Sunday, January 11, 2015

Author interview: Laura Jackson

Today I am hosting a talented author who works a day job as a school librarian! Laura Jackson is her name and I hope you will enjoy getting to know her on my blog today.

But first, here's a gift just for you: Laura has agreed to give away one paperback copy of her book to a U.S. resident and one e-book if you're international (live outside of the United States of America)! You can enter the book giveaway contest by leaving a comment that answers Laura's question at the end of this interview. You need to include your e-mail address in your comment so that if you're the winner, Laura can contact you to arrange the deliver of your prize. The contest starts today, Jan. 11 and ends on Sunday, Jan. 25. The winners will be announced in the comment section of this blog post on Monday, Jan. 26. The winner will be selected via an old-fashioned random drawing conducted by me (Alexis).

Are you excited? I hope so! Now on to the author interview (questions by Alexis in bold, answers from Laura not in bold)....

~*~
Alexis: Your second Young Adult (YA) novel, Worth the Time, released last Thursday. Tell us about it.

Laura: Routinely ignored by her single mother, high school senior Lindsey Hamilton hides her loneliness behind a mask of flirtatious self-confidence that has many boys wrapped around her finger. However, during community service required for graduation, she meets a shy guy with a haunted past who barely gives her the time of day. Why doesn't he like her? 

Then the father she thought had abandoned her before birth wants to meet, and she discovers everything she believed about him is a lie. How will Lindsey learn to trust so she can realize that she has been loved all along? 

Who is your leading lady and main man for your book Worth the Time? Give us a glimpse into their character and history.

Lindsey is the mean girl from book one in the Waltham Academy series, and I wanted to know why she was so hateful. I always root for the underdog, but I didn’t expect to love her as much as I do. I have a soft spot for the abandoned girl who is so desperate to be loved.

Sutton is a guy Lindsey meets when she has to finish some community service hours. He’s had a hard life, but he loves Jesus.

The book features them, but the most important relationship in the book is the one between Lindsey and her Creator.

Share an anecdote that shows how you fell in love with YA books.

I love the realness and open honesty of YA books, I love seeing characters figure out who they are. Once, I was reading Sold by Patricia McCormick during our silent reading time. It was quiet in the room, and I screamed out, “SAY YOUR NAME! JUST SAY YOUR NAME!” My kids all jumped, and I of course had to share a little about the book. Couldn’t keep it on the shelves after that.

Do you miss your first career where you taught 7th grade language arts for eight years? Why or why not?

I do sometimes, but I really love being a librarian. I see grades 1-5 every day for an hour, and we have so much fun. We read books and do crafts and play games in response to the book. 

However, I do miss the older kids, the great discussions you can have, the relationships you build when you have the same kids every day and are responsible for their education.

Do you still work for the school system? Why or why not?

Yes, I’m the librarian at an elementary school in a suburb of Houston. I love sharing my love of reading with over 700 kids every year.

Is writing your full-time job now? Why or why not? 

I sometimes wish I could write full time, but I think the experiences I have through my job inspire my writing. Working at a school also gives me plenty of vacation time in which I can write. So, it’s a win-win.

Who is your favorite YA author? Why? 
Ally Carter is fantastic. Every single one of her books is tightly written with amazing characters and a fast-paced plot. She’s amazing. Check her out. It’s not Christian fiction, but it’s very clean.

What’s your favorite YA book ever? Why?

Sold by Patricia McCormick moved me like no other book has. There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones inspired me to begin writing Christian YA.

Describe your writing space. 

I write in my bed, surrounded by pillows. One day, I’ll have an office, but for now, I’m comfy.

What do you love about writing the most?

I’m not good at talking about my feelings, and it’s nice to get them all out through characters.

What is your least favorite part about being a writer?

Editing it. I enjoyed editing my books the first time, but by the fifth or sixth time, I’m so tired of the characters, plot, etc., I just want to throw it away.

As a woman of faith, what role does your belief in God play into your storytelling?

I love Coming of Age books, and even the best ones often miss the point—we find who we are in Jesus. And it’s that belief that pushes me to write about girls finding their worth, their way, and their identity in the One who made them.

If you could be one of your characters in real life, who would you choose? Why?

I’d want to be Ellie because I love Josh.

It’s a New Year! What are your greatest goals for your writing career in 2015?

To be more consistent in my writing. I want to finish two full novels and a novella.

Complete this sentence: My favorite Bible verse is ________________ because _______________________.

My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:11b in ESV, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” because I feel that’s where God has me—learning to be content no matter where God has me.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Laura! Please leave a question for my readers to answer so they can qualify for your book giveaway.

Laura:
Why do you like Young Adult (YA) books?

~*~
Author bio: 
Laura Jackson loves books—reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master's degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.

Buy Laura’s books on Amazon.com:


Worth the Wait, http://amzn.to/1xBXG48

Worth the Time, http://amzn.to/14kcxEP

Connect with Laura online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurajacksonwrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraJackson80

Blog: http://authorlaurajackson.blogspot.com/

Instagram: ljack80

5 comments:

  1. Hi ladies, and thanks for this great interview! I've gotten to know Alexis a bit on the ACFW loop, and when I saw that Laura was a guest, I had to pop in and find out about her and her books. I'll be honest. I've never even read a YA book, but I'm SO curious to read one! One of my best readers was given one of your books, Laura. She was very impressed (she wrote a review) and told me that your writing style. . .actually reminds her of the way I write my own books: with a clear representation of Christ’s love at work in the hearts of your characters. That’s all I needed to hear, so I definitely want to read YOUR work! I’ve taken a look at your books on Amazon, and they sound fabulous. You do have a win-win situation as a librarian, I love that you live in my beloved Texas (I met my hubby there and live there vicariously now through my books), and I laughed out loud at your comment about how you want to throw the book away after you’ve edited it a few times. I can identify. Many blessings to you as your continue to write for His glory in 2015! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear JoAnn,
      Congratulations! You WON a free book from Laura! :)
      Please check your e-mail for a message from me with details of how you can claim your prize.
      God bless you! :)
      Sincerely,
      Alexis

      Delete
  2. I always thought being a librarian would be a dream job!

    I don't read much YA, but have read and enjoyed several of Melanie Dickerson's fairytale retellings which I think are considered YA.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, those are, Patty. Melanie's books are on my to-read pile.
    Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete