June 6, 2009

Three Q with Me and You

Finally, The CONTEST I promised, what? 2 weeks ago. You can win pink socks! Ok, not really. But you can win an autographed copy of the poppin-fresh The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.


There are two ways to win. The first way is the standard…we will steal all the official rules directly from my bargain-queen friend Mir over at Want Not, but the basics are, you leave a comment on this entry before midnight, Tuesday June 9th and you are automatically entered in a random drawing to win one of three signed copies. If you already bought The Girl Who Stopped Swimming then
A) You are so pretty. I LOVE your hair. Let’s hold hands and skip through this meadow together, singing.
B) You can give that one away and have a signed one for your own sassy self, or
C) You ask for your signed one to be made out to someone else for a birthday or thank you gift, or signed plain for an emergency OH CRAP I FORGOT TO GET A GIFT gift.

There is also a second way to win. (This is an EXPERIMENT, and we will see how it goes.) If you help Spread the Word that TGWSS is out in paperback to your Internetsian Peeps via your blog or Facebook or MySpace, you can be entered in a second drawing. It’s easy. You tell folks about the book and link to an online book vendor (You can find links to IndieBound, Amazon. BAM and B and N in my sidebar) or heck, you could link back HERE. Then send me an e-mail ( Joshilyn at Joshilyn Jackson dot com ) with a link to your blog entry , and I will enter you in the second drawing for two more signed copies. This pool, I imagine, will be much smaller.

The questions came from YOU guys----from e-mails that I cleverly saved in my in-box. So here is a little bit about the book, and then 3Q with, er, me, and I SWEAR I won’t get cutesy and welcome myself to the blog or, you know, thank myself.

Quilt artist Laurel, her game programmer husband, David, and their 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, lead a seemingly charmed life in a serene Florida suburb. But when the ghost of a drowned girl awakens Laurel, the veneer of that life seems ready to crack beyond repair. Can Laurel trust her flamboyant, outspoken sister, Thalia, to help as old family secrets emerge with dizzying speed? With the appearance of a ghost on the first page, you'll feel compelled to race to the end, but slow down for Jackson's great descriptions-you'll be rewarded for the effort. Jackson illuminates not just the complexities of family love as a source of safety and support but also the complexities of danger and death. The life-affirming epilog provides satisfying closure – Library Journal

"...a great tale [that] builds to an exciting and violent ending, one that surprises and yet seems to fit."
-USA Today

"A ghost story, family psychodrama, and murder mystery all in one. Jackson's latest is a wild, smartly calibrated achievement. A-."
-Entertainment Weekly

You: Are your characters strictly drawn from your imagination or are they based on characters that you know?

Oh, they are all made up – but bits and flashes of many of my friends and relatives sneak in there. No character is a definite version of, say, my Aunt Niner but I can think of four characters that have one or two of Niner’s quirks, and probably a few other characters owe a little something to Niner and I don’t even realize it. That’s always the way – I see little bits of folks I know peeping out of characters who are also wholly themselves. The exception to this rule is CHILDREN. I can’t make up KIDS… they are too weird. I also can’t use my own kids because I am too close to them to see them objectively----either that or they actually ARE the cutest best smartest kids in the universe.

Shelby (the pre-teen in GIRL) is heavily based on my niece, Erin, when she was that age. Erin-at-five was also the basis for Fisher in Between, Georgia. Erin is fifteen now, and a track star, and the book I am working on now has a fifteen year old track star in it…hmmm. Coincidence? Absolutely. *cough*

You: What is your Pet Peeve?

Me: People who correct me when I am not wrong. My children, for example, love to correct me by getting more or less specific. This is a TYPICAL type of conversation we have 3 – 10 times a day.

Me: Aw, look at that cute dog!
Either child---or both in patronizing tandem---in patronizing tones, looking down their patronizing noses: Um, Mom? That is a JACK RUSSEL TERRIER.

Except I stop, with great effort, after the word dog.

You: Oh. Um, I meant as a WRITER.

