Jaclyn Weist is an Idaho farm girl who adores reading. She met Steve at BYU and they have six crazy children that encourage her writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to Australia, they settled back down in Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding kids to various activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do next.
What do you do to help balance your writing life with your family life?
~ I have my computer in the living room so my kids can hang out around me while I write. I let them help me brainstorm when I’m stuck. There are times when I do a lot more family things than writing, and other times I get caught up in my writing and forget everything around me. I just make sure that after that happens, I go find something fun to do with my kids. After school every day, I’m usually running around to various activities for them, so I wait until they’re in bed to write. Every day is a new day and a new way to work around what needs to be done.
How long have you been writing?
~ I wrote all the time in high school and a little in college. Then in 2010 when I had a bookstore, I joined a writing group. That’s when the floodgates opened up. I had several book ideas and I’ve written several books since.
What inspired you to write your book (if this is a personal story about you, please share about the decision to open up about your life)?
~ Each of my books have their own stories. My first leprechaun book came from a writing prompt. My princess book, The Princess and the Prom Queen came from a daydream I used to have. “What if I woke up one day to find out I was really a princess?” My Atlantis book, which is my newest release came from a group of us. We wanted to do a series and came up with Atlantis. When I choosing my characters, a friend of mine suggested having the two characters meet online. My story was born!
What is a typical writing day like for you?
~ Chaos. I wake up, get a few things done around the house and make sure my kids have their chores done. I sit on my spot on the couch and pull out my computer. Then I write for as long as I can in between getting meals done, homework, and sports. Once the kids are in bed, I write until I can’t keep my eyes open.
Is your family supportive of your writing?
~They’re all very supportive. There are times when they just want me to play with them and I completely understand that. But they love to see my next book when they come in the mail. I’ve been very blessed by them.
If this isn’t your first publication, what was the first thing you ever had published?
~ Stolen Luck was my first book I’ve published. It’s about a girl who has her luck stolen by a leprechaun. It was a really fun story. And there may or may not be some of my more embarrassing moments written into it.
Can you share with us a little about your current book(s)?
~Magicians of the Deep is about two characters, Colin and Alleya. Colin is a boy who lives in Hawaii. He is finally adopted and his new family takes him to Hawaii. There he becomes exposed to the magic world. Alleya is part mermaid, part Atlantian. She’s in hiding. Together, they learn that gates are closing and magic is dying. They have to find a way to defeat Phoibos to save the world as they know it.
What did you find to be the most challenging part of writing your book(s)?
~ I am very much a discovery writer (I just write and see where it takes me) and this time I had more of an outline than I am used to having. It was a challenge to stay within the boundaries and keep my story fitting with everyone else’s.
What part of your book do you feel really stands out to you personally?
~Family is a big deal to me and that’s what stuck out to me. Both characters wanted a strong family and will do anything to make that happen.
If this is a work of fiction, what character is most like you?
~I don’t relate as much to the characters in my Magicians of the Deep book. I think out of all my characters, I relate to Megan from my Luck books. My husband laughs when he reads them because she says and does things I would do. My son, however, relates to Colin in Magicians of the Deep. As he started reading he kept saying “You know this is exactly me, right?”
Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?
~ I have a book coming out later this year that is my own take on Cinderella. I loved writing this book. I had a recurring dream about a staircase that never ends. It evolved in to this story. I also have a book about Neverland in the works.
What tips can you give writing parents with children at home to help them see publication?
~ Don’t give up. Use the free time you have to just keep writing and finish the book. It will happen if you write something every single day.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a good book?
~It needs to have a good plot, good dialogue, flowing storyline, and for me, I love a little humor and a good, sweet romance.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours? (answer only if your book is fiction)
~They need to have depth. What are their favorite things? What are their hobbies. Do they have a sense of humor? How do they get along with others? Usually I just come up with a character and see how they interact with others. For my Cinderella book, I used my nieces and nephew as characters and that was fun. I knew how they’d react to events and the book easier to write.
What do you feel as parents we need to do to help our children see success?
~I think we need to show them that anything is possible. Live your dreams so they know they can too. Let them be involved with what you’re doing.
Where can the readers of The Writing Mama find out more about and your writing?
~My blog isand they can also follow me on my facebook page,
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about being a “Writing Mama or Dad”?
Being a Writing Mama is one of the most rewarding things I could have ever dreamed of. I get to do what I’ve always wanted to and I get to share it with my kids. Allowing them to brainstorm with me as I write my stories has opened up their creativity. Some of my best plot twists have come from them.