Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Jessica Ferguson, who is sharing her book, The Last Daughter, from the Scrimshaw Doll series published by The Wild Rose Press, with us. She’s also a fellow OKRWA Outlaw so doubly excited to have her here!
Please show Jess some real Ranch love!
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
Hi Calisa, thanks for inviting me to the Ranch. A little about me? Born and raised in Longview, Texas. After being divorced for nine years, I met and married a guy I went to school with. He’s made it possible for me to pursue my writing dreams. We have a daughter and a son. I’m a writer for Southern Writers Magazine and co-owner/co-editor of Swamp Lily Review, an online literary magazine. The Last Daughter is my first novella, but my second published book.
Lucky for us you are where you are now!
My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like?
My writing space has boxes piled to the ceiling so I gave it up for the sofa. We’ve lived in Yukon, OK for 16 months (just moved back to Louisiana) and I had a wonderful writing space there: the Mustang Public Library. That’s where I wrote my novella, The Last Daughter.
Thank goodness for the library. Lol For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?
I struggle with titles and usually change them several times. Usually, I ask my daughter who reads all my manuscripts for help. She and her friends brainstorm a list of titles and I choose from that. They chose my title–The Last Daughter and I loved it the moment I heard it.
That is a nice title and I love the cover! What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?
Get that story down–one way or another. Educate yourself by reading how-to books and how-to blogs. Don’t be force-fed so-called rules that don’t make sense. That old saying, you have to know the rules before you can break them is true, but there are hundreds of ways to do something. New writers should find what works for them and they discover that by actually writing, entering contests and belonging to good writing groups. Most importantly, get rid of all the negatives in your life. A critique group shouldn’t destroy your dreams, it should encourage and mentor. Above all, I think the key to a successful writing career is writing fast. Unfortunately, I don’t do that.
Yeah- me either. 🙂 The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?
I guess my answer is to write fast. But also, have a good story and excellent characters that readers like and identify with. Make friends on the Internet. If people like you, they’ll buy your books and they’ll spread the word. Networking is incredibly important in this business.
Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?
I like meeting all writers. Writers are fun. If I could meet anyone, it would be Stephen King and Tabitha–well, his entire family. I’d love to just sit down at their kitchen table and listen to them talk to each other. Maybe they’ll read this and invite me for Thanksgiving!
It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆
Favorite animal? Cat
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Fall
Favorite food? Mexican
You actually did that in one word answers! I’m impressed. LOL And we share the same food likes. Well done! 🙂
Okay, Flash four. Ready?
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a romantic suspense and a women’s fiction, as well as some short stories. I keep wishing I could take The Last Daughter and write a bigger book using the same story and characters. I always have trouble leaving my characters behind and moving on to something else.
What are you sharing today?
This is the promo blurb on Amazon. Trent, the hero and a picker (someone who buys and sells), has just learned that Tiva, Rayna’s childhood doll has a past. And it’s not a good past. Remember, my novella is part of the wonderful Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll series. So yeah, this doll has a very frightening past!
“Rayna, I need to talk with you. Rayna?”
Rayna entered from the living area just as Trey reached the bottom of the stairs. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Are you okay?”
He rubbed his forehead. “I need to talk to you about that doll.”
Rayna glanced toward a chair where she’d propped her old toy. “What about her?”
He motioned. “I did some research. She’s pretty old. Actually, she’s probably quite valuable.”
“I’m not selling her if that’s what you’re getting at. Honestly, Trent.” She turned from him and entered the room where the doll sat.
“No, let me finish.” He followed. “From what I can tell she’s been sold numerous times, landed in and out of pawn shops and doll stores. There’s been some very questionable happenings surrounding her.”
“What do you mean? How do you know?”
“Things happen. According to several collectors on the Internet…it’s almost like she causes things to happen to people that don’t like her. Or maybe don’t like you–or whoever owns her at the time.”
“That’s absurd. She’s a doll.”
He rubbed his head again. “Maybe a cursed doll.”
“She’s not cursed. Nothing has ever happened to me.”
He dropped his eyes to her chest.
She clasped her hand across her blouse and stared at him. “She didn’t cause that. How could she?”
“How do you know she didn’t? You have no idea how it happened or why.”
“I just know,” she yelled. “She was–” She stopped and squinted at him. “Trent, Trent, what’s wrong?”
Where can we find you and your books?
My blog: http://jessyferguson.blogspot.com/
Where will you be next?
Long and Short Reviews is having a Halloween blogfest from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1st and I plan to participate. Other than that, catch me on FB or my blog.
That sounds like fun. I enjoy blogfests!
Thank you so much for playing along Jess! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.
Calisa, thanks so much for having me. I wonder if your visitors would answer a question or two for me: How many books do they write a year? Are they structured with their writing schedule, churning out a specific number of words a day? I’d like to “learn” to write fast! 🙂
And for you who don’t write, how many books do you devour a year? Would you like to read more?