Jackie Griffey likes to read as well as write cozy mysteries and romantic suspense. She and her family, two cats, a Chihuahua, and a couple of wild bunnies live in Arkansas where she is working on another cozy mystery. You can visit her website at www.jackiegriffey.com.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Jackie. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
Multi-published. When my audio books are scheduled I’ll have books in all the formats known to man (Make that currently known to man – who knows what marvels are in store for us – did I mention I’m an optimist?)
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
My first wasn’t a book, it was a screen play, a reading script, The Christmas Vally Chronicles. And since I’m saving it for Stephen Spielberg it will probably never get to the big screen. LOL. Anyway, that’s when (1993) I joined a writing group and startd writing.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
See first ans. “I’m an optiminst.” I got enough rejections to paper a room just trying to get someone to read it, much less publish or produce it. I didn’t count them – but the group had fun reading them with me.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
It looked like I’d set my goals on something impossible. But I didn’t quit writing as the rejections piled up, I just switched to novels. I discovered the pleasures in several fiction genres, and shared critiques and working with the writing group. Carolyn Hart, Joan Hess, and Charlain Harris came to LIttle Rock and Hart suggested I join SinC. I did and I still love all three of these wonderful ladies’ books.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
Zumaya Publications was my first publisher. The book was Memphis in our Hearts, a historical-romance-suspense and I was really pleased when Zumaya opened their Enigma mystery imprint and offered me a contract on the Merrivale series.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
I called everyone I knew that wasn’t in hollering distance. LOL. Beginning with my sister in Memphis and the members of my local writing group here in Arkansas.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I proudly announced on SinC and did my first book signing at Hastings Bookstore in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
No. It was a fun trip ( and I ain’t through yet!)
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
I’m finally making a little money, but mostly I’m writing; I’m published; the local and all the Central Arkansas libraries have my books; several here in my home town collect them and wait for the next one; and I’ve learned a lot from the really good editors with whom I’ve been privileged to work.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
I enjoyed all the bumps, bruises, and experiences. I learned and none of them were too painful and as in Ans. One, I’m still an optimist. LOL.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
The feeling I get when people enjoy my books and tell me so.
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
I was an executive secretary for a long time and have used some of my experiences from that career in my writing. I guess I would have continued in that career if my husband hadn’t retired. That’s when I started writing.
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
Definitely best of both worlds.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
Still writing, probably more ebooks and audios, and as above – who knows what other formats? LOL.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Go for it! Write and enjoy it. There are so many publishers and formats now, your novel will make it – probably in more than one of them. Good luck!