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Emotional Truth in Writing by Jacqui Morrison (suspense thriller author)

 

Image: www.freepik.com
Image: www.freepik.comIn life we have plenty of ups and downs, everyone does. Although I write in the suspense genre, my characters experience a wide range of feelings. That’s when I draw on my own life in order to tap into the emotional truth that we all experience – whether it has to do with loss, pain, sadness or despair.

When I first started out as a writer, I wrote a short story called Self-Imposed Isolation about a woman who was taking a break from life after her husband died of cancer. The story was set in the winter and I talked about the dismal grey sky and the heavy, suffocating snowfall, that seemed to reflect the heroine’s suffering.

I read the short story a couple of times in public and even though I prefaced my reading with the fact that it was fiction, inevitably someone would come forward after the reading to ask me if it was autobiographical. Readers responded to the heroine in the story. Especially those readers who’d suffered a loss. Somehow they were comforted by it – and perhaps it helped them to read about someone who was working through her own pain.

Image: onlinelearningtips.com
Image: onlinelearningtips.com

I find that writers tend to be deep thinkers and feel emotions profoundly. It is the act of converting emotions into words that creates meaning for the reader.

Writing that touches the heart is a challenge. One has to be in the right mind space in order to tap into that sense of poignancy that brings tears to the eyes. I find I have to write these kinds of scenes earlier in the day or else my writing will weigh heavily on my mind and seep into my dreams, making sleep difficult.

Image: consciouslyenlightened.com
Image: consciouslyenlightened.com

I also periodically check in with myself, to ensure that I’m doing okay. It’s very easy to spiral down into a dark hole, when writing about an emotionally difficult subject. I want to convey powerful images, but I also want it to be uplifting.

At the end of the day I want to inspire my reader, and I can only do that, if I have also inspired myself and tapped into my own heart and mind.

Good luck with your emotional writing.

Jacqui Morrison is a crime thriller author. Her suspense thrillers include Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. You can THE-VIGILANTE-COVERpurchase both books at Lachesis Publishing. But that’s not where it begins and ends with Jacqui. You see, Jacqui works with victims and witnesses of crimes. Her passion for working in the law started at at a young age, when she was inspired by a character in a popular TV show . . . 

You can get The Vigilante. on amazon, barnes and noble, koboYou can also purchase Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney on amazon

Connect with author Jacqui Morrison online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

 

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How I Nurture My Writing Voice by Jacqui Morrison (crime thriller author)

You can't hit those high notes in writing without practice! www.neatorama.com
You can’t hit those high notes in writing without practice! www.neatorama.com

A writing voice is similar to a singing voice, you can have natural talent but without patience and practice it won’t come out in its fullest form.

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyMy writing is heavily character driven. I have to know all I can about a character before I can truly create him or her. I write up to eighty biographical elements about the character and I use these items for continuity. If the protagonist drives a Prius on page seven she better drive the same kind of car on page 200, if not readers will notice.

I write a point-form biography on my protagonist, love interest and my foil. I have a basic template for the biography and I become highly curious about the character. What was their childhood like? Where did they go to school? What scares them? What did they want to be when they grew up?

Fur-get-about-it.
Fur-get-about-it.

I love writing characters who have a dark side or a dark twist to their nature; they can bring out parts of me that I can’t bring out in real life. For example, I wrote a scene in Kaitlyn Wolfe, Crown Attorney where a young Maxine Swayman told a store clerk that she loved a coat with a removable fur collar so she could wear it to anti-fur demonstrations. Maxine’s mother admonished her in the store.

I had a real life experience where a persistent salesperson tried to sell me a similar coat. I ignored the clerk’s pleas for me to buy fur and looked for other more suitable coats. Driving home from the store, I thought how I would have loved to shock the clerk, but in reality I didn’t. The silly thought rolled around in my head and when Maxine was born, I had the opportunity to use it.

My writing voice has developed over time. I truly believe that without constant honing of my skills I couldn’t be a writer. Writing characters, for me, is fun, but sometimes I have trouble plotting.

I’ve learned to use a plot chart to make my stories work. The stakes start small for the protagonist and get higher as the novel progresses. When I use the plot chart and I see a flat line, I know the story is not working the way it should. I will then painstakingly edit the non-progressive part until the story advances, as it should.

Character outlines are a fun and creative exercise and you get to compile lots of pretty pictures.
Character outlines are a fun and creative exercise and you get to compile lots of pretty pictures.

Next time you see a red-haired woman, in a coat with a fake fur collar, driving a Prius you’re likely seeing my antagonist Maxine Swayman. (Note: Maxine Swayman appears in both Kaitlyn Wolfe and Vigilante and her character has developed over the course of both books).

Jacqui Morrison is a crime thriller author. Her suspense thrillers include Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. You can THE-VIGILANTE-COVERpurchase both books at Lachesis Publishing. But that’s not where it begins and ends with Jacqui. You see, Jacqui works with victims and witnesses of crimes. Her passion for working in the law started at at a young age, when she was inspired by a character in a popular TV show . . . 

