Thanks For The Memories

2016 was an interesting year to say the very least. I know several people who are more than ready to bid this year a rather disdainful adieu. But you know, 2016 wasn’t all political warfare and celebrity deaths. I can’t speak for everyone, but there are several moments from the past year on which I will look back with fondness.

And what better way to look back than with Instagram pictures?

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  1. Birthday Party at Painting with a Twist.

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2. Hot Chocolate by the fire.

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3. Hiking the ENTIRE 9 miles around White Rock Lake.

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4. Camping and sleeping outside for the very first time.

5. Adventures at Fossil Rim and Glen Rose Dinosaur Park.

6. My sister’s junior voice recital.

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7. The Little Mermaid, Wicked, and The Book of Mormon (not pictured).

8. Book Events.

9. Earth Day Celebration.

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10. A visit to Pioneer Village.

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11. My best friend moved home to Texas! This was definitely the best thing to happen to me this year!

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12. I took a dream vacation by myself to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, climbed two lighthouses, and visited the wild mustangs who live on the beaches.

13. I traveled to Arkansas to see my sister perform in Pinocchio.

14. A stop in to pay my respects to those buried at Showman’s Rest in Hugo, Oklahoma… the same graveyard featured in the third Cemetery Tours novel, After Death.

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15. Published the third book in the Boy Band Series and had a short story featured in Lurking in the Shadows!

16. Reconnected with old friends at my ten-year high school reunion. screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-11-04-09-pm

17. Met Aaron Watson.

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18. Celebrated the release of a “new” Harry Potter book… and was officially sorted into Ravenclaw!

19. Boy Band and Backstage won a few cool awards!

20. My sister and I traveled to Oklahoma to see 5 Seconds of Summer.

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21. I donated 10 inches of hair to Locks of Love.

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22. Found out I haven’t lost my touch at this Dave and Buster’s arcade game.

23. We all realized our childhood dreams of becoming Pokemon Masters.

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24. Had an amazing experience at the Texas Teen Book Festival (and got to spend the weekend with my dear friend Kara!)

25. Boy Band was featured in a SugarScape article! THIS was so very cool.

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26. Ghost hunting, sunrises on the beach, exploring submarines and World War II warships in Galveston.

27. I met Daymond John and gave him a copy of Cemetery Tours and a hug.

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28. Sold books and ate the most amazing cheesecake on a stick at Texas Renaissance Festival.

29. Met a childhood hero.

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30. Saw my sister perform in the Phantom of the Opera.

31. Found adventure in Lubbock (and trust me, that is not easy).

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32. Returned to the stage for the first time since grad school.

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33. And of course, read lots and lots and lots of books.

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Spring Has Sprung

Hello, friends.  I’m sorry I haven’t been updating as much as I should.  Life, as usual, is quite busy.  My sister is home for spring break so I’ve been spending as much time with her as I can.  We went to see the stage production of The Little Mermaid on Sunday and once again, I cried my eyes out because Ariel is my childhood hero.  Then yesterday, we spent the morning at the Arboretum.

It was a beautiful day and the best way to welcome spring.

As for book updates, I’m having so much fun writing the third book in the Boy Band series.  I think it’s going to be my favorite.  I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

I’m also helping my cousin (whom I only recently connected with on Facebook) publish her book of poetry/memoir.

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The photo on the cover is hers as well.  It’s been a new experience.  This is the first time I will have published a book that is not my own.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to publish it so that the royalties go directly to her.  I think I’ve finally got it all sorted, but it’s been a challenge.

Of course, I’m hoping to one day get to the point where I publish a LOT of books, not just my own and my family members, and I’ve had some requests.  The thing is, I can’t work for free.  With Margaret, it’s different since she’s family.  Even still, I don’t want to be a pay-to-publish company, or a vanity press, if you will.  I want my authors to get paid.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the sort of money that would allow me to make an offer or a payment up front.  I think the best way to do it would be to publish and keep 25% of the royalties while the other 75% go to the author.  But that’s not going to happen for a while.  I’m still trying to make a name for myself as an author.  That’s my ultimate dream.

On the other hand, I am very seriously considering offering my services as a cover designer.  I have thousands of images that would work for book covers (NOT stock images) and it’s something I really and truly enjoy.

What do y’all think?

21

Today, my little sister turns 21.  I could very well make this a sentimental post about how she’s my best friend in the world and how she’s crossing a major milestone and how I’m so thankful to have her in my life, and all of that would be very, very true.  I don’t know where I’d be without her.

