Please help me welcome Jacki Renée…(Be sure to check out her AWESOME giveaway!!)
Happy to have you here, Jacki. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
Born and raised in sunny Southern California, I live minutes away from the construction site for the LA Rams football stadium. I’m a single mother of two amazing daughters, ages 24 and 16 (the age difference is a blessing and a curse). We have 3 dogs, 2 bunnies, and 1 turtle.
Where did you get the idea for Necessary Lies?
NECESSARY LIES started as a short story for a post on a free social publishing site. One morning, while driving to work and listening to Ryan Seacrest on KIIS-FM, the first two lines of Stay With Me by Sam Smith made me ask myself, ‘what if Bryan felt that way?’ and the seed was planted for the story to grow into a full-length novel with plot twists and turns and a secret backstory. One evening I was watching Dancing With The Stars and heard Leela James sing Fall For You live. Her soulful voice gave my story its journey of trust and love. I was sitting in the car in front of my daughter’s middle school waiting for them to return from grad-nite and heard Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake on the radio. My hero now had a voice and a purpose, and the one book turned into a trilogy.
Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?
I can’t really say I chose to write romantic suspense, the theme of my storyline just happens to fall in that subgenre with a high heat level.
Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?
I like to use industry standards as guidelines for being different. I don’t want my stories to fit neatly in any box.
What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
For me, the most difficult thing about writing a book is sending my baby [book] off into the world to be read and judged. Liked or disliked. Hoping everyone loves it, yet remaining open minded when someone doesn’t.
Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?
When I’m having a difficult time writing, I go sit in the car with my laptop. Being out of the house gets me over the hurdle and knowing the closest electrical outlet is just steps away allows me to enclose myself for a few hours.
Do you collect anything?
I collect tote bags. It is an obsession. If I’m at an event and vendors are handing tote bags, I have to have one (or two).
What do you want readers to come away with after they read Necessary Lies?
I’m fascinated by the way the brain processes words and use that knowledge to my advantage by intentionally using double entendres to hide the truth in plain sight. I want my readers to come away with feeling challenged to think outside the box when reading the Lies storyline.
What is your favorite quote?
The dirt always comes out in the wash.
If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please :))
I would want to hang out with Max. He is funny and carefree. Flamboyant and quick witted. I can picture us going shopping and him convincing me the dress doesn’t make my butt look big even though the mirror says differently. He would make me buy the highest heels I can stand in, then teach me how to stomp the runway in them.
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
The very first writing contest I entered, a judge wrote: ‘You need to read more books in your genre and follow those examples. It’s obvious you are clueless about what romantic suspense is’ [copied directly from the scoresheet]. Little did that judge know, I do read romantic suspense, but I believe there is more than one way to spin a suspense tale.
What has been the best compliment?
I asked a critic partner, if she would provide a quote for my press release. She wrote: Necessary Lies is an intriguing story told in an intriguing way. The use of two first person POVs kept me totally engaged and it will you, too. – Michal Scott
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
The brotherhood and bond between the Men of Phantom is based on the friendship my nephew has with his friends. They have known each other for 20+ years. These young men are ‘ride-or-die’ friends and all successful in their own way. I try to capture that bond in each story of the series.
How did you come up with the title?
Sometimes it is necessary to tell a lie to protect a loved one.
Movie – The Color Purple, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken
Music – All genres except heavy-metal and gangster rap
Place you’ve visited – Boulder, Colorado; Tempe, Arizona
Place you’d like to visit – Washington D.C.; Chicago, Illinois,
TV show from childhood – Good Times, What’s Happening, The Brady Bunch, The Love Boat, reruns of The Munsters, The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy, Gidget
TV show from adulthood – Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless, Baby Daddy
Thank you, Jacki. Wow, fun interview. That judge needs a lesson in etiquette and courtesy. Ha, I LOVE Justin Timberlake. And Baby Daddy. You’re the only other person I’ve heard of who watches. 🙂
Jacki is giving away a fabulous prize: An I Am Jacki Renée Tote Bag filled with, (1) Men of Phantom T-Shirt, (1) Rubber Book Mark (made out of recycled tires), (1) Pen, (1) Mini Journal, and (1) $25 Amazon Gift Card.
To enter, answer this question: On her wedding day, what borrowed item was Danielle given? – (A name will be drawn from the correct answers)
Dare to Take a Risk and Stand out From the Crowd.
I am Jacki Renée. If you see me behind the wheel—lips moving, no one else in the car—don’t be frightened. I’m having a conversation with one of the many characters who live in my mind. But if I’m bobbing my head and snapping my fingers, getting into the beat of the music and the lyrics to the song, do not disturb. I’m developing a story or a character.
Music sparks my inspiration to write and I listen to a variety of music. I credit my story ideas to the emotions I sense when listening to music. It’s the tone of the artist’s voice mixed with the sounds coming from the instruments that sends my literal mind into another dimension. I play songs on repeat until I can put into words how I want my characters to be perceived.
