Jen: This weekend we are happy to have Donald Jacques as our guest. Don, will you please share a short bio with us?
Don: Born 1957, as army/air force brat. Moved quite a bit over life: Lived in Mississippi, S. Dakota, AZ, Ohio, Texas, S. Carolina, California. Married 3x – 8 kids (ages 14-28). 15 yr computer programmer, 8 yr teacher, 6 yr pro dance instructor, 4 yr commercial handyman, 5 yr security guard.
Jen: Tell us about Ancestors and where it’s available.
Don: I read Druid King, and was fascinated by the aspect that Vercingetorix was trained by druids. As I looked Druids up, I was enthralled. I found much of the info ridiculous, but much that was very intriguing. As I started to explore the druids, I discovered a desire to write about where they came from, and how they became what they were.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Don: I began writing poetry and stories in junior high. My first book, Moonstone, sat in a binder for 30 years before being published just this year.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Don: Relevant, Engaging, Challenging.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Don: For a long time, I just went with the flow. I discovered with Ancestors the benefits of outlining, timeline development, and character outlines.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Don: Historical and archaeology. Mostly on the web, a lot of reading at the library. Many times being asked to leave as they were trying to close.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Don: The most challenging is being disciplined enough to do a little writing every day. The easiest is doing research – however, it’s easy to get caught up in the research.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Don: Two things: First learning new things about the world, and myself as well; and second the light on the faces of people when they experience a new story and characters.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Don: I currently have projects in Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Contemp fiction, Sensuous Romance, some old projects in poetry, and even a few non-fiction items. I will try almost anything once. Stay away from . . . hmmmmm – Religion. Definitely, and Politics. I don’t have the stomach for arguments based solely on emotions.
Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Don: A.E. Van Vogt, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Andre Norton. The books they wrote created hopes, and aspirations far above and beyond what school or my parents offered. What would I say to them? A simple thank you.
Jen: What has been your highlight of your career to this point?
Don: Seeing my first book in print.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Don: Yard work is very therapeutic; I am president of the local Moon Society; I enjoy roller skating, but don’t get to do it much; and I am a mad scientist with an Artificial Intelligence project growing in my garage.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Don: I have three book projects coming over the next year.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Don: Where is the story you’ve always wanted to write?
Jen: Thank you Don for stopped by the blog. Readers, Don is giving away a print book of their choice to a random reader. The winner can choose between “Moonstone” (a coming of age fantasy) or “Ancestors” (a historical fantasy). To enter, you need to leave a comment or question for Don. Then you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The contest will end on Friday, August 21.