Thursday, May 31, 2018

Interview with mystery writer J.R. Ferguson

Today is the seventh interview in a series with the authors of

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

About the anthology:
The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

“Each story is fast paced, grabbing the reader from the beginning.”
- Readers' Favorite, 5 stars

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter.

So far, we’ve had C.D. Gallant-King (on April 19), Gwen Gardner (on April 26), Jemi Fraser (on May 2), Christine Clemetson (on May 11), Rebecca M. Douglass (on May 15), Yolanda Renee (May 23), and now J.R. Ferguson is here to chat about her mystery short story called “The Little Girl in the Bayou.” 

Jessica Ferguson is a staff writer for Southern Writers Magazine and the author of several novels and novellas—both published and unpublished. She fantasizes that one day she’ll wake up and all those manuscripts on her hard drive will be, miraculously, revised and edited. In her spare time, Jess enjoys Bible Studies, bean bag baseball, breakfast/brainstorming with friends and playing with her recently retired husband.

Welcome, J.R. What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
Short stories are fun but challenging for me. I like when a story idea presents itself to me with a beginning, middle and ending. That doesn’t happen often but when it does, writing the short story is a real treat.

Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
I wouldn’t call myself a real short story writer, but the few I’ve written are from a male point of view—usually a good man caught in a sticky situation. Mack in my short story The Little Girl in the Bayou is my favorite main character. I’ve used him in a couple other stories and feel like I know him well.

What genre are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
My favorite genres are mystery and romance. If you told me I had to write a science fiction short story, I’d panic. I know nothing about that genre.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m in the process of editing a full-length novel. After that, I have four novellas in need of revision. I do have a short story that’s looking for a home. It’s one that popped into my head as I was driving the backwoods of East Texas. It hit me beginning, middle and end—pretty exciting—so I’m anxious to see it in print.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always considered myself a writer though when I was young, I wrote ad jingles and poetry. I recently connected with an old classmate who said she remembers me walking around school with my notebook of poems. I don’t remember that; sure wish I could find that notebook!

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
Researching markets is one of my favorite things to do. I belong to many online groups and always have my eyes and ears open for call-outs and where other writers are getting published.

Reading writer bios is helpful too. They usually list where the writer is published. I believe networking is one of the most important things a writer can do—published or unpublished.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’ve never thought about having a writing quirk but maybe it’s that I like to write in huge chunks of time, not thirty minutes here and thirty minutes there. Also, I can write with noise all around me—a library or mall food court, but put me in my home office with hubby in the house and I struggle. Isn’t that a little quirky?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be everything! A few things that popped out of my mouth when asked that question was: teacher, foreign correspondent—Ernie Pyle style, movie star, detective, rock and roll singer, English professor … I was a naïve kid that didn’t have a clue. Maybe that’s why I chose writing—I can live through my characters and be any of those things.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yeah, friend me on Facebook! I love collecting friends in real life and online.

Thanks for being here today, J.R.! Happy writing.

Tick Tock links:

Purchase links:


Jemi Fraser said...

One of my favourite things about writing is checking all the jobs I've ever wanted to be as well! :)

Gwen Gardner said...

I don’t think I’ve ever thought of a story that had a beginning, middle and end right off the bat. I wish! I start wit location and develop from there. Lovely interview!

Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

Jessica Ferguson said...

It’s fun to be anything we want to be.

Jessica Ferguson said...

Thanks Gwen. A full story doesn’t pop into my head very often.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I'm beginning to think that writer's quirk isn't so quirky... because I share it exactly!

Nice interview!

Jessica ferguson said...

Thanks Rebecca! Wish I had a more productive quirk!