Thursday, August 07, 2008

Presenting GCC Author Jackie Kessler (and some other stuff)

Today I'm pleased to present fellow GCC author Jackie Kessler, for whom I recently did one of my favorite interviews ever. Clever girl, that one! Jackie is blog-touring to promote her new novel Hotter than Hell (book 3 in the "Hell on Earth" series) and the mass market re-issue of Hell's Belles, on-sale in September. Publisher's Weekly called Hotter than Hell "Sexy and bold," and Romantic Times gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and named it a Top Pick for August. The plot:

In HELL’S BELLES and THE ROAD TO HELL, Jackie Kessler brought readers into an unforgettable Underworld populated by alluring demons and sexy devils. Now Daunuan, the most irresistible incubus of all, is facing one Hell of a challenge...So whose soul do you have to damn to get a promotion around here? Daunuan was never the ambitious type. There's so much to love about his job just the way it is—mind-blowing sexual prowess, the power to seduce any human, excellent dental plan. But now Pan, the King of Lust, has offered to make Daun his right-hand incubus—a position other demons would give their left horn for. All he has to do is entice a soul destined for heaven into a damnable act of lust. Should take, oh, seven minutes, tops.

Then he meets his target, Virginia Reed. She’s cute. Funny. Smart. Unfathomably resistant to his charms. He can’t understand it. But Daun has centuries of seduction to his credit. He’s the best there is. Sooner or later he’ll transform this polar icecap of a female into a pool of molten desire, and every instinct tells him she’ll be worth the effort. Meanwhile, he has to deal with a plague of rogue demons Hell-bent on taking him down, sent by an unknown enemy with a serious grudge. And one other problem: the dawning realization that he’s falling in love—that unholiest of four-letter words—with the woman he’s about to doom for all eternity...

Does that not sound fun?! And on to the interview with Jackie:

1) Now that you are published, what (if anything) have you changed about your writing routine?

Now there’s promotion, too, not just the writing! Happily, most of the promotion, like doing blog tours, is fun. But between the promoting, the writing, the editing, the day job, and the family, there just isn’t a lot of time left for sleep.

2) Do you listen to music while you write?

Whenever I write a club scene when Jesse is dancing, absolutely. And sometimes, to set a scene, I’ll play music for atmosphere. Very helpful.

3) Have you found that as you've developed your writing and story telling skills, you watch movies or read books 'differently?'

Dialogue tags and overall story structure. More often than not, too many tags will pull me out of the story. If there are only two people talking, you don’t have to throw in all the “he said”/“she said” tags. Related to this, non-said verbs. I’m okay with not always using “said,” but I find using too many non-said verbs in dialogue really bothers me.

4) What vacation would be most inspiring to you as a writer?

Vacation? What’s that?

5) What is one of your strangest / most quirky author experiences?

Huh. I guess I’m boring. I haven’t had anything strange or quirky happen to me. Well, not counting the time I went to a strip club with my Loving Husband to do research for my first novel…

Thanks, Jackie! Now that she's got your attention, be sure to visit her website at


Announcements, miscellany, and a small contest of sorts:

I'll be at Bookworld in Manitowoc, Wi (907 S. 8th St.) this Saturday, August 9 from 11 - 1, just around the corner from the Farmers' Market. Have I mentioned how well an autographed copy of Driving Sideways goes with heirloom tomatoes and a bouquet of freshly picked sunflowers and cosmos?

Also, a new Driving Sideways review! From Book Room Reviews: "I flat out loved this book! Driving Sideways is full of adventure, humor, hope and most of all love. It will make you want to grab your best friend and go for an adventure and experience this wonderful life that we have." (Swoon!) I think there's still time to enter to win a signed copy, as well...enter here.

Driving Sideways is also listed as one of Betty Confidential's Top 10 Beach Reads. (Stay tuned for details on how to win a signed copy from the awesome crew at Betty.)

Friday I'm posting about Danielle Younge-Ullman's brilliant debut Falling Under at The Debs. (For some shots of our frivolity at RWA, click here.)

I'd like to end this post with a thought on the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. They're everywhere, as you already know. And it has come to my attention recently that there is a Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul book.

Are you f*cking KIDDING me?

Next, expect the Chicken Soup for the Athlete's Foot Soul. Or Chicken Soup for the Chicken Soup Lover's Soul. I'd like to hear your ideas for Chicken Soup books. I will send the author of my favorite idea a little token of appreciation. It probably won't be the tiny plastic arm I found in my garden.


  1. I'm going to submit a few suggestions....

    Chicken Soup for the Wii Soul...
    Chicken Soup for the Transgender Soul...

    A plastic arm in the garden? That sounds like something you'd hear in the game Clue....

    I'm thinking after your comments about SFC, you'll never come to the East Coast for a book signing....

  2. "Chicken Soup for the Intense, Gun Toting Loner Soul"

  3. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Did you say Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul?

    You ARE kidding, right? Please. Tell me you're kidding.

  4. Anonymous11:05 AM

    Chicken Soup for the Vegan Soul.

    Chicken Soup (with a splash of Sherry) for the Alcoholic Soul

    Chicken Soup for the Former-Mortgage/Real Estate-Broker-Now-Working-at-Wendy’s Soul

    Chicken Soup for the Airline’s Soul (There’s an additional fee of $15 on top of the list price)

  5. Crap, Mary beat me. But I have an anecdote: I was interviewing one of the Chicken guys, who was a total tool. I mean, these are ppl who take other people's work, nice, innocent people, and reward them HOW? By a nice pat on the back. No pay, nothing.

    I said "Are you ever going to publish a "CS for the Vegetarian Soul?" and he DID NOT get the joke. He said in total earnestness, "Yes, we are!"

    He also told me how to get rich: invest just $1 a day from the day you are born at 20% interest and you would have a million bucks by the time you were 20 or something...Dude, if I knew how to get f***ing 20% on investments, I would be a rich investment advisor, wouldn't I???

  6. I have to correct myself, in the name of journalistic excellence:

    If you use my story in one of the Chicken Soup books, how much will I be paid?

    If the story you wrote is published, you will be paid between $50 and $200 upon publication of the book.

  7. First.
    Chicken Soup for the Death Row Inmates Soul.
    Chicken Soup for the Alektorophobiac's Soul.
    Chicken Soup for the Hygrophobiac's Soul.


  8. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Oh, wow. And I love the rest of the title, too: Stories from the Idols and their Fans that Open Your Heart and Make Your Soul Sing. It's so awful. And here I thought Chicken Soup for the NASCAR soul was bad (you should have seen some of the poems in there).

    Well, today I declared myself an over-entitled gen-X middle-class American whiner, and there aren't any Chicken Soup for the Soul books on that topic, I'm sure, so that's what I'd like to see: Chicken soup for the Over-Entitled Gen-X Middle-Class American Whiner Soul: Stories from the Whiners and their Loved-Ones that Will Shrivel Your Heart and Make Your Soul Cringe.

  9. How about Chicken Soup for the Serial Killer's Soul?

    Chicken Soup for the Perverted Soul? (not to be confused with Chicken Soup for the Pervert's Soul...yes, there is a difference)

    Hope you are feeling better, and I just read the post about your dog rolling in dead least she didn't try to make out with a skunk!

  10. Anonymous1:46 AM

    Oh come on! No one said Chicken Soup for the Asshole's Soul? I'm the first one? I can't be! I'm not that original!!!!