Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to welcome Jessie Olson to our Spotlight Author blog post! Jessie has been a big supporter of ABSW for many years and is one of the co-founders of Worcester Writers Collaborative. You can find her book, An Ever Fixéd Mark on our shelves this holiday season for your romantic vampire-loving reader!
Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
I am a writer, theater junkie, Anglophile, and seeker of social justice plotting to save the world or at least a piece of it. I wrote and published my first novel, An Ever Fixed Mark, two years ago. Currently, I am editing my second novel and sporadically write on my blog, which often includes a recipe from my grandmother’s well loved cookbooks.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
I like a variety of genres. My first novel was a paranormal romance. My current manuscript is women’s fiction. What they have in common is strong, but humanly flawed, female protagonists. And old houses that hide secrets. Who doesn’t like to unravel a secret?
How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
I use New England – specifically central Massachusetts – in almost everything I write. It’s what I know and easy to describe so I can focus on making up the other details of my stories. I love the changing seasons, the color, the way the sunlight creeps to and from the horizon over our hills, and the amazing architecture in cities and towns alike. Plus, there is a lot of very unusual history from this part of the world. I set An Ever Fixed Mark partially in a fictionalized version of my home town, where in the days before the Quabbin Reservoir, the waters were believed to have magic, healing powers.
What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?
Since I was a toddler, I have had a love of the stage. Fortunately theater and writing go well with one another. Although I do find my discipline becomes lackluster when I am in the full throes of a production. Inasmuch, I’ve stopped doing shows back to back and limit myself to one a year. I’m glad I do because I inevitably meet another writer in almost every play I do.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
The most surprising and unexpected consequence of publishing my novel was reconnecting with my kindergarten friend, Cheryl Cory. That led to the start of the Worcester Writers Collaborative and friendships with several authors from the Worcester area. We help one another as we write, publish, and try to sell our books. I thought finishing and publishing my own novel would give me the most satisfaction, but truly, knowing that people leave our Tuesday night write-ins feeling the confidence to continue their projects and put it out there for the rest of the world to read has given me so much joy.
I highly recommend joining the Worcester Writers Collaborative. You can find our group on Facebook, as well as our fan page to connect to fellow Central Mass writers as well as find out about the events. Come to a write-in or comment on one of our questions in the Facebook group. I also recommend going to Annie’s or libraries to listen to authors read. We can always use a friendly face in the audience, but it is a great way to learn about how other people create their stories.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?