THE FEATURED AUTHOR at Rukia Publishing today is Jackie Parry
Welcome to Rukia Publishing Jackie and thank you for taking the time to join us today.
This is a great title, ‘Of Foreign Build - From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman’ How did you come up with this title?
Thanks, I chose Of Foreign Build for several reasons. Firstly, when we check in and out of different countries on our sailboat, there is quite a bit of official paperwork involved. When we sailed into Niue in the Pacific Ocean, we received documents confirming our details which included a statement “… navigated with one female, foreign built…”
Also, the beginning of the story reveals how lost I was – emotionally, physically, and mentally. I ran away - I had to, and all of a sudden I was living in a foreign country, with a foreign husband and within the foreign world of boats – I felt very ‘foreign-built’ and way-out of my depth.
Lastly, at school I read Of Mice and Men, and John Steinbeck’s story has stayed with me. So his title has had a little bit of an influence on my title!
My first book’s title has other connotations too (which helps encourage people to ask about it!). Cruisers’ AA (Accumulated Acumen) – was written with my husband Noel and has over 1,800 tips, tricks, ideas and advice on living on board (plus articles and short stories). The title shows that this book contains our accumulated knowledge.
A Standard Journey, is my third book. I love the simplicity of this title, and it is smart. This story is about an incredible journey with five standard-breed horses. It is about them and for them, and will amaze every horse and animal lover – there was nothing standard in what our amazing horses achieved. The extraordinary story called A Fortunate Life by Albert Facey, has influenced my title too. The simplicity drew me in and I was deeply enthralled with his straightforward writing, revealing a fascinating life.
Who do you think will enjoy reading your book aimed at?
Anyone who has a passion for adventure, whether it be real-life-get-out-there-and-do-it people or armchair adventurers. It’s also for anyone who has found life tough at some stage (and who hasn’t?). In the beginning of my story I had a ‘want-to-die’ attitude to life. Somehow I found my way out of this dark time and twisted my life back into something worth living for. So, this is also about relationships with other people, but also with yourself – and that is so important; figuring out who you are and what makes you happy.
It’s for sailors and cruisers too, of course. So many women starting out in the cruising life have appreciated knowing that they are not alone in being daunted by the obscure world of living on a boat. No one knew less than I did when we set out, and now I am a commercial maritime skipper and teacher!
What is the best aspect of self-publishing for you and your book?
Connecting with like-minded people; the people who have read my book and made contact are amazing. I’ve been sent so many stories from strangers who have had similar journeys or have connected with what I am saying, whether they are sailors or adventurers, or not. My story has helped many people; it is 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!
How long did it take you to write Of Foreign Build?
I started the book when we started our travels in 1998. As we travelled it grew. We spent nine years on Mariah II (our fantastic boat) and so from 2007 until 2014 I was editing and re-writing (part-time of course!). It had to be just right – for the readers and for me.
Is there one book or author that has inspired you more than any other?
Oh, many! One book? I’m an avid reader. As I said earlier, A Fortunate Life by Albert Facey and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, not just because of their titles. I study books as I read. 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. Ken Follet is one of my favourites, such smart writing, how does he weave mammoth and complex stories in a way that they are easy to follow? Dick Francis, because every one of his main characters I love and wish I could be more like.
What are 3 of your favourite lines/quotes from your book……………….
That is one tough question!
‘Little did we know that in just a few days’ time, Noel would be working in a brothel.’
Run over in France – Charles Aznavour look-a-like has just apologised, because I am visiting his country and I have been run-over!
‘Reluctantly, the man let me go. As I thanked him, my heart sank as he disappeared. I think I loved him for a short time.’
Physically playing with sea-lions
‘A timeless moment: the world stopped, and I became one with nature. I slowed my breathing. The liquid chocolate eyes did not reveal what was coming.’
‘The thoughts of smooth seas, full sails, and clear skies were viciously blown away and replaced with a three-dimensional lurching, bumping, bucking, and gyrating hell.’
‘The comparatively small boat rose up out of the water and fell, balancing on the whale’s curving back;..’
Oh dear – sorry, I am not good at following rules!
Don't worry Jackie we break all the rules here at Rukia!
Do you have a favourite time of day for writing and why?
Mid-morning and mid-afternoon; these times seem to work for me. Although, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, or I’m inspired just before I go to bed, other times I wake up early.... hmmm, I think perhaps the answer is – anytime!
What are you currently reading and why did you choose it?
I am reading Lost In Kakadu by Kendall Talbot. I started chatting to Kendall on FB when a mutual friend introduced us. Kendall was looking for some information on boats (for a forthcoming book) and I could help (speed, distance, and time calculations/formulas). There is a wonderful camaraderie between authors. After providing some information, I looked up Kendall’s books and this title caught my eye. I hadn’t read an Australian based story for a long time. I should get back in touch with Kendall, I am annoyed, I’ve hardly slept these last few nights, I can’t put the book down! (However, I will be writing a review – the most important thing anyone can do for an author).
Who is your biggest source of inspiration in your writing life?
This could go on forever... let’s just say anyone that can spin a good yarn, whether written or spoken.
Do you take any 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. Three-quarters through one book, I start the next. Please don’t tell my husband!
Do you have a current writing project that you would like to share with us?
A Standard Journey is the story of Noel and I rescuing five scared, scatty horses and training them (and us) to be a team. We ventured along part of the Bicentennial National Trail in Australia (with no support). This honest story is up-lifting and comically touching. The horses were amazing – Noel and I were not so!
I can’t wait to launch this book as 50% of proceeds will be donated to help rescue more horses.
Here’s a taster:
Galloping down the mountain to find a gun to shoot one of our horses, I realised that I had bitten-off more than I could chew.
My borrowed horse sensed the fear as we plunged down the trail. My mind focused on the gun, a necessity to terminate excruciating pain. There was a broken horse on the ridge. He had released a knowing groan as his fetlock snapped.
Plunge, jump, ford – I squeezed my aching legs around my brave mount. We both expelled urgent pants from our flared nostrils. I have to find a gun!
Sweat and tears mingled, running clean streaks along my grubby face; my eyes stung. Intense heart-pumps banged in my chest, while the horse’s heart thrummed beneath calf muscles. Time slowed as we hurtled through syrup.
I cursed Noel - it was his idea. Not to shoot the horse, but to live with horses and ride the Bicentennial National Trail.
If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be?
Not only do I love writing, I’m addicted to it. I just can’t stop – even when I need a break! The buzz of holding your own book is like a drug. But discipline is not my strong point. I’ve had to work hard at introducing structure into my processes. Producing quality work is not just about writing! But what I bet you didn’t know... discipline does not count where chocolate is concerned, and sweet treats are imperative to this author’s survival!
Awesome answer Jackie!! Thank you for an entertaining chat Jackie, we all know a lot more about you and your books and we look forward to seeing and hearing more of your author and book news here at Rukia Publishing.
If you would like to contact Jackie or read her books here are the author and book links:
A Standard Journey (out in May):