One of my favorite writers is Jinx Schwartz. I’ve reviewed three of her books on Amazon and just finished “Troubled Sea.” I live my secret sailor’s life on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico through her books.
I asked Jinx if she would answer some questions about her writing. She graciously consented. Ok here goes:
You got married after buying a yacht and went sailing. What inspired you to write?
Actually I bought my first boat, a 42′ trawler, while still single, a condition I hoped to remedy by owning a large yacht. It worked. I met my hubby at a yacht club, and three years later we tied the knot (nautical term), sailed under the Golden Gate bridge, and turned left. The idea was spend time in Cabo San Lucas and be back in three months. What really happened? We stayed in Mexico and still have a boat there after over twenty years. Unfortunately, that 42-footer sank in 2003 in a hurricane, but we have another and spend out winters afloat.
I wrote my first book, “The Texicans,” as a result of a genealogical trip back through time. I am a ninth-generation Texan, and stumbled upon history book referring to my ancestors as a ‘CONGENIAL SOCIETY FOR EVIL’. I just had to write a rebuttal to that kind of besmirching!
Did you have any writing experience? Do you read a lot?
I am a voracious reader and have been since Dick and Jane. I only wrote the occasional technical paper and a few business proposals my employers considered too flippant.
I see you use CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Does that mean you self publish your books? Do you need a publisher, editor, and agent?
Is it easier to go the self-publishing route that seeking the traditional way?
I’ve been self-pubbed, small press pubbed, audio pubbed, and now I’m totally indie. I parted ways with my publisher three years ago and went on my own…best thing ever for my career. I have new covers, new books, new ebooks, and my latest, “Just the Pits” (book five in the Hetta Coffey series) is all me, KDP Select, and Createspace. I love Amazon! They created a whole new world for writers like me.
I will say, however, a new writer without benefit of good editors, and being hit over the head with the craft of writing by a tradition publisher/editor, is in danger of putting an inferior product on the market and will pay the price in reviews. I love that I can do it all on my own now, but the ease of publishing is a two-edged sword, and many writers are able to publish work that needs a lot of work.
As you know, I compare Hetta and her way of speaking to Nelson DeMille; snarky, sarcastic, dry humor but good person and I’ve read everything he’s written. Is that how you see Hetta and are you like that?
And I cannot tell you how flattered I am to be compared with DeMille in any way! He is one of my favorite writers, and yes, I have been known to be quick with a snark. However, now that I have Hetta to do it for me, my friends have all breathed a sigh of relief. My enemies? Still fair game.
“Troubled Sea” to me is more a literary work, more character driven, more political, while the novels “Just add Water, Salt, and Water” were more event driven. I used literary because I highlighted words deuenas, lazuline, arriere pensee.
I wrote “Troubled Sea” before embarking on the Hetta Coffey thing. Who knew Hetta as a single woman would be so popular? I do not consider “Troubled Sea” a part of the series, as it set in the future, after Hetta’s antics. Literary? Gee, thanks!
I really liked Nikki in this book. Do you see a series with her as the main character or the two ladies teaming up? Am I correct that Nikki is successful despite working in a man’s world, while Hetta just doesn’t give a rip about working with men?
Hetta and Nikki would make a good team. Or maybe not, since Nikki is the law, and Hetta is pretty much lawless. Both work in a man’s world, it’s just that Hetta is way past putting up with men she doesn’t like or respect, and Nikki, as a DEA agent, is forced to deal with them. However, no bad guy wants to mess with either gal.
When do you write? How can you write a book so fast? Do you outline the book before writing it?
Fast? I’m lucky to turn out a book a year, but I’m working on that. It is getting easier, as a series picks up where it left off, many of the characters make return appearances, and Hetta is…well, Hetta. The difficulty is coming up with new scenarios, and keeping it fresh. Readers expect Hetta to act a certain way, and it is my job to deliver.
I write when I feel like it. When I don’t feel like it, I edit.
Not big on outlines, so instead of outlining before writing a book, I outline as I go. I sometimes have an ending in mind, but not always. I come up with an idea for a story, choose a setting, and let Hetta have her head. Right now I’m writing Hetta #6, no title yet, no pub date scheduled. Just as in boating; when we leave the dock we don’t have plan, and we’re sticking to it.
She’s baaaak! Just the Pits, Book 5 in the Hetta Coffey series, is now available http://amzn.to/15orD90
And for the other four, get Hetta in a box. Hetta Coffey Collection Boxed Set Books 1-4 in Award Winning Series . http://amzn.to/10QsxpI
ALL other BOOKS just 2.99, including the others in award-winning Hetta Coffey series. http://amzn.to/QpYtAR Twitter @jinxschwartz FB http://on.fb.me/YJ7hXT