Author, Paulette Jackson, Releases Her New Book, "My Testimony", & Boy, Does It Live Up to the Name!
I was hoping you could introduce yourself and tell me where you grew up? I'm Paulette Jackson, and I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. My love and passion have always been in arts & entertainment since I could talk. It's in my blood, with both parents (now deceased) having their early beginnings in the entertainment world.
Have you always enjoyed writing since your childhood? My writing journey began at a very early age as a lyricist. I never thought I would become a published author writing and sharing my life story and my passion for the arts. It was strictly song lyrics at that time, age 10 or 11.
What inspired you to start your writing career? Well, as far as books go, one of my dear friends from high school who'd written his first book. We had conversations about it, and it inspired me to think about writing my first book. Also, one of my favorite musicians, Sheila E., wrote a book, and I was fortunate enough to attend her book signing and meet her, so later that same year, I decided to start writing my first book, "The Music in Me," which now has been re-released as a second edition.
What are things that you like to write about? I am mostly centered around arts & entertainment, specifically music. But my latest book is more of my journey. I want all of my readers to inspire and motivate others to tell their stories, to go for their hopes and dreams. That people see a little of themselves in my books and can relate.
In general, do you believe that people's appetite for reading has remained unchanged since the emergence of the digital age? I believe in many ways. People have more of an appetite for good material to read. This digital age gives avid readers more options in purchasing some of their favorite books, and the digital age makes it more convenient. Many people I have talked to still feel like a physical book in their hands.
Are you a full-time writer? It's funny, but early on, I thought I would be a one-book writer and continue with my other ventures, but ideas for new books kept coming. Now I also write for other publications, so I have expanded my writing career, which I never saw coming. So, yes, I have become a full-time writer, among other things.
Have you ever written a screenplay? Well, not a screenplay, but about six years ago, I started writing a stage play (that no one knew about) but haven't quite finished. I hope to bring it back to the forefront very soon. I think it's fascinating and would love to see it on stage—music-based, of course.
If you didn't write, what else would you be doing? More of what I do currently is run my internet radio stations, consult, video series, travel, and do anything that I can showcase my creativity. I am an artist, and I can't fathom being involved in arts & entertainment.
As an author, what would you say is the most effective way of marketing your book in today's world? As an author in this day and age of social media, this is a viable tool to market your books. We, as authors, can use many different resources out here now to promote our works. It is exciting. But, you have to research and utilize all social media platforms and other online outlets to help get your book noticed. Also, in-person events are an excellent way to network and get your name and text.
Are you living your dream today, or is there still more you want to do? I'm living part of my dream and doing things I didn't imagine I would be doing. There is so much more I want and have yet to do. This is just the beginning. I feel for myself, even at this stage in my life. It's not too late.
What is your favorite book that you've written, and tell me why? I would say my first book, "The Music in Me," because I speak about my passion and love of the arts and where it all started, the moment I knew I wanted to be in this industry. It gives insight into what drives me and brings me joy.
Do you have a newly-released book out, and if so, tell me about it. My fourth book will be released in late summer or early fall this year (2022). I will be sure to keep you updated on the actual release date. This new book will be a tribute book; that is all I will say for now.
Where can people purchase this book? My latest book, "My Testimony" (January 2021, Halo Publishing), along with my other books, can be purchased directly from my website.
What advice would you give to a young author or someone who has never published a book? Just start writing. Don't be afraid to share your story. Do a lot of research and utilize helpful tools to get you started. I would also join author groups on social media; they offer advice and insight to newer authors and writers. Look at what is best for you and then start engaging, don't be afraid to ask questions, but do your research (self-publishing vs. traditional, formatting, publishing companies, etc.). No matter where you are in your life if you have a story to tell, step out of your comfort zone and go forward.
What came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg develops and forms into the chicken—sort of like life. We are shaped and formed early on and grow into ourselves, discovering who we are and where we want to go—the Chicken.
All photos are courtesy of Paulette Jackson
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