Interview with Jackie Underdown

JackieUnderdownTell us about your publishing journey

I wrote my first novel five years ago, completely out of the blue. My husband was working away, I was at home looking after my youngest son and, in a way, writing was a wonderful way to escape reality for a couple of hours each day.

But it wasn’t until I had finished my fourth book, The Paler Shade of Autumn, four years later, that I found publication. I’ve suffered countless rejections during my route to publication and, even to this day, each and every rejection still makes me question my ability and sends my emotions into a spin.

I could credit being published now to my dedication to improving my writing ability, but I think, to a great extent, I’ve been given these opportunities because of the evolving publishing industry in Australia. With new digital publishers like Escape Publishing, novels like mine, which aren’t necessarily mainstream romances, are now given the chance to find readers.

What part of being a writer do you love most?

I love being able to create entire worlds, people, and circumstances exactly how I want them to be.  There is no greater, risk-free, emotional journey than the one I go on when writing a novel. I fall in love with sexy, alluring heroes, experience first kisses, make new friends, endure heart break—a myriad of beautiful emotions that I may not be able to ordinarily experience in real life.

Which part do you hate most?

The rejection process, bad reviews, relentless self-doubting, and the time writing takes away from my family.

What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?

I was told once by a good friend and mentor, ‘What you put your energy on, you will get’.  It’s a wonderful piece of advice in respect to ‘persistence’, and it is true (as long as you’ve got the energy reserves to keep going).

What inspired you to write Beautiful Illusion? 9780857990846

I was reading a lot about philosophy and alternative religions at the time I wrote Beautiful Illusion.  This certainly inspired the concept behind the story. I wanted to spin an emotional tale of two people who fall in love on a purely spiritual level, outside the realm of the physical universe.

What’s the strangest dream that you’ve ever had?

Where do I start? I’ve been plagued by weird, wonderful and sometimes terrifying dreams for as long as I can remember. But one that stays in my mind for its absolute bizarreness is a dream I had about an old, haggard lady that was crouched at the foot of my bed. She leant over and took a bite at my big toe. I woke up, heart beating hard, feeling as though it really happened. Let’s just say I couldn’t put my feet down to the very bottom of my bed for a little while after that.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Jericho Barrons from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. He’s the ultimate Alpha male. Red meat would have to be on the menu when dining with Jericho, so a juicy, tender steak would be perfect.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Kate Forsyth for her incredible ability to build worlds, educate about history, and still be entertaining. Sophie Kinsella for her strong, natural voice and humour. And Elizabeth Gilbert for her honesty.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently editing a story of mine I wrote about a World War I soldier. After that, I will be embarking on a new novel—witches, dark ages and women’s past tribulations.

 Where can fans find you online?


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