Monday, January 2, 2012

Introducing Jacqui Morrison

The writing life is both solidary and social. I spend countless hours on my computer and I also enjoy public speaking. Both experiences are enriching and productive. My name is Jacqui Morrison and I am the author of Kaitlyn Wolfe,Crown Attorney by Lachesis Publishing.

In the formative years, I plugged away on my home computer alone. I did not know if my writing was any good but I kept persevering. Tenacity was the key to success.

Back then, I had not found my style. I just knew I was driven to write. Initially my style in writing mysteries was film noir. It was like a black and white photo begging for some colour.  Soliciting feedback from friends and family has its drawbacks. It was feast or famine either accolades or blank stares of boredom.

I began to find my style when I decided to accept support and feedback from other accomplished writers. I became part of an editing circle. Four writers met monthly to critique each other’s work. This was probably the single most important thing I did to improve my writing and my confidence. We vowed to be completely honest so the members provided blunt but constructive feedback.  Initially a deeper form of feedback was difficult to take but I put my ego aside and started to benefit from the direct honesty.

My style was beginning to emerge. I realized that my writing style was character driven. I spent a great deal of time creating biographies of my main characters. I frequently refer back to them while I’m in the midst of writing a manuscript.

I also joined a writing organization and attended seminars on the craft of writing. In time, my confidence and my circle of contacts increased ten-fold. In the early days I could not even read my work out-loud without sputtering and stammering. I now realize it was because I was reading my own work – I was baring my soul publicly.

Through the writing organization, I took a workshop on utilizing acting techniques in presentation. The techniques and the growing confidence in my written work catapulted me into enjoying reading and performing. This one-day seminar was an integral part of my confidence building.

Today, I would consider myself both an extravert and an introvert. Introverted in the creation of the work and extraverted in promoting it. My confidence has grown exponentially now I look for events where I can perform. I no longer look at these events with dread, I look forward to being on the stage, performing and hopefully selling some books. At the very least, public performance increases my network.

I still thoroughly enjoy creating a fresh first draft and then agonizing over the editing. Each time I begin a new novel I become excited and have trouble stopping. The words fly onto the page and I rarely have writer’s block. The only time I have a form of writer’s block is when the busyness of my day-to-day life sneaks into my writing life. I have to work on a balance of writing, promoting and performing. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today I am a Writer in Residence at the Parry Sound Public Library where I conduct writing seminars for budding writers. I look for opportunities to perform in public and thoroughly enjoy watching the faces in the audience as they hear my spoken word.  My first novel won the 2009 Gold IPPY award for best fiction in Central and Eastern Canada, which garnered credibility from fellow authors and readers. 

My second novel Oddly Accused, a suspenseful mystery/courtroom drama will be released by Lachesis Publishing in 2012.