Jacqueline Rhoades-Interview with the Author
Jacqueline Rhoades is a self-published author who has recently released two novels in her new Guardians of the Race Series. We would like to welcome Jacqueline to The Reading Cafe.
TRC: Hi Jacqueline and welcome to The Reading Café. We would like to start with some background information.
Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Jacqueline: Hi and thanks for the invite. I’ve had a full life. I was born in New England and ended up , so far, here in the middle of the country. I’ve worked in restaurants, hospital labs and schools, raised a family and coached more soccer than I think might be normal, but if I had to describe myself in one word, it would be Reader. I’m never without a book. I learned to read when I was three or four and have been unable to stop ever since. It’s almost an obsession and I actually feel withdrawal symptoms if I’m denied. I consume books. From the Classics to Louis L’Amour, sweet romance to erotica, there isn’t a genre I’ll turn away. Okay, I’ll shut up now. You’ve got the idea, but if you haven’t, I can talk books for hours.
TRC: What inspired you to write your first book?
Jacqueline: I have always written stories in my head, mostly at those times when it’s impossible to have a book in my hands; driving, in the shower, working in the yard, or as a passenger on long trips because I suffer from car sickness and can’t read. After years of someday-I’m-gonna, I finally decided to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, as it were, and as the ad says, Just Do It. Now I’m doing it and can’t stop writing any more than I can stop reading.
TRC: You recently made the decision to indie publication. What challenges have you encountered on your road to publication?
Jacqueline: I started getting agent responses (after their requests for partial and full manuscripts) that praised my writing, my characters, and my ‘voice’, but… they hesitated to take on a paranormal romance because the market was full or because they couldn’t see a place for light, as opposed to dark, heroes. Heartening and yet heartbreaking. There’s an indie market out there for books that don’t ‘fit’, so I decided to give it a go.
TRC: GUARDIAN’S GRACE is the first novel in your new Guardians of the Race series. Would you please give us some background information about the series?
Jacqueline: The Paenitentia have been around since the Great Flood. The penance for their forefather’s sin of feasting on the blood and power of man is to live and work beyond the light of day. Violent death can ‘turn’ their males into vampires. My heroes are Guardians of the Race and their whole purpose in life is to protect both Paenitentia and Man from the demons who cross over from the otherworld. Tradition has it that all Paenitentia problems stem from their seduction by the Daughters of Man (now known as witches) thousands of years ago.
TRC: How would you describe your writing style?
Jacqueline: Fun! I love the old movie romance from the thirties and forties; a little drama, action, heartbreak (pass the tissues, please) with a bit of comic relief. Of course, I’ve modernized using the paranormal backdrop and lots of sex!
TRC: Would you please explain the premise behind GUARDIAN’S GRACE?
Jacqueline: Grace is a social recluse because, as she believes, there’s something wrong with her head. After witnessing a violent event, she’s kidnapped by a pair of Guardian trainees, simply because they don’t know what else to do with her! They bring her to their House and hope to figure it out before their Liege Lord returns. Grace sees pretty quickly that the pair are harmless and, lo and behold, these guys don’t make her head buzz! She decides to make herself indispensable to the running of the House, but there’s one problem… women aren’t allowed in a House of Guardians. The fun begins when the Liege Lord, Canaan, returns to find a strange woman in his bed and things become more complicated when he finds himself falling in love with this human woman who turns out to be a Daughter of Man, a giant no-no in his traditional world. Fighting demons he can handle and does. Fighting his love for Grace? It’s a battle he can’t win.
TRC: You have introduced several characters in your first storyline including ‘uncle Otto’. Have you considered writing a ‘pre-quel’ to the series about Otto?
Jacqueline: I have, but Otto and the love of his life have a long, long, long history and it couldn’t possibly be covered in one book. I’m trying to work that out.
TRC: GUARDIAN’S HOPE is your next instalment in the series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
Jacqueline: Hope comes from a tight knit religious community and once again, just doesn’t fit. She sees herself as big and bulky, particularly in comparison to her petite and pretty runaway sister. When Hope finds a box her mother hid away and the remnant of a letter her sister wrote pleading for help, she’s off to the big city completely unprepared for what she finds. Again, circumstance force the intrepid twins to bring her to the House of Guardians where she temporarily finds a home and gets to know the suave, sophisticated Nico who sees in her all the voluptuous softness that he has never had in his life. Can this big country girl find love in the arms of this cultured European as the House searches for her missing sister? You betcha!
TRC: How many books have you planned for the series?
Jacqueline: So far, there are three written and another two swirling around in my head. I suppose this is a good place to point out that there is an underlying theme about the beauty of women in these books. All my women have different looks, body types, and personalities and they’re all as critical of themselves as most of us are. Shame on us and them! And like many women out there, they’re looking for fulfillment in ways that don’t always please their men.
Grace has always wanted a family to care for and yes, she likes cooking and keeping house for them. For her, it’s a dream come true and I say, ‘Good for her!’ Hope, who’s grown up being treated like a household drudge, wants no part of housekeeping and finds she has a head for business. Good for her, too. JJ (Joy) in the third book, is an ex-cop who is as tough as nails. You won’t find her in the kitchen or behind a desk. We’re all different and we’re all beautiful and I want to celebrate that in my characters.
TRC: Dov and Col are quite the pair-like two over charged puppies in a room full of children. What or who was your inspiration for these characters?
Jacqueline: I work in a Junior High. Do you have any idea how raunchy 7th and 8th grade boys are? Sorry, Mom, but it’s true. Inappropriate as it is, I love their sense of humor and I’ve become adept at looking stern and admonishing while sucking in my cheeks to keep from laughing.
TRC: Will you continue Dov and Col’s particular brand of ‘humor’ in all of your storylines?
Jacqueline: I will, though they will mature. Slowly….
TRC: Many author bounce ideas between family members and friends. With whom do you bounce ideas?
Jacqueline: My best friend, Georgianna. Her comments keep my characters true and she’s been invaluable in helping me work through plot mechanics. Email is great for specific questions, but it’s our phone or face to face conversations that really get the creative juices flowing. She also keeps me on task and is a constant source of support and inspiration. Oh, and did I mention we laugh? A lot!
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Jacqueline: I’m polishing up Guardian’s Joy and the first of a werewolf trilogy called The Alpha’s Mate. I’ve also got a contemporary romance set in a small town in the Appalachian mountains that also looks like it could turn into a series. Those secondary characters just keep pushing and pushing to have their stories told!
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Jacqueline: Just that I hope readers have as much fun reading my stories as I have writing them. Writing is extremely hard work, but I’ll continue to do it because it makes me happy and it gives me a legitimate reason for all those voices in my head!
Favorite Food – Homemade spaghetti and meatballs
Favorite Dessert – Blueberry Pie
Favorite TV Show – NCIS
Favorite Movie – Avatar
Last Movie you Saw – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Dark or Milk Chocolate – Milk
Favorite Song – Moon River
TRC: Thank you Jackie for taking the time to answer our questions. We are looking forward to your next instalment in the series. We wish you all the best in your writing career.