Reading is my Passion, writing is my Pleasure. An avid reader, I pick up a book to escape everyday life for a few hours. And if the story is exceptionally good, I’ll escape reality for twenty-four hours. Reading novels since high school, from timeless literary masterpieces to today’s mainstream fiction, I’ve found both passion and pleasure in the written world of books. I divide my “me time” between my daughters, writing, and reading. It started as an after-work hobby until a follower encouraged me to try writing on a professional level. I nurtured my gift into an obtainable dream.
A web search for information on a teen soap opera series tapped into my pleasure for writing. My first adventure happened when I stumbled upon FanFiction. After months of following many aspiring writers on the website, I worked up the courage to submit a one-shot story. The feedback and comments I received encouraged me to write more. It didn’t take long before the one-shots turned into short stories. Then one day, a short story turned into my first full-length novel, which expanded into a trilogy and now a planned series of trilogies. Even after a two-year break from posting on the site, my stories are still getting views, favorites, and comments. I look back on those posts to measure how much I’ve grown. The redundancy, grammar, and punctuation errors are criminal acts for which I could be prosecuted, but those stories are my beginnings. My babies. When I give pep talks to author friends, I always start with, “you have to crawl before you walk; walk before you run; then run so you can leap over the hurdles and cross the finish line as a published author.”
My approach to writing is to draw the outline and allow the imagination of the reader to color in the blanks. Meticulously chosen words can outline the plot yet still hide the truth in plain sight. Emotional words invoke the images and colors, sounds and scents, tastes and touch of the story. Words are the clues used to visualize the story. I strive to create a portal to a different reality, so my readers see the story through the eyes of the characters. Call me sinister, but I love keeping my readers confused to the end, then shocking them when I point out the obvious. If you commit to traveling the road, you get to experience the peaks and valleys and walk with the characters into the arms of a “Happily Ever After.”
My goals as an author are to… always finish what I start, be it a book written by a fellow author, or a manuscript I worked on but put aside. Expand my reading palate by finding new authors and “paying-it-forward.” Stay true to my beliefs, yet open myself to a world seen through the eyes of others. Always find the positive in the face of differences because my stories may not be for everyone, but they will entertain someone.
Necessary Lies Book Blurb:
What do you do when your whole life is a lie?
Single mother, Dr. Danielle Edwards, never imagined her happily-ever-after ending so soon. But now her world has been shaken off its axis. Orphaned and raised in foster care, Danielle learned early in life to be independent. The only emotional attachment she had in childhood was to her friend and now-dead husband, James. The only emotional attachment she has now, is her daughter. That was until Bryan came into their lives…
Everything about Colonel Bryan K. Hawk IV is devised to draw Danielle to him—from the way he dresses, to his motherless child. On the surface, Bryan is a successful global businessman, but he’s hiding the real purpose for his relationship with Danielle. For nine-years, he’s been investigating James Edwards. His assignment, to recover stolen information from an anti-American organization—information that exposes a centennial government secret that could start World War III. And Danielle is unknowingly caught in the middle.
Bryan is trained to get answers by any means necessary, even seduction. But the government didn’t train him how to resist someone like Danielle. Not even when he’s falling in love… not when the truth will rip them apart forever.
Necessary Lies Excerpt:
On the way to the grocery store, a catchy song plays on the radio and I turn up the volume. The lyrics ignite a yearning in my heart and the emotion in the singer’s voice speaks to my soul. I know what it’s like to want to give yourself to someone, but to be uncertain if they will take care of your heart. It takes ultimate trust to drop my guard and make myself vulnerable to anyone. I wanted that with Bryan. I wholeheartedly gave him something James never had. The most valued piece of me. We have history. I didn’t realize how lonely I’d been until we moved here. My world has been shaken off its axis.
Buy Links: (ONLY 99 cents!!)
Necessary Lies is available for purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Lies-Men-Phantom-Book-ebook/dp/B01LY3FGYA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492433685&sr=8-1&keywords=necessary+lies+jacki+renee
Also on: B&N, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Scribd, Inktera, 24symbols. A personally autographed copy can be purchased through my website.
Very proud of this book cover created by Kim Killion of The Killion Group, Inc.
The hawk tattoo was designed by Terry of Terry Didum Designs.
I had never been to Boulder, Colorado. I spent a few days there to experience, firsthand, the city I fell in love with via internet research. The real came close to the fiction.
I didn’t know about this sculpture of a red-tail hawk until I walked through the courtyard of the courthouse. That is the moment I knew writing was my true life’s journey – April 2016.
Walking Pearl Street was surreal – April 2016
The tulips on Pearl Street were in full bloom – April 2016
Aww… the faces in the pansies on Pearl Street – April 2016
Breathtaking view of the seasons changing in Boulder, Colorado
Thank you, and please feel free to reach out to me via my website or on any of my social media platforms.