D.w. Jackson was once a soldier in our country’s National Guard. After a little over a year spent in deployment, he returned home to work as a pipeline surveyor and eventually a correctional officer for the state of Oklahoma. Then, he became an adoptive father, fell ill and wrote his first novel. D.W. Jackson is a true Indie Author success story; selling around 35,000 books in his first year. Today, I set down with him and pick his brain for the secrets (or magic) that have led to his success. I got all the answers I wanted, as well as a few good laughs.
Q: Tell me a little about your books and what kind of novels you write.
A: I write Fantasy. Right now, all my books are in the world of Kurt; a large fantasy realm with the basics from Elves, dragons and magic. Though most of the magical races are a bit different than normal and so is the magic. It is a diverse realm with many countries and various societies including one completely dominated by women where men are treated as slaves.
A: That’s hard to say. Definitely not my main character. I put that poor bo through the ringer. I think I would have to pick Tuck. He’s a good natured elf with a flair for jokes.
Q: haha…Poor Thad…
A: [He’ lost a foot and an eye. [He’s] been tortured over the years. He’s had it bad.
Q: You’re working on the Re-Awakening Saga right now. How many books are there in the series and how many more do you plan to write?
A: Right now there are five out with one more in the main first arc and two other side stories. I am planning on at least another 13 more books in that realm right now.
Q: You’ve done a lot of things in your life. Is writing the one thing that you’ve enjoyed the most?
A: That’s hard to say. I have enjoyed most my life. I’ve traveled the world, served in the army with some of the best the US has to offer, took a year and went on a heck of a road trip all over the US. I’ve had a blast.
Q: That does sound like a blast. Does your writing reflect any on your time in the service?
A: Of course. Any service man will notice it and many have emailed me, mentioning it. It makes it much easier to describe how the soldiers even in Medieval times might interact with each other.
Q: Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?
A: Lack of Sleep. Forgetting that you have a life outside of your computer screen…I haven’t played my XBox in nearly a year. I think being a writer might be more time consuming than those guys who spend their times in their mother’s basement, eating cheetos and playing D&D.
It’s simple. Everyone can get lost in a book and everyone can get lost in thought but it’s dangerous when you’re writing a book and you get lost in it. As Chong once said, “There’s no way out, man.”
Q: You’ve been a great inspiration to me, personally. You’ve had a great first year and built a great series from scratch. What advice would you give to a new Independent Author?
A: I don’t know much about success. I was lucky. I published my first book and it sold but I would tell every new and aspiring author that connecting with your readers after they read is important. Keep up with a blog, put your email address in the first page of the book, pay attention to your author page on Amazon. Make the reader feel invested, not only in your stories, but you as a person. Don’t let them see you as nothing more than a book cover.
Q: That’s very good advice. Okay, last question. What’s next? What can we look for on the horizon from you?
A: Well, March will be the last book in the first arc of the Re-Awakening storyline (“Master Mage”). Other than that, I have so many other plans going on, I can barely keep them straight. My goal is to put out at least 8 books a year.
Q: Very nice. We’ll be watching to see what you’re up to.
A: Oh, that’s easy…I’ll be working.
If you want to know more about DW Jackson, you can find him here:
You can get his newest book: Stranded Mage now or get caught up on the entire Reawakening Saga series via Amazon.