Tuesday, September 13, 2022


I want to thank Joi Jackson for taking the time for this interview!


Joi Jackson currently lives in Atlanta, GA and has loved romance novels since the Sweet Valley High days. 

She writes diverse swoony romances with strong heroines that love technology. Creating love stories that make readers laugh, fall in love with the characters and maybe even learn something is her goal.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think I’ve always had stories in me but only recently decided to let them out. The idea of writing a whole book was always overwhelming to me.

I see stories from other authors where they have been writing since they were kids but that was never me. I don’t think I even considered writing back then.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

No, not really. I’ve always loved to read so that’s been the biggest influence for me. I also wasn’t exposed to any women of color writers growing up.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

They’re really a mixture. Much like the cocktails I like to create, it’s a lot of “touch of this and pinch of that” when I create a character. 

So I may take one friend’s obsession with cat rescue videos and another’s issues with a mother-in-law who oversteps boundaries and create a whole new person.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

Everywhere. I read a lot and watch too much TV. 

Lately my inspirations have come from reality TV. I do a lot of “what if” in my head then if I think the story has potential, I start writing scene ideas out.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I must outline so that I stay on track with where the story needs to go and when but I’m trying to let the character dictate the “how” more.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Sometimes. I’ve had moments when I’m watching a show and I’ll say, that’s what this character looks like but most of the time, I have to do some searching to figure out who the character resembles. 

I put these pictures in a private Pinterest board and I reference the board when I write.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Reading a good romantic suspense novel. They combine my love of mysteries and romance. 

Second choice is a mystery. Also Hallmark or true crime stuff. 

I saw a meme that said we’re either sleighing or slaying and that spoke to my entire soul! There’s no in-between.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

Beverly Jenkins, Linda Howard, Talia Hibbert, John Sandford, Lee Child, just a few of my current favs

What are your favorite books by others?

I love pretty much all of the historical romances that Beverly Jenkins has written and can read them over and over again.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Usually they are places I’ve been or places I want to visit.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

Usually 3rd person dual POV. At some point I will write a 1st person story but not sure if it will be multiple POVs.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

Google! What did we do before? Seriously…

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

Yes, my pen name is Joi Jackson

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

Contemporary romance. I love a happy ending! 

I love knowing that whatever happens in the course of the story, the couple will end up together. I love creating that journey.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

I have a Finance degree and I am a software consultant so there’s a technology element in my books. 

I love helping customers implement systems and processes that will improve their jobs. I do training and user documentation. 

Also while I love spreadsheets for my life, I always cringe when I see customers using them to run their businesses.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Finish that first draft! Accept that it will be shitty and know that you can polish it, but as many have said before, you can’t edit a blank page.

I am also a big proponent of using NaNoWriMo to kick start a novel and get into the habit of writing regularly. Even if you don’t hit 50k words at the end of the month, you’ll have a good start and hopefully continue that momentum to finish your first draft.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

I ignore them

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Getting out of my head! In my head, the novel is perfect but once I start typing, it’s like a 3-year-old took over.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

A timer. I use the Pomodoro method and write in sprints.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

Stopping to check FB for “research”.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why?

I would spend the day with Joanna Penn. 

She’s one of the pioneers of self-publishing who basically had the same job I do now, (she was a technology consultant before she went full time in her business) and I want to ask her allll of the questions and absorb her knowledge.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

I’m a night owl so I write from 9pm-midnite. 

I don’t have a favorite snack or drink but I should establish one, let me make a mental note on that…

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

Has to be instrumental. I’ve listened to the Jurassic Park soundtrack a lot.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?


What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game?

*sigh* ME…I get in my head sometimes and wonder if what I’m writing is any good, if anyone will read it, etc.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

Not yet! No one has died in my books yet but that’s always a possibility.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

I get up, stretch and treat myself to a new book!


I hope you enjoyed this interview!

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