You can get The Vigilante. on amazon, barnes and noble, koboYou can also purchase Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney on amazon

Connect with author Jacqui Morrison online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

 

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Q and A Tuesday: Round 3 with Jacqui Morrison (suspense thriller /crime thriller author)

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyTHE-VIGILANTE-COVERRound 3 with Lachesis Publishing author, Jacqui Morrison. Jacqui has written two suspense thrillers for Lachesis Publishing – Kaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. Her books delve into the gritty underpinnings of society.

 Why are you a writer?

Out of sheer luck. In 1995 we had a lovely baby girl and no cable t.v. She was so peaceful and slept a lot while I was at home on maternity leave. I started to write creatively and then I couldn’t stop. Occasionally I wonder how things would have turned out if we’d had cable t.v..

What do you love to read in your spare time?

Spare time? What is that? I read a variety of fiction and non-fiction and the on-line newspaper. I love the ability to download ebooks so I have a library at my fingertips depending on what I feel like reading.

www.huffingtonpost.com
www.huffingtonpost.com

What are three things that you do that are important to your career as a writer (aside from actually writing the book)?

Networking and keeping company with fellow writers

Meditative breathing

Refining my public speaking skills

What are three of your top goals in your writing career?

To be widely recognized.

To hone my craft to such a point that readers cannot put my books down.

Enjoying the process of being creative.

What is your favourite first line ever from a novel?

“I am Ishmael.” Moby-Dick

What is your go-to power energy snack when writing?

Gummies

51pZagJtHdLWhat was a book that made you go “aha!” and why? (fiction or non fiction)

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I read it in Grade four. I was a competitive child and it was the largest book I could find, mid-way through I couldn’t put it down. The characters Rhett and Scarlett were unforgettable and I can still envision some of the scenes in my head decades later.

How do you cope with bad or nasty reviews?

Bad reviews are upsetting but in time I analyze them and try to improve my writing after singlehandedly devouring a bag of Gummies.

What do you listen to when you write?

It depends on my mood. I love calming and meditative music when I’m writing romance and upbeat music when I’m writing action or murder scenes.

Cats or dogs?

Dogs hands down. I have cats but they sleep a lot and when they are awake they look at me with suspicion.

You can purchase The Vigilante and Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney by Jacqui Morrison, at Lachesis Publishing.

You can also get The Vigilante. on amazon, barnes and noble, koboYou can also purchase Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney on amazon

Connect with author Jacqui Morrison online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Q and A: Round Two with author Jacqui Morrison (suspense thriller author)

THE-VIGILANTE-COVERRound 2 with Lachesis Publishing author, Jacqui Morrison  Jacqui has written two suspense thrillers for Lachesis Publishing – Kaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. Her books delve into the gritty underpinnings of society.

What was your favourite book as a child and why?

The Nancy Drew Series. Nancy had it all, a great boyfriend, good friends, and she solved mysteries.

Who was your favourite teacher growing up and why?

Mrs. Hawley, she was an English teacher at my high school. She ran the creative writing club and strongly encouraged me to continue writing after I finished school. I reconnected with Mrs. Hawley when she was in her late 70s and we visited once or twice a year.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Why?

I morphed into becoming a writer. As a youth I wanted to be: a lawyer, a travel agent, a hotel manager, a journalist and an entrepreneur. I wrote a weekly newspaper column for two years in the mid-nineties. Then I did some paid business articles and I had a short story published. It was not until Lachesis Publishing published my first novel that I called myself a writer. Now, in an obscure way, I can do all of the professions that I dreamed about as a teenager, through my prose.

Who in the writing/publishing world do you admire and why?

Writer extraordinaire Jodi Picoult is admirable because she writes books on brave topics. After I’d read any of her books I think about the moral implications for weeks afterwards.

Tell us about your daily writing routine – what do you typically do every day?

I’m a nighthawk. I write after dinner for about an hour. I’ll then spend weekends writing until one or two in the morning. I know writing late into the night isn’t healthy but that’s when the magic happens for me.

What is your favourite snack or guilty pleasure food that you (may or may not 😉 indulge in when writing?

Cappuccino and chocolate

What does “writing voice” mean to you? Describe your own writing voice.

I write in third person omniscient and I try to incorporate my own personality into my writing voice through humour, quirkiness and by playing with turns of phrases.

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyWhat do you want to accomplish in the next five years in your writing career?

I want to do more speaking engagements (book talks) and write more books

Tis the season to be jolly. What is your favourite thing to do over the holidays?

I have a wonderful two-year-old grand-daughter and I will be spending time with her over the holidays, reading books together, watching movies and enjoying ourselves.

Shortbread cookies or gingerbread cookies?

Neither – sorry – Chocolate Yule Log that my mom used to make

Connect with Jacqui Morrison on her web site, and on facebook and twitter.

