JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Jean Holloway, author of Black Jack
Detective Shevaughn Robinson has gone from the cop everyone doubted to the “golden child” of the Portsborough Police Department. When Helene Elliott is found dead from an apparent suicide, the police are pressured to take on the investigation.
Buckle up and follow Shevaughn as she moves closer to solving the murder of a lonely widow, unknowingly rekindling old grudges and awakening a sinister spirit. Get ready, itâ€™s going to be a bumpy ride.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Black Jack?
Jean Holloway: When I wrote Ace of Hearts, I ended the novel with a hint of a possible sequel. I had no idea it would be 29 years before I would start Black Jack!
The idea was to continue Detective Shevaughn Robinson’s story, giving her a new case, telling readers what transpired in her life after her first case and answering some of the unanswered questions readers had when they finished reading Ace of Hearts.
JP: What did you learn from writing and promoting Ace of Hearts that you were able to apply to Black Jack?
JH: One of the hardest lessons for me while writing Ace of Hearts was getting the “point of view” correct. It took extensive editing classes and read many books on writing before the light bulb came on. One of the best for me was Stephen King’s On Writing.
When I wrote Black Jack, I think I finally got it right! As for promotion, I learned you can never do too much, and it’s a full time job. Thank God, I found folks like you and Dana Pittman of Nia Promotions to help me with this. I also learned the earlier you start promoting the better.
JP: Who inspired you to write murder mysteries?
JH: My inspirations began with Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie and graduated to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I have to tell you, I don’t consider Ace of Hearts or Black Jack murder mysteries. I think they’re adult, romantic, psychological, crime thrillers.
The difference? When reading a mystery, the fun is trying to figure out who done it, when reading a thriller you get up close and personal with the killer.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Black Jack?
JH: I don’t have much control over my writing process. I start with an idea, and my characters take over. It amazes me how some authors plot their story. Every time I’ve tried that, I’ve hit a brick wall and come down with writer’s block.
Mostly, I just write what they tell me to. My only problem is that they’re nocturnal, they usually don’t start talking until after midnight. I know it sounds crazy, but it works for me!
It took 18 months to complete Black Jack. One of the reasons it took so long was this is my first time writing a novel on the computer. I found the ability to immediately edit slowed me down and kept me from completing the story. Also I’m a lousy typist! I’m working on that.
JP: What’s next for Jean Holloway?
JH: Promotion, promotion, promotion. First, Nia Promotions and I will begin Black Jack‘s virtual launch. On October 17, 2009, I’ll be at the Georgia Literary Festival, Rome City Auditorium.
I just wrote the prologue for book 3. So far, it’s untitled since my characters haven’t given me that information yet. I just know this time the bad guy isn’t a guy!
No awards yet, but Ace of Hearts was 2008 Best Mystery (here we go again ;o) Finalist in the African American Literary Awards Show against Walter Mosley’s The Tempest Tales. He beat me like a bad child!
Win a copy of Ace of Hearts by JeanHolloway. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Jeanâ€™s debut novel. Deadline for comments is 12:00 pm EST October 7, 2009. For more details and to enter to win one of the Reader Prizes visit http://bit.ly/NctRB.
Banned from Vegas with Jean Holloway, is a virtual book tour organized by Nia Promotions, that assists authors and publishers with using web-marketing strategy to market and promote books on the internet.
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