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Jacqueline King Confesses All: And She Does It For Money
by Peggy Fielding

"In my school days I secretly exulted when the teacher assigned essays and compositions." Jacqueline King gazed at the magazine cover that featured her latest story title. "So I guess that’s why I majored in Journalism at O.U." (Oklahoma University)

While she was in college, Jackie (who prefers the shortened version of her name) wrote her first confession and sent it out. When her story was rejected she decided to quit writing but her Mother sent the story out to another magazine that purchased it. Jackie wrote several more stories and her Mother sold two more of them. By the time her stories came out Jackie was totally involved with her study and with the young man who was begging her to marry him. "I knew I’d need to work so he could get his degree and move up into school administration."

And THAT seemed to be THAT with the writing. She married, had three children, found a job, took care of the house and the children and the husband and the cat and more or less buried her dreams of becoming a published writer, although her Mother continued to write and sell her own work. "Mother’s reports of her sales always caused me to think about writing, but I was so busy I just pushed the thought back and got on with the daily requirements of job, children, and married life."

When divorce stared her in the face, Jackie still had a child at home and still had to make a living so she went back to school to study accounting. "I knew I could make money in that field," she admitted and she did. She got a responsible job with a Tulsa company but the dream that had been in the background began to push forward once again and she began to long to be a writer. Meanwhile she took several continuing education writing classes at a local community college. The classes met at night or on weekends so she could keep her wage-earning position and be available for her son who was still at home.

She then joined a group called, The Tulsa NightWriters. A class in writing confessions re-aroused her interest in that field. At the first class the little instructor held up her right hand, palm forward, and swore, "If you do exactly what I tell you to do, you will sell your story. I promise." That was enough for Jackie. She knew she’d just been given permission to make some money writing confessions while she worked at other facets of her new/old craft. "My instructor gave us some information about writing that I hadn’t been given at O.U."

The children left the nest, the years on the job added up, and then only the cat needed Jackie’s attention so when the company offered "early retirement" Jackie thought seriously about her future. She decided she wanted to be a selling writer, a novelist, a mystery novelist, but she was reminded of her small, past successes with confessions, and the secrets and promises from her TCC instructor, so she made a resolution. She would quit her job, then write and sell a confession story a month to hone her skills and to make a bit of money to add to her retirement income. "I treated writing like my new job. Each morning when I got up I put on my makeup, climbed into comfortable but decent looking clothing, took my walk, ate breakfast and went straight to my computer. I required of myself at least five pages a day for new stuff plus two to four hours for marketing and editing."

Jackie stuck to that schedule and to her resolve and sure enough she began to sell a confessions story each month. Some months she sold two. "My first sale was so exciting," Jackie grinned at her admission, "I still get excited every time I sell my writing. Somehow my small writing sales seem to mean more to me than the biweekly corporate check ever did."

Now in her second year of writing and selling Jackie has been dubbed "Queen of the Confessions" by her writer friends, but she has her eye on her ultimate goal. Her mystery novel, THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE, is making the rounds now as Jackie works on the sequel. She has also written a light romantic novella which is being considered at Kensington and she has written a romantic suspense novel as well, which she hopes to sell to the Harlequin Intrigue line.

And she is still confessing. She read in the Mystery Writers of America Newsletter, that Pat Byrdsong, editor at True Confessions, was interested in seeing mystery confessions. That was an "ah hah" moment. She sold her 8000 word mystery to True Confessions and they broke it into two parts and serialized her story. "I still love the confessions field," Jackie says, "I’m still excited seeing my stories in print, seeing my titles featured on the covers, and seeing the color pictures they use to illustrate my work. All that still thrills me. I probably will never give up confessions completely, even after I am able to sell my novels."

It isn’t easy to write every day and follow a plan, Jackie explains and she also says it would be easier to work at Wal-Mart for a wage than to become a full time writer unless you are compelled by a really strong desire to write. It takes discipline to turn out good stories she insists (and maybe one needs a little makeup?) but cranking out bad stories will only get you rejections. "You have to be as involved and caring when writing for the confessions magazines as you are when writing your novels or your poetry or your literary or commercial short stories, and you have to write everyday."

Note: Peggy Fielding is the "little instructor" mentioned above that swore, "If you do exactly what I tell you to do, you will sell your story. I promise." You can find out exactly how to write and sell to the confession market by reading her book, CONFESSING FOR MONEY http://www.awocbooks.com/book.cfm?b=17

© Copyright 2004, Peggy Fielding

Peggy Fielding has published jillions of confession stories. She frequently lectures on writing confession stories. Visit Peggy’s website at: PeggyFielding.com

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