You can purchase Jacqui’s books on the Lachesis Publishing site. You can also purchase Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney on amazon and you can purchase The Vigilante on amazon as well.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

 

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What Inspires Your Writing? by Jacqui Morrison (suspense / thriller author)

THE VIGILANTE COVERJacqui Morrison is our guest blogger today. Jacqui has written two suspense thrillers for Lachesis PublishingKaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. Her books delve into the gritty underpinnings of society.

Today Jacqui shares what inspires her writing . . .

I am a visual person and a people watcher. The best writers I know have an extra spectator quality: the ability to be at an event and to be able to observe and participate. Once I heard that term for the first time I had an ‘ah ha’ moment, I was not alone; there were other people like me. I embraced my quirkiness as a gift.

As a child I was a dreamer and imagined entire mansions full of secret staircases and hidden rooms. Doesn’t every child dream in colour? If not they should, it’s fun. Those early dreams morphed into daydreams, which turned into detentions for not paying attention at school. I’d love to go back in time and let those teachers know that daydreams inspire my novel writing.

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyI saw a woman (a stranger) walking across the road in my town in northern Ontario, Canada. The stranger was of Aboriginal descent, proud, beautiful and serene. Her features, high cheekbones combined with piercing brown eyes, enchanted me. I knew one day she’d become a character. The chance encounter with the stranger, who I never saw again, percolated in my sub-conscious and she became the protagonist in my novel Kaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney. The story of an Anishnaabe woman who experienced multiple tragedies as a youth, rose above her circumstances and became a Crown Attorney only to be foiled by defense lawyer Maxine Swayman known as ‘The Barracuda”.

Maxine Swayman, my reoccurring antagonist, is a red-haired, spitfire of a woman with beauty, poise and intellectual brilliance. She’s manifested from my Irish heritage and the plethora of strong females I have known throughout my life. Maxine’s personality comes from watching lawyers on Court T.V. on television, in court in real life and from my imagination. Maxine Swayman is the antagonist in both my novels Kaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney and The Vigilante

I’m inspired by well-known authors including: Peter Robinson the author of the Inspector Banks mysteries, Agatha Christie, Linwood Barclay, and Margaret Mitchell, to name a few.

Mysteries, my genre of writing, are like a puzzle. If you lose one or two puzzle pieces you’ll never fully complete the picture. It’ll haunt you.

Mysteries, like those enigmatic mansions I created in my mind as a child, are my puzzles. I’ll spend hours and days planting clues, and writing plot twists and when I’m stuck, I’ll spend time in nature. Nature’s beauty never stops inspiring me and after a needed break, I’ll return to my laptop ready to continue unraveling the puzzle.

Connect with Jacqui Morrison on her web site, and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

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Q and A Monday: Get to know our Lachesis Authors (Jacqui Morrison – suspense thriller author)

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyJacqui Morrison is our guest author today. Jacqui has written two suspense thrillers for Lachesis Publishing – Kaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. Her books delve into the gritty underpinnings of society.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and why?

When my husband and I had our little girl we could only get two TV stations. While on maturity leave I wrote a newspaper column and some fictional short stories. When I read my fictional story Self-Imposed Isolation out loud people cried. It was then that I knew.

Describe your favourite place to write?

In the winter my favourite place to write is in a recliner in my bedroom. In the summer, I have a little cabin in our yard named WRITER’S BLOCK.  I can hear the birds as I sit in my cabin and write.

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

I have a book on mediation for work and two or three files of projects I’m working on. It’s a real mish-mash.

What is your tea/coffee beverage of choice when you’re writing?

Coffee, coffee and more coffee.

What do you love to read?

I took some advice from another writer. He suggested I read books out of my genre. I love mystery and suspense, which are my genre. I choose a non-fiction topic each winter and read everything I can on the subject. The non-fiction helps to inspire my fiction.

What is some good advice you can give to an emerging writer?

Don’t ever give up. Follow your writing with passion. Hone your craft by attending workshops and meeting other writers.

What do you do after you finish a book? Do you celebrate or take a nap?

I put the manuscript away for at least three weeks. I’ll work on other pieces and clean my house. If you come by and my house is immaculate then feel free to ask me about the manuscript I just completed.

THE-VIGILANTE-COVERYou have written two suspense/thrillers for Lachesis – tell us about both books and what inspired them?

I love law and justice – which do not always co-exist. I was inspired to write stories about strong women who had tremendous issues to overcome.
 
You work in the legal/law enforcement world – how has your work influenced your writing?

It was the opposite for me. Like my interest in writing, I fell into my career. I saw an advertisement to work at a crisis shelter for women and their children and although I did not have a social work background, I took a risk and applied. In time, I became the court worker for the shelter.

What are you working on next?

I am working on the follow-up to The Vigilante (Murder in the City series). Detective Lynette Wilton and defense lawyer Maxine Swayman will be back in the next book.

Connect with Jacqui Morrison on her web site, and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.