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In honor of her birthday, I decided to release my new book, Backstage, the sequel to Boy Band, a day early on Kindle.  I did this, in part, because she loves the first book so much.  We’re both big boy band fans in real life, and she was the one who really pushed me to finish the first book and to publish it.  She enjoyed Cemetery Tours also, but not like Boy Band.

That being said, I hope you all enjoy the second book!  I did my best not to end it on as BIG a cliffhanger as the first one, but rest assured there is a third one in the works!  Sam and Mel’s story isn’t quite finished yet!

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Love you all!

Backstage on Kindle

 

Character Interview: Luke Rainer

Okay.  I’m finally getting around to giving Luke, the lead investigator of the oh so popular ghost-hunting show, Cemetery Tours, the opportunity to interview me.  It’s been a long time coming, since I haven’t posted a character interview since the one I did with Kate: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/character-interview-kate-avery/

That being said, let’s get started!

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Jackie Smith (JS):  Welcome, Luke!

Luke Rainer (LR):  Thanks, Sweetheart.  Good to be here.  I gather you’re a fan?

JS:  Probably one of your biggest.

LR:  Awesome.  That’s what I like to hear.

JS:  So, what questions do you have for me?

LR:  Here’s one.  How come I don’t have a girlfriend?

JS:  Do you want a girlfriend?  You don’t really strike me as a “relationship” kind of guy.

LR:  Not really.  I’m just wondering.  I mean, I’m gorgeous.  I have a great personality.  What gives?  Why am I still single?

JS:  Well, aside from the fact that you just confirmed that you don’t want one, I’m kind of of the mindset that you’re too focused on your career to have time for a serious girlfriend.  You might find one eventually.  But for now, you’re kind of man candy for my readers.  You know what I mean?

LR:  You’re using me as bait.

JS:  Yeah, sort of.  But really attractive bait.

LR:  Fair enough.  Okay, here’s another question.  I’ve been chasing ghosts for a while now, yes?

JS:  Yes.  Basically your whole life.

LR:  And that’s awesome.  But when do I get to hunt something a little more sinister?  You know, go after some demonic entities or evil spirits?

JS:  Never.

LR:  What?!  Why not?!

JS:  I mean, if you really want to go hunting demons, knock yourself out.  Go for it.  I’m just not going to write about it.

LR:  That’s not cool.

JS:  Too bad.  I’m the author.  You have to do what I tell you.

LR:  Not necessarily.

JS:  Okay, you’ve got me there.  Sure, when you’re not in my books, you can hunt as many demons and evil spirits as you want, but they scare me, so I’m not going to write about them.  Besides, these are ghost stories.  Not demonic entities stories.

LR:  But you believe there are demonic entities out there.

JS:  Enough to not want to mess with them, even in fiction, so yeah.  Besides, I don’t think Michael can see those, and these really are his stories.

LR:  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Everyone loves Mikey.  He’s the main character.  Whatever.  When are we getting a Luke Rainer series?

JS:  That’s a good question.  If I ever feel so inclined, I might write you one.

LR:  Really?

JS:  I never rule anything out.  Except demons.

LR:  Drat.

JS:  Sorry.

LR:  You never let me have any fun.

JS:  You’ll have fun in the next book.

LR:  Really?

JS:  Well, I hope so.  I’m kind of rewriting it.  But you’re a lot better off in this new version.  I promise.

LR:  Okay, good.  I don’t know why, but I trust you.

JS:  You really don’t have a choice.

LR:  I have one more question.

JS:  Shoot.

LR:  Can I be in the new Ghostbusters movie?

JS:  Probably not.

LR:  Why not?

JS:  Because I’m not associated with that franchise in any way whatsoever.  But if I was, I’d totally write you in.

LR:  Aw, really?

JS:  Promise.

Read Cemetery Tourshttp://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-E.-Smith/e/B00F7BPXX6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427829800&sr=8-1

Work in Progress

Before I send any of my works in progress off to my editor, before I begin sharing titles and plot details, before I even finish the manuscript, I send the project, chapter by chapter to one person.  My sister.  She is the only person who gets to read everything I write, no matter what.  That’s because she’s basically the only person in the world I trust to be completely honest with me.  She’s not going to look me in the eye and tell me that a book is good when it, in fact, is not.  She tells me what works and what doesn’t work, if something fits a character, if the plot is just totally and completely useless, etc…  It takes a good friend to tell you that they love your writing.  It takes a sister to tell you the truth.

I know I can trust her, not only because she’s my sister and I know she’s not afraid to be honest with me, but because she’s an even bigger reader than I am.  Seriously.  I read a lot.  KJ devours books.  She is the ultimate book consumer.  This is why she is always my primary reader.  She doesn’t edit.  She just reads.