Me: OH! My bad. People who think adverbs are evil. Adverbs are NOT evil. Should they be used sparingly? Yes. But see how sparingly changes the meaning (and the answer) to the question? Well. Sometimes, they are the most expedient and correct way to say the thing you are trying to say. It isn’t just ADVERBS, I guess, it’s any sort of dogmatic treading along the virtuous path of rules-for-writing. You hear people say, “You can’t write a readable book in the second person,” and then Tayari Jones comes along and does it perfectly. Or they say, “If you do not write every day at the same time you will never finish a novel,” except I am incapable of brushing my freakin’ teeth at the same time every day , and yet I write novels for a living.

That said? I think I am going to TRY scheduled writing hours and word counts for the next two weeks, mostly just to see if I can do it. For fun, and also because one of my rules is WRITING SCHEDULES ARE NOT GOOD and I don’t even want to be dogmatic about my OWN rules for writing. If it works, do it, no matter what the rules say.

You: When will the next book be released and is it a mystery?

ME: The new book is called BACKSEAT SAINTS and it will release in spring of 2010.

I don’t consider myself a “plot-driven” writer. I think of my books as character driven, but I do LIKE plot, so I use a commercial engine for most books. I would say THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING uses a murder mystery engine, as does gods in Alabama. BETWEEN, GEORGIA is built like a family dramedy. Backseat Saints is my first run at using a thriller for an engine. It’s a high tension book, but not a murder mystery. Plenty of murder though---I have yet to write a book where someone doesn’t get killed in Alabama. *grin*

Good luck guys, and thanks for reading!

Posted by joshilyn at June 6, 2009 8:45 AM

Random drawing - never, never #1 as the winner, but here we go. Enter now!!

Posted by: Jean at June 6, 2009 9:28 AM

Heh, Jean, it's never number 2, either, but I've got my fingers crossed!

Posted by: beth at June 6, 2009 9:46 AM

I got TGWSS two days ago and I am more than half way done. I want to slow down but I don't think I can! I'm lovin' it! Thanks!

Posted by: Jen at June 6, 2009 9:49 AM

Given the choice, i'm not sure how i feel about the idea of being #2. Har har.

Posted by: Rachel at June 6, 2009 9:56 AM

Can't wait to read it either in my very own signed copy or the library's.

Posted by: Jennifer at June 6, 2009 10:20 AM

Tra-la-la! *That's me singing with you*

Nice Q and A. I can't wait for the next book! I think it's time to start re-reading TGWSS.

Posted by: JulieB at June 6, 2009 10:27 AM

Our neighborhood book club has read all three of your books. We try not to read too much of one author, but we love southern lit., so there you go. I read someone else's copy of TGWSS, so I really need my own copy so I can force all my non-book club friends to read it. Seriously, I make them read it, then give them a quiz, I'm that good a friend!

Posted by: Susanvl at June 6, 2009 10:43 AM

When I was listening to THWSS on cd my teen son sat down and listened too and laughed almost as loud as I did "defenately double dam do not" made the tears just roll down our cheeks. WELL DONE.

PS. It was the blue cover that made me choose it on the library shelf and led me on to your other books. Thank you for just being you and a reason to be a better me. Now walking up to 2 miles a day.

Posted by: Linda J at June 6, 2009 10:44 AM

The rule is, follow your own rules. Except that if someone follows that rule, then they're following your rule, not their own. It's very circular.

Posted by: ccr in MA at June 6, 2009 11:04 AM

TGWSS is selling nicely from our shop, and the cover has even brought people in after seeing it in our window, so yay you!

And I have to say that we can sell "Between" at our specialty mystery shop because it does, in fact, contain at least a CRIME, and therefore qualifies.

Although *ahem* we do from time to time carry books that have nothing to do with the mystery/crime/thriller genres, simply because we like the authors and the writing. So if you publish, say, your grocery list, we will carry it and I'll do my best to sell the heck out of it.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Fran at June 6, 2009 11:06 AM

Which meadow are we meeting at? I've now gotten my mother hooked on your books, so winning another copy of TGWSS would be just fine. Great Q&A, too.

Posted by: Rita at June 6, 2009 11:07 AM

I just wanted to say that I stumbled across the audio of Between, GA probably a few months after its release. I was looking for something to keep me awake while driving to my parents home in Marianna, FL from Daytona Beach. I was just swept away with how much I could identify with all of the characters and of course you nailed the accent perfectly.

Since that time I have read all of your novels and have truly enjoyed them. So I just wanted to say -- Thank You.

Posted by: Tammyann Faella at June 6, 2009 11:08 AM

Loving your site and just got the book from my library, but a signed copy would be so much better.

Posted by: Michele D at June 6, 2009 11:09 AM

I just love both your books and your blog - thanks!

Posted by: kris at June 6, 2009 11:45 AM

I would LOVE to own one of your books. I love southern literature. Gail Godwin is one of my favorite writers (aside from you of course!)

Posted by: Abby at June 6, 2009 11:57 AM

I loved this book from the library and would love my very own copy!

Posted by: Kim at June 6, 2009 12:07 PM

I can't wait to read the next one. :)

Posted by: Lisa Milton at June 6, 2009 12:31 PM

I'm in!

Posted by: TC at June 6, 2009 12:55 PM

I sing your praises (although it is true, I am tone deaf) to anyone who'll listen. (or read my blog ... or endure my endless stories about "my friend" Joshilyn.)

A signed copy to keep god's in Alabama company would cement my (mental health number) and the supposition we are friends.

Posted by: Mit at June 6, 2009 1:38 PM

I bought it over a year ago in hardcover, and I love it, but I'd love to give it as a gift. Well, who have I not recommended it to yet!?!? :)

Posted by: Andrea at June 6, 2009 1:46 PM

Cool! Now I guess I have to friend you on FB or make my statuses public or something so I can get the second entry. hmmm

Posted by: Kim at June 6, 2009 1:51 PM

I'd love a signed copy - I wasn't able to take advantage of the first edition signed copy like I usually do :( But a signed paperback would be lovely!

Posted by: Beth R at June 6, 2009 1:58 PM

Loved the Q&A. And, I'm a fan of wisely used adverbs, too. Then again, I've been known to be a rule-breaker every now and then. ;)

Posted by: Charmi at June 6, 2009 2:10 PM

Of course I love your books and have (and will) buy them as gifts but I was actually wondering how libraries work with authors. Do you get royalties when books are borrowed? I would think it only right but was wondering about that - esp when i tell people about the book and they say they'll (spelling?? or even really a word!?) get it from the library.

Posted by: gillycat at June 6, 2009 2:17 PM

I already have the hardback but if I won it would SO make a great gift for someone in my book club. Thanks!

Posted by: pendy at June 6, 2009 2:39 PM

I would so love to win this! I'll read it whether I win or not, but a signed one would be extra special!

Posted by: Julie G at June 6, 2009 2:46 PM

You really have to start writing faster. I mean do you seriously need to have a life?! I can't wait until next spring to read the new book. Couldn't you sneak your best beloveds a copy just to keep us happy. We promise not to tell!

Posted by: Catherine at June 6, 2009 3:03 PM

After reading Gods in Alabama, I raced through your other books that same month. Now I need to go back and read them again, savoring them this time! I'd love a signed copy!

Posted by: Laura F at June 6, 2009 3:49 PM

Here is my random entry. I actually have TGWSS but my other two Joshilyn Jackson books are signed and this one feels kinda stupid for being naked among its peers. I will also link on facebook and will send you a note through there (because I am serious about my winnings ;-)

Posted by: Em at June 6, 2009 4:21 PM

Here's my random entry. I would love to have a signed copy of the book. I stumbled on your blog when a fellow quilter mentioned it. I continue to read it partly because my mother's name was Jocelyn Jackson.

Posted by: Liz A. at June 6, 2009 5:08 PM

Hey, I want one of those random entries!

Posted by: Lisa at June 6, 2009 5:38 PM

I'll give my hard cover to the library if I win this one. woo hoo...

Posted by: pam at June 6, 2009 6:23 PM

I can't wait to read this book. I haven't been able to make it to the bookstore since it came out in paperback, so winning a copy (and a SIGNED ONE at that) would really help me out!

Posted by: Lynnetta at June 6, 2009 6:33 PM

not only can i NOT get tgwss i cant get my hand on a single copy of any of your books soo.....and my best gal pal and i are havin to make do peeing our pants along with faster than kudzu.this is worth the necessary clothing changes but maybe worthy of an autographed copy?hmm?PLEASE!yep -that was a full fledge beg from a grown woman,dignity be gone!

