Saturday, 31 August 2013

Jacqueline Brockert, author of The Perils of Ophelia Jones

The Perils of Ophelia Jones by Jacqueline Brockert is avaliable for Kindle from Amazon:
US: The Perils of Ophelia Jones
UK: The Perils of Ophelia Jones

The Perils of Ophelia Jones by Jacqueline Brockert
The Perils of Ophelia Jones by Jacqueline Brockert

From the waters of the Mississippi churns a tale of a woman born in a river town. By chance, she is soon to be entwined in a group of people being led by destiny. The second book of the Karma Corn series lures you back to a bridge that spans a great river. Two cars driving slowly towards a beginning neither of them is aware of. This instant in time will change hearts and lives.

Karma Corn started with a small seed of ultimate coincidences. Now the journey speeds ahead with a colorful new character that unwittingly was there from the very beginning. As you turn the pages of the book your heart will warm as you meet Ophelia. From the colorful town of Hannibal, Missouri to places unknown, you begin both the perils and the adventure.

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Author Quiz interviews Jacqueline Brockert...

What is it you love most about writing?
It is the ability to take a reader and myself to places in your heart and soul that move you. The emotion you can get writing, and  when a reader connects with the same feeling..
The best is the accomplishment of being creative. The worst is waiting for a person to tell you about your work.

Are there any parts of being an author that you dislike?
I hate the editing- despise it!

Is there anything about you or your writing that makes you unique from other authors?
People say that my books remind them of movies, so I must be painting a clear picture.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work as an author.
I started writing as early as five. Books on notebook paper and glued together. I have wanted to write my entire life, and I  always wanted to write books. I remember my intake of breath the first time I walked in a library and realized I could have a book in a place like this. I have always written but the journey to be a published author took fifty years.

If you had to sum up your book, The Perils of Ophelia Jones, in three words, what would they be?
The Perils of Ophelia Jones- heartwarming, quirky, compelling

What are you working on now and what projects and ideas do you have lined up next?
The fourth book in the series is in the blueprint stage, and I am thinking more than writing right now. I have a fifth book that is not in the series, and I write on it but am not ready to publish it.

Do you ever feel yourself becoming quite emotional when writing a particularly intense scene and is there a specific passage, in particular, where this was the case?
Yes, in the Perils of Ophelia Jones, she is visiting Mark Twain Cave where she came with her father. There is a moment where the lights are turned off and the character experiences true darkness for  as this is the first visit since her father passed away. To create this scene, I toured the cave and stood by myself and imagined how deep loneliness can affect you. It was quite moving feeling it and writing it.

Where did the inspiration for The Perils of Ophelia Jones come from?
This is a character that you never meet in the first novel Karma Corn but plays a unique part in the destiny of all in the first book.

Why do you enjoy writing in your usual genre?
I enjoy writing romance as it is the subject that I most like to read about. I spent all my teenage years reading romance and yearned to write them myself.

If you were to write a novel outside your usual genre, which genre would you like to experiment with and why?
I am going to start a mystery novel. I am intrigued by this genre, and although I have touched on it in both books, I have never written a full mystery.

When you first get the idea for a new story, do you find that the finished product tends to differ quite significantly from your original idea, or does the original idea remain more or less intact?
Once I begin writing the book it often takes on different characters and tracts then I first anticipated. In Karma Corn, I was driving one day and saw a painter painting on a hill. This image struck me so profoundly that he became part of the book. In the Perils of Ophelia Jones, it was unique as the main character and how she developed to me brought in characters as I wrote, and I had not dreamed that the book would move along the way that it did.

What came first, the idea for your first book or the decision to write a book?
The idea.

Would you expect yourself to be most creative as a writer shut off on a desert island or immersing yourself in a busy social life?
Absolutely, a desert island!! If I could escape the way that life has a habit of always charging in I would be a writing fool. I love the time and the ability to write.

Have you ever had an idea which was inspired by a real life incident, but which you ultimately decided not to include in your story because readers would think it was too far fetched?
No, in fact in The Perils of Ophelia Jones I have included several embarassing real stories of people around me.

If your book, The Perils of Ophelia Jones, was made into a movie who would you want to play the main character and why?
Zooey Deschanel. She has the quirkiness, the comedic timing and vulnerble like abilty to add the complete depth of Ophelia Jones.

If you were to write a story featuring a fictional character from another author’s novel, who would you choose and why?
This novel goes way back, but it would have to be Scarlett Ohara from Gone with the Wind. I would love to be inside that character's head as she schemes and plots her next romance.

If you were to write a story featuring a fictional character from any movie of your choice, who would you choose and why?
A long-standing  favorite of mine is Francessca form the movie Bridges of Madison County. I would write the story after Robert Kincaid left and how she tries to look him up in a phone book. Or she almost calls him. I think I would like to explore the constant aching heart and how she adapts to everyday life.

If you were to write a fictional story based on a real-life celebrity, who would you feature and why?
It would be George W. Bush. The reason is I would  make a book as him going back to the ranch as a semi failed president and his private life possibly fighting his failures and old addictions.

Would your book, Karma Corn, work best as a movie adaptation or as a TV series?
As it is part of a series now I think it would make a great  TV mini series.

If your book, Karma Corn, was made into a movie and you were asked for input into the soundtrack, are there any songs that would work especially well for any particular scenes?
Michael Buble- I just hadn't met you yet. In the opening scene of the movie. Any Nora Jones song- she was the inspiration as I wrote in the car scene coming home from St Louis.

Is there a particular scene from your books which would translate well to canvas and provide a powerful inspiration for a dramatic or emotional piece of artwork? 
In both Karma Corn and Ophelia Jones, there is a missing painting that they are searching for. The painting that they are searching for would be powerful inspiration. It is that image of the painting that will be the cover of the fourth book.

If you could choose someone famous to record your book in audio book format, who would you choose as the voice and why?
Bette Midler for The Perils of Ophelia Jones as I think she would provide the humor that I think the book has.

Are any of your characters based on yourself and if so to what degree, and do you find it easier or more difficult to write characters based on yourself?
None of the characters are ever based on me. However, after I write them, I realize that each main character has some reflection of my personality.

Have you ever written a supporting character who took on a life of their own or turned out to be far more popular than expected and if so do you have plans to feature them as the lead character in a story of their own?
Actually, Paul DeFranklin who emerged in Karma Corn will now have a very reoccurring role in all the books. His character has become much more important than it was originally intended.

What do you think stimulates sales the most; positive reviews or advertising?
Advertising! I think people read reviews but it is the visual cover that relates to people.

When deciding on your book title what influences you most; potential sales or artistic integrity?
I would not change a title of the book once it is named. The name comes to me quickly, and it stays as it helps me develop the book. I would always stay with my artist integrity.

Are there any good book blogs or websites you would recommend, both for discovering new books and authors, and also for promoting your own work?
Kindle Promoter, Indie Authors, Slyv Jenkins blog.

Have you ever used online advertising to promote your books and if so which sites would you recommend as having produced the best results and where have your ads produced less than hoped for results?
Book tweeting service Jeremy Robinson- has been very helpful.

Do you have any useful marketing tips for other authors?
Hoot Suite is very helpful in a marketing campaign. It allows you to schedule your tweets when promoting a new book. Also you can start a blog with no expanse using google plus. It is important to constantly grow your social media accounts and connect with as many people that will retweet you.

If you could go back to the moment when you completed your first book and were at the stage where you were ready to release it to the world, is there anything you would do differently this time with regard to promotion?
Slow it down. Take the time to edit that I do now with my editor. Be patient! Never ever rush anything as it is a costly mistake!

How do you see the publishing industry changing over the next few years?
Indie readers have changed the face of publishing and I think that we will continue to see the market reward and follow indie authors.

What changes would you like to see take place in the publishing industry over the next few years?

Make the job of being a little fish swimming in a big pond a little easier.

Do you foresee more and more authors making a living from their writing?
Yes with social media you can now have international sales where in the past you could never accomplish that on your own.

What advice would you give to publishing houses with regard to how to go forward and adapt to the industry over the next few years?
There will be a lot of linking together with kindle as the audio books and digital will be the way that the future is trending. I still want the books and the book stores so I hope we get a retro push that makes going to book stores cool again.

If you worked for a publishing house, what sort of books would you be looking to publish?

Everybody is into reality television. I think that people are trying to connect more and more with real people. I would look for books that help us do that. We all want to be more connected or facebook and twitter would not be so popular.

