Monica Jackson lives on the Land of Oz side of Kansas. She fully embraces diversity (including Wicked Witches, Munchkins, and that goody-two-shoes Glenda, the Good Witch) since she resides on the far edge of the diverse divide, too. Monica Jackson's books, known for quirky humor and attitude, often wander from well-trod plot pathways. She spends far too much time online, loves bubble baths, and avoiding both productive activity and moderation.
She now writes paranormal romance, erotica and dark fantasy. She's had ten novels and seven novellas or short stories published by Kensington Publishing, NAL, Pocket books, St. Martin's Press, and BET Books.
To learn more about Monica and her books, check out www.monicajackson.com.
Did you always want to be a writer? How did you begin? What did you do before you started writing?
I've been addicted to writing every since I learned to write. I never imagined I'd write a novel though. I'd taken a creative writing class in college and had been knocked down pretty hard (never believe anyone who tells you that you can't write!)
I was working as a registered nurse when I took a creative writing workshop in Alameda, CA. It was wonderful, just what I needed. Fiction was such a thrill. I started writing short stories. A short time later, when I had to take a long period off from work to recover from surgery, I decided to write a book.
What did it take to get your first publishing deal?
Finishing that book, sending it to the targeted publisher and waiting. . . and waiting. I honestly thought they'd thrown it out and forgotten to reply. I'd moved on and was thinking about what I'd do next. I was floored when I received the call.
What would you say has been your life's biggest dare?
There have been so many! Probably my decision as a newly divorced mother to
quit my day job, be poor, but stay home with my seven-month-old child. She's eight now, and I’ve never regretted taking on that dare. But she visited a pre-school when she was three, loved it and demanded to stay. The little girl is social and always wanted to be playing with other kids at least half the day. She still loves school.
Any advice for other Daring Females who would like to write books and get them published?
Be persistent, don't give up, and don't lose sight of your dream. It's tough out there and it doesn't get that much easier once you're published. You have to keep on pushing forward and don't allow folks to knock you down or off track.
From MR. RIGHT NOW, Kensington Dafina, December 2005
I am black, but comely. . .
Song of Songs, 1:5
My life changed the day I walked into the elevator of my apartment building behind a tall young white man, who held a small box of books. I pushed the button, and drew in a sharp breath as my legs as they grew weak with sexual arousal and I realized dampness collecting between them.
I craned my neck and darted a glance at him. His eyes met mine for a split second, a green glint, then an onslaught of desire hit me like a splash of steamy water. I bit my lower lip to keep from licking it. I wanted to reach out and touch him so much, I curled my right hand into a fist. What was going on? I never noticed any man in the elevator before. I never wanted to throw any man up against the wall and grind my body against his. I never looked at another stranger's face and memorized their features at a glance. His hair was dark brown, a little too long. His face was lean and chiseled, his cheeks covered with stubble. Peaked brows hovered over the greenest eyes I'd ever seen. Close to his body, he held a box that appeared filled with old books. He stared up at the numbers that flickered at the passing floors. The aura of sex and passion that almost visibly rolled from his body was overwhelming in this small space. It took all my self control not to hit the button
that stopped the elevator and beg him to take me.
Instead, I bit my lower lip between my teeth. So hard, I wouldn't have been surprised to feel warm blood. He gave me a nervous glance as if he knew exactly the effect he was having. Then he said, "Maybe I should have taken the stairs." Saliva trickled down my throat with my gasp of shock. I coughed and sputtered. He steadied me with a touch that made my arousal increase.
"I'm sorry, what did you say?" I got the words out with difficulty.
He looked guilty. "My name is Jake Kosevo. I recently moved into the building."
"Luby Jones," I mumbled, not able to meet his eyes, because of the thick heat
trickling between my legs. "Welcome."
The elevator doors opened. "This is my floor," he said. "Nice to meet you."
He'd started out of the elevator and the box suddenly gave way and books tumbled
everywhere. He swore something in a language I didn't recognize. I tried not to gasp when I saw the titles of the books. There were words like "magic" and "sorcery" in them, one even said "demonology." A shiver of fear went through me.
"Will you hold the elevator button for me while I gather these?" he asked.
I stabbed at the open button with a stiff finger while he scrambled to collect his books. I tried hard not to breathe or look at his rear-end. Did I mention that his voice was wonderful, totally masculine, like rough dark silk? It obviously had been way too long since I'd been with a man.
"Let me help you carry them to your place." The words tumbled out of my mouth. I almost clapped my hand to my mouth in astonishment. Did I invite myself to the man's apartment? A man for whom I felt I'd barter with the devil for his touch?
"I appreciate it," he said.
I stumbled behind him through his door, awkwardly holding awkwardly onto an armful of books whose titles scared me half to death. Apparently fear didn't affect my sex drive, because my gaze fastened to his rear like it was glued when he bent over to pile the books on the floor.
"I'll take those," he said, reaching for the books. His closeness flustered me so
much I almost dropped them.
I dragged my gaze from his body and looked around his apartment. He had no furniture and what looked like a sleeping bag lay in the middle of the floor.
"Thanks a lot," he said.
"It's okay." I'd never seen a porn movie in my life, but all the imagined naughty scenarios that ended up with me bare-assed on the floor were flitting through my mind.
Inner alarms rang.
"Um, I better get going," I said, edging toward the door. "Nice to meet you. Welcome to the building."
Then before I could shame myself, I wheeled and fled. Back at my apartment, I sank to the sofa without kicking off my shoes the way I usually do. My mouth was dry, and dampness was still sticky between my thighs. The phone rang.
"Luby, can I borrow your car?" Danni asked. "I need to take Allen to a birthday
party in an hour."
"What happened to your car?"
"Marcus took it."
"You're joking. You allowed that rusty Negro to take your car when you know you needed to take your son out tonight?" I asked. What was the matter with that girl? She was addicted to a certain type of man and too much of her brain was wired to between her legs. The thought reminded me of Jake.
"I didn't let Marcus take my car, he took it on his own."
An idea lit up in my head. There was no way that guy was for me and Danni needed help in the man department in a major way. He'd probably never be attracted to a black woman, and to be frank, he wasn't what I wanted either. But he'd be perfect for Danni. He definitely had the sex appeal to make her forget about that sorry Marcus. Danni liked black men and black men only, although she was a petite, pretty blonde with a generous chest and big blue eyes. I know, once you go black, you don’t go back, but it was deeper than that. She had issues and apparently sleeping with black men helped. Most white girls like that were subconscious racist bitches wanting only to degrade themselves, but I'd known Danni long enough to see she didn't have a bigoted bone in her body. Once I'd suggested therapy and she went off on me. But it wasn't that she liked the brothers that bothered me; it was the sort of brother she went for. Danni always ended up with thugs, dangerous thugs. She'd get her heart beaten down, her apartment ripped off, and niggas hanging around who knew to the minute when her paycheck was coming.
Danni needed help. I had to figure out a way to hook her up with Jake.
"I have a guy I want you to meet," I said.
"Marcus and I--"--
"Are a train wreck. C'mon, this guy is fine." Danni had a thing for luscious babes and the babe on the elevator was as luscious as they come.
"Mmmmm, what’s his build?"
"Just how you like 'em, tall and built, but lean."
"Is he light or dark-skinned?"
There it was. Danni wasn’t asking if he were white or black, she was asking about skin tone. She assumed I'd hook her up with a brother. I knew she’d have a fit once she saw Jake was white, because she had let me know several times that she was a woman of definite tastes. I took the cowardly way out.
"He’s light skinned," I said.
"Okay, when, where and how?" Danni asked with a sigh of resignation.
"I'm not sure yet, but when I do, you'll promise to meet him?"
"Sure," she said, relief in her voice.
"C'mon and get the car keys then."
"Thanks, Luby. You're the best friend ever."
I didn't want to dwell on how much of my motivation to fix Danni up was because I wanted to have a reason to see Jake again.