Monday, December 19, 2011

Author Interview: Jackie Gamber

Jackie Gamber is an award-winning freelance editor, as well as award-winning author of the fantasy novel Redheart, available now through Seventh Star Press( and ebook at a special rate of $2.99! A veteran of the USAF, she is now, among other things, a rosarian, a professional BookTaster, and an avid believer in imagination. Visit Jackie and her BookTastings on the world wide web at


Try to describe your book in one sentence.

Kallon Redheart is a dragon who has turned his back on everything he once believed in, but must face his past to save the future of Leland Province.

Your genre in "Redheart" is "fantasy"? Did you choose that genre on purpose, or did you just start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy for my personal reading, and most of the stories I envision writing hover around in those genres in at least some way. With “Redheart”, though, the characters definitely came first, introducing themselves to me in such a way that the world filled in around them, and couldn’t have been written any other way.

What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?

For “Redheart” in particular, or any writing project of mine, I believe inspiration comes from a mysteriously secretive place that I don’t even fully grasp. I’m definitely an observer; of life, people, other art forms, other stories. I know my experiences and beliefs and even my own personal questions get thrown into a vat together, where they stew and brew and eventually bubble up something I simply have to write down.

Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?

I like to make my stories seem as true as possible, so even with fantasy or invented worlds, I do try to mimic the general rules of human and environmental nature. In developing Leland and her neighboring provinces, I often researched which trees and plants could be found growing together in a deciduous forest, what sorts of animals could best survive in certain climates, that sort of thing. I’d like my readers to be drawn into a story that seems so real it must exist somewhere!

Which scenes were the hardest to write?

Now and again while I’m writing, a scene will veer off into danger I hadn’t planned out, or will take a turn for more emotion than I meant. It’s difficult when I stump myself, especially when I like the surprising turn and want to keep it. It’s the “how do I get my character out of this?” question that tends to make writing hardest for me.

How long has it taken you to write a book?

I wrote the first few chapters of “Redheart” in bits and pieces over a long period of time before I finally got serious and decided to finish it for real. Once I got focused, “Redheart” took about six months or so.

What’s the best part of writing for you?

The best part of writing usually comes from those moments mingled with the worst parts! When I’ve stumped myself with a plot surprise, or when the words are a struggle for me during dry spells, but I keep pushing and writing anyway, and then wham! Breakthrough! The story gels, the words work. That’s the best part.

Are you reading or writing something else at the moment?

I read a lot of nonfiction while I’m writing. Just now I’m learning how to knit, so my personal reading revolves around yarns and patterns and all those fun things. I’m currently working on Book Two of the Leland Series, and will be shifting soon to Book Three, followed by a fantasy steampunk novel in a new world.

Did you have support at the beginning and/or during your writing?

My husband and my two children have always encouraged me to keep working, keep envisioning where I want to take my writing. Sometimes the cost of pursuing a dream can seem too steep, too much sacrifice, and I’ve had serious doubts as to whether I’m doing the right thing. My husband, Dan, has always held me to the promises I’ve made myself without condition. My kids, in elementary school when I first starting writing and submitting, are 20 and 16 years old now, and still believing in me.

Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

I’ve written for as long as I can remember, sort of in the way lots of people sing in the shower. Just for the expression of it. But one day I thought, maybe I could really study this craft and see what I can do with it, where I could go.

How important you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?

I love readers, and really enjoy their company and their conversation – I’m a reader, too! Social networking such as Facebook or Twitter are a great outlet for me, especially when I spend so much time at my desk that I’m not getting out of the house much.

I’ve learned to be cautious about reading reviews directly, though. I always appreciate feedback, and I’m honored when a reader takes the time to review, because that’s extra time and energy they’ve given my story! So my husband keeps me informed, generally, of the tone and direction of my reviews so I can benefit from the feedback.

Are you working on any other projects except writing, right now?

I’m really enjoying my knitting! It’s a great way for me to wind down in the evenings, without overtaxing the side of my brain I use to write. I’m getting great at scarves, and I’ve even managed a couple of hats. Next, I want to try gloves.

Something special you want to share with us?

Read books! All kinds! Including Redheart”, of course. Books have antioxidants for the brain. And drink tea while you read, for the whole antioxidant mind and body cleanse. In fact, I believe books and tea are such terrific partners, I love to pair certain blends with certain novels to really bring out the best of both. You can check out my Book-Tasting on my website at

Your favourite books and author?

I have so many favorite books! But without a doubt, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, and “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. Also “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury.

Your favourite band/singer?

I’m an 80’s music generation, so I know a lot of lyrics to Big Hair Band ballads without realizing I do. But nowadays I listen on purpose to Deuter, Gandalf (the musician, not the wizard), Medwyn Goodall: atmospheric stuff.

Twitter or Facebook?

Both! I like the broader communication of Facebook, but I find a lot of friends and kindred spirits through Twitter.

Favourite place in the world?

I love mountains; the shaggier the better. My first favorite chain is the Smoky Mountains in the U.S., but I also adore the Ozark Mountains all throughout Arkansas.

Last movie you watched at the cinemas?

I don’t often get to the cinema, so I’ll have to think back a bit. I believe my last visit was to see “Thor” – which I remember enjoying a lot more than I was expecting!

The last book you’ve read?

The last fiction book I read was “Tamsin” by Peter Beagle. My most recent nonfiction has been “The Knitter’s Life List” by Gwen Steege, which has really challenged me to take on new adventures.

Have you ever googled yourself?

I have Googled myself! A strange part of being a writer is how it isn’t all about art, but business, too. I do need to keep a finger on my pulse in the virtual world, as well as the real one.

Writing, reading or hanging out with friends?

I very much like to write, read, and hang out with friends, although the focus varies, depending on my projects. Lately, I’ve done a lot more writing, and less hanging out.

If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?

I’ve always enjoyed animals and books. I’ve often thought of working in a zoo or some kind of wildlife park. But I could really enjoy running a little book and tea shop in some ancient, rose-covered building filled with comfy seats.

And last one....printed or ebooks?

Both! I enjoy e-books for the “all you can eat buffet” sort of experience, and my digital reader fits onto the back of a motorcycle, so I can take my whole library with me on adventures!

But tree-books are treasures. Printed books are a tactile experience, with worn edges and scented memories of a whole life. I still have books from when I was young; they’re admired and remembered as old friends.

Thank you!!

"Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.

As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.

A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon Series."


  1. Excellent interview and Jackie is planning Steampunk. Oh I know I have to read that. Jackie is the first author I interviewed on my blog so I squishy <3 her :)

  2. @Jessica: so happy you liked it :D It's great to see the authors you are interested about, to write something new!

  3. Thank you for your comment, Jess! I'm glad you're keeping an eye out for me, and I sure hope you enjoy my steampunk novel coming soon. :)


There is lot of spam lately at the posts, so for a while i will put up the comment moderation. Sorry for that, i really don't like it but i thought it might stop the spamming. It will be down soon enough! Thanks a lot :)

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