend them. I loved the story about your mom making up the first paragraph to a story. They must have been really cool stories! You are very right too.....Deborah MacGillivray designs really fantastic covers. She is quite a talent. Love those parrots on 1st. Turning Point too!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thanks, Cari. :)

Candy, I'm so glad you enjoyed the books, and yes, our made up stories were pretty wild! And I love my book covers. Deborah really outdid herself, and I'm grateful.

pinky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
prashant said...

you'll have a blast playing that game
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