Interview: Author Jackie Kessler + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Interview , Jackie Kessler , The Geeky Lover Posted on June 8, 2010 @ 6:00 am 31 comments

We are really proud today to have Jackie Kessler here. She’s one of the authors of The Icarus Series and book 2, Shades of Gray  will be released on June, 22nd. You can read my review here. Jackie also offers a wonderful Giveaway so stay tuned and please give her a warm welcome.

Jackie Kessler: Hi, Susi! Thanks so much for interviewing me.

The Geeky Lover: Jackie, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Jackie Kessler: I write about demons, angels, the hapless humans caught between them, superheroes, the supervillains who pound those heroes into pudding, witches, ghosts, vampires, and the occasional Horseman of the Apocalypse. On a more personal note, I’m five feet tall (on a tall day) and a Sagittarius with a weakness for chocolate. I’m married with two young kids, one very old cat, and a house in upstate New York.

The Geeky Lover: Describe a typical day of writing. Are you a planner or pantser?

Jackie Kessler: I tend to get most of my writing done very late at night, after the kids are in bed. When I’m really in the groove, Loving Husband will give me a kiss goodnight, and I’ll tell him that I’ll be right there because I’m going to bed…but then I don’t actually go to bed for two more hours. Oops. I also get a lot done on the weekends (thank you, Loving Husband, for taking the kids out to run errands!).

I’m more of a pantser than a planner…but I still need to plan the basic storyline. Part of this is because proposals require a synopsis of the entire book before you write the whole book. But part of it also is that I like knowing “This happens at point A and this happens at point B” — but how the characters get from point A to point B is all a mystery until I write it.

And then there are the times when I have a synopsis, and about one-third of the way through writing the book, I throw out the synopsis because the story has gone in a completely different direction.

The Geeky Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?

Jackie Kessler: A reader goes to the bookstore to buy the latest book. A real Book Lover goes to the book store and buys the latest book, then goes home, unplugs the phone, cancels plans, and sits in a favorite chair to read the book right away.

The Geeky Lover: You write the Icarus Project series together with Caitlin Kittredge. How did you two decide to that? Who’s idea was it?

Jackie Kessler: We both came up with it. We’d wanted to collaborate on a superhero story almost from the moment we first met and discovered our joint love of comic books and superheroes.

The Geeky Bookworm: Tell us a bit about the series.

Jackie Kessler: BLACK AND WHITE is a dystopian superhero novel about a hero called Jet, who works with shadows, and her former best friend, the villain called Iridium, who works with light. Each woman is convinced the other is part of a sinister plot to destroy the world. And one of them is right. SHADES OF GRAY, the sequel, picks up three days after BLACK AND WHITE ends.

The Geeky Lover: Why did you choose superheroes? Are you a longtime comic fan?

Jackie Kessler: Absolutely. I used to read comics every week with my dad, from the time I was 8 until I went to college. I still pick up comic books once in a while, but nowhere near as much as I did when I was growing up. Batman and Spider-Man were a huge part of my childhood.

The Geeky Lover: If yes, which one is your favorite?

Jackie Kessler: The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Runner up: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

The Geeky Lover: Tell us a bit about the new book, SHADES OF GRAY.

Jackie Kessler: The story starts three days after the end of BLACK AND WHITE. The United and Canadian States of America are in chaos because the extrahumans — those born with super powers — are no longer under the control of Corp-Co., and many have gone “rabid” — meaning they have gone crazy and are hellbent on destruction. Only a handful of heroes like Jet remain to rein in the rabids and wannabe villains. An anti-hero group called Everyman has been turning people against the few remaining heroes, and Iridium breaks her father and his cohorts out of jail. If all of that isn’t bad enough, the sociopath known as Doctor Hypnotic returns. And then things get really dangerous.

The Geeky Lover: In SHADES OF GRAY, you don’t only write out of Jet’s POV but also Angelica’s, Night’s and Garth’s. Was it hard to write the different POVs?

Jackie Kessler: Actually, no. It was fun getting to switch POVs. Jet was influenced by Night, but the two are very, very different characters. And Garth was something completely different.

The Geeky Lover: Tell us a bit about Jet. She has a soft spot for romance?

Jackie Kessler: Yes, indeed. She loves romance novels because those always end in a happily ever after. And Jet knows all too well that in real life, that rarely happens. So she enjoys escaping reality for a little while and curls up with a good romance. Jet had been in love once, when she was a teenager, so she knows what it means to love — and to lose that love.