Last night, we were texting about a lot of different things and all of a sudden, she says to me, “Not gonna lie, but I think the reason I like <Current Work in Progress Title> so much is because it’s the greatest source of wish fulfillment I have ever read.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Cemetery Tours, but you are an amazing YA author.  Like, if I was fifteen and you weren’t my sister and I found this in a store, I would eat it up.  And I’m not just saying that because it’s wish fulfillment.  I’m saying that as someone who literally went to the library every day in 7th grade and read every YA book there.”

Can I just tell you that is the best compliment I have ever received from anyone?!  Especially my sister.  She and I are always supportive of one another, but neither one of us are the type to say something like that unless we really mean it.  It meant more coming from her than it would anyone else because I know she hates phony compliments as much as I do.  I really didn’t know what to say!  I can tell you right now, however, that she’s got me so, so, so excited to keep writing this book and to finish it hopefully this month so I can get it out ASAP!  Don’t worry, I’m not going to rush it or put out a book that’s low quality just because I’m eager to share it.  But I am so, so, so excited about it now!  Her words totally and completely made my whole day.

Cemetery Tours 3 is still definitely on its way, and so is the new series I’ve been talking about.  That’s what I want to do with my life.  I’m telling you, I want to be Meg Cabot who has like, a million different series.  I’m just interested in so many different things and types of stories.  I used to think that my addictive personality was something of a curse.  I love the ocean and I love Scotland and I love ghost stories and I love boy bands and I love fantasy and I love magic and I love forests and I love chick lit and I love folklore… I used to wonder what I was going to do with myself with so many different interests… Interests that really have absolutely nothing to do with one another.

I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out the answer was writing.

Writing Writing Writing

Hi, friends!  Just a quick note here because as it turns out, #NaNoWriMo really keeps you busy!  I’m not only working on my NaNo project, I’m also keeping up with the new Cemetery Tours.  Needless to say, my fingers are quite tired from all the typing.  But it’s so much fun!  I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy National Novel Writing Month!  It really gets you to open your mind and explore new ideas.  I’ve even been asked, at the end of the month, to come speak to a writing group about it!  How fun!

That’s all I’ve really got to share for now.  Just a lot of writing!  I need to start reading more, also.  I have so many books that I’ve received from friends and indie authors that I want to read and review.  I wish there were more hours in the day!  I wish I didn’t need sleep!  And I really like sleep!

I also wish this dark rainy weather would go away.  I know we need the rain, and it finally feels like fall, but it makes me feel so sleepy and unproductive.  Blah!

Anyway, keep on and carry on, my fellow #NaNoWriMo authors!  5 days down!

Such an Amazing Weekend!

Oh wow… where do I start?

I’ve got to be honest, I might share more than one blog update today because I’m not sure that everything will fit in one post!

I guess I’ll start with Wednesday evening.  I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting Kathleen Kent, NY Times best-selling author of The Heretic’s Daughter and The Outcasts.  She was such a friendly and lovely person, very personable.

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I also took her a copy of Cemetery Tours, which, I admit may have been a bit presumptuous of me, but she was so sweet and excited about it.

The next day, I was delighted to be a guest at the Melissa Book Club.  They were lovely ladies and I had such a wonderful time!  I love going to book clubs.  It’s so much fun meeting and connecting with people who love books as much as I do.

On Friday, I was finally, for the first time in my life, talked into signing up for NaNoWriMo.  Originally, I had been led to believe that people just write books during the month of November.  I honestly had no idea it was this entire website and community that you join!  How cool is that?!  Anyway, I signed up under a super secret pen name A) just in case it doesn’t work out and B) because the project I’ll be working on is YA and SO COMPLETELY different from Cemetery Tours and I want to keep my reputation as a spooky ghost story writer for at least a little while longer.  I’ve got to tell you though, I am SUPER STOKED to be participating this year.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!  I even designed my own cover for the book.

Saturday, was one of the most exciting days of my career thus far.  I was asked to give a short presentation on ghost stories at the Colony Public Library!

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I decided that no one wanted to listen to me talk at them, so I decided to engage the audience in a little Ghost Story Trivia!  I think everyone really enjoyed it.

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There was a bucket of fun prizes.

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And consolation prizes.

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This is me, looking dumb while talking.

I also had the honor of meeting and listening to a presentation on Ghost Towns by non-fiction author, Robin Cole-Jett.  Her photographs and experiences in these abandoned places are so fascinating that she’s inspired me to delve more into urban exploration.  You can find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-River-Historian/195104580538409?ref=hl

Afterward, I went on an amazing history tour of the Colony, but I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.  I have a lot of pictures and one totally creepy story to share!

