Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Indie Insider - Jackie Chanel

What is the best way to create tension?

Everyone does it differently, but I use my characters’ personalities to create tension. My books are already filled with drama (scenes, plots, etc) so for me, tension is best created in how the characters react to the drama.

Do people judge a book by its cover? Who makes yours?

Yes! It’s unfortunate too. I’m guilty of choosing books by simply glancing at the cover. I’ve read countless of bad books with great covers. But you can’t use an excerpt as the cover. No one will buy it.

I’ve tried to create my own covers but I’m no good at it. I use a great cover artist named Joleene Naylor.

What are the best ways to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’?

I watch a ton of movies and when I’m writing I tend to see the scene as if it was on the big screen. I’ve written a few screenplays and the first thing that you learn is that you can’t write “Jane was nervous”. You have to show how Jane was nervous through shaking speech, nervous gestures, etc. I take that train of thought and apply it to my novels.

How many books do you produce a year? Are you meeting your goal?

Umm…I don’t have a goal for the number of books I write in a year. I suppose I should. I understand the importance of building a solid backlist but it’s really important for me to focus on quality not quantity. If I put out more than 2-3 books a year…AWESOME. I can also be happy putting out one or two well written books in that same timeframe.

How many words do you produce a day? Do you have a daily quota to fill?

My quota is at least a chapter a day. That can range from 1500-3500 depending on what I’m writing. Thankfully, I’m meeting that goal.

What is your greatest challenge as an author?

My greatest challenge is finding the balance between writing, promoting, and living life. Sometimes I get so caught up in figuring out my next marketing strategy that I don’t leave time for writing and vice versa.

Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I do have a professional editor. I don’t self edit as I’m writing because it slows down the process for me and make me lose focus on the story. However, I do send my work in chapter bunches to my editor so she can edit while I’m writing.

After I’m finished with the first draft, I will look at changes my editor wants and make those corrections and send it out to beta readers.

What is your favorite part of the whole process? (Besides receiving a check or 5 star review!

Bringing my characters to life is my absolute favorite thing about writing. My characters are almost like real people by the time I get finished working up a full character sketch. It feels good to give them a voice instead of letting them keep rambling in my head.

What are three web sites or blogs that you can recommend? (related to writing etc.)

Writing No Drama
Novel Publicity
Indie Book Collective

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I used to think that I wanted to be an author because I enjoy writing stories and I’d rather write drama than live it. That is until the day my teenage niece picked up one of my books, read it straight through, raved about how much she enjoyed it, and she passed it to her friends who loved it. It was heartwarming to walk in on conversations about my books, where the readers were just as engaged in the characters as I was. Now, this is why I write. I want to write the stories that will get people to understand that reading is fun and done more often.

If that makes any sense.

Stalkers Welcome:
Twitter: @JackieChanel

Purchase Links:
Untitled (Kindle and Paperback) -
Change of Heart (Kindle) -

Untitled -
Change of Heart -

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