The Geeky Lover: Did you have a special method to come up with the superhero names?

Jackie Kessler: Hee!!! Those are a blast, especially the over-the-top names. They’re very much based on whatever power the extrahuman has. When I decided the hero would work with shadow, she had to be called “Jet.” Caitlin wanted her villain to work with light, so we picked “Iridium,” a chemical element. Iridium works with “light heat” in the book.

The Geeky Lover: Will there be future books in that series? Or are any spin off books planned?

Jackie Kessler: We sold BLACK AND WHITE in a two-book contract. As for any others, that remains to be seen.

The Geeky Lover: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

Jackie Kessler: Sure!

Hell on Earth series: Sex, strippers and demons — what’s not to like?

The Icarus Project series: for those who always wanted to be a superhero…or beat the snot out of superheroes.

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse series: magical realism novels that deal with serious issues (HUNGER is about an anorexic teenage girl who becomes the new Famine, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse).


Jackie offers a fantastic prize package for one lucky commenter. 

You will get a copy of Black & White and an ARC copy of Shades of Gray. 

All you have to do is to leave a question for Jackie or just a meaningful comment about the interview.

Open to everyone on earth.

Giveaway ends on Sunday, 13th and I will announce the winner on Monday.
Good Luck!

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • Sullivan McPig June 8, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Never read any of your books, but I must say the Hell on Earth series sound like I should try them. And I so agree on the Sandman series: the best comic book series I ever read!

  • Jackie June 8, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Sullivan McPig, I had a blast writing HELL'S BELLES, etc. You can read excerpts of the Hell books on my website, if you'd like to give them a try.

  • Bethany C. June 8, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I really like the Hell On Earth books, and I'm thinking maybe I could use Black and White to lure my comic-loving husband into the world of books without pictures.

  • Melissa (My words and pages) June 8, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Thank you for this great interview! I have these books on my list to get. They sound like a lot of fun with the superheros. 🙂 I have enjoyed books from both Jackie and Caitlin that these are a given.

    This sounds like a series in which a comic is made into an amazing book to read. Do you think there is any chance of the books being made into a graphic novel?

    Thank you! I loved learning a little more of the books, now I know I have to have them. 🙂

  • tetewa June 8, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I've enjoyed the Hell on Earth series and looking forward to your latest, sounds good!

  • Charchelar June 8, 2010 at 9:17 am

    These books sounds cool. I like the over-the-top names too. I loves Caitlinn Kittredge's books and Jackie, while I'm not sure if I've read any of your books, I would happily read these. They sound fun and exciting.

  • Karen June 8, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Dystopia AND superheroes! Now that's a great combo.


  • Melissa June 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Oh, this sounds interesting! I would love to read about a good comic book heroine! Oh, and Melissa above has a great idea. A graphic novel would be great! Especially w/the dystopia idea. It SOUNDS graphic! 🙂

  • Andrea I June 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I have your Hell on Earth series in my huge TBR stack. I'm glad I saw the review on Shades of Gray and learned of the Icarus Project series. Horsemen of the Apocalypse also sounds interesting.

  • Book Goddess No 1 June 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    This series sounds right up my alley. I now have you down on my "must read list". They characters sound so cool, I could see them jumping off the screen.

    Would love to win a book.

    Bookgoddessno1 at hotmail dot com

  • Caitlin F. June 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Hi, Jackie! The Icarus Project sounds like just my type of thing; can't get enough superhero fiction, lol.

    I just wanted to know how difficult it was to do a collaborative work? Do you enjoy it more or less than working alone? Thanks much! 😀

  • Barbara E. June 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I've been wanting to start the Icarus Project series, so winning this giveaway would be awesome. I love both Jackie and Caitlin, so I'm dying to read their collaboration.


  • donnas June 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing today!! I have been wanting to start you books but havent had the chance yet. Now I only have to decide between Black and White or Hunger first. Since this was a 2 book contract, are you thinking about collaborating on any more upcoming works?

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • van_pham June 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    The Icarus Project series sounds fun, and Can't wait to read Hunger…both will defitnely be added to my 'to buy' list!

    thanks for the giveaway


  • Robin K June 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Whoa… sex, strippers and demons. Count me in! Thank you for sharing the interview. I love reading about authors and their writing styles. I get much of my work done at night and on weekends too. Husbands are great 😉

  • Kailia Sage June 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I've never read any of her books but they sound great. I loved what she said was the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover!

