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

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Cemetery Tours and Haunted Houses

After my presentation on Ghost Story Trivia at the Colony Public Library, I was invited along on a history tour of the Colony.  We visited an old cemetery (which, of course, I loved) and The Spencer House, which I am convinced is haunted.  I wanted to share some of the pictures I took here with you!

From the Cemetery:

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From the Spencer House:

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And a few that I photoshopped for the sake of my autumn expectations.

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Finally, I have to share my spooky experience from the trip.

At the cemetery, most of the graves are centered off in one general area of the yard.  However, I couldn’t help but notice this one tree off to the side, and the grey bricks that lay beneath it.  At first, I dismissed it, thinking it was probably nothing very interesting.  Still, I couldn’t help but feel that I needed to go over and see what it was.

When I arrived at the tree, I found that the bricks were actually broken fragments of a small grave marker. There were only three letters carved into the stone. J.E.S. My initials.

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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

Characterization Exploration

I’m in the middle of writing the first draft of the third installment of the Cemetery Tours series.  I’ve come to really love these characters.  I’ve been with them for a while now, and they feel like friends to me.  In the past few years, I’ve probably spent more time with them than with my living, breathing friends.

Characters have always been the absolute most important element of any story for me.  If I don’t like the characters, I’m not going to like the book.  It’s that simple.  I read one book last year (I will not mention it because I don’t want to trash another author’s work on my blog) with such horrible, selfish, whiny characters, I could hardly stand it.  None of the characters had any redeeming qualities whatsoever.  If I succeed at nothing else, I want my characters to be likable.  Well, except for the ones that you’re not supposed to like.  They’re actually a LOT of fun to write, but I digress.

As the first book in the series, Cemetery Tours served as sort of an introductory book.  We met the characters, learned their names, the basics.  Between Worlds delved more into developing relationships and adjustments after the events of the first book.

This third book, however, takes place five months after Between Worlds, and the characters have developed a lot since then.  They’ve had more time to get to know each other and I’ve had more time to get to know them as well.  Now, instead of watching them react to certain situations, I’m exploring what exactly makes them that way.

Of my three main characters, Michael, Kate, and Luke, Michael remains the most stubborn.  Kate and Luke are a lot alike in that they’re both happy characters.  They’re both easily amused and easily fascinated.  Michael is more reserved, which stems from a lifetime of trying to remain unnoticed by ghosts and spirits.  Since he met Kate and Luke, he’s become more outgoing, but those twenty-eight years of hiding within himself I think really took a toll, and I think he’s always going to be a little reserved, and that’s okay.  That’s why Kate likes him, and that’s why I like him.

Last night, I tried to imagine what Michael what be like, what he might have done, if he didn’t have the ghosts.  I realized I feel a little sorry for him, because being surrounded by the spirits and trying at all costs to avoid them and not draw attention to himself really inhibited him from developing a real sense of self.  Unlike Kate and Luke, who have real interests that they discovered by themselves, Michael’s entire character evolved from a desire to be something he’s not.  He didn’t have time for self discovery because he was too obsessed with self denial, if that makes any sense at all.  That’s why I’m glad he has Kate, Brink, and even Luke.  I think they really bring out the best in him.

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Friendly Reminder that you only have ONE WEEK LEFT to enter my GoodReads Giveaway! Win signed copies of BOTH Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds just in time for Halloween!

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

Busy Busy Busy

As an indie author, I’ve found that there are two kinds of busy.  There’s the kind that all indie authors are all the time.  The kind that is not very active, but it is constant.  Indie authors always have something that they can be doing.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that we always do what we’re supposed to do (I personally spend way too much time on Pinterest…), but there is always something there.

Then there is the active kind of busy.  That’s the knd where we actually have engagements lined up, specific things to be working on, to be honest, it’s kind of like being back in college.  Those weeks are a lot of fun, but they don’t occur as often.  This is going to be one of those weeks, and I am so, so, so excited about it.

Friday and Saturday, I’m participating in an event I attended last year as a fan, not as an author.  It’s called IndieVengeance Day and you can read all about it here: http://indievengeanceday.com

I’m really excited about the two-day event, but before I can get to it, I still have a lot to do.

I was lucky enough to have been asked to read through my friend Jeanne Skartsiaris’ new book, Snow Globe.  I’ve been going through and making notes (I’m going to write a small blurb for her! Neat!), but I really need to finish that up.

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You can find Jeanne on GoodReads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7425985.Jeanne_Skartsiaris

I’ve also mentioned before that I was asked to give a presentation on ghost stories at the Colony Public Library on October 25.  I was so honored and excited to be asked, and I’ve been putting a lot of thought and research into figuring out exactly what I want that presentation to be.  Well, around 5 AM on Saturday morning, it finally came to me.  I am so excited about this presentation.  It’s going to be awesome.  Now that I know what I want to do, it’s time to buckle down and get to work on that as well.  I’ll tell you more about it after I actually give it.  I want it to be a surprise!

So yeah, lots of good, fun things are happening.  Cemetery Tours has been selling really well this month.  I have a lot of people signing up for my GoodReads giveaway.  Speaking of, don’t forget to enter! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds

And of course, on top of all of that, I’m still hard at work on my two current WIPs.  Cemetery Tours 3 is a lot of fun.  It’s a little more complex and complicated than the first two, but it’s also very colorful and I think it’s going to be good.  It better be good, or I’ll have to keep rewriting it until it is!  My goal is to release BOTH books in 2015.  That will mean a lot more hard work, but it’s so completely worth it.

I hope y’all have a splendid Monday!

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The Second Annual Cemetery Tours Halloween Giveaway

Tis the Season to be Spooky!

In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to do another giveaway!  This year, I am giving away two signed copies of BOTH of my books, Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds.  To enter, please visit GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds

You can sign up to enter until October 21!  I’m ending it then in the hopes that the two winners will receive their books by Halloween.

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Let the festivities begin!

Happy Birthday Cemetery Tours!

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It’s been exactly one year since I first published Cemetery Tours, so I thought I’d take a little time to celebrate the book, the characters, and the readers that have come to mean the world to me.  I was a junior in college the first time I seriously considered writing a book.  This year has far exceeded anything and everything that I could have imagined in that moment and I have all of you to thank for that!

So now, for a little bit of fun, please enjoy…

The Unofficial Cemetery Tours Soundtrack: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/soundtrack/

My Dream Cast: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/dream-cast/ 

Cemetery Tours on Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/windtrailpub/cemetery-tours/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18470430-cemetery-tours

Fun Facts and Trivia:

The only character who did not undergo a drastic name/personality change throughout the entire four years of developing and writing the story is Brink.

Luke Rainer was originally a character in a different story.  He was going to be the main love interest.

The Bible verse quoted in Chapter 19, Phillipians 4: 6-7, was my class’s senior verse in high school.

I use the British spelling “woah” as opposed to “whoa” throughout this entire book. I think I’ve spent too much time reading Harry Potter because I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

Kate and Gavin’s parents, Terri and Rex, are named after my mom’s best friend and her husband, both of whom passed away while I was in high school.

I despise female characters who don’t eat anything except salads and veggie burgers, so I make a point in every book to show Kate eating pizza or fast food or chocolate.

My dad came up with the title Cemetery Tours before I even considered becoming a writer. We were on a day trip to San Antonio and we stopped at a Dairy Queen in a small town, right across the street from an old cemetery.  He said, “You should write a book about a group of kids who travel around to different cemeteries.  You could call it Cemetery Tours.”  The name stuck.

Cemetery Tours on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CemeteryToursSeries

Thanks for an awesome year, y’all! Here’s to you!