What are some of your favourite quotes from reviews that you've received?

"A book that I want to dive into over the weekend!"
"If you like to be caught up in a book that touches you soul in many ways then you can't go wrong with Karma Corn!"

Are there any book blogs or websites which you would recommend for an author looking to find potential reviewers for their book?
Hot new E books.

What strategy do you use for getting reviews? 
Ask everyone I see and also hoot suite on twitter asking for reveiws. Reveiws are tough as I have so many that say they love the book but getting them to write is a whole other story.

Do you have a favourite review or has anyone expressed a particularly nice compliment about your writing which stands out as your most memorable piece of praise?
I met a woman at my book signing that she told me how much my work touched her. She admitted by meeting me and reading the book the positve message was helping her with the death of her son.

Would you rather have great reviews but average sales or great sales but average reviews?
Great reviews and average sales. My writing is the pure joy of it and how I touch people. Making money is easily in second place.

Which ebook seller has been your most successful outlet?

Have you tried experimenting with different prices for your books and if so what pricing strategy worked best for you?
We have experimented but it does not seem to be pricing. I think it is more important to find ways to find your target audience.

What is your opinion on Amazon's KDP program?  Have the free book promotions helped overall sales?
I like the free promotions as in the beginning of becoming a published writer the most important thing is getting your name out there.

Can you remember the moment when you logged into your author account and discovered you had made your first sale?
It is everything when you see the sale. It is the validity of everything that I dreamed of walking in my first library. The next moment that really took me by surprise is when I realized that someone in another country was reading the book. It is a overwhelming moment to realize that you have been translated to another language.

Would you rather sell 1000 books at $10/£10 each or 2000 books at $1/£1, i.e. what gives you the greater sense of satisfaction; overall earnings or overall sales?

What advice would you give to a new author who has just finished writing their first novel and is unsure as to what steps to take next?
I am lucky enough to have a son that is my editor and my muse. Make sure you have someone you trust on the journey it makes it a happier and more fullfilling sense of accomploshment.

Which book more than any other have you read and thought, 'I wish I'd written this book'?
The Bridges of Madison County. I still cry at the movie and the book moves me to tears.

What other book would you regard it the biggest compliment to have your own work compared to and why?
Would still be The Bridges of Madison County. I felt there was such a connection in this book as a romance writer that I can only hope that I help people feel true romance when they read me.

Why should people buy your books, Karma Corn, Once upon a Cupcake and The Perils of Ophelia Jones?
I promise to take you along for a good story and make you smile along the way.

Who do you see as your target audience?
Young women between 20-40.

Why would you recommend your books, Karma Corn, Once Upon a Cupcake and The Perils of Ophelia to other readers?
I can connect with you and have you fell the characters are really people. In Karma Corn and The Perils of Ophelia Jones they both take place in the Midwest and you get to experince some of small town living.

What would you say is your biggest strength as a writer?
I paint a good picture that touches your heart and soul.

What target audience would you recommend your book, The Perils of Ophelia Jones, to?

I think this book can be targeted to male or female. It is a very good read with some strong powerful messages.

What sort of audience will your book, Once Upon  a Cupcake, most appeal to?
Is a quick read very suitable to busy moms or teenage girls. I have been told it is a great over the weekend read. Some readers want a shorter book and that is what this was designed for.

Of all your books, which would you say was the best starting point for a reader to be introduced to your work?
Karma Corn. This is the longest book and the book that will set up the entire series.

Can you list a few other books which you feel would appeal to a similar audience as your own books?
Dorien Kelly, Nora Roberts, and Roxanne St. Claire are a few authors that my readers buy books from.

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Thanks for your comments, Jacqueline, and good luck with your writing.

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Jacqueline Brockert, author of Karma Corn
Discover more about Jacqueline Brockert and her books at her blog:

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Follow Jacqueline Brockert on facebook, twitter and YouTube:
Facebook: Karma Corn
Twitter: @KarmaCornBook
YouTube: Jackie Brockert

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Jacqueline's books are available for Kindle from Amazon:
Karma Corn
Once Upon a Cupcake
The Perils of Ophelia Jones
Karma Corn
Once Upon a Cupcake
The Perils of Ophelia Jones

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