- Posted by Narrative Ink
- On December 15, 2015
- 0 Comments
- featured artist, featured artists
Addicted to travel, adventure and writing, Jackie doesn’t sit still for very long. Originally from the UK she is now an ‘adopted’ Australian. She’s sailed around the world one and a half times and trekked in the bush with five rescued horses for several months. She has also trained to become a professional maritime captain and teacher. Currently she is exploring the European canals on a 1920s Dutch barge with her Australian husband, Noel. She’s written about her sailing and horse trekking escapades, and there is still more to come.
Author Interview with Jackie Parry
(interview supplied by author)
Tell us your latest news.
It’s all happening at once.
I released A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent in July 2015 and I have been thrilled with the results so far.
I donate 50% of my profits from this book to horse/animal charities, but more importantly large charity organisations around the world are buying up my book (at a reduced rate) in order to sell at fund-raisers. Charities have the opportunity to make a lot of money via my story and I am happy to say some big names are taking up the offer.
In early 2016, my next sailing adventure book is due for release. We purchased a sailboat in San Francisco and sailed back to Australia via Easter Island, Pitcairn, the Gambiers, etc. It was a tough journey.
Who is your target audience for this book?
This story will resonate with anyone who enjoys reading about ordinary people achieving truly extraordinary things, it’s also for adventurers (whether armchair or not!), and animal lovers too.
A Standard Journey is more than a story of a couple adopting horses and deciding to tackle the Australian bush, it shows how we continue to discover new strengths in each other through the most dire circumstances.
There’s plenty of humour and humbleness in there too, I’ve written it with searing honesty, and pull no punches when it comes to talking about the mistakes we made.
What are some of your favourite lines/quotes from your book (A Standard Journey)?
‘We won’t even have a sink!’ I said, clutching the metal sides of our kitchen basin lovingly.
‘That’s okay, we’ll use a billabong.’ My bearded bush-husband said.
‘Are you kidding?’ said Noel. ‘You want me to take on a horse called Psycho Stevie?’
‘They’re like little Taekwondo Ninjas, wiggling their toes near their ears for goodness sake!’
Ned galloped hell for leather straight at Noel and me. Like two cartoon characters, we scattered just in time.
‘Help, HELP,’ screamed Noel, and the thud of dread hit the pit of my stomach. Noel doesn’t panic and had never screamed for help.
‘It must be a miracle,’ Andrea said quietly, as perplexed as we were. And, my goodness, what else could it have been?
I heard one driver call out on his radio, ‘There’s a woman down and a horse loose!’
I waded in, knowing I was in danger, if Dom panicked I’d end up under him. But that didn’t stop me. I grabbed his head and tugged his nose out of the water so he didn’t drown.
My scared boy was no longer a coward, he was leader.
The feeling of something curiously fragile floated in the air, and my tight tummy flip-flopped with imprecise emotions.
How long did it take you to write with this book?
I took many notes during the journey – horrid, scribbled, shaky notes. I managed to decipher these, and I suppose all up it took about a year to put together into a coherent story. I wanted to craft the story just right – as perfect as I could get it. Horses are a great passion of mine, the boys in the story won my heart, and this story is incredibly important to me.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Honesty is my first thought. I don’t think about it too much, how I write is who I am, ie how I sound every day. There’s no pretense. I like to show the good and the bad, and reveal who I am – warts and all! I think we all have our own demons and mine are readily revealed! I find the line between sanity and insanity is a fine one. Not everyone will admit that.
My other books
Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman was launched at the end of last year and I am incredibly proud of how well it is doing and the wonderful reviews. My story has won the 5* Readers’ Favourite Award and many excellent write ups in international magazines. This is the story of losing one man and falling for another, while trying to figure out who I am, and sailing around the world.
Cruisers’ AA (Accumulated Acumen) was the first book I published (with my husband Noel). It is for anyone who wants to set sail – runaway – live on a boat; or, indeed, if you are already cruising and want to learn more. It covers every aspect of living on a boat, from health, to beauty, to maintenance, to pirates, to navigation…..
What’s great about being an author?
Connecting with like-minded people; the readers who have made contact, are amazing. My first memoir, Of Foreign Build has inspired so many people to write to me with beautiful letters about their lives and experiences. My story has helped many people too, and it’s wonderful to hear about it.
Of Foreign Build is a deeply personal story about life in general and how to survive it, and steer the path you want – that resonates with a lot of people. I love hearing from readers.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing at school. Yes, we had to, but I loved it! During my ‘office-based-career’, I helped put together the corporate magazine. When Noel and I were sailing I wrote thousands of articles for magazines and naturally progressed into books.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my articles started appearing in magazines around the globe, and editors came to me instead of me pitching to them.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Being an ordinary woman who’s living an extraordinary life inspired me. Plus, I just can’t seem to stop writing. The experts say ‘write about what you know.’
Do you take time off when you finish a book or do you start the next project straight away?
I make promises to myself that I just don’t keep. I always say that I’m going to take time off between books, but I never do. In fact it’s getting worse. I am writing several at the same time now!
What books have most influenced your life most?
A Fortunate Life by Albert Facey and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, not just because of their titles. (Note the similarities to mine!) I study books as I read them. These two books influenced my writing career. I learned from these authors, writing does not need to be flowery and tricky – it needs to be concise and clever.
What book are you reading now?
A Capable and Wide Revenge by Glen Barrera; it is leaving me short of breath, so much happens. Not only is it a thrilling read it is smart writing too. He has characters you are happy to invest in, scenes which are as vivid as if they are playing out in front of you.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Mark Fine, author of The Zebra Affair, an incredible story of a thrilling fusion of suspense and romance in exotic, yet brutal apartheid South Africa.
Rachel Amphlett, she’s on her fourth or fifth book now, I recently read her latest ‘Mistake Creek’ it kept me up all night, completely breathless!
Val Poore has written Harbour Ways and African Ways amongst others, I have read one of her books and can’t wait to read more.
Rochelle Carlton caught my eye with a beautiful romantic story set in New Zealand. Romance isn’t my usual choice, but this book is so beautifully written I couldn’t put it down.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep at it. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it. It is a marathon not a sprint and the entire process will take longer than you think. Try to write every day, if you can’t then read, learn, research (that part never ends!). Remember too, once you have published your book, you then have to learn to become a marketing professional! People won’t buy your book unless they know about it.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for all your support, it is amazing and so appreciated. Please do write and tell me what you think. Can I help you? Let me know, I am happy to discuss marketing, writing, life!