Friday, March 1, 2019

E. C. Jackson Author Interview


Photo Content from Chelsea Sedoti

E. C. Jackson began her writing career with the full-length play Pajama Party. For three and a half years she published the Confidence in Life newsletter for Alpha Production Ministries, in addition to writing tracts and devotionals. Teaching a women’s Bible study at her church for eleven years naturally led to her current endeavor of writing inspirational romance novels and teen and young adult fiction. Her mission: spiritual maturity in the body of Christ through fiction.

A note from E. C. Jackson: “The Write Way: A Real Slice of Life” is the slogan on my website and Facebook author page. If every person reading my book feels connected to the characters, my job is done.

       


Pajama Party: The Story
By E. C. Jackson
YA Christian Contemporary 
Paperback & ebook, 213 Pages 
August 26th 2017 by E. C. Jackson 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR 
Food, Fun and Pillow Fights! Welcome to the book tour for my first YA book.

Pajama Party: The Story is the companion book to A Living Hope. The main character of A Living Hope, Sadie Cummings, wrote this book for the girls of Shiatown. After the book was published, she quickly adapted the story into a play. In Sadie’s story, she fought for a chance to restore broken dreams and dealt with the reality of missed chances and bad decisions. Interaction with the nine girls in the drama provided insight into her own teen and college years.

Each girl held solid convictions about herself. Strong personalities prevailed within the group at large. During rehearsals, Sadie observed them through times of happiness and when they were hurting. However, her opinions about their character fluctuated on any given day. One fact never changed: Individuals who appeared to be followers were selective in who they followed. It seemed they never followed anyone to places they had no wish to go or engaged in events they had no wish to join.

But why? Their motivations highlight the story.

Pajama Party is adapted from a play I wrote many years ago. I hope you enjoy the peek inside the lives of nine girls who stole my heart. My prayer is that they steal your heart as well.
— E. C.
  


When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
In ninth grade, I wrote a short story and the English teacher doubted its originality. Her accusation cinched my desire to write stories. An added perk was receiving the A she grudgingly stamped on the paper. Whereas the plagiarism allegation angered my parents for days, I was happy she thought the short story was professionally written.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
The story was adapted from a play I wrote many years ago, so my own visions and experiences of what were teen challenges warred with today’s reality of teenage life. That truth combined with day-job exhaustion was difficult to overcome. Waking up at 5 a.m. and falling asleep at midnight drains creativity.

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
I enjoy reading books about how you can overcome any obstacle, rise above the fray, and help others conquer their fears. Those types of stories inspire me to write books of the same type. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is my favorite book. The story epitomized achieving victory over false expectations and limitations—your own and those of other people.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
People who let me know they enjoy reading my books encourage me to keep going, regardless of obstacles I encounter. Having readers connect with the characters in each story raises hope for me and hopefully for them.

In your new book; PAJAMA PARTY: THE STORY, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
With a guest list certain to create conflicts and plenty of drama, the pajama party served a higher purpose than the hostess ever imagined. All Karen wanted was an opportunity to live the life she had enjoyed before seventh grade. Was it an achievable ambition? Maybe. That was the year she abandoned many true friends for some artificial ones. She’s now older and wiser, but she also has a new host of problems she’d never imagined.

Eight other girls embark on the same roller-coaster ride. From the time of their arrival, preconceived notions, false assumptions, selfishness, and self-doubt surface with each interaction. Do the girls know one another as well as each one believes? Or will they learn secrets and uncover unknown truths, even about themselves?

The stakes are high as the teens face a variety of challenges throughout the night.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Diane and Evette?
At sixteen, Diane had sought acceptance since moving to Shiatown in sixth grade. Real or imagined snubs stifle her growth, because she seeks approval. Evette moved to Shiatown this year with friendship issues from her old town. While yearning for friends, she continues on the same course that separated her from her former best friend.

In order to correct previous mistakes, important decisions must be made with an ear to the past and an eye to the future, while living in the present. If not, the girls will feel put upon. How far are they willing to go to fit in?

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Pajama Party: The Story is a companion book to A Living Hope. In that story, the main character, Sadie Cummings, wrote a book God had practically given to her from beginning to end. She knew what each character did and how they did it, but not why they reacted as they did. Writing the book for the girls of Shiatown aided Sadie’s own healing. Hence, Pajama Party: The Story is the book Sadie wrote, and Karen is the main character in the story. How marvelous it would be for Karen to meet Sadie, her creator.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
This week, I will begin writing book four of the five book hope-themed standalone series. Then I want to write companion books for Pajama Party: The Story. When one of my editors is ready, we plan to write a women’s fiction book together.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
When I was nineteen, my best friend secured her first job out of college in Houston, Texas. On her first visit home, I relocated to Houston but returned home two months later. I missed my family too much to stay away.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
Years back, I underwent major surgery that taught me to trust God more.

What would you like to experience again?
Publishing my latest book.

What song always makes you happy when you hear it?
“I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me.



Most sleepovers are simple. Food, fun, and pillow fights. But sixteen-year-old Karen Duncan has bigger plans for her slumber party. Family troubles have changed her over the past year, and she’s no longer the petty, selfish girl she used to be. Now she’s ready to shake things up with her friends. The guest list comes as a surprise to some and a slap in the face to others. This popular girl has invited some not-so-popular guests. Even more shocking, she’s left out some of the girls she’s hung out with since middle school.

Diane and Evette are outsiders, nervous about being stuck in a house with the same girls who tease them at school. Kathy, Lisa, and Joann come to the party with the confidence of the in-crowd, but they’re masking inner-turmoil that is bound to surface. Sandy and Angela are usually the voices of reason…usually. And then there’s Linda, the friend that got away. She may not ever forgive the girls who abandoned her years ago. Karen hopes to change her mind.

Her agenda is ambitious, and it could spell disaster. But Karen is convinced God will use this party to spark a new beginning for everyone involved. This companion book to A Living Hope gives us the inspired story Sadie Cummings wrote for the girls of Shiatown.


You can purchase Pajama Party: The Story at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you E.C. JACKSON for making this giveaway possible.
One 1st Prize winner will receive:
- A Living Hope Paperback (the companion book to Pajama Party: The Story)
- 1 Key chain for Pajama Party: The Story
- 1 Key chain for A Living Hope
One 2nd Prize winner will receive:
- A $25 Amazon eGift Card

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the review, I found it very interesting. I have no memorable sleepover memories since it was rare that I went to a friends for night.
    lindacfast@hotmail.com

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  2. Jean, thank you for the interview. I appreciated the thoughtful questions and guest comment.

    E. C. Jackson

    ReplyDelete
  3. The most memorable sleepover was when I was a teen and was with a group of girls I knew fairly well from church, but hadn't known for a long time. We were sharing stories and as the night went on I realized that I had made a bunch of assumptions about their lives--that things were "perfect", that their home lives matched my expectations for happy churchgoing people. One girl in particular was telling about when her parents had a terrible fight, and her dad left...and I kept waiting for the part about when he returned home to the kind mother and their six kids. But, no. It turns out that everyone but me knew that he never came home, dad abandoned them and they were divorced. I had known and I had to wonder if I had not been listening up until then because I thought I knew how things were.

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