Behind the Mask
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Word count-26,000 words
Tagline: Her world is calm and predictable until one night, one costume party and one sexy masked man happen.
Warm up for Halloween with...
In a fit of temper, Gracelyn’s only sister curses her so she’s forgotten the moment anyone turns away from her. Only one thing, at an exact moment, can break the curse. After years of failed attempts, she is forced to accept living her life completely alone.
Her world becomes calm and predictable —until one Halloween night …
one costume party …
and one masquerading man change everything.
Most of my favorite authors are indie or self-pubbed, what made me you decide to go that route?
Behind the Mask has actually been published three times, which is a great thing from a writers perspective. The first time the contract term expired, so I kept the rights and decided that it being such a short story (compared to my full length books) that I would put it into a book titled Curses with another shorter story of mine. I thought it would be a breeze self-pubbing. Ha! I was so wrong. It’s a lot of grueling work figuring out formatting and specs… and that’s not even including the editing and dealing with vendors!
This time it’s kind of self-pubbed, but not at the same time. It’s under the publisher name, First Realm Publishing, which is just starting up (actually in the pre-starting up phase) so I agreed to jump on board and do what I can, like the formatting I finally figured out etc… So, with my hand in the finished product I’ve agreed that some of my works can be their guinea pig projects until they finalize things and have their list of authors to start with. (Don’t’ make me regret it people, buy the book! Haha!)
While having more control is great with self-pubbing, I think I’ll keep things half and half, having some of my books done by other publishers, it’s much less work for me which leaves more time for writing.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
All of it! I had this preconceived notion that you sat down, plotted a story and then wrote it. Wrong! While I am the writer, I do not get a say on where the story is going most times, the characters seem to control that. I may create them and add a touch of personality, but they develop all on their own and I’m just there for the ride.
The next surprise for me was I knew zilch about editing and grammar (apparently). I’ve always loved writing even way back when I was in school, I could write miles and miles of pages of stories. When going onto publishing I believe my first few manuscripts were my editors’ nightmare. So many grammar rules that meant nothing to me while I was in the thrall of writing… I have learned a lot from all of my editors since then and hopefully my manuscripts aren’t the mess they used to be.
Which of your characters are you most like? Least like?
I don’t base any of my characters on myself, which is why I write fiction, it’s much more interesting, but I’d have to say my characters that are heavy on the sarcasm (many, many of them) have a little piece of me in them. The least like me? Any of my characters that are “girly”, I don’t do that happy squeal, giggle thing—ever.
Do you have a particular writing habit?
Hmm, I’d like to say no, but I think I’d be lying.
For some reason I have to have a drink when I’m writing. I don’t know why this is, but I have to have a cup/glass of something nearby. It’s strange considering if it’s a hot drink it’s going to be cold before I remember to drink it, but just as long as it’s there I can write.
Also, I can write just about anywhere, anytime but there are some things I have to do. Just about every night after I’m already in bed I curl up with a notebook, ear phones on, music playing and will write that one scene that I want to be just perfect. I don’t know why I have to do it this way, but it’s easier for me to do it with pen in hand instead of at the keyboard.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Hmm, just one? If I had to choose it would be Sherrilyn Kenyon, she has no fear and isn’t afraid to take her characters to places most wouldn’t dare.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve recently read several books by Amanda Hocking. My daughter had a series sitting on her shelf and I was in the mood to just fall into a story and forget reality for a short while, I’m glad I did. I love her style of writing.
What is the hardest part of your writing?
Oh, this is one easy! Writing the back cover blurb is the hardest part for me (first the dreaded synopsis has to be written). Taking my 200 hundred page story and crunching it down to 150 words to get your attention … yeah, not fun. Apparently I don’t do “brief” well at all.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just keep writing, especially in the beginning before you get up the nerve to submit it. At some point you are going to write something you just have to share with others.
Describe yourself in three words.
I know characters are like children but if you could chose, who’s your favorite from your books? Of all time?
Oh my…that’s a hard one. I have a lot of characters. The one that is still stuck in my mind the most would be Dade from the Magic Seasons. He was so loveable and tried so hard, even when he was screwing up I still loved him.
Any song or songs that could basically sum up the overall mood of your writing?
Another tough one to answer. For each book I have two lists, a fast paced one when I need to keep the energy high and a slow one for those emotional times when I really need to get inside my characters head/mood. I don’t necessarily listen to the words while I’m writing, it’s the tone of the song that works for me.
For example the story I’m working on right now (details in a few questions J) a few songs on my emotional list are: When the Darkness Comes by Colbie Caillat and It’s Been a While by Staind
A few on my energy list for this book are: Heart Skips a Beat by Olly Murs and Wonderful by Janet Devlin
(YouTube these and you’ll get a brief peak into the emotional cues that it takes for me to get into a story)
Do you plot out your books or just freely write them and let the characters tell you what to do next?
My characters control things, for sure. Even when I don’t want them to! When I was writing Behind the Mask Evan wasn’t supposed to be the leading male in the story—he had other plans. I mean it worked out great in the end, but it wasn’t at all like I’d attempted to plot.
This happens a lot for me. Quite often I set out to write a single story with no intentions of a series or trilogy, but then a character just appears on the pages and I have to know more about them.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider the biggest influence in your writing?
I’m not sure if they (there are three) influence my writing, but I definitely can contribute a lot to them. Nora Roberts, Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon are three writers that took things to new places and opened a world of options for so many other writers, myself included.
What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am currently writing Scent the second book in my Animal Trilogy. It’s a shifter book, tiger shifters to be exact. I’m really enjoying exploring the world my characters have dragged me into. I say dragged because I had a few secondary characters jump onto the pages in the first few chapters that completely took my plot and changed it. I can’t seem to type fast enough this past week.
Here is the blurb about the series:
Three women without knowledge of their true heritage...
Three men that have waited for their mate all of their lives...
Hearts and tempers collide with wild passions and animal instincts
in the Animal Trilogy
I am also polishing up a first book in a new witch trilogy, The Witch Within from Ancestor’s Enchantment Trilogy. I hope to have some news on the status of this one soon. So I don’t get bored (ha!) I am also working on the finishing touches for a new series The Chronicles of Alterealm – The Cross Over Huntress. It’s going to be a NA works and I’m very excited with the direction it’s taking!
Thanks so much for having me here today!
About the Author:
Jacqueline Paige lives in Ontario in a small town that’s part of the popular Georgian Triangle area. No one has ever heard of Stayner, so she usually tells people she lives “near Collingwood” and no, she doesn’t ski at Blue Mountain or at all, in fact she’s not even fond of snow.
She began her writing career in 2006 and since her first published works in 2009 she hasn’t stopped. Jacqueline describes her writing as “all things paranormal”, which she has proven is her niche with stories of witches, ghosts, physics and shifters now on the shelves.
When Jacqueline isn’t working at her ‘reality job’ or lost in her writing she spends time with her five children, most of whom are finally able to look after her instead of the other way around. Together they do random road trips, that usually end up with them lost, shopping trips where they push every button in the toy aisle, hiking when there’s enough time to escape and bizarre things like creating new daring recipes in the kitchen. She’s a grandmother to four (so far) and looks forward to corrupting many more in the years to come.
Jacqueline loves to hear from her readers, you can find her at www.jacqpaige.webs.com , www.jacqpaige.blogspot.ca or http://magicseasonsbooks.blogspot.ca