Hello friends! Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Jacci Tuner! Jacci is a bestselling author of 10 books whose middle-grade novel, Bending Willow, was chosen to represent Nevada at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C.
Jacci lives with her husband in Nevada’s high desert. They spend their mornings hiking through the sagebrush with their big yellow dog, Rocky. Jacci loves chocolate, babies, and coffee with friends. She’s worn many hats in her lifetime: therapist, school counselor, campus minister, and mom. Her favorite hats are her writer and grandmother hats, which come in wild colors and don’t fit too tightly.
If you’d like to connect with Jacci, you can find her at these sites
Alright! Let’s get to some questions:
1) What made you start writing? Were there any particular books/events/people that inspired you to start writing?
Thanks for inviting me onto your blog, Ammar. Growing up, I was always a story teller. I used to charge a nickel for the neighborhood kids to watch the plays I put on. I actually majored in theater in college (and social work…let’s get real here, few people can pay the bills with a theater degree)! Anyway, as life went on, theater took too many hours for rehearsals and I switched my story telling to book writing.
Unlike most writers, I was a reluctant reader, Ammar. I found it difficult until my best friend shared her love of horse books with me, then I was hooked. When I write book, I think of that reluctant reader and try to keep the books interesting and short so they can feel that sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a book.
2) What is your writing process? Is it a set process or more fluid?
I write on Tuesdays at the library in the quiet section. I’m sitting there as I write this. My writing always stems from a “What if?” question. What if the world was upside down and whites were an oppressed minority and blacks had power and privilege? What if God gave spiritual gifts to people who had no context for them? What if children had to find their way across two states without being caught by adults…. Some idea will grab me and –I’m off!
3) What advice do you have for new/aspiring writers?
The advice I always give, which is not the advice they are hoping for, is to join a writer’s group; I’m a member of two of them. Having people that don’t know you read your book is essential. Developing a thick skin and learning to receive critique is important. Getting objective eyes on your writing will make you a much better writer.
4) Where do you draw your inspiration? Is it more internal inspiration or external?
I have an overactive imagination. It probably showed up in my early report cards as daydreaming. So, ideas are constantly bubbling in my head. Many I play with for awhile but if they don’t stay around, I let them go. The ones that stick are the ones I pursue.
5) What project have you enjoyed working on the most?
Well, Ammar, you know that’s like asking which of my children I like the most. I think I like the fantasy book I wrote as that was a new genre for me. Most of my books are contemporary in nature. I had fun playing with a different world. I’m trying to find a home for that novel. It’s about a girl who sings to trees.
Thank you for the interview Ammar, I always love connecting with readers and am good about writing back to them. So please, blog readers, let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!
I appreciate you taking the time to lend some insight into your writing thought process, Jacci! I especially liked a few points you made. One was your advice to new writers about developing thick skin. That is definitely one of the most important aspects to any writer, both for the creative and business side of the industry. Also your writing process of asking the “What If” question is a really ingenious technique on so many levels! Thank you again, Jacci!
I am sure you all enjoyed the interview as much as I did! Please feel free to leave a comment below on your thoughts.