Before I get to that blog post, however, I wanted to share Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s AMAZING review of Between Worldshttp://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/2014/10/worlds-jacqueline-e-smith.html

I highly recommend Kimba for anyone looking for an honest, thorough, reliable, and all around awesome reviewer!  You can find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/kimbathecaffeinatedbookreviewer

Seriously, folks.  She’s awesome.

Thank You All!

Well, my GoodReads Giveaway is officially closed and the winners have been selected!  I’d like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Debra and Elaina and thanks, not only to them, but to all 1035 who entered!  I am so honored and humbled!  That is huge for me!  This giveaway was so successful, I’m thinking I might have to host another, perhaps around Christmas time.  You know, Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, Ghost of Cemetery Tours.  Perfect.

I know a lot of people ask the question, “What is your advice to aspiring authors?” and usually, my answer to that question is, “Don’t give up, don’t get discouraged, keep writing, keep trying.”  The truth is there are several answers to that question, but I think one of the most important answers, one that isn’t said enough, is “Appreciate your readers.  Let them know how much you respect them and how much they mean to you.”  After all, without readers, an author is just a person who happens to write books.  You can’t be an author without readers.  It’s that simple.  So thank you all, those of you who’ve not only read my books, but who’ve read any book, and I’m pretty sure that’s all of you.  Without you, we’d be nothing.

In other news, this week I am hard at work on my presentation for Saturday at the library, so I might not update as much.  Then again, I am a procrastinator at heart, so who knows?  I might be updating twice in the same day.  I have started on the PowerPoint and let me tell you, it looks AWESOME!  I can’t wait for Saturday.  It’s going to be so much fun!

Finally, before I head off for the day to work on whatever, I would like to share with you some pictures that I took at the State Fair on Sunday.  I love the Fair.  It’s an autumn tradition!  Please enjoy! And yes, I know they’re mostly butterflies. 1800370_10204152373183209_6172022537605151984_n 10358576_10204152391023655_6875129902640818005_n 68140_10204152392743698_2983443370607601280_n 10616188_10204152416224285_6970240175496926964_n 10435032_10204152427504567_3854728729772781408_n 10410717_10204152435504767_7071731802431461461_n

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The 2014 IndieVengeance Day Scrapbook

Over the weekend, I had the honor of participating in IndieVengeace Day. A group of Indie Authors from all over came together to read, sign, and share their books.  I had such a lovely time with this talented and amazing group of people, and I’d like to share some of the pictures with you today!

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Such a great and talented and hilarious group!

Day 1 of the event was held at a Cafe Brazil.  For the record, I highly recommend the grilled cheese.

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The room looked amazing.

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We even got our own place cards.

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I reconnected with some dear old friends.

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Me and the lovely and talented Tracy James Jones.

Some of us read stuff that we wrote.

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Scott Morgan.

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Ben Ditmars

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Amber Jerome-Norrgard

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Stacey Roberts

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Yours Truly

All in all, it was a great night.

The following day found us all in Allen, Texas at Savour Tasting Room and Social Club.

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There were balloons.  A lot of them.  Which is okay, because I really like balloons.

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It was a bit windy, so I had to tape down my name tag and even my flowers.

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But overall, the day went splendidly.

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Reading a ghost story and there are orbs in my picture… Hmm…

I’m so honored to have spent the weekend with these amazing, wonderful authors.  To find out more about them, please visit their personal websites!

Bed Ditmarshttps://benjaminditmars.wordpress.com

Julie Frayn: http://juliebird.ca

Tracy James Joneshttp://tracyjamesjones.wordpress.com

Jeanne McDonald: http://www.jeannemcdonald.com

Scott Morganhttp://www.write-hook.com

Amber Jerome-Norrgardhttp://amberjeromenorrgard.com

Stacey Robertshttp://www.trailertrashbook.com

Cinta Garcia de la Rosahttp://cintascorner.com

Melissa Zaroskihttp://melissazaroski.com

Susie Clevengerhttp://www.susieclevenger.com

Love you all!  Thank you for an amazing weekend!

Let the Good Times Roll!

This will be my last update before Monday, and it’s going to be a short one because I still have so much to do!

This weekend, I’ll be participating in IndieVengeance Day, which includes readings and book signings.  I think it’s going to be awesome.  If you’re in the Dallas area, you should definitely check it out! http://indievengeanceday.com

I have a lot of other stuff I’m working on also, but I’ll tell you about that later.

While I’m gone, keep in mind and spread the word that there are still a few days to enter my GoodReads Giveaway!  I’m giving away 2 signed copies of BOTH of my books in honor of Halloween and I want you to win!  Yes, YOU!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds