Jaci Wheeler lives in the Central Valley of California. Her love of literature began in Jr. High when she was introduced to Lowis Lowry’s books. Since then she has had a passion for writing Young Adult books, and creating strong female leads. When she’s not writing she is advocating for Autism Awareness and involved in the deaf community.
Her favorite things to do are play with her children, craft with her friends, sleep while her husband watches movies and indulge in her favorite addictions: Coffee, candy and shoes.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something?I’ve always loved writing, I used it for an outlet my whole life. I didn’t decide to write a book until my kids started therapy (both have autism.) I had a very hard time being away from them during that time know they were having a hard transition so I wrote to take my mind off of it, and it became such a freeing therapeutic thing that I never stopped.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? On a great day I wrote from about 9am-12 when I have to get my daughter from school. But my best writing usually happens in the middle of the night. I can write for hours and my creativity is usually at its highest at the wee hours of the morning.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I don’t tend to get writers block because I move on to the next story. I usually have about 4 books going at once, and once I no longer feel inspired I move on to another one. The way I get my creative ideas flowing is to call one of my Author friends and we share ideas and give feedback, and after that the ideas just flow naturally.
4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story? Panster all the way. I can’t plot. I’ve tried and tried but anytime I do it never goes as planned.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published? I started off Self published but I wasn’t very good at it, so I signed on with limitless Publishing and so far it’s been amazing!
6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? Self pub was very hard for me. It was a long and windy road trying to find a good editor and formatter. Once I found an amazing cover designer who did formatting it was much easier. My advice is don’t rush it. Take your time and find people who will make you a better write and stick with them! Beta readers are also a must! No matter how final I thought my copies were my betas always found a way to improve it. Above all don’t get discouraged, if you love writing just write.
7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? The people I’ve met for sure readers and other authors. It’s opened a whole new world for me and really has pushed me to become more social. It humbles me every time someone buys a book to think that there are people out there who actually want to read a little part of me.
8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience? I’m re-releasing my Trilogy now that I’m signed with a publisher. It is a YA dystopian that takes place a hundred years in the future. The United States had an uprising and the people fought for their rights. They took over the county and changed the laws and shut the borders. It runs like a machine, everyone has the job that’s best suited for them after being monitored their whole life and placed once they turn 16. The Trilogy follows a young girl and her friends who are just given their jobs and the challenges they must face.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) I think the best way to build a fan base is to interact with people. Get personal with everyone you meet, go to book signings, join social media groups and interact. The worst thing you could do is send out mass invites to people. Build relationships and people will naturally want to follow and share your books.
10.How long on average does it take you to write a book? Every product is different. My United Trilogy was lightning fast. I couldn’t write fast enough with all the ideas and dialog that was coming to me. I wrote during the night every night and three hour blocks during the day and finished the whole series in two months. Writing now has proven to be more of a challenge since I have book signings, edits I need to keep up with, social media. All things I enjoy but they take time away from the writing so It’s taken me longer to finish my books. I have about three books right now that are all about 70% done that I started a few months ago.
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. I am very happy with my book covers. I told the cover people the ideas I had and my vision and they did an amazing job at following what I wanted but made it better than I could have even asked.
12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Like I mentioned before I have two special needs kiddos so our life is pretty hectic. They have therapy and school every day, and when they are home they like to go nonstop. We play, sing lots of songs, go to the park. I try and do a girls craft night with my friends once a month to de-stress and have a little me time. I also read every night before bed to help turn my mind off and just wind down a bit.