This edition of a Perfect 10 features author Charles (Chuck) Jackson. He brings a lot of great insight on how he draws from his life experience for his writing. I enjoyed his responses to my questions.
NOTE: I’m not including the links to the previous interviews as I normally do. The number has grown so large that it was taking up a great deal of real estate. I’m looking at establishing an archive of all of the authors I’ve interviewed over the past two years as an offshoot of my site. It’s in development. Look for it soon along with a new way for authors to get exposure on my blog in 2018.
Now, please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 with Chuck Jackson:
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I don’t think I’m any different from most authors, when the mood hits me, I can’t wait to get started. Once the thoughts and emotions start to flow, I can’t get them written fast enough. Often, I have to stop and take notes before the idea leaves my head. I lose myself within my writing and I’ll sit at the computer two, three, and even four hours without a break. When I have one of these marathon sessions, when finished I feel exhausted, but also on an emotional high from the experience.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
I’m a novice author and I only have two books published. Personally, my writing is not in the limelight enough for the need to have a pseudonym. If it ever was and it caused an evasion of my privacy, I might consider it.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
In my opinion, big egos hurt any professional, including writers. Before I retired, I would tell my staff, no one is irreplaceable. Anytime your ego gets in the way of your performance, you are hindering the operation. I don’t think a big ego would enhance a writer to take risks he/she would not ordinary take. Modesty opens yourself to your readers and you can learn from your peers.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I’m sure there will other things in the future, but at my level, finding a good editor willing to take on my work was the best investment I’ve made.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
Success for me would be for my peer writers to recognize me and for them to acknowledge my writing as good. I’ve had some compliments, but I feel I still have many things to learn.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
Since my two books were based on my life experiences, they didn’t require an extensive research. The first book was about my years in the military and deployment to Vietnam. It was over forty years ago and I could not remember the aircraft and the locations I had been. I used the Internet for identifying the manufacture and nickname given for many of the aircraft. I also used the maps from the Internet to identify locations. For my second book it was just the opposite, since it was about my childhood. I did change names and locations to protect the identity of people. The events did not require research.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
In both books, I changed the names of the protagonist and the individuals involved in the story. I will admit my selection of names were not the greatest. I used last names of people (not relatives or friends) I’ve known and then added first names as it came to me. I would not say I regretted my selection, I think I could have done better.
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
I would say writing about action involving tragedy or destruction is difficult at my level of writing. Selecting the nouns, adjectives, and adverbs to give the reader the visual of the action is difficult. I often rewrite it several times before I’m satisfied.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
Now this is a great interview question. I’ve had this type question asked when I interviewed for an accounting position. My answers now since I’m retired are very different from back then. Now they are:
(1) I went to a psychiatrist for several years and she help me through some though times. I would love to discuss how much I have grown since then. I would want to thank her again, she did change me life.
(2) Barack and Michelle Obama would give me that insight of life in the White House and what it was like to have that responsibility.
(3) I have read several authors through the years, some I have read everything they published. For example Anne Rice and John Grisham. It would be educational to be able to pick their brain on writing tips.
(4) What an experience it would be if you could sit and talk with one of Jesus Christ’s disciples; especially Peter. I’m sure it would be life changing.
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
The things that did not work are more numerous than the ones that did. Social Media was great in notifying friends and friends of friends of my book. It was also great obtaining more followers for my blog site. When I was a guest on another writer’s blog sites, it did nothing for obtaining reviews or selling books. However, I got some great support and following from the WordPress community. I did a Kindle Countdown deal, sold less than ten books, and got no reviews. What has worked best for me has been Kindle’s Sponsored Ads. In saying that, you do have to watch the data closely. What is getting attention (clicks and sales) one week, may not work the next. I watch for new books in my genre and place a sponsored ad on their page. The greatest thing that has helped has been the tips, corrective criticism, and support from peer writers and followers. It feeds my ambition to improve.
One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up, follows a young man’s account of his four years serving in the Air Force. This novel follows him and his best friend as they volunteer to cross train into the elite career field of Pararescue. They spend 14 months of grueling training where only the best and those with the desire to push themselves to the limit, successfully succeed in becoming a PJ.
When he graduates and proudly wears the burgundy beret and Pararescue Flash, he knows it is only a matter of weeks; he will be assigned to a Pararescue flight crew in Vietnam. The book follows his 13 months in Vietnam where he quickly learns the horror of war and how he must adapt to not only keep his sanity, also return alive. His story contains several of the rescue missions he and his PJ brothers complete where not all of the rescued are returned alive. When he faces personal bereavement, he must reach deep to restore his integrity, and keep his oath, “These things I do, that others may live.”
What Did I Do? is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.
Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, what did I do?
Connect with Chuck:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/cljjlk/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105624026158453424361