Posted by: TRACI at June 6, 2009 6:43 PM

Hi Joshilyn,
I would LOVE to win a copy of "the girl who stopped swimming", but I will buy one if I don't win because I want you to think I'm pretty.

I also wanted to tell you that "despritlike" is my new favorite made-up word, as in : "I needed it DESPRITLIKE"


Posted by: Michelle at June 6, 2009 7:03 PM

Sign me up. Now I have to figure out the second part with the facebook thingy which honestly I just have to play scrabble.

Posted by: Sharon at June 6, 2009 7:10 PM

Yay for randomness and contests and great books!
And I'd just classify all your books under "Must Read."

Posted by: Lulu at June 6, 2009 7:20 PM

oh, definitely! Love allllll of your books!

Posted by: Cristin at June 6, 2009 7:27 PM

Loved this book and am anxiously awaiting "Backseat Saints". My hardcopy has been loaned out and a signed edition will make up for it's loss.

Posted by: Kaye at June 6, 2009 8:16 PM

Loved, loved, loved, LOVED TGWSS and I think your pretty and have the bestest shoe collection ever!

Posted by: Debra at June 6, 2009 9:23 PM

Entertainment Weekly gave it an A- ??? What is wrong with them? Maybe their mommas dropped them all on their pointy heads when they were babies. This book deserved a big huge A Plus!

Posted by: Victoria Bolton at June 6, 2009 9:39 PM

I just finished TGWSS. I loved the characters and the dialogue. It is clear you know the South! I also enjoyed some of the prose -- M& M's marriage and monogamy -- great line. And what is a keeping room? Anyway, would enjoy a signed copy. Thanks!

Posted by: KIm at June 6, 2009 10:56 PM

I just ordered TGWSS on Amazon today. Can't WAIT to read it!

Posted by: MissMonky at June 7, 2009 12:16 AM

Well, seeing as I got my signed copy at my library today (eat your hearts out, fellow commentators!), I would gift it to my blog friend Jenn in San Diego, who is lovin' her a library copy right this very minute.

You're on facebook? Your coolness (and prettiness, and hair, too) is unparalleled.

Posted by: Kalynne Pudner at June 7, 2009 12:44 AM

I am happy to say I already own a hardcover copy, but I would gladly relinquish it to a pal for the joy of an autographed one. Squee!

Posted by: tuney at June 7, 2009 12:45 AM

I loved all your books - if I won an autographed copy I'd hand mine over to my mam, who loved "Between, Georgia" when I gave a copy to her at Christmas... Looking forward to the new one!

Posted by: Liz at June 7, 2009 1:23 AM

I've already bought this book a few times, but I'd love to have an authentic, author-signed copy. :)

Posted by: Kim at June 7, 2009 1:49 AM

I liked this interview with yourself. It was fun.

Pick me to win!

Posted by: Nik at June 7, 2009 2:39 AM

Random entry number 49. Maybe that's a good number? gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia occupy a very prominent position on my shelf, but there's still space for TGWSS!

Posted by: Saskia at June 7, 2009 7:05 AM

it's not a wee fox
still beats a punch in the neck
granite countertop

Posted by: Dianna at June 7, 2009 8:12 AM

I already have a copy that I had to special order (why? who knows. No one at B&N could explain it to me when they had all of your other books).

But I would pink puffy heart love another one with your autograph.

Going to update my blog now.

Posted by: Jen at June 7, 2009 8:50 AM

Can't wait for Backseat Saints! I've given away quite a number of hardback copies of TGWSS already-the paperback would be next.

Posted by: Bridget at June 7, 2009 8:55 AM

I just finished listening to TGWSS audio. Would like a PB copy though!

Posted by: Tracy at June 7, 2009 9:52 AM

A signed copy? Yes, please.

Posted by: Melisa at June 7, 2009 11:15 AM

Yes I have already purchased several copies, but am always excited about a signed copy!

Posted by: GLory Words at June 7, 2009 11:20 AM

Lee Childs was in the New York Times today-- a huge piece summer thriller. I'm pretty sure you are the one that introduced me to this writer, and thought you would like to know!

Also, I'd love a signed copy.

Posted by: elizabeth at June 7, 2009 12:55 PM

Pick me! Pick me!

I absolutely loved this book. I have an autographed HB version, so what would be better than an autographed, pretty paperback version to go with it?!

