Friday, October 8, 2010

Free For All Friday! -- Author Meet and Greet!

I want to introduce my wonderful friend and great writer, Jacqui Nelson. [She's the gorgeous redhead ;)]
Through our common interest of historical westerns we became friends. The picture is of us at the 2010 RWA Awards where Jacqui won the Golden Heart for her historical western, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL.
Her second novel, BETWEEN LOVE AND LIES, is already garnering awards. If you love western romance you will love Jacqui's work. Excerpts are readable on her website,

So take a minute and get to know Jacqui! She's an up and coming author you won't want to miss!
Thanks for being my first guest, Jacqui;)

Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I started in November 2007 when I changed careers. After seven years working as an animator in the TV and video game industry, I needed work that had fewer hours and would allow me to live in Victoria, Canada (where there are no animation companies). My main goal was to spend more time with my mom, sister and nephew. During the job change I lost my creative outlet and needed another.
Back in 1992 I dabbled in writing. I bought and read a dozen writing books. I jotted down several ideas for stories. Then I put it all in a box, got sidetracked by my job (computer programming and later animation), and never thought about writing again. After moving in 2007 I was looking through my boxes and found the writing books and notebooks full of scribbles and decided I would try writing again.
Q: How did you get interested in the the western genre?
A: I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Canada (north of Edmonton, Alberta) on a cattle farm. We had only two TV channels (in the days before cable TV and even before, gasp, VCRs). The old Clint Eastwood movies came on TV and instantly I was hooked on Westerns. And "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales" are still in my top ten movie list.
Q: Tell us about your first manuscript (the Golden Heart book) and your second manuscript (your current WIP).
A: One of the "scribbles" in my notebooks was about a white woman who is raised by Indians. She runs away when white men murder her adoptive mother and sister, and the Indian brave she once called brother holds her responsible and vows to kill her. To escape and build a new life, she hires on as an interpreter and scout for a wagon train bound for Oregon. Two years later I had a completed manuscript, Between Heaven and Hell. I started pitching and entered it in several contests including the 2010 Golden Heart.
The first editor I pitched with suggested I keep writing Westerns. I had no more "scribbles" for Western stories, so I opened my series of Time Life Old West books and started reading.
I found an interesting historical fact about how the small farms between Texas and Dodge City were often decimated by the cattle drives when a longhorn tick caused the local cattle to develop a fever and die. I asked myself what would happen to a woman if she lost her farm during this time period (the 1870s)? Who would help her? Where could she find work? I decided my heroine would end up working in a saloon in Dodge City and that the cowboy (whose herd destroyed her farm) would be consumed by guilt and come back a year later to see what happened to her. One year later (I'm getting quicker!) I have a completed manuscript. I entered it in five contests, was a finalist in all of them, and now I'm ready for the 2011 Golden Heart. Fingers crossed once again :-)

Contact/visit Jacqui at:


  1. Jacqui, congratulations on your Golden Heart win - and, as far as I know, being the first British Columbia writer to achieve that honor. Your stories sound amazing. I'm one of those readers who prefers North American settings for historicals over England and Scotland, so I'm really looking forward to seeing your books in print. Fingers crossed that the right manuscript hits the right editor's desk at the right time, and very soon.

  2. Congratulations once again, Jacqui!

    Any minute now I expect to hear you shout those joyful words..."I got THE CALL!"

    It will happen, and I can't wait to buy your books!

  3. Hi Jacqui,
    You have a great story and, sounds like, an amazing creative talent in many areas. I already know from your excerpts that your GH win was well-deserved and I can't wait to read the full books after pulling them off the bookstore shelf! Good luck with all your writing--I'll be watching for your success my GH sister!

  4. Hi, Jacqui. What an amazing success story--winning the GH with your first completed ms! I love the old West and eagerly await news of your first sale. Congratulations.
    And thanks, Jen, for introducing Jacqui.

  5. It sounds as if you are on a winning streak. I love westerns and wish you the best of luck.

  6. Thanks Susan and Lee! You were included in my 2010 Golden Heart acceptance speech when I thanked the Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island chapters. Your knowledge and friendship have been absolutely wonderful during the last few years in my journey toward publication. Thank you for being so involved in RWA and the RWA British Columbia chapters!

  7. Thanks for reading the excerpts on my website, Liz -- and for liking them :-)
    Can't wait to see your books on the shelves, too. Miss you, my GH sister!

  8. What a great story. You obviously hit all the right notes to win the Golden Heart with your first manuscript. Sound like the second one will carry you to great success too. Hopefully the next story you share will be about your CALL.

  9. Hi Megan,
    It truly was a magical moment of firsts! And therefore a wonderful, and a very unexpected, surprise to win the Golden Heart. Glad to hear you like Westerns!

  10. Hi Jacqui!
    Congratulations on your Golden Heart win! I was in the audience to see you claim your prize. I write Western historicals, too, (first book just coming out now) and am thrilled to read about other writers, readers, and even editors who are interested in the genre. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your success soon.

  11. Jacqui, that's so sweet about the mention in your GH speech. I'm honored. Sure wish I'd been there to hear you, and to cheer. I remember when I was a GH finalist, sitting there nervously in that big theatre when the winners were announced, saying to myself, "Of course I won't win, but I really want to win." And of course I didn't win. LOL. But you did, and I have a pretty good idea of how amazingly thrilling that moment must have been. It was so kind of you to remember me at a time like that.

  12. Hi Caroline,
    Yes, I've been very lucky lately. I even played the lottery the other day and won a $1! Glad to see another Western fan.

  13. Great to hear that you are now published in the Western historical genre, Alison! You and Jennifer are crossing the line from unpublished to published and giving me hope. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your post!

  14. Thanks for stopping by, Cat, and for taking time out of your blog at the Seven Sassy Sisters. Congrats on becoming a "newly-minted Silhouette Desire author"!

  15. I'm so happy to see you blogging...I guess you really heard my networking-nags.
    You know I how much I love your upbeat attitude. Between us, I think your westerns should be published. I, for one, would love to read them and so would a lot of other fans of the genre. But until they are, I know you're not sitting back on your laurels, but hard at work on something new. Can't wait! xo Mimi

  16. Hi Jacqui,
    I'm so happy to have met you at Nationals and YaY on the finals of your second manuscript. Good luck with it. I'm looking forward to seeing one of them print. And Yikes, GH on the first. Way to go.

    Thanks for hosting such a good interview, Jen. You couldn't have asked for a better "first." Speaking of firsts, you finaled in GH on your first full manuscript, too, right?

    Good job, ladies!

  17. Yup, I'm finally blogging, Mimi! Another first. My first guest blog and it's about my first novel and my first Golden Heart. Thanks for dropping by to take part, Mimi!

  18. It was great to meet you too, Barb. I had very good company at my table during the RWA national award ceremony. VERY good :-) Thanks for dropping by!

  19. I've been one of those lucky judges in one of those contests, and I loved your work! My CP writes westerns as well, and I think the genre is so wonderful for the romance and the American spirit. Keep writing! :)

  20. Jacqui: Interesting post, I mean about how you started writing and revived an old story. Also, big congrats on the GH

  21. I love The Outlaw Josey Wales too, the old westerns are just the best. Book sounds wonderful.

  22. Aw, Jacqui! You are such a sweetheart! I didn't go to National this year but I kept checking the results on line and I had tears - happy ones! - in my eyes when your gorgeous photo came up as one of the winners.

  23. How cool, Gillian, that you were one of the judges that got my contest entry! It's a small world. Hope your critique partner has lots of success with her Western novels. And congrats again on your placement with the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood's Make it Golden contest. Thanks for stopping by!

  24. It's interesting that I didn't think about those old "scribbles" until I was asked to do this blog. Everyone's got a story; we just have to remember them...or at least that was my case! Thanks for stopping by, Joyce.

  25. Yes! Another Outlaw Josey Wales fan! I own the movie on (gasp) a VHS tape :-) Thanks for posting and letting me know there are other fans out there P.L.

  26. Congratulations Jacqui,
    I might be an Aussie but I love westerns. Too much TV when I was younger I suppose. I am still in live with Little Jo Cartwright from Bonanza.



  27. Thanks for reminding me of Bonanza, Margaret! I haven't thought about that great show in a long time. And for Australian Westerns there is always Quigley Down Under. That movie was tons of fun!

  28. Well, Jacqui Nelson lass, you did it again girlie! Good for you. Keep on keeping on because just like everyone says, I also see you published and soon!

    Go and celebrate with the Cooking Ladies Zesty Chicken Bites recipe(and I had a blast making this short trailer:

    BTW. Thanks for your help and comments with one of my manu' which, by the way, I've recently flung through the Flesch Kincaid test (and others) a few times. After working hard, I've discovered I have absolutely NO passive sentences now...and it has a perfect readability level...woooo!

    Anyhoo...enuff about me. Congratulations Jacqui. I wish you the greatest success hon. Hugs.

    Jessie B Tyson = the lazy

  29. Hi ladies! Wow, what a great discussion. I just watched The Outlaw Joes Wales last weekend... and Quigley, Down Under! I LOVE that movie too. I think I'll watch it tonight:)
    Gosh, it makes me feel so good that there are still lovers of western historical romance out there.
    Thanks so much for stopping by, and a big thanks to Jacqui for being my guest;)

  30. Glad you stopped by, Jessie! And it was a pleasure helping you with your manuscript. Hurrah for no more passive sentences!

  31. Thanks for having me on your blog, Jennifer. I was so honored you asked me!

    Minutes ago I finished a final read through of my second manuscript and...I think I'm done. And it's very fitting that I finish on the day you ask me to blog on your site, Jennifer!

    Now it's time to start writing a new book...but only after I take a short break. I'm going to watch a movie, it's not a Western but it's a goodie, it's Harrison Ford in Witness.

    Thanks everyone who came by and left a comment, and thanks again Jennifer!