  • mariska June 8, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    i've been trying to win these books couple times, but still no luck so far for me 🙂

    I'd love to win them ! count me in !

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  • Jackie June 9, 2010 at 6:30 am

    "Do you think there is any chance of the books being made into a graphic novel?"

    Melissa, I would love to see BLACK AND WHITE and SHADES OF GRAY as a graphic novel. 🙂

    "I just wanted to know how difficult it was to do a collaborative work? Do you enjoy it more or less than working alone?"

    Caitlin F., it's a completely different process. When it came to writing the superhero books, collaborating worked very well. But when it comes to, say, the Horsemen books, which are extremely personal, I couldn't imagine collaborating on those.

    "Since this was a 2 book contract, are you thinking about collaborating on any more upcoming works?"

    donnas, I like to keep all of my options open. 🙂

    Thank you to everyone for commenting! Good luck!!!

  • mbreakfield June 10, 2010 at 1:20 am

    As a long time comic book reader, these books sound awesome to me. Ive put them on my wishlist.

  • EVA SB June 10, 2010 at 1:54 am

    The books sounds great.

    I have a couple of questions for Jackie.
    What super-powers do you have?
    If you weren't married which superpower would you find most attractive in a mate?

  • Jackie June 10, 2010 at 8:32 am

    "What super-powers do you have?"

    Clearly, stamina. (Comes from having a full-time day job, two young kids, a husband, a writing career, a mortgage, and trying to have a life away from the keyboard.)

    "If you weren't married which superpower would you find most attractive in a mate?"

    Clearly, stamina. (Feel free to use your imagination here.) 😉

  • Lisa R June 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I never was one for comic books or graphic novels, however, this series sounds like a nice twist on them. I really enjoyed the "Hell on Earth" series and look forward to reading the "Icarus Project".

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  • Ina June 11, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Hi Jackie!
    with that interview you really made my day! I saw that Black and White will be published in German in June and I love those covers too! it would be gorgeous to win both the book, but anyway I will def read your books soon 🙂
    wish you all the best,

  • Lovie June 11, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    then goes home, unplugs the phone, cancels plans, and sits in a favorite chair to read the book right away.

    For a Real Book Reader – you should also add:
    1. Lock the door
    2. Make a plate of snacks – fruit and cheese, or chips and dip. Its for sure you are not going to take the time to cook, or leave the house for fast food.
    3. Call your boss and tell him you are coming down with something – you are going to be up all night reading and will not feel like going into work the next day.

  • Grace June 12, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Hey Jackie!
    Comic book heroes have fascinated me at a young age.

    To you, are superheroes born or made? How does evolution take place in your books?

    ilovearevolution (at) live (dot) com

  • Aik June 12, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Hi Jackie,

    What super power do you think is the coolest?

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  • Julie June 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    These stories sound really interesting. Count me in the giveaway. juliecookies(at)

  • Stella (Ex Libris) June 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Jackie!

    Loved your answer to the "what is the difference between a reader and a book lover" question, so true! 😀

    I have seen your novels mentioned in the blogosphere in the last couple of weeksma nd they sound interesting. I haven't read any dystopian books so far, maybe I should start with yours? 🙂

    Please enter me, would love to read these! 🙂

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Stacy June 13, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I have not read any of your books although i have them on my to read list. I really enjoyed reading your interview. Thank you for taking time out of your family and writing time to answer questions.

  • Jackie June 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for all the terrific comments, everyone!

    "To you, are superheroes born or made? How does evolution take place in your books?"

    Grace, all I can say here is read SHADES OF GRAY if you want to learn the origin of superheroes in the Icarus Project. 🙂

    "What super power do you think is the coolest?"

    Aik, this changes for me daily. Today, I think that superspeed is pretty damn amazing. Tomorrow, I might want to fly. Or be super strong. Or, heck, a combo!

    "I haven't read any dystopian books so far, maybe I should start with yours? :-)"

    Stella, of course you should! 😉

    ***FYI: Caitlin and I are doing a ginormous Preorder SHADES OF GRAY Contest. Please check out my blog for more information:

  • Melissa June 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I am really interested in these books. I've really only recently read one book about "superheros" (It was Santa Olivia) and would really love to read your take on it. It has really captured my attention. Thanks for the interview.

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

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