1. Ms. Edmondson, thank you for this opportunity to have you on my blog. Tell us a bit more about your newest mystery, Frisky Business, which came out in November.
This time around, PI Sasha Jackson is investigating the murder of a porn star…
The drug addicted actress was a worthless nobody, so the cops aren’t putting much effort into finding out who killed her. Sasha takes on the case, and learns that the dirty picture business is way dirtier than it seems. She discovers surprising motives and even more surprising secrets, and just when she thinks she’s solved the case, another dead body turns up.
Meanwhile, Sasha’s private life is a shambles. Her brother is pissing her off, Sasha’s love-life is on the rocks, and her BFF has her nose out of joint over Sasha’s latest revelations. And then there’s the driving instructor, the locksmith and the glazier. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that Sasha has a credit card.
I had fun messing around with Sasha’s personal life, and it was interesting to set this book against a porno biz backdrop. The naughty movies industry fits well with the tones and themes of the previous Sasha Jackson Mysteries.
2. What kind of research did you do for Frisky Business? How much of what your write in this novel is real and how much is fiction?
Hmm… All of my books are fiction, but steeped in some thread of reality, usually based on something I’ve read. Frisky Business was inspired by chapter two of Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges – which is a terrific book by the way.
3. How do you develop your story? Outline or no outline?
Ack! I don’t usually outline, but for Frisky Business I did… albeit sort of after the fact. I had a lot written, but it was spinning out of control. SO I ditched it all and created an outline of what I wanted to happen, and then basically started over, from scratch. The end result is quite a bit different from the outline though. For Blood and Groom and Dead Light District, I did not use an outline. With The Lies Have It, I sort of created an outline after the writing was well underway, when I realized I needed to make changes to the structure.
I’m not being flip when I say this: Just do it. Really do it. If you want to be a writer, sit down and write something. Finish it. Don’t just talk about it, dream about it… Do it!
I often meet aspiring writers who want to pick my brain about the publishing world (whether indie or trad – my first book was traditionally published). Within a few minutes of chatting, I learn that they haven’t actually written anything, they just have an idea… That’s really putting the cart before the horse. Instead, focus on completing your manuscript. Make it the best damn manuscript you can. If you do so, then the publishing side will eventually take care of itself (whether indie or trad).
I also think it’s good to try your hand at a few different types of writing and to build a bit of “street cred”. You can do this by submitting articles to smaller publications, such as community newspapers or online magazines.
5. What are your thoughts on the latest publishing industry developments, mainly the rise of the self-publishing?
The industry is still experiencing growing pains, I think. There are many changes to come still, many wrinkles to be ironed out; I’m specifically referring here to piracy. Consider the music world, going back to the time of Napster and Limewire. iTunes eventually changed he game in the music world. The book world hasn’t yet caught up with technology.
6. What have you learned during the writing process of crafting a novel?
I’ve learned so many things, about so many different aspects of the writing and publishing world! I guess in terms of crafting a novel – in my case a mystery novel – I’ve learned to pay more attention to the subplots, the side stories. It’s very easy to get lost in the main story, the thrust of the book, and to thus forget about the “B” story lines that are helpful in keeping the momentum going.
7. How do you interact with your fans? What is something significant you have learned from them?
I’m very active in social media and I love interacting with readers. I get a lot of positive feedback from them, a lot of enthusiasm. I often hear readers say that they find Sasha Jackson “relatable” – they’d like to hang out with Sasha if she were a real person. I love hearing that! It truly makes my day!
8. What are your writing habits?
Gulp! My habits are very bad! I write when I have time and when I feel like it. I’ve never bought into that “write at least a thousand words a day” theory. I do a lot of my writing when I’m on vacation, anywhere out of town. I wake up early, clack away on the laptop, and then spend the afternoon at the beach or sightseeing, then do edits and revisions in the evenings.
9. What are your favorite pastimes?
When I have both time and money, I love to travel! I usually take two vacations a year – always to some place new. I’m also a theatre fan – all kinds of performance, really, whether Broadway musicals, community theatre, burlesque shows, and concerts. Anything live, I’ll go to see it if it catches my eye and sounds like fun.
10. What is your next book going to be about?
The next Sasha Jackson Mystery will be called Odd Lang Syne. Here’s the blurb: Pop star Gina Gervais isn’t just being sued by her loser ex-husband; she’s also being stalked by a delusional man who believes he can win her love, even if it means planting a bomb at Gina’s New Year’s Eve concert in Nathan Philips Square. I hope to have the manuscripts finished by the end of this coming summer.
Links & contact info for Jill Edmondson
and the Sasha Jackson Mysteries:
Jill Edmondson is the author of the four mystery novels. Frisky Business is the latest novel featuring PI Sasha Jackson.
For more info in Jill, check out her:
Books on Amazon
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sashajacksonmysteries
Follow her on Twitter @JillEdmondson