***I’ll be offering $100 Gift Card for Amazon, details and link will follow in August***
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When were you first interested in writing?
Short story, I’ve always written. Long story, I won an award for writing in the first grade. It was a demented little story for a kid that could barely grasp a pencil. It told the tale of a litter of kittens escaping the bag a farmer tried to drown them in. (Twisted for a first grader, am I right?) It ended happily with each kitten adopting a home – but I don’t necessarily remember if their new owners were happy to be adopted.
What has been your biggest influence in your writing career?
Probably Stephen King. Yes, he’s dark, dark, dark. But he has this amazing capacity to present all sides of a story. You might not be sympathetic to his characters, but you always understand what makes them tick.
The other talent that he has that I would love to steal is the tension wrenching spoilers he adds to his books. Things like, “That would be the last time I’d hold her, but I didn’t know it then. I wish I had.” ::Frantically flips page to find out if she lives::
What has been the biggest change to your life since you began writing?
Every time I was unhappy at work and considering a new career, I’d find myself pounding the keyboard at a local coffee shop on my lunch break. Finally I just said, “The paycheck isn’t worth it anymore. Writing makes you happy. Be happy.” I quit a well paying financial advising job to write full time.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I read 1-2 books per week. I also drive uber a few hours a week so I don’t spend my life as a crazy hermit lady. I love playing with my nieces and nephews and I travel internationally whenever I can manage it.
Do you have a favorite author? If so who?
I’m terrible because I find an author I like, and then BINGE on their works until I can predict their every move and I’m sick of them. I was almost to that point with Margaret Atwood and her Maddaddam trilogy but in the climax of the final book, her style just clicked and it (for me anyway) was transcendent. I cried through the last third of the book. So, because she made me cry, my current favorite is Margaret Atwood.
What book is your biggest inspiration from childhood?
Where the Red Fern Grows. That was the first time I can remember there being real stakes. That book was grounded in the real world, with a character I could relate to. And then the dog dies and I was gutted. Kill your darlings, as the old adage goes. Might not be an inspiration, but it certainly left an impression.
On average, how many books do you read a month?
I will unabashedly re-read books that are already on my shelf. Dropping into the last act of a series you loved is like slipping on a pair of comfy jeans. It just feels right to revisit those characters, those friends. So yes, I read 1-2 new books per week, but if I’m having a bad day, I might re-read the back half of Deathly Hallows to see my friend, Harry Potter, triumph one more time.
10 Sample Questions
for Jaqueline Kyle
Author of Ebenezer Scrooge: Ghost Hunter
1. How did you come up with the mash-up idea?
There are a number of really creative books in the mash-up genre. A few have been made into movies, like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the upcoming film, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
2. Why A Christmas Carol? What was inspiration?
A few years ago I was wandering around the Dickens Fair that’s held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco every year. There’s a roaming play of A Christmas Carol through the streets of London with Marley’s ghost dragging chains and the Ghost of Christmas Future looking like Death. It’s creepy! It got my brain churning and now here we are!
3. What authors influence your writing?
Obviously, Charles Dickens is a huge influence in this book. I’d say that 50% of Ebenezer Scrooge: Ghost Hunter is still comprised with his themes and prose. More recently, author Seth Grahame-Smith has really been the leader in the mash-up genre.
4. What do you do now?
I work with life coaches, speakers and personal development professionals to get their books ready for publication. It depends on the situation, but that might mean consulting, content editing or ghost writing.
5. If Scrooge read a personal development book, what would it be?
Without a doubt, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson. Scrooge is in a real emotional crisis at the beginning of Ebenezer Scrooge: Ghost Hunter. He could use some motivational reading.
6. I read your author bios. They aren’t exactly standard, are they?
You know, writing about yourself is rather ridiculous. I feel ridiculous doing it. Thus, I write true facts as ridiculously as I can. You’ve got to have a sense of humor about yourself, right?
7. What is it like running a crowdfunding campaign?
Scary. Like running for class president - only people vote with money. As an introvert and wallflower, this is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
8. Was your crowdfunding campaign successful?
Yes and no. Some people would say it failed because I didn’t hit my financial goal. But two really positive results came out of the experience. First, I raised enough money to finish illustrating and publishing. The second, was that I felt incredibly blessed and humbled by all the support I did receive.
9. Do you have plans for future books?
Of course I do! I think my next one will be an original work, but I have another Dickens mashup in mind too.
10. Has anyone expressed interest in turning the book into a movie?
I wish! That is my ultimate dream for this book. However, typically movie studios want to see a bunch of readers before they approach an author for rights. I’ve got to keep working on getting readers for now.
Schedule an Interview
Contact: Jaqueline Kyle
Ebenezer Scrooge: Ghost Hunter
Jaqueline Kyle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with two cats and a coffee pot. In truth, Jaqueline has a coffee addiction and funds her habit through writing books… at coffee shops… as an excuse to stay there for hours on end. (It’s really the only way to go if you don’t plan on being a barista.) When she isn’t writing or eavesdropping in coffee shops, she’s visiting with friends. At coffee shops.
Charles Dickens lived from 1812 to 1870 and originally wrote A Christmas Carol as a political pamphlet to bring attention to the plight of childhood ignorance and the cycle of poverty. Also, Dickens loved coffee so much that they still put his picture on coffee mugs. True Fact.