Award-winning mystery and romance author Jacqueline Seewald has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Sixteen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies. Learn more about Jacqueline and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I always loved to write but it wasn’t until I graduated from college that I actually decided I wanted to write a novel.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
My first novel never was published. But it was a worthwhile learning experience. It took about ten years before one of my novels was picked up by a publisher.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
All of my books have been traditionally published. By that I mean I haven’t self-published. But some have been published by smaller publishers.
Where do you write?
I write at home at my desk in a corner nook.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I’ve read that music is good for generating creative energy, but although I love many kinds of music, I find it distracting when I’m writing. I want to hear the words in my mind as I work.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Reality does have a way of intruding into my plots and characters, but it’s always fictionalized. In my historical romance novels like Tea Leaves and Tarot Cards and The Killing Land real people and events are weaved into the plot line. With historical fiction, I do considerable research. The main characters in The Inheritance are essentially imaginary as the novel is a contemporary cozy romantic mystery. But the setting is realistic.
Describe your process for naming your character?
I try to give characters names that are appropriate to their physical and mental natures. So a good name for a tough, strong guy would be “Rock.” In The Inheritance, my police chief hero’s name is “Grant.” My heroine, “Jennifer,” is an attractive, gentle-natured woman.
Real settings or fictional towns?
That’s a tough one. My Kim Reynolds paranormal mystery series is set in a fictional town in NJ that closely resembles the real town in which I lived for forty years. The Inheritance, set in NYC and a typical Midwest town, combines elements of the real city with fictional small town America.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
I’d have to say Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I love the novel. I think it’s a brilliant book and have reread it many times.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I don’t think the efforts of writers are valued as they should be. I dislike the fact that the Internet has pushed a lot of print publications out of business. It cuts down on the opportunities for writers of all kinds.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
My husband would be #1, food, shelter and a bible would come after. I know that’s four, but I’d need each for different reasons.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
The Bible. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate all the wonderful stories and poetry it provides. Very inspirational for writers.
Ocean or mountains?
I love both. But if I had to choose, it would be the ocean. As a Jersey girl,
I love the shore.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
Again, I love both, but I was raised in a city and am most comfortable in one.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I love writing varied work. I’ve had some success with poetry, plays, nonfiction, and short stories besides novels. Right now, I’m selling short fiction mainly. Soon to be published: two mystery/detective stories, fantasy, science fiction and literary work. I am also working on two new novels.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
The Inheritance is a romantic mystery with cozy elements as well as suspense. I hope your readers will decide to select the novel. I believe they would enjoy it. I love hearing from readers. You can visit me on Facebook or Twitter as well as my blog. I also write for AuthorExpressions.
Jennifer Stoddard is a 35-year-old widow who has just found out she is the sole heir of her grandmother's estate, located in the Midwest town she grew up in. But there is a catch; she must live in the house for two years before she can claim the estate, and someone doesn't want her there. The threats begin soon after her return. A rifle shot whizzes through her car window, her brakes are tampered with, and her tires are slashed. Police Chief, Grant Coleman, is called upon to investigate. Unfortunately, the history between Jen and Grant from high school causes them to mistrust each other. However, Grant is a professional and intends to do his job. Together they explore who might want to drive Jen out of the house, while trying to understand their feelings of anger, mistrust and desire for each other. With Jen's life on the line, will they be able to put the past behind them to work together and save her and her son's lives?