Meet the Author: J.E. Nelson
Happy Thursday Everyone,
I know I’ve been lacking a little bit lately with the author interviews, but you’re in luck! Today I’m sitting down digitally with J.E. Nelson, self-published author of The Power Within.
It’s been great getting to know another self-published author better, and as I read her book (stay tuned for a review!), I’m super happy to tell you all about her!
Jackie Nelson is an up and coming novelist, who lives in St. Louis, MO, with her husband and two children. Jackie began exploring her passion in writing soon after her daughter was diagnosed with Autism. She wanted a way to share the positive experiences and loving nature of her daughter, while building Autism acceptance. She was published in Autism Parenting Magazine with her first personal narrative, “The Remarkable Day Daphne Met the Doctor.” Recently, she has completed her first full manuscript, a middle-school fiction, “The Power Within.”
Before we begin the interview, I wanted to give a little backstory to how I met Jackie. We met at the horror convention Crypticon a week or so ago in St. Joseph, MO.
It was a really cool convention of chills and thrills, and I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered there were multiple authors with booths there, Jackie being one of them.
Jackie and I must’ve talked for at least an hour or so, just relating to writing and everything that comes with it, and I really feel like a made a good friend.
All right, let’s get to the good stuff!
Hi Jackie, thanks so much for stopping by. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
Flesh-eating zombies are rampaging across the country. What do you defend yourself with?
This is the perfect question for me! I have realized while writing my version of the apocalypse how very much not prepared I am for it. I feel like I would do better with a weapon that gives me distance. I guess I need to start brushing up on my crossbow skills.
Nice choice! I think my weapon of choice would be a short sword or something club-like to get those nasty zombies out of my hair!
Apocalypse aside, could you tell us a little bit about your writing and what inspires you?
My writing all started with my muse, my daughter, Daphne. I worked for Special School District with mostly Autistic teens, I loved it, but felt like I wanted to do more with spreading acceptance and understanding. Daphne did not have much expressive language until we happened upon an episode of Doctor Who. She fell in love. We completely dove in head first to all things Doctor. Her language and social skills really started to blossom.
After meeting Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, I decided to write a fun personal narrative that ended up getting published in Autism Parenting Magazine. I then decided to attempt a full manuscript. I like my writing to feel personal and as if I am speaking to the readers. My inspiration will always be to let people know they are not alone in this world and always be proud of who you are. Daphne has taught me so much and inspired me to share our story.
Wow, that’s really amazing. I think we all need a muse of sorts, and it’s so great that Daphne can be that for you.
So, what inspired you to write this book in particular? Is it part of a series?
Daphne inspired me to write this book. This really is our story with the fun addition of zombies and super powers. Yes, this will be a series. The 2nd one will be out soon!
That’s great news! I’m always down for another great read. Outside of writing, what is your day job? Do you enjoy it?
I actually just left my day job to do this whole writing thing full time. I am petrified, but also very excited.
Oh wow, congratulations! That’s quite the accomplishment. I wish you nothing but the best!
So how long have you been writing in general?
I have only been writing for about 3 years total now between the article and my book.
Nice. I find that question always varies greatly. I’ve just been writing seven short years myself. So why do you write?
I write to share my story and my passion. I love when I hear how my writing has helped, inspired, entertained, and/or taught someone. I happy cry a lot. I really do love to connect to new people.
I totally get that. If I can touch just one person with my writing, then I’ll know that I did the right thing becoming an author.
As I read your book, it feels very personal. How much of your book is based on your own experiences or those of someone you know?
Everything! This is told through Daphne’s eyes, so any sensory details I got from her or an adult friend of mine that is Autistic. Her stims are her stims. My favorite is her finger wiggle one, you hear that one a lot in my book, because I love it so much.
I can definitely see that based on my reading experience so far.
So what kind of research went into writing your book?
Most of it was personal experience. I did have to do some research when mapping out our route through the mountains, down to the beach. I wanted it to geologically make sense.
Understandable. I tend to leave no stone unturned when planning out a book, and your book feels like it was very well thought through.
Can we talk about your cover for a minute? What kind of criteria did you use when selecting the cover for your book?
I had a few requirements going into the design process. I wanted this book to be a pleasant sensory experience from it’s soft cover, to being able to stim visually with it, and be Girl Power focused with Daphne front and center.
Of course! A cover is so important, and I really enjoy the one you chose.
When would you say you first considered yourself a writer?
I am still working on that. Building that confidence is sometimes not the easiest for me. The more events I am working the easier it is becoming, but it has taken me a year to get there.
You and me both! In my day job I have confidence in spades, but writing is a totally different story.
Okay, let’s switch it up with some fun questions! Who are your favorite writers?
Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling
Nice choices! I LOVE Gaiman’s YA and children’s books. Stardust and Coraline are my absolute faves!
How about music? What kind of music speaks to you?
I listen to everything! It really depends on my mood. My spotify playlist go from Meg Myers to Drop Kick Murphy’s all the way back to Demi Lovato.
Nice! I’m quite eclectic myself in music taste, so I am constantly listening to whatever fits my mood.
Alright, travel! If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go?
My goal for next year is to visit a friend of mine in Scotland and then pop over to England for a bit as well. I may not come back, we shall see.
Wow, great pick! I’ve always wanted to visit either Ireland or Scotland, but still haven’t been outside the states unfortunately. Best of luck on your travels!
Okay, so it looks like time is running short. Before we let our readers go, one last question. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Yes! Keep writing. Everyday just get something down, even if it is terrible. You will be able to fix it later. Your voice and why you write matter, so it deserves to be heard. Also, don’t worry about that word count and logistics in the beginning. Be creative, be you, and the rest will come.
Great advice! I have designated times of day to write, and even if I’m cringing at the mediocrity of my words, its important to push ourselves towards our goals.
That’s a Wrap!
All right everyone, that’s it for my interview with J.E. Nelson. I had a really great time getting to know her better, and I hope you did too!
If you’d like to learn more about J.E. Nelson and her work, she can be reached at the following social media links below. Thank you all for stopping by, and have a great day!