Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you—Jaci Wheeler!
Jaci Wheeler lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband and two precious kids.
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.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved to write, I just never saw it as being anything I could do as a career.
Why did you choose to write your genre?
Before I read The Giver in 8th grade I hated reading.That book opened up a new world for me and my desire to write YA stems from that I think. I’d love to be able to bring the love of reading to someone like Lois Lowry brought to me as a child.
Currently, what are you working on?
I’m actually working on several different books as usual for me. The last of my OCS series which is Edwards novella, then an Autism Guide for parents, and I’m outlining a book two of what should have been a NA standalone.
Let’s talk about your latest book for a moment. What motivated the plot?
My soon to be released novel Silent Song is the first and only book so far that I’ve ever written that is close to home. I never write about my personal feelings or experiences…I love being able to create everything from scratch. Even though this book is pure fiction it does stem very close to home for me, which made it incredibly hard to write. I wanted to write it though to put a spotlight on deaf awareness.
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written?
I’ll have to go with Child Soldiers. They are more common than people think, especially in other countries, but I get a lot of horrified looks when talk about my Operation Child Soldier series.
What was the hardest story for you to write?
Silent Song for sure! I wrote myself raw.
What process do you use to plan your novels?
It sounds weird but I take a shower [OMG! My muse frequently visits in the shower!]. All my novel ideas come to me while I’m in the shower or on a long drive. Once I have the concept down I come up with the ending and I get thought out first. Then I write the very benign and fill in the middle. (I’m totally weird.)
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality?
Personality wise I would say yes. I put a little bit of myself into every single character I write. Some get all the good, some the bad…and some in between. Out of all of the characters I have written I’d say Roz, Presley and Jodi probably got the most of my personality.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
I hate to jinx myself by saying this but no. I think the reason why is because of my A.D.D. I can’t focus on one thing or story at a time, so I’m always writing several at once. If I’m not longer feeling inspired by what I’m writing I jump over to something else. It works in my favor because I usually have a handful of books done at once and gives me a bit of a cushion. [Girlfriend, we have a lot in common!]
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be?
I’ve always wanted to write an Adult Psychological thriller. They are my favorite to read, and it’s always something I wanted to tackle but have been too afraid.
Which authors inspire you?
So many for so many different reasons. My all time go to authors are the classics. Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner have probably had the most impact on me as a writer.
What novel would you read multiple times?
I think my top two most read books are Pride & Prejudice and The Giver.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character)
There’s so many people I’m actually afraid to meet because I don’t think they could live up to my ideal of them to be honest. But if I had to pick I think would choose Joan of Arc. Even though she’s far before my time I feel her to be a kindred spirit. Someone I hope I’d be like if I were alive back then.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary?
I’m all about the Unicorns, and yes, even though I know all of the facts part of me still thinks they are real.
What is your favorite color?
When you’re not writing…
I’m going to say both because I like to be confusing. I don’t have another paying job, but I am a mom to two special needs kids that need a lot of therapy and time so I’m not able to devote as much time to writing as most full time writers do.
You can find Jaci online at…
Thank you, my friend, for hanging out with me today.
Join me next week when Betty Mermelstein will be dropping by!