Sunday, August 17, 2014

~Author Spotlight~ Jack Wilder

Jack Wilder--aka Mr. Wilder--is one half of the The Wilders. You might know his wife, Jasinda Wilder, as the author of such bestselling books such as Falling Into You, Falling Into Us, Stripped, Wounded, and Alpha, among many others. The Missionary is Jack's first solo work, followed by Captured, written in collaboration with Jasinda.

Jack, Jasinda, and their five children live on a farm in northern Michigan.

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1. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Well, it’s not necessarily criticism, but more of the innate challenge of writing as a man in what is predominantly a woman’s genre. I haven’t received any outright criticism, but I think fewer readers are willing to take a chance on a romantic suspense book written by a guy. Which I totally understand. Romance is a subjective thing, and the entire purpose of it as a genre is escapism, immersion. So then, the best compliment I’ve received is that readers are connecting with The Missionary. I love it especially when a woman emails me and tells me she read my book and loved it, and that she made her husband/boyfriend read it, and HE loved it. Another huge sigh of relief for me is that my descriptions of Manila seem to be fairly accurate. I was super worried about that, but a bunch of readers have contacted me to let me know I did okay!

2. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Sadly, this is based on real life, on the experiences of someone close to me, and also on stories I read as research. And actually, the news article I read was even more horrifying and chilling. A woman vacationing in the Philippines was walking down the street in broad daylight, a van pulled up next to her, yanked her in, and drove off. There were people standing a few feet away, just watching. This woman was captive for several months, and sold numerous times before a police raid set her free. She was an American, a wife and mother. There were so many other stories, not just from the Philippines but from Thailand, China, Japan, all over southeast Asia and Indonesia. American and European girls kidnapped and sold, never heard from again or found dead. The sex trafficking industry is terrifying, and intensely violent. The missions aspect of the book was real, too, the idea that a church had a very well-meant but ill-advised plan to send high school and college kids to a place like Manila and work with sex industry victims. Again, well-meant, but so, SO dangerous. It’s the kind of field where you need specialized, trained professionals, medical and psychological personnel as well as security. You can’t just send a bunch of innocent, bright-eyed church kids and their parents into the slums of Manila to rescue prostitutes and sex slaves.

3. Can you tell us about your upcoming releases? If you have any.

Jasinda and I are releasing a book together, actually. I mean, all of our books are done together in some capacity, but Captured is the first book we’ll do together with “Jack and Jasinda Wilder” on the cover. Captured is a standalone sequel to Wounded. It features Derek West, Hunter’s friend. It’s an intense and emotional book, and it deals with a lot of very hot-button issues. I can’t tell you much more than that because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. It’s gonna be GOOD though! It comes out on August 12.

As far as a dedicated Jack Wilder title? I don’t have a definitive date for it yet, but I’m working on the first book in a New Adult Dystopian series. It’s called Scavenger’s War. It’s going to be equal parts angst and emotion and drama and sexy times from the NA side, and action and adventure and post-apocalpytic awesomeness from the dystopian side. Think Hunger Games or Divergent, just with more sex. The setting is awesome too. It’s not a post-war, nuclear or natural disaster apocalypse. It’s a social apocalypse, which will make things interesting. Also, psy powers. That’s all I’ll say for now.

4. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Ummm. Write? Jasinda and I are ALWAYS either writing, or brainstorming for the next book. And that’s on top of the business aspect of things, which my wife handles pretty much on her own, because she’s a freakin' genius like that. But aside from the books, we have a farm, with horses and donkeys and mules and cats and dogs and chickens and pigs, as well as a vineyard and orchards, so we’re always busy with something.

5. You have multiple personalities, describe some of them

I do? Hmmm. Well, my primary personality is the husband and father. Then there’s the writer and author. I suppose the husband and father is the part of me that takes over when I shut my Macbook and leave my office. I play with my kids, change diapers, do the dishes and take out the trash. Watch movies with my family, go to dinner, ride our horses. But even when I’m doing all that, I’m thinking about our current project, sketching out scenes in my head and figuring out character motivations and decisions. And the writer, that’s the one that always has another idea, that’s always looking to tweak the sentence to sound even better, looking to make the character feel that much more fleshed-out and believable.

6. What made you decide to write your first book?

I’ve been writing since 8th grade. It’s always been a part of me. My first project of any length was a fantasy novel, which I still have saved on my computer, and plan to rewrite sometime and publish. I started that when I was…17, 18? I worked on it off and on for years. I’ve got folders and folders full of half finished stories, 5k words here, 20k there. Most of it is scifi or fantasy, because that’s what I grew up on.

7. Do you have any strange writing habits?

I’d argue that writing itself is a strange habit. LOL. But honestly, no. I put in my headphones, crank up the music, read the last few paragraphs from the day before and start going. I have to have snacks, Cheez-Its and M&Ms usually, and coffee or water.

8. If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play what characters?

Hmmm. I could see Ian Somerhalder as Hunter. Charlie Hunnam as Derek. I’m not sure who I would cast as Rania. Sofia Vergara, maybe? She’s not Arabic, obviously, but she could play it. Or someone unknown, cast for that part. Rania is a tough character, so I could actually see Michelle Rodriguez playing her, or possibly Zoe Saldana. Best though, would be someone unknown, cast for that part. As for Reagan, from Captured…maybe Rachel McAdams, or Laurie Holden, who plays Andrea on The Walking Dead.

9. Who are the authors that inspire you? 

So, so many. First that comes to mind is Louis L’Amour. I read pretty much all of his books growing up. Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Tad Williams. A lot of the awesome women i’ve come to know in the romance world, Liliana Hart, Bella Andre, Tara Sivec, Alice Clayton. I’ve read their books and I’ve learned a HUGE amount about the romantic element of books from each of them, and they continue to inspire me with their talent and creativity.

10. Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

THANK YOU! Thanks so much for taking a chance on The Missionary, and on me as an author. I promise you I’ve got some amazing books percolating around in my head, so hopefully you’ll continue to take chances on me and my books!
Twitter: @MrJWilder

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