I'm excited to introduce today's guest, K.M. Jackson. K.M. (known to many of us as Kwana) is a frequent commenter here on Storytelling Rules. Her first novel, Through the Lens, came out in November of last year.
Mika Walters, the heroine of Through the Lens, is a normal-sized woman working in the not-so-normal world of New York fashion. As longtime assistant to uber-sexy photographer Alejandro Vega, she's tired of being the girl in the background. Now she has her chance. A travel mishap leaves Mika and Alejandro together on an island for three days.
And now, here's K.M. Jackson!
Thanks so much for having me here at Storytelling Rules, Eileen. What an absolute treat this is! To say I’m a little nervous is an understatement.
Relax! We're all friends here and we're excited to have you here. So, what's your drink of choice?
Now I’d love to be able to answer this with some super cool drink, but alas I can’t. I suffer from awful migraines and most alcoholic drinks can trigger one so I drink very sparingly. That said, if I do have a drink I like to make it worth my while. It’s usually one of my husband’s Cosmos. His are so good that he’s ruined going out for Cosmos for me and all my friends.
Ooh! Your own personal bartender? That sounds like a truly special treat. In Through the Lens, Mika is a fashion photographer. I know you studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Are you a photographer, too?
I’d secretly love to be a photographer. I studied a bit of photography when I was in high school and though it was just the coolest. I think there is so much beauty in the everyday. Be it a model in a couture gown or a fallen leaf about to go down a sewer grate. Photography is something that I’d really like to pick up again, I mean past just my sad cell phone pictures.
Did your background in fashion inform how you wrote Mika? How?
In some ways it did. I couldn’t help drawing on my past experiences and being on shoots where though I wasn’t the photographers assistant I was there to help out and in many cases I was the only one above a size 2 in the room. So yeah, I know what it’s like to feel a bit abnormal when in reality you are the norm.
What made you start writing romance?
I’ve loved romance since I slipped off with my grandmother’s old Harlequins as a kid. Reading was always a passion of mine and I was always a bit of a dreamer coming up with stories in my head. After leaving fashion once my twins were in grade school and we lost yet, another fab sitter, I decided to one day give writing a try and then like magic, POOF, over ten years later I was published.
Ah, so you're another one of those overnight success stories. So are you a pantser? Plotter? Do characters come first or conflict?
I’m such a Pantser, but I’m in currently therapy for it. Seriously, this now selling on a proposal thing is like scared straight for the Pantser. Talk about painful, but I’ll make it through I’m sure. With me it’s funny, I usually get a bit of each at the same time, character and plot. It’s what if that happened to this person and I have an, “oh that would be wild moment!” and then a story builds from there.
We talk a lot about the trials and tribulations of being a writer. What is something that you feel like you struggle with in writing?
For me the clear answer is self doubt. Sometimes my fear of writing a good story paralyzes me and in turn wastes time which then causes greater frustration. If I could ever get over the fear thing I’d probably be pretty prolific, but then again, I may get cocky and lose my voice. We are who we are. Besides, I’m not sure I’d care for an "I’m All That" writer. A little self doubt is not the worst thing. Makes you strive to be better.
True that. What's next for you?
Next up I have book 2 in my Creative Hearts Series, tentatively titled STILL LIFE which is about a troubled artist and the sexy biker who loves her. After that we have BY DESIGN which is about an up and coming designer living and loving in the not so glam world of New York fashion. I can’t wait to get to that one. I may need a therapist on speed dial for it. LOL.
Thanks so much once again for having me here today. As I said it was a real treat and such and honor.
We're thrilled to have you! Look for K.M. at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter.