It is my pleasure to present Jackie Sonnenberg, author of My Soul to Keep.
Thandi: So, besides being an author, you are also an actor. Now, who is Jackie Sonnenberg? To those who know her as just an author.
Jackie: Yes- I did theatre but then I got into haunted house acting! Naturally, every Halloween season is special , but a few years back it turned into year -round thing: Co-worker friends in the haunted industry established a year- round haunted attraction combining a haunted house with laser tag. We started in one location in Wisconsin and now have another in Florida!
Thandi: What inspired you to become an author? And do you have a favourite author?
Jackie: I think it just started when I was little and learning to read and write for myself that I discoverd how much I enjoyed it and how much it spoke to me. There are too many good authors to name, but I am a fan of Neil Gaiman and JK Rowling tok, of course!
Thandi: My Soul To keep is not your first book, you’ ve written All that Glitters and Cat Family. Can you briefly tell us about these other books you’ve written?
Jackie: How To Raise Your New Puppy in a Cat Family was part of a research book collection under a different publisher.Those were requested topics I did early on with my journalosm background. All That Glitters is the story of a jewelery thief on the hunt for a magical item. It was a short story I expanded to write before I got the idea for the series…
Thandi: Tell us about the genre of your books especially My Soul To Keep? Where does it come from? Is it your passion?
Jackie: My Soul To Keep is a young adult/ horror. I think with the Nursery Rhymes theme it fits nicely with that genre. I wrote up several plot ideas for the different rhymes and won’t know exactly what order they would be in! Since I got into horror with acting and costuming and Halloween it is only too fitting that is my style and I can combine the two worlds together into one.
Thandi: Now, correct me if I’m wrong, My Soul To Keep is inspired by a real life event? What is it that made you want to write a book bases or partly bases on this event?
Jackie: Yes it is…its based on a real cult from the late 90s called Heaven’s Gate. Cults brainwash people…they tell people what to believe and they make them believe it…especially in cases of life and death. That is real life horror and that is why I wanted to write about it. I also did research on people who have had real paranormal encounters and out of the body experiences
Thandi: In my opinion, you did a great job with the book because I could imagine what was happening. I can visualise the Manor. I also fell in love with the characters especially Sky and I think most teenagers can identify with her, because as a teenager you sometimes want to feel a sense of belonging. Now, how do you build characters to make them come to life like you did?
Jackie: Thank you! Everyone feels like Sky at some pont: Alone and wanting answeres and to fit in. I knew exactly what her problem was and how it would fit in. Sky
was Vulnerable, and that is exactly the type of person that cults target.They want people who are lost and want someone else to tell them what to think.
Thandi : I also loved it when you made an example about the intergration of blacks and whites there because here a simmilar thing happened with apartheid here in South Africa…and seeing that we commemorating women since its August what would you say to empower women in general?
Jackie: For generalization, it is about finding and knowing your voice.
Thandi: Have you ever experienced a writer’s block? And do you have any suggestions on managing/coping with it?
Jackie: Everyone does! Sometimes you just can’t think!Sometimes you need to just walk away and do something else for a while.
Thandi: With that said, what are you busy with at the moment and what do you like to do to relax and your favourite food? What is your favourite motivational phrase?
Jackie: Currently working on more books in the YRESRUN SEMYHR collection! Marry had a little lamb and Hey Diddle Diddle are coming along! I love to read …and pasta!
Thandi: How can readers get to know more about you and your book?
Jackie: This is a world I am slowly growing; and it will only get bigger with every book I write! I want people to easily recognize the classic tales and the dark twists I put on them…I post extra stuff on my website, and Facebook and Twitter. I also have a newsletter that with have some bonus material!
Thandi: And to those who had no clue what YRESRUN SEMYHR is, it’s Nursery Rhymes spelled backwards! I sure didn’t know either. And I think you can imagine how I felt after finding out!
Thandi: Thank you so much Jackie for you time and sharing on inspiredbookblog!
My Soul To Keel Purchase link:
Barnes and Noble Purchase: