Monday, May 8, 2017

Interview & Book Review with Author Jackie Baldwin

Please Welcome Author Jackie Baldwin

Q1. Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I used to be a lawyer but a few years ago I retrained as a hypnotherapist. I am absolutely fascinated by the workings of the unconscious mind, particularly when it comes to the development of psychosomatic symptoms. It can be surprising how quickly these can resolve once insight is obtained. I also love helping people to stop smoking. Just one long session and they walk out a non -smoker which is tremendously satisfying.

Q2. What does being creative mean for you?

I think that having a creative temperament brings both highs and lows. When an idea sparks in your imagination and quickly mushrooms into something exciting then the feelings can be exhilarating. It is like you are bringing a whole new world into being. However, usually creative people are more empathetic and therefore feel things more keenly which can bring its own difficulties in the form of anxiety and low mood from time to time.

Q3. What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your writing voice?

What an interesting question! I grew up in Dumfries, SW Scotland where there is a local spoken dialect. My husband would come into the room when I was on the phone to my dad and look completely baffled as he couldn’t understand what I was saying. Even now, if I meet someone local who speaks it broadly, I just lapse straight back into it without even noticing. That, said, I wouldn’t have a clue how to spell the words so I don’t use this in my writing. I do focus very much on the character’s internal dialogue or what they are thinking, so to some extent my own voice does come into play. When I started writing the book, I wrote a monologue for each of my main characters to find their voice. Former RC priest, DI Frank Farrell was originally conceived as a very stern, austere kind of man but his voice came out strongly as warm with a sense of humour and a bit of social awkwardness so I had to change him accordingly. I think that when you are dealing with dark subject matter it is important to have some lighter moments as well to provide some relief for the reader.

What is the best advice you have for other authors?

Don’t wait until publication to start building a social media presence. I was dragged onto Facebook kicking and screaming four years ago by a writing friend. I had no Twitter. When I say to my family I am going off to Tweet, they still find it hilarious. At first when I had a notification ping I would jump a foot in the air but I have slowly become comfortable with it and even made some friends! I never expected to become a digital author and it has been, to say the least, a sharp learning curve. Find a platform that you feel comfortable on, that is very important. I am so rubbish at taking photos, for example, that Instagram would never work for me. By the time I have faffed about, put in the code etc, the photo opportunity has disappeared round the corner. Be authentic and try and make real connections with people. Support others and they will support you in turn. 

What is your favourite author and why?

Tough question, struggling between Isaac Asimov and Jane Austen….OK, I will go with Asimov. I remember The Caves of Steel series which was effectively sci-fi crime featuring a partnership between a human and an android. That had a huge impact on me. Even, now, all these years later, everyone still refers to his ground breaking ‘laws’ of robotics. I have been fascinated by robots and the development of sentience ever since reading him as a teenager. His prescience was astounding and I am convinced that many of the ethical dilemmas he wrote about will come to pass in the not too distant future. It is going to be a bumpy ride but a fascinating one.

Book Blurb: 

Former RC priest, DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood fifteen years earlier.

With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inextricably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when twin boys go missing. One twin is recovered in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?

As Farrell investigates the two cases he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.

Editorial Review: Dead Man’s Prayer 4 stars

Jackie's words had my attention within the first page of her book. This was an chair gripping excitable read! The characters were will created with a tendency to be the kind that stays with the reader long after finishing the book. Jackie's plot is so thrilling with the twists and turns brought into the plot at the right moment when it is least expected and keeps the reader wanting more.