Posted by: Eighmee at June 7, 2009 1:01 PM

I loved the book, but have yet to add it to my collection! Pick me!

Posted by: Chris S at June 7, 2009 1:13 PM

See, I need to win, b/c I have signed first editions of your first 2 novels and then you didn't do a signing in Jackson, so I missed the 3rd and I NEED it. *sigh* I live so near Oxford, now, tho that I will be there to get book #4. And we can have drinks and relax after? Cause I miss you.

The end.

Posted by: Heather at June 7, 2009 1:19 PM

Hopefully I will win! This book sounds great! And I will keep it for myself! :)

Posted by: Nicole in WI at June 7, 2009 1:31 PM

I would love to win this book! I really enjoyed Gods in Alabama and am looking forward to reading all your books.

Posted by: nadine at June 7, 2009 3:31 PM

Papa told me I was mentioned in the blog.
It is so cool to be flattered by you. I'm just giddily-icious with sunshine.
That makes no sense but it kind of describes how flattered I am.
(I'm not on drugs either)

I hope you got my facebook message about running.
It probably made no sense because my friend was typing and she was rushing me ("Erin let me check mine! I have to see what Bryan had to say about my reply to his reply!)

I can't wait till beach week.
You Rock.

-erin fishelby

Posted by: erin fishelby at June 7, 2009 3:38 PM

Papa told me I was mentioned in the blog.
It is so cool to be flattered by you. I'm just giddily-icious with sunshine.
That makes no sense but it kind of describes how flattered I am.
(I'm not on drugs either)

I hope you got my facebook message about running.
It probably made no sense because my friend was typing and she was rushing me ("Erin let me check mine! I have to see what Bryan had to say about my reply to HIS reply!)

I can't wait till beach week.
You Rock.

-erin fishelby

Posted by: erin fishelby at June 7, 2009 3:40 PM

Winning is Fun! ... guess this is not actually a contest entry since so many others here have not even read it yet. But I'll spread the good word in the usual places (blog, FB, Twitter), as a Public Service to the uninitiated, poor things.

In fact, I'm going to read it again, so I can remember who was killed in Alabama (cause I thought all the killing was in Florida this time). It wasn't another dog, was it?

Ah summertime ... Cape Cod Beach + Southern murder = good times. ;)

Posted by: Patti at June 7, 2009 7:07 PM

I cannot wait to read Backseat Saints!

Posted by: Lindsey at June 7, 2009 9:18 PM

Pick me! Pick me! (I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)

Posted by: Sandy at June 8, 2009 12:41 AM

Hi, there! I am almost done with Between, Georgia, and I have read gods in Alabama and loved it. :) I can't wait to read The Girl Who Stopped Swimming! I'm an English Ed. major graduating in December and I currently live about 60 miles from Between, Georgia, and I can definitely relate to your writing from my own upbringing. Thanks for writing such entertaining books!

Posted by: Kaci at June 8, 2009 1:29 AM

Am leaving a comment here cause you told me to and am going to post on FB cause everyone else needs to know about these books cause that way you make more money and you can write MORE books and it's just a never ending cycle and that will be bliss in a basket and we can all just sit and wait and wait and BACKSEAT isn't coming out till NEXT year??????? AHHHHHHHHH, goes back to reading TGWSS again. (I think I seriously need to cut back on the caffine.)

Posted by: Leigh at June 8, 2009 5:50 AM

Being blog-free, this is my one chance. Baby needs new shoes (err, books)!

Posted by: Brigitte at June 8, 2009 6:34 AM

I, of course, own TGWSS already (so glad you like my hair), but would LOVE a signed copy!

Posted by: Becky at June 8, 2009 7:39 AM

I've been wanting to read TGWSS forever, but my one year old keeps using up all my free time that I used to use for reading. Maybe having a copy will get me motivated to put her to bed earlier :)

Posted by: Jessie at June 8, 2009 8:45 AM

Best 3Q EVER!!!!!!

Posted by: Roxanne at June 8, 2009 9:24 AM

I really want to read TGWSS. I keep meaning to go to Barnes and Noble, but I just haven't gotten there yet. Sigh.

Posted by: Alison at June 8, 2009 9:43 AM

TGWSS was fantastic!! I've read it, and listened to it.

