TTS: The Top Shelf would like to welcome Jacqueline Hopkins to the blog! Tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your book Wilderness Heart.
Jacqueline Hopkins: Currently, I live in Sitka, Alaska working for five real estate appraisers and wear many hats such as Bookkeeper, Technical Editor/Writer, and Administrative Assistant. I have two children – a son 25 who spent a year in Iraq while he was in the Army and a daughter 22 who is here with me to help me move to North Dakota where my husband will be working in the oil fields. I also have 2 grandchildren – girl, Sparrow Nova Rain who is a year old and boy, Aden Lee who is six.
Lyn Taylor is my kind of tomboy who loves her job as an Idaho wilderness hunting guide, but her world is always complicated. She is doing a man’s job in a man’s world where she must constantly prove she is very capable and qualified to guide men on their hunts. After her mother died, her father lost interest in the family business and it was up to her and her brother to keep it going. Lyn was also engaged to a local lumber mill owner, but has been having second thoughts about marrying and having a man in her life.
But then she meets Nic Randall. Another lumber mill owner, who comes from Montana to find timber to be bid on and milled. He is convinced she can’t handle the job as their guide because she is a woman and she is, of course, insulted. Nevertheless, neither has much choice and are forced to spend day and night together for the seven day hunt. Lyn is not happy — just how much is a confident, very independent woman supposed to put up with?
TTS: How did the idea for this book come about?
Jacqueline Hopkins: Where this book is set is where we used to go snowmobiling to my parents cabin in Dixie, Idaho. We drove the road a lot on the way there from Lewiston, Idaho so I have lots of pictures and interviewed real hunting guides. This book was completely written and finished, per se, back in the early 1990s. But then things happened and life got in the way and I didn’t write anything for over 15 years. The conflict between Lyn and Nic probably stem a lot from my first marriage and it was some of the conflicts we were having at the time I was writing it — the cussing and smoking and too damn independent he definitely didn’t like about me.
TTS: I like to ask this question of every author I interview because I find character creation interesting. How did you name your characters and did you shape them after people you know in real life?
Jacqueline Hopkins: Lyn came about just because I like the name and I actually gave my daughter that name as her middle name. The character of Lyn is shaped after me, partly because I am the tomboy sort — I shot guns, hunted, rode horses, hicked, rode snowmobiles, and went camping a lot with my family when I was younger, of course; and the story is loosely based on a friend of mine who was a hunting guide in the Idaho Wilderness back in the 1970s. The waterfall incident in the book comes from her; she said I could use it.
Nic isn’t really based on anyone except kind of my ex-husband who always said there I go again cusing like a sailor and was always after me to quit smoking. I didn’t while I was married to him, but I did quit recently being married to my current husband who didn’t care if I cussed like a sailor or smoked like a fish, lol. But he did quit smoking with me. We have been smoke free for over a year now. The happy ever after ending I gave Lyn and Nic was because I secretly hoped my marriage would be a HEA, but turned out not to be one.
TTS: Did you have the storyline all planned out when you sat down to write or did it take a life of its own beyond the initial paragraph?
Jacqueline Hopkins: Yes, I am a plotter. I plotted most of the book out first and did a lot of research. I love to do research.
TTS: When you sit down to write a story do you use an outline?
Jacqueline Hopkins: Yes, most of the time. Recently though, I wrote six chapters of my serial killer book without plotting it down first.
TTS: Were there ever moments where the story didn’t go the way you planned or personally wanted it to go? How did you deal with that?
Jacqueline Hopkins: When a story doesn’t go where I plotted it or I get stuck on the story, I leave it. I put it down and work on another book until I get stuck on it. Some might call that writer’s block, I just work on something else.
TTS: What led you to writing and what do you like to read?
Jacqueline Hopkins: I honestly can’t say. It is probably perhaps because I love to read and I started out reading a few sci-fi books like Robert A. Heinlein’s The Star Beast. Then moved into reading romances, then I found murder mysteries. A murder mystery is what I wanted to write first but joined a woman’s romance writers group and got talked into writing a romance, hence Wilderness Heart was born.
TTS: Are you planning on sticking to one genre or are you going to branch out into others?
Jacqueline Hopkins: Yes, I’ve already started lots of other books in different genres.
TTS: What are you reading at the moment?
Jacqueline Hopkins: I just finished reading Jill Marie Landis Mai Tai One On set in Hawaii; started lots of others because I have met a lot of great indie authors and I can’t pick just one and finish it.
TTS: Do you think what authors read influence what they write?
Jacqueline Hopkins: Yes, probably why I like to write in different genres because I like to read in different genres.
TTS: Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on right now if you’re working on anything at all?
Jacqueline Hopkins: I have a time travel historic romance started; 11 chapters in that one. I have six chapters of serial killer started set in Southeast Alaska; about six chapters of a mainstream fiction set in Southeast Alaska; I am currently doing research on a murder mystery set in the town I currently live in — Sitka, Alaska; and lots of other ones started but not finished.
TTS: Once again, I would like to thank Jacqueline for taking the time to be here! I would love to have you back again sometime!
Jacqueline Hopkins: Thank you so much, Misty for having me here today. It was a pleasure and I’d like to come back again if you will have me.
Jacqueline currently lives in Sitka, Alaska…a tiny fishing town with a drinking problem is the standard joke. She moved back to Sitka following a job, but had lived there when she was just a baby and where her sister was born. Jacque was born in Oklahoma and has lived in Colorado, California, Washington, Idaho, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii and Iceland. Some of these places she has lived because she was stationed there while serving in the US Navy for 7 years from 1980-1988. She loves to travel, meet new people and hopes that her writing reflects her love of details and the places she has been because she likes to bring where she has been and what she has seen to people who otherwise might not get to see those places first hand. She is an avid reader and loves photography. As always, Jacque hopes you have enjoyed reading her books.
Jacqueline has given us two e-book copies of Wilderness Heart to give away! These will be awarded via smashwords code to be redeemed at smashwords.com. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with a valid email in the email box. Winners will be chosen at random by random.org on Saturday February 18, 2012 at 9 PM Eastern! Good luck! If you guys want more info about the book, I’ve posted it below.
Synopsis: yn Taylor loves her job as an Idaho wilderness hunting guide, but her world is complicated. It is a man’s job in a man’s world where she must constantly prove she is very capable and qualified to guide men on their hunts. On top of her father barely engaging in life since the death of Lyn’s mother, Lyn has second thoughts about marrying and having a man in her life.
But that was before she met Nic Randall, a lumber man, who comes from Montana to find timber to be bid on and milled. He is convinced she can’t handle the job as their guide because she is a woman and she is, of course, insulted. Nevertheless, neither has much choice and are forced to spend day and night together for the seven day hunt. Lyn is not happy — just how much is a confident, independent woman suppose to put up with?