We have fantasy author Jackie Castle with us today. Jackie is the author of The White Road Chronicles, The Sentinel Archives for school-age readers, and newly released Madison Creek Bed & Breakfast romance series. She has also published articles and short stories in numerous magazines. She’s enjoyed many crazy adventures from working as a hairstylist, to her bravest quest: teaching children in daycare and elementary schools. Eventually, she settled down to a somewhat safer pursuit of being a Story-weaver.
1) When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
When I was in the 6th grade. I had wrote a mystery story. A “real” story with chapters and everything. I’d even made my own cover!
I showed it to my teacher who read my book, then told me she wanted to read it to the class. For the next week, I got to listen to my story being read to my classmates. And they were all listening and enjoying it. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer.
2) Tell us a little about your books.
I’ve been working on an inspirational fantasy series called The White Road Chronicles. Book 5: Ignited has just released and there’s one more to go.
In a nutshell Illuminated starts with a young girl named Alyra who escapes enslavement by a cruel ruler and follows her along the journey she undertakes to find out who she really is and where she came from. The following books continue the adventures of Alyra and the friends she makes during her journey as they all travel across the land of Alburnium to bring the people together to they can bring an end to evil’s reign over the land once and for all. They’re still in the process of making that happen.
I’ve also started a couple of new series. One for younger readers titled The Sentinel Archives. This story is about Malakai LeCrue who, after his father’s strange disappearance, must move in with their even stranger grandfather. Old man Pops writes the strangest fantasy stories and talks as if they were real. When Malakai turns twelve, he is suddenly able to see things only those from the Watcher bloodline can see. Things that his grandfather, and father have been seeing all Malakai’s life. A world which simply cannot possibly exists. Except, it does.
My newest series is for older readers that love small town romances. Madison Creek Bed and Breakfast starts when Texas native Haley Madison inherits her family’s dilapidated land up in arctic Michigan. In a desperate attempt to reclaim her life, she devises a grand plan and nothing will stand in her way. Not the town officials who want to interfere with her plans and certainly not the handsome violin playing Yankee guy she accidentally blows off the road with her Papop’s tweaked snow blower.
3) How do you write? What’s a normal writing day like for you?
I try to get started around 9am. My mornings are usually for writing new stuff, unless I’m swamped with editing. I work until around 1pm, break for lunch, and to work on a few chores. Then in the afternoon, I’m back to work with editing, outlining, marketing or any of the other long list of things I need to get done. I work until my son and husband get home. Then I do it again the next day.
4) What was your favorite book as a teen?
Watership Down. This one has been and will always be my favorite Best Bunny Book ever!! The Hobbit, and then later Lord of the Rings. Oh man, I loved fantasy first and would occasionally read other types of books. I guess these stick out the most.
5) Describe your feelings when you opened the box and saw the first published copies of your very first book?
Excitement. Accomplishment. Gratitude.
I was finally doing the one thing I’d wanted to do for as long as I could remember. I’m not sure I can adequately describe what I was feeling. All I can say is that I’m happier right now, doing what I’m doing, then I’ve been ever.
6) What are your hopes for your future as an author?
To keep writing stories that bless readers.
7) What inspired you to write?
I loved stories. I loved reading the Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew mysteries. I loved reading all kinds of books. Beverly Clearly. Laura Ingles Wilder. I would read one after another and I wanted to do it. I wanted to create stories that swept people away, made them think, touched their lives. I still want to do that.
8) What were some of the challenges for you writing your book?
Staying disciplined and on tasks. I get distracted easily. There is nobody to push me to do better or work harder. I have to be the one to do that. I have to keep my business in order. It’s been a learning process but every month, I learn more and get a little better at it.
9) What do you want readers to take away from your book?
I want to leave little nuggets that will make them think or encourage them along their own journeys.
10) In what ways does your faith impact how you approach writing?
In every way. I feel my stories are inspired by the walk I have with my Lord. The things I’ve learned, struggled through, and experienced.
11) What can you tell us about any future releases you have planned?
The next release is from the White Road Chronicles series. Book Five, titled Ignited.
After that, I’ll be releasing a Madison Creek novella in an April Fools collection, then will release the next novel in the series titled Raining Fools.
12) Star Wars or Star Trek?
Please. Star Wars
13) Favorite season?
Spring and Fall. Love the colors in both.
14) Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
15) Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are some examples?
I have several Pandora stations set up for various stories. My fantasy is written to either classical music or movie soundtracks from LOTR, Harry Potter, and Narnia. My romance is written to an Adele or Enya station. I also have You Tube soundtracks for nearly every book I’ve written that can be found on my web/blog sites.
16) How would you like to be remembered?
As a fantastical teller of inspiring tales
Thank you, Jackie, for joining us today! Here is where you can find her online:
Visit my amazon author page: