Apr 29, 2013

In the Spotlight - Cindy Jacks




Prior to becoming a writer of romantic and erotic fiction, Cindy went to college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and graduated with a BFA in Art. After a brief attempt at an art career, she decided the ‘starving artist’ life wasn’t for her. She worked for ten years in the corporate arena, but now spends her days as a full time author.

Her first published work--The Point of Distraction Series--was inspired by a collection of short stories she wrote to entertain her best friend. Since then she's explored her inner bad girl, producing books full of humor and packed with real emotion.

When not chained to her laptop, she enjoys belly dancing, international cooking, and making jewelry. She and her family make their home in the Washington, DC area.


IMHO, there is no other step that will make or break a novel like character development. Skimp on it and the book doesn't hold together. Become inconsistent with it and the plot falls apart as well. I write character driven as opposed to plot driven books so this step to me is crucial.

Who are these people you're going to spend several weeks to several months writing about? How do you get to know them better? What do you do when one just won't cooperate? Oh, trust me it happens. It ALWAYS happens. But it's one of the joys of writing. In a small way, watching a character blossom is similar to watching a child take its first steps. But how to get to that point?

The first thing I do is try to envision my characters--what do they look like? How do they dress? Why do they dress that way? Granted, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but whether we want to admit it or not, the public face one chooses to present to the world sends the world a message. So what message is my character trying to send?

Now when it comes to the hero, I'm a little limited by my genre. Apparently, no one wants to read about hot monkey love with a short balding, paunchy hero. So in general I know my hero has to be tall, in good shape, a pleasant to look at. However, I can play with how he chooses to display his obvious good looks Does he try to downplay them? Is he a peacock? Is he rugged and outdoorsy? Does he prefer a slicker, more metrosexual look?

Once I've nailed down what the hero and heroine look like, I develop their backstory. That's all the stuff that I know have happened to these folks that you may or may not ever read about in the actual novel. Also, it's usually things that have gone on in the character's past.

After the emotional baggage has been doled out, it's time to get down to the particulars: What is this characters favorite food? Drink? Movie? Music? What kind of car does he/she drive? Does he/she like their car? What kind of home does he/she have? The more details you can pin down, the more realistic this person will seem. Characters preferences and why they prefer these things go a long way to telling the reader who they are.

In my new release, SAILOR’S KNOT, I had four major characters so this part of the writing process was quite the chore, but little by little Marcus, Nathaniel, Amelie and Ruby revealed themselves to me and I’m so pleased with the final product. I hope you are too ;)


The year is 2037 and the next generation of Logan family pirates have taken over the helm of The Yellow Rose. Running bootleg booze and smuggling runners from the Reformed States of America into the Republic of Texas, business couldn’t be better…that is, if brothers Marcus and Nathaniel don’t kill each other in the process.

Captain Marcus Logan is serious, brooding and haunted, carrying a torch for his first mate, Amelie. Nathaniel—the resident party boy—is none of those things, but somehow they’d made their differences work for them until recently. When tall, leggy blonde Captain Ruby Delaney is a guest aboard The Rose, she turns Nathaniel’s head and stirs up all sorts of trouble, not the least of which is winding up in Marcus’ bed one drunken night. This ill-advised one-night stand ignites a love quadrangle so intertwined that the phrase “it’s complicated” doesn’t begin to define this sailor’s knot.


Humiliation and admiration flooded Marcus with equal measure. Ruby was far craftier than he’d given her credit for. His earlier words to Nate echoed in his mind. He’d accused his brother of ineptitude when Marcus himself couldn’t tie a restraint that could hold her.

Shaking his head, he passed her the bottle. “Glad I could entertain you.”

“Aw, don’t be like that. I’m still trapped here.” She ran a hand over his sheets, leaning forward and spreading her legs a bit. “In your cabin.”

Bad girl. He arched an eyebrow. Usually he’d be immune to such an obvious overture, but in his current state, she was hard to ignore.

His cock stirred at the thought of her in his bed. Maybe it was the whiskey or maybe it was the fact that he hadn’t had a woman in… How long had it been? Several months at least. A smile crossed his lips. That barmaid in Belize. He usually steered clear of one-night stands, but she’d been so insistent, hadn’t she?

And his last relationship before that, over a year prior. It had lasted a couple of weeks at best. Sticking around wasn’t his forte. Not since— No, he wouldn’t think about Amelie anymore. Not with a beautiful blonde next to him. For once, couldn’t he do what any man would do in this situation? For once, couldn’t he give in to his base desires instead of suppressing them, struggling to keep them under control?

“You’re gorgeous when you smile.” Ruby intruded on his thoughts.

Marcus stared at her, weighing his options. Her full breasts rose and fell with every breath, her voluptuous thighs grazing past his leg as she shifted to make herself more comfortable. She smelled like his soap but there was an undercurrent of her own scent. Rich and sweet. He wanted to taste her.

“Are you flirting with me?” he asked, leaning closer.

“Obviously.” She licked her lips, meeting his hungry stare.

Scooting closer, she pressed her breasts to his arm. He dipped his head a little to the right. Her quick exhalations skimmed his cheek. She wouldn’t run away, disappear at the crucial moment. Quite the opposite. With one finger trailing beneath his chin, she drew him nearer, daring him to kiss her.

She was offering herself up to be had, for him to take her. And why not? There was no one waiting at home for him. He was a free man with a cock so hard it hurt. And this woman—a dangerous and wild woman—wanted him. At least for the night. And he wanted her. Hell, who wouldn’t?

He cradled the back of her neck, kissing her hard. “If you steal from me again, I’ll kill you.”

“I wouldn’t cross you again. I know when I’m licked.”

Pushing her back onto the mattress, he nipped at her ear. “I haven’t even started licking you yet.”

She laughed, wrapping a leg around him.

Haven't read books one and two? Find LANDLOCKED and SMUGGLER'S BLUES,  as well as other books by Cindy Jacks, at ELLORA’S CAVE.

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