Posted by: CariAnne at June 8, 2009 10:25 AM

Yay, new contest! If I win, since I already have a signed copy of TGWSS, I will have you sign one to my sister.

Posted by: Aimee at June 8, 2009 10:37 AM

Memememememe! Pick me, I'm reading TGWSS right now, but it's my Grandma Patsy's friend Kaye's copy...so I need my own. Yes. That is all.

Posted by: Andrea at June 8, 2009 10:51 AM

I would love my own copy!

Posted by: Darla at June 8, 2009 12:07 PM

I bought TGWSS when it first came out but darn it, someone stole my copy. So now I need a signed copy :)

Posted by: Patti D at June 8, 2009 12:30 PM

Sweet! Enter me too! I would looove to win!

Posted by: Kathy at June 8, 2009 1:25 PM

I would like a copy of your pretty book, please?

Posted by: lori at June 8, 2009 1:26 PM

I have loved all your books!! I just finished listening to Gods in Alabama on CD - my 2nd run through the book.

I can't wait to read The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

Thank you for this chance!

Posted by: Pamela L at June 8, 2009 3:17 PM

Oooh, pretty please, I would love to have a copy!

Posted by: Gwen at June 8, 2009 3:45 PM

Oh, please, please, please pick me!!!

My budget isn't currently stretching to books and I would LOVE to read yours!!!

Posted by: Erin at June 8, 2009 8:33 PM

Got my fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed hoping I win!

Posted by: Teri at June 8, 2009 8:35 PM

Oooh mememememememe--I mean, um, enter me, too, please! I have already purchased TGWSS TWICE--once in hardback(special order, no less!) and one in paperback.

BUT--and here is why I want to be entered--my sister does not yet have a copy of her very own. She has whisked through both my copies of gods and Between (and not yet returned them, either! ahem.) So I want to be able to give her a SIGNED copy!Of her own. That I do not have to wait for her to return for me to re-read.

Please, random witch-creature-with-bones-showing-in-video-game, pick me!


Posted by: JMixx at June 8, 2009 9:13 PM

oh, please, pick me!

Posted by: dramamama at June 8, 2009 11:41 PM

Enter me please! There are so many people that I would love to share you with Joss.

I did link to you a few weeks ago on a WW message board but will go back & link again to announce the paperback arrival of TGWSS.

Posted by: Tammy at June 9, 2009 9:51 AM

Being an Eeyore-ish sort, I probably won't win, but I'll enter anyway.

Bother. :)

You'll have to let us know how the scheduled writing hours go. I'm currently scheduling writing minutes, hoping to get to writing quarter-hours, which may eventually lead to writing half-hours, etc., until I should actually be finished with the first draft some time in 2017.

And all this while listening to Between over and over and over again....

Hyperbole, thou art my friend.

Posted by: Chris at June 9, 2009 10:42 AM

I already have a signed copy of my own (because I'm FANCY like that), but my mother-in-law's birthday is next week and I have no gift. This would be perfect. In fact, if I don't win, I think I'll pick up a copy for her anyway.

Posted by: Katie B at June 9, 2009 10:55 AM

oooh pick me, pick me!!!!

Posted by: shawn at June 9, 2009 10:59 AM

Pretty, pretty please?

Posted by: carrien (she laughs at the days) at June 9, 2009 4:01 PM

shawn beat me to "ooh, pick me!" Please pick me anyways :)

Posted by: corrie at June 9, 2009 4:10 PM

I have just completed my doctoral degree. Now, having time to read for pleasure, I have read gods in Alabama. I am looking forward to reading more of your work. Being a Southern girl, your voice resonates with me!

Posted by: Jen at June 9, 2009 4:17 PM

I'm dying to read TGWSS. Totally enjoyed gods, but gotta say, my favorite by far was Between. When she finger-draws the heart on her mom's shoulder... I teared up!!

Anyway, pick me pick me! I'll wear pink socks every day.

Posted by: Lori Parker at June 9, 2009 6:33 PM

Yummy, books! ;) And your books are particularly delicious, if I may say so.


Posted by: jess at June 9, 2009 6:45 PM

I would love a copy - pick me, please!

Posted by: Chris at June 9, 2009 8:00 PM