Jacqueline D'Acre

Interview with Jacqueline D'Acre

by Alice Klein

Ms D'Acre grew up in Thunder Bay, Canada, went to university in San Francisco and wound up living in New Orleans for decades. While there she had an ad agency; a horse farm and a film and video production company. She moved back to Thunder Bay with her daughter four years ago, and she is loving being back in Canada.

First off, let me say that I loved Foreclosure. That said, where did Bryn Wiley come from? Is she a conglomeration of people you have met? Autobiographical?
Bryn Wiley is as fictional as any protagonist can get. I think everything everyone writes is drawn somewhat from personal experience. Bryn for example has red hair in an asymmetrical cut. I used to have red hair in such a hairdo many, many, years ago, and I felt these physical features suited her somewhat quirky personality.

I noted that you were born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario and lived in New Orleans, as was your main protagonist. I visited Thunder Bay and stayed for an entire month. The beautiful people and lovely parks are imprinted in my memory. What makes Thunder Bay home for you? What inspiration do you take from the area?
Many things. The most powerful thing about Thunder Bay for me is the physical beauty of the Sleeping Giant in the bay; Mount McKay rising straight up 1000 feet at the edge of the city; the lake itself. Also the people. Thunder Bay has an amazingly rich creative pool of writers, filmmakers and artists. Perhaps the isolation contributes to this creativity. I revel in it.

You moved back home to Thunder Bay prior to Hurricane Katrina. What memories do you hold of New Orleans?
New Orleans is part of my fiber. Now at odd moments I will see a street corner with camellias blooming on the median; a cafe where I sat outside with friends and drank café au lait; music drifting through the streets of the French Quarter. So much. I am homesick for it in little nostalgic wisps every day. But no regrets about missing Katrina or other hurricanes that barrel towards this special place.

In Foreclosure, Bryn Wiley investigates the murder of a Morgan horse breeder. The Stallion Lightning Strikes Back is a magnificent piece of horseflesh. Are you into horses?
I was a horse breeder for 15 years.

The sheriff, John MacWain, came across as a good old boy, who was more than willing to convict an innocent horse. Was he patterned after anyone in particular? Or just to make your readers think, in general?
The sheriff is a completely fictional character.

I loved the character of the Deputy Sheriff, Tuan Scott. Will he get his own story? How about Bryn? What's up for her now?
Like you, the members of my writer's group (LUNA) also enjoyed Tuan. I hadn't planned on featuring him but with so much interest I may be inspired to enrich his role in future books.

What did you do before you became a writer?
I have been a writer for almost all my working career; started out writing ad copy then progressed to writing scripts for the films and video ís produced by my production company.

How long have you been writing?
Thirty years?

What led you to pursue a career in writing?
I just always loved to write from as soon as I learned the alphabet.

Do you write full-time or do you support yourself with another job?
I supplement my writing by working now as a freelance editor.

Who or what has influenced you the most in your writing?
Every book I have ever read and enjoyed has influenced me and I have read thousands of books.

How long did it take before you were published?
My first book was published ten years ago and it took me just a few months to find a publisher for that one. I found Stargazer Press even before Foreclosure was completed.

Where do you get the ideas for your books?
Just as I remember New Orleans in small wisps of nostalgia, ideas for books also drift into my mind, a phrase, a sentence, and fragment and off I go!

Do you do a lot of research before you write?
It depends. For my first book, Between Extremities, I did some reading about aging and what it means. The book is about middle-aged craziness. For Foreclosure I did no research.

Is there any other genre you want to expand to? Which one?

My first book is mainstream literary fiction and I also love writing in this genre.

Do you have a special place you like to write?
My office.

Do you write without fail every day? Or loads at once?
Loads at once, then daily when I am settled into doing a book.

How much do you read?
About two to three books a week not counting the newspaper and magazines.

Who are your favorite authors and why?
Too many to mention, but mystery-wise I love Dick Francis, P.D. James, and Sue Grafton. They are masters of their genre and I learn from their no-wasted-words styles.

What are your feelings toward reviewers?
I look forward to reviews.

What are your feelings toward today's publishing industry?
Of course it is so difficult to get published…but perhaps supply exceeds demand.

What are your thoughts on e-books versus printed paperbacks or hard cover? Are they the wave of the future?
I have little experience with e-books, but it is hard to beat curling up with a good book. Hard or soft cover books are so portable and convenient. They are a technology that is hard to improve upon.

How do you feel about self-publishing?
I prefer to have a publisher.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Work hard. Become a very good writer. Realize it takes years to become a good writer. Then: Never give up!

What books do you have planned in the near future?
I am working on a coming of age book set in Thunder Bay. .I have also drafted the next Bryn Wiley mystery.

Could you give us a brief preview of the next one?
Bryn arrives in New Orleans in the midst of Hurricane Katrina. In her canoe she paddles through floodwaters to a friend's house. She manages to save this friend for only a little while. What caused his death? The hurricane or some other nefarious effort?

Do you have any book signings/appearances in the future?
Just finished one this Saturday and I will be doing a reading Nov. 25, 2008. The rest are in the planning stage.

Is there anything else you would like to mention that I haven't asked about?
Just that I love writing in both genres and I hope I can build a solid career with my writing.

For a review of FORECLOSURE, visit: http://www.simegen.com/reviews/list/29465.html