Did you always plan to be a writer?
As a kid I had different plans. I was going to be an astronaut, shuttle pilot to be exact. I studied the encyclopedia—yeah, those old books prior the internet, and National Geographic. Anything on astronomy. Telescopes and space centers. Then I was going to join the Air Force and fly F16 Falcons, earn my wings, apply to NASA and fly into space! Sadly, eyesight, or rather lack thereof, was an issue to both those dreams. Those were the really planned dreams. Before that, there was a shorter middle school stint of wanting to be a writer as my best buds, Jessie and MJ and I would spend hours plotting our own teen horror stories and there was a stretch in elementary school where we wrote about a group of girls who got lost and befriened a black panther. We never lacked for imagination. I wrote poetry for years as well. But as a career, did I ever dream of being a writer? No. Then college loomed and I had an idea of studying theater. My parents despaired and logically explained why this might not be the best plan. So, I studied to be an elementary school teacher, complete with a degree and licensure. Yeah, then the writing bug hit and years and a box full of rejections later, here I am. Very round about, but I’m happy with where I am.
Where do you get your ideas?
Any and everywhere. One never knows. Sometimes from conversations, the news, something I stumbled across in research. My family and friends know I might shout out at any time, “I’m so using that in a book!” I think they’re used to it.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
No. There is no way for me to pick just one. Seriously. I have a favorite because… Sometimes it’s based on moods. I have auto buys. A favorite book series that has always stuck with me through the years is The Princess Series by Jean Sasson which is nonfiction. It was very eye opening to how much an American woman can take for granted. It was not a reread sort of series, but it always stuck with me.
Well, and Gabaldon’s Outlander. She’s a favorite author, favorite series, favorite couple. So I guess that counts, right?
What’s your favorite book you’ve written? Do you have a favorite hero or heroine?
I actually love and hate whatever book I’m working on. Every couple, every plot, every book is different. I love them all while I’m going on the journey with them. There are things I love about them all.
Hunted is a favorite of mine because I got to veer off into a darker venue and really challenge myself.
As far as heroes… Ian or Jock. Both of those books were fun to write and the characters just sort of wrote the books themselves. So I liked both of those as well.
Does anyone ever ask you to help them with their writing or with their books?
Yes. I often get asked advice, which I don’t mind giving. However, when someone asks me to read their stuff and give them feedback, advice, or help on a book they’ve written or are writing, I have to decline. It’s a legal concern and frankly, a time issue for me. I love to encourage anyone who wants to be a writer to keep after their dream and to not give up. Other than that, with my schedule, I simply don’t have the time to read through other people’s books. My writer buddies keep me busy enough when one or more of us get stuck and we exchange WIPs to see where we’re going wrong. I’d advise writers to join a writers group. Romance Writers of America is a great one. Sister in Crime is another good one. There are wonderful writers groups out there and they offer a newbie writer a lot of resources in pursuing a career in writing. Plus, you can make life-long friends you not only enjoy hanging out with, but trust to be honest with a half-assed work in progress you’re struggling with.
Do you research?
Yes, I do. I often get lost in the rabbit hole of research. Then, while looking for one thing, end up plotting a completely different book simply from something I came across in research, which leads to more research. I love learning new things. I’m kind of nerdy that way. I’ve taken a firearms class, learned to shoot so I could write those scenes better. I learned I enjoy shooting, though don’t get to the range as often as I’d like. I also prefer to tag people to pester with questions. For instance, right now, there are several scenes that have to do with bikes and auto shops. I will be the first to admit, I don’t know a carburetor from an alternator. I’ve asked questions, of people who can show me. I’ve called police departments with questions, and I’ve emailed specialists. I once emailed upper management, though I thought I was emailing public relations, of Gulfstream because I needed to know how quickly one of their models of jets could get from point A to point B. I’ve learned most people don’t mind answering questions and are more than happy to help. However, if they do mind, there’s always someone else. Plus, that’s helped me to get over some of my shyness.
With the popularity of The Deadly Boxed Set and the Kinncaid Brothers, are you going to be writing more books in that series?
I get asked this question a lot. Daily. I love that readers have loved the Kinncaid men and the Kinncaid family as much as I have. For that branch, no there will not be more books. There are five brothers and those brothers, and their dad, each have a book. However, before anyone panics, there are more books planned in the Kinncaid world. What does this mean? Well, John Nolastname/Brasher has a book, so does Gabe, so do Ian’s Merry Band of Badasses, and Brody. Brody does get a book and technically he’s a Kinncaid, but he’s a different branch of the family, as is his brother Conner. So we’ll see. Though those two are slated, they don’t have plots yet. And I might surprise the readers with something at some point. Who knows?
How can a reader keep up with your works, or reach you?
I can most often be reached via email, though it may take me a while if I’m in deadline hell. However, if you don’t hear from me after a bit, please send another. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I do snail mail as well. Jaycee Clark PO Box 933 Lampasas, TX 76550. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook. There’s also my newsletter you can join.