What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Jaci Wheeler and Silent Song is a sweet New Adult Romance.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Not a ton of people know this, but I lost my hearing as a child. I’ve never wanted to write anything personal, but after reading a few books with deaf characters that rubbed me the wrong way, I really wanted to portray the deaf community and culture in a positive and accurate light.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve never considered myself a Romance writer, but when the story started unfolding it’s kinda just what happened.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I pulled a lot from myself for this book, in fact it broke and healed me all at once. I also visited the town of Stockton and a few of the establishments. I went to UOP and toured the college and dorms, talked to students, interviewed professors and Music majors.
Was it always meant to become a series?
This book is actually a standalone, but I’ve had so many requests to turn it into a series I’m seriously thinking about it!
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
SO my life is pure madness most of the time. I have two children with specials needs so between sickness and therapies I don’t have a writing schedule. I get most of my writing in during the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping. I also take writers weekends where I lock myself away in a hotel and get a bulk of my writing done at once. Because of my crazy schedule I’m not a sprinter, more of a marathoner. I get about 5 good sessions in and I’m done.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Silent Song just released 2 weeks ago.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I’m a huge fan of names, and even more so, nicknames. I think coming up with names is the hardest part because I can’t write until I have a full cast all named. This book is the only one where I’ve used peoples names. They are actually very significant and important to me. AJ in the story was used from a boy I used to teach who passed away. His mom gave me permission to use his name, the book is also dedicated to him. Jodi, is named after my deaf friend and Author Jodi Drake.
Where do your ideas come from?
Mostly they just hit me when I’m taking a shower. I know it’s random but 90% of my stories come to me when I’m in the shower!
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
YES! I’ve always wanted to write an adult Physiological thriller. So not my wheelhouse, but I really want to do it!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding the time to get all the words out! When I write I can just go for hours, so having the time carved out is challenging.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I enjoy book trailers, but I find not a ton of readers do. I have a trailer for my Operation Child Soldier book, but not for my others.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My two sweet kids are hands down the best thing I’ve ever done!
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Writing for me is super freeing! It’s my form of therapy, so it still blows my mind that people actually want to read it! Interacting with readers and finding this group of people that are of like mind is hands down the best part of the job!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
My goal is to make the Best Sellers list at least once in ten years! I’d also love to have one of my books turned into a movie! That’d be amazing.
Have you always liked to write?
Always! As a kid I kept a ton of journals, and little stories here and there.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Just write. It doesn’t have to be amazing, or even published. But if you like to write just sit down and do it. See what it goes, you can always fix it later but just let the words flow!
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
In another life I have many jobs before. If I wasn’t writing I would most likely go back to teaching.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes, read every review. The way I see it is if someone takes time to give feedback I want to use it. I never respond directly unless I’m sent the review personally in an email and or asked a question directly. Bad reviews are a part of being a writer. As much as I LOVE a good review I learn more from the bad ones. They make me a better writer when they are productive. The productive ones have impact on how I write my next books…the nonproductive ones I try not to let bring me down.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Interacting with readers is hands down my favorite part. Social media and book signings have been a great way to do that and it’s so fun getting to know people from all over the world!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on several projects now. One is a MMA romance. The other is a spinoff of Silent Song.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Here is a bit from my MMA book unedited, subject to change
“He’s gone mad. The man has lost his bloody mind. Can’t he see that I’m already spent, I can hardly move and now he wants me to fight? I rack my brain for something I must have done to piss him off but I can’t think of a single thing.
“But I can’t, I’m too tired, I can’t.”
“Thats exactly when you need to then. Gracie, look at me. Those boys that beat you up were they bigger than you? Stronger? Meaner?”
I barely have the strength to nod.
“I can’t change that. You can’t change any of that. I can teach you how to hit, how to duck, how to stay light on your toes. But those boys are probably taught that too, but they have the body and strength to back it up. You need an Ace, girl. You need something that will give you a head up.”
“How is me fighting when I can’t even move gonna put me ahead?”
“Because it’s going to show them that you can’t wear out. It pushes your body to the brink, and conditions it to keep going. Even when you should be beat to a pulp…you wont. You’ll keep going, even when you don’t think you can. Thats the gift I can give to you baby. I know it seems mean, but thats your Ace. What’s an Ace Gracie?”
“A trick nobody sees coming.”
“Exactly! Now lets train your body how to trick em baby girl.”
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I have A.D.D. so I tend to jump around with everything I do. Switching genres is easier for me to come up with fresh ideas. It keeps from any of my stories becoming to similar. I write in Dystopian, Suspense and Romance so that I get to do a little of everything and it keeps it all fresh!
Where did your love of books come from?
My Mother and Grandmother are Avid readers.I actually used to hate reading in school. I had very high risk pregnancies with both of my kids, so I was on bedrest for several months. Thats when I learned to love reading. It gave me an escape and Started devouring books.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I love the classics! Jane Austen will always be a favorite of mine. My favorite books of all times are Pride & Prejudice and The Giver. I try to read those every year! I also really like Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner when I’m wanting something a bit darker.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Thats like asking you to pick a favorite child! They are all super special to me. I think the one I’m most attached to is Barrett because he is a piece of me. It’s the only character I actually gave of myself, it hurt and was hard. But I feel the most accomplished over writing him.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both! It always energized me until Silent Song. That book felt like it was going to kill me. I sobbed the entire time I write it, but I felt so freed after.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I’ve never been one to write what is popular. I’m a firm believer in writing what comes to you, what you are passionate about and it will show in your work. I think people want to be moved, so even if it isn’t in fashion at the moment, emotion never goes out of style.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’m blessed to be surrounded by some Amazing authors! J.L. Drake is always there for my to bounce ideas and stories off of. I could name a million people, I have a group of 4 writer friends that I do a lot in the YA world with: Bridgette Ohare, Tara Benham, Lichelle Slater and Katy Webb. I also hand out with Kay Rene a lot and adore A.M. Johnson.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Flying by the seat of my pants
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Ok geez, I have no clue!
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you for having me! 🙂