Thursday, October 13, 2011

Come Meet Aspiring Author Cally Jackson

Cally JacksonCally Jackson grew up in the small country town of Gatton, and now lives in Brisbane, Australia. After deciding at 17 that a Hollywood acting career was sadly out of reach, Cally turned to a career in professional communication and is currently employed by the government.

Her passion for fictional writing first emerged in grade two when she got in trouble for penning her own tale instead of copying directly from a story book as she was supposed to be doing – it was a handwriting exercise, after all.

Cally now lives in Brisbane with the two loves of her life – her husband, Mark, and her dog, Lucy. When complete, Tangled will be her first novel.

And that excerpt was taken from her awesome blog! It's great to have Cally here today. I met her recently through the Writers' Platform Building Campaign and I'm excited to learn more about her.

So Cally, how long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, in one form or another. When I was in primary school, I wrote poems and stories, then in high school I moved on to (somewhat obsessive) diary writing. In uni, I began writing novels and that’s been my focus ever since. Well, mostly my focus. I work in professional communication so I also write newsletters, advertisements and award submissions for work, and then there’s my blog.

When I list it out like that, it makes me realise just how big a role writing has played in my life! :-)

(I know, right? It all contributes to the great writer's we are or are to become.)

What made you want to write?

A desire to express myself and have a creative outlet. When I was in high school, I did a lot of acting and believed I was going to move (from a small town in Australia) to Hollywood, become a star and marry Leonardo DiCaprio. It took one semester of drama at university to realise that was just a little unrealistic. I changed from drama to communication at uni, and my creative outlet switched from acting to writing.
These days, writing is a major part of who I am and sometimes I feel like I don’t so much want to write, but HAVE to write. It’s a compulsion and an obsession - just ask my husband!

(I understand my family would most of the time as well.)

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?

Discovering that the whole paragraph/page/chapter I’ve just written contradicts a previous plot point and needs to be changed, especially if I’ve fallen in love with the scene. It’s never fun to tear apart something you’ve created.

Another pet peeve is when my inner critic starts talking too loudly, telling me that my writing is rubbish. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen too often any more. I’ve learnt that if I ignore her and keep writing, she goes back to her corner and shuts up.

If you could sit down and reread any book, which would it be?

Oooh, good question. There are too many to pick from! For now, I’ll choose The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, because it was one of my favourites when I was a teenager and I’d like to revisit it with more mature eyes. I love re-reading books and have read some of my favourites up to five times, so if you ask me this same question in a week’s time, I’ll probably come up with a totally different answer!

Quick, you only have enough time to visit a couple writing blogs/websites, which ones would you choose? 

I’d open my Google Reader account and go to my ‘Fave bloggers’ folder, which includes Aimee Salter, Jody HedlundIndia Drummond, Livia Blackburne, Rachel Morgan Writes  and Susanna Leonard Hill. I would then read the two most recent blog posts from that group. (I realise I’m kind of cheating here, but there’s no way I could only choose two!)

(That's okay by me. Now I have more awesomeness to choose from! Thanks for the links.)

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet is one of my all time favourite stories/movies/plays, and I’d love to see what the man was really like. I’d also love to tell him about how much his work still resonates today, because what author wouldn’t want to know that?

(So true.)

Do you prefer:
Mountains or Beaches? Mountains for adventure, beaches for relaxation. :-P

Action or Romance movies? Romance.

Harry Potter, Peeta Mellark, or Edward Cullen? Oooh a toughie. You wouldn’t believe the amount of thought I put into this! I’ll have to say Harry Potter, because Edward is too controlling for my liking. Plus I’d love to live in a world where magic exists (preferably post-Voldemort). I haven’t actually read The Hunger Games yet, but don’t worry, the series is high on my list of books to read!

(Gah! Get to it! And I agree with the post-Voldemort thing. Just seems like a more peaceful magic world to be in.)

And last, but not least, do you prefer fruity candy or chocolate?

Chocolate. But if you threw a savoury option into the mix, like Dorito’s corn chips, I would choose that over chocolate every time.

(Did someone say chips? Oh man, something salty with something sweet is even better! How about some chocolate and Doritos? Not together in the same bite, but switch off and on to balance the salt and sugar. Yum...)


What a yummy ending. Thanks so much, Cally, for letting me pick your writing brain apart! It was great to learn more about you. Everyone be sure to stop by Cally's blog, Cally Jackson Writes, to become her blogging friend :)

Have a great weekend!


  1. I'm already following Cally, so it was nice to get to know a bit more about her. Thanks to you both for a fun interview :-)

  2. Thanks so much for the interview, Michelle. It was heaps of fun! :-)

  3. Great interview! I'm glad to hear you've silenced your inner critic. Can you ask mine to go away too?

  4. It's good to meet you. I love hearing about peoples stories!

  5. Michelle, it's always a pleasure to drop by and visit your blog. It was great meeting Cally! Happy Friday!


  6. Kristen - glad you enjoyed the interview. Feel free to tell your inner critic that I told her to go jump! (That could be an Aussie expression, so just in case you have no idea what that means, it basically means 'go jump off a cliff or a bridge or something similarly tall!')

    Mel and Elizabeth - nice to meet you too. :-)

  7. Wonderful interview. I relate to so, so much of what you've said here, Cally. Michelle, thanks for hosting!

  8. Glad you enjoyed the interview, Katie. And that you relate. Sounds like we have a bit in common. :-)

  9. Great interview! I really enjoyed it. And for the record, I would have picked Peeta :)

  10. Thank you for mentioning my blog! I feel so honoured! (Especially since I don't post that often anymore so it's most likely that Cally will click on my blog and see the same thing she saw last time she clicked on it!)

    PS. I am also a Doritos fan, and would have chosen Harry Potter too :-)

  11. I enjoyed meeting Cally, I'll head over and check out her blog. I would love to live in the world of Harry Potter too!


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