Q: You started your own publishing company. Why?
A: To bring to my readers stories about those characters they want to read about, but who the publisher might not be interested in printing, such as – Uncle Corey Westmoreland’s story. Corey was introduced in Stone Cold Surrender and my readers was intrigued with how he and Abby met. So I decided to write their story. So far I’ve published 3 anthologies – Forever Mine, Essence of Desire and Tis the Season…for Romance. These books are sold exclusively in my online store.
Q: You became a film-maker recently. Why did you move into this arena?
A: I wanted to see my books on film and I did it as a way to showcase the essence of black love and romance that is rarely shown on the big or small screen, and also to create more opportunities for black actors and actresses. And I was blessed to have a director in the family. My oldest son has degrees in film from Columbia University and Florida State University Film School, so I decided to put him to work to show me what he could do and I’m pleased with the results.
Q: I just started reading your books late and want to catch up with the several series. How can I know where to start?
A: There are listings that breaks my books down into series on this website under “MY BOOKS”. The majority of my books are in print, but if you can’t find then any let me know.
Q: Are your books on e-books?
A: Yes, the majority of my books are on e-books, with more to come.
Q: Do you travel on book tours to meet your readers?
A: Yes, and when I do I post my schedule of where I’ll be under the “Events” tab on this website.
Q: Now that you’ve written over 80 novels, is Tonight and Forever still your favorite Brenda Jackson book?
A: Yes. Tonight and Forever remains my favorite because it was my first. Justin and Lorren’s story will always be near and dear to my heart. But there is one book I consider my best work ever and that is Ties That Bind. It took 4 years of research for me to write that story, which took me an entire year to complete. That’s the longest I’ve ever spent on a novel. And it was a very emotional book for me to write. Randolph and Jenna’s love was all consuming and it surpassed the test of time. In my opinion it was one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever told, and I hope to see it in a movie one day.
Q: You’ve written about the Madaris Family which is now a 18-book series with more books to come; the Westmorelands are headed toward 30 books; the Steeles, seems to be going strong. Do you ever think enough is enough and readers want something new and fresh?
A: Yes and no. I let my readers decide what they like, after all I am not writing to sell my book to myself, but to my readers’ for their enjoyment. The majority of my readers love series books – stories that connect. I’m glad a lot of other authors see this to be true and have jumped on the bandwagon and are doing family sagas. I’ve always known it because I was a reader before I was a writer. And I always loved reading family series novels. I remember going to different stores trying to find missing books in Linda Howard’s McKenizies series, and/or Nora Roberts’ MacGregors series. When I decided to write stories I figured there had to be something special with the letter “M”. Linda Howard had her McKenzies, Nora Roberts had her MacGregors, so I gave Brenda Jackson the Madarises and haven’t regretted it since. I’ve made both the USA Today and New York Times Bestsellers lists with the Madaris family books. And for those who aren’t into family or continuing book series, I do unconnected books periodically. As long as I have readers who want to know about a particular family, then I let them decide when enough is enough with my connecting stories. And as far as new and fresh, I’ve started my Bachelors in Demand Series. And I’m excited about my first single title in three years, A Silken Thread, which introduces readers to a town versus a group of characters.
Q: Your online book club has over 2,000-members, your cruises are very well attended and you have a large international fan base. What do you think is the reason you have such a huge following?
A: Because from my first book, I let my readers know they were special. It wasn’t any planned strategy I used, it was me being me, and wanting to treat my readers the way I would want to be treated. I was a reader before I became a writer, and I had encountered a lot of authors who wanted me to buy their book, but didn’t have the time or inclination to respect me as one of their readers. I refuse to be that way with my readers. I appreciate them. They are more to me than a cha-chang at the cash register and I’ve always let them know it.
Q: Is there other social media you’re connected to?
A: Yes, I’m on Twitter and I have a FaceBook Fan Page and Facebook BookClub
Q: Do negative reviews of your book bother you?
A: No. Although I put out what I consider my best work possible, I don’t expect everyone to pick up a Brenda Jackson book and enjoy it. A review is one person’s opinion of the book and does not represent the views of the masses. Everyone has a right to their opinions, although I have to admit I’ve seen a number of reviews that were more author bashing done under the disguise of book reviews. I ask readers to read the book for themselves and form their own opinions. And I believe my readers are doing that because some of the books that I receive the worse reviews turn out to be my biggest sellers. People who read romance novels have varied tastes and preferences. There is such a diverse range of stories that readers today can find a large number of books to suit what they are comfortable with reading. I write hot, steamy romance stories. Hot and steamy isn’t for everyone. Romance is a work of fiction and is for entertainment purposes. If a person has read my books and continuously not enjoy them, then I recommend they stop buying them and spend their money on books they do enjoy.
Q: Umm, hot and steamy. Is there such a thing as too hot and steamy for a Brenda Jackson novel?
A: Yes! Although my books are hot and steamy I won’t cross the line into erotica. I respect the authors that do, but I prefer staying away from certain words that still makes me blush. I had someone write me to say that my hero and heroine don’t make love they have sex because anytime you take it out the bedroom it becomes just sex. I disagree. Any person who honestly think a certain room in a house defined sex versus making love didn’t know the first thing about either and probably had a boring love life. It’s not the act itself but the people involved in the act that defines it, regardless of wether they’re making out in the bed or on the kitchen table. Variety is the spice of life! A lot of my heroes and heroines might think they’re just having sex in the beginning, but they eventually wake up and smell the coffee. I love writing a story and getting them from point A to point B. So those who think a romance book is truly not romantic if the two people have sex on page 1 versus page 101 needs to rethink that opinion, because it happens and the two people can live happily, ever after. In fact, I recently read such a book (The Perfect Solitaire by Carmen Green). It was a very good book and yes, it had a happy ending.
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