You first entered the publishing scene in 2019. What inspired you to publish your first book?
I was inspired to publish my first book by an urge to tell a story. I was introduced to creative writing in the fourth grade, “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” is based on my very first creative writing assignment. I have had this story in my head for twenty plus years, it was time to put my content as an author in the world.
Who is your main character(s) and how would you describe them?
My main characters are the Jackson family of rabbits, “Mama, Papa, Leaps, and Jumps”. Strongly supported by, “Groovy, Hera, and Zeus”. The story is really based around a strong family structure. Groovy is a fox, while Hera and Zeus are dogs, and their bread is Boxer.
Why did you choose the title “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle”?
I chose the title “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” because it was the best way to describe what I wanted the reader to see. People think of jungles, but have they ever really had a chance to see an animal use their instinct in an urban jungle underworld setting. I wanted the readers to be able to unlock their imagination, we do not know what is taking place when we see rabbits etc. running around, it could be a lot going on.
You have a podcast. What can listeners expect from your show?
The Connected Experience Podcast is a show my identical twin brother AJ and I host. We have been podcasting for a few years now; our show is brought to you by the Digital Soapbox network. We have guest that we feel people should hear their stories. We get to talk to a lot of interesting people from all walks of life, it is available where you listen to your podcast at. The Connected Experience Podcast, “I WANT FOR MY BROTHER, WHAT I WANT FOR MYSELF”
You have been nominated for several awards. What other awards are you striving for that you have not yet received or been nominated for?
“Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” is actually the 2020 eLit Awards GOLD MEDAL winner for “Short Story Fiction” that’s enough for me, I just set out to win one award, it didn’t matter the award. It was just so I knew I went from not knowing anything about book writing and publishing to becoming an award-winning author in less than a year. It was the power of the mind and manifestation. I have a gold medal and a plaque on my wall from something that I first thought about as a child, it gets no better.
What challenges and struggles did you go through while writing and publishing your book?
I cannot say I had either challenge nor struggles. I was fresh to the process, so I approached it as such. I did lots of research before I ever wrote one word to my story knowing it was going to be a published novella. I entered this industry with more patience than expectations. I knew the more I was willing to learn before writing, the less I would have to worry about anything.
What would you say was the easiest process while publishing your book?
Writing was the easiest part of the publishing process to me. Writing is all me, no one else is involved, no one else has the say so at all. All these words are coming from me. Once I am done writing and it is time to involve other people, that is when it is no longer in my hands. Then the process becomes about playing the waiting game with editors, graphic designers, the uploading process etc. But again, that is once it is out of my hands.
How much of an influence does Inkster, MI have in your book? What aspect of Michigan will we see in your book?
A lot of history in real life has come from my city, and I am added to the list of that. I am an award-winning author from Inkster, Mi. But you won’t see any aspects of Inkster nor Detroit in “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” because I didn’t name the jungle, the world is a jungle so I wanted you to read it from your jungles prospective.
What marketing strategies would you recommend an author try?
I would suggest you try your hand at everything until you find what works for you at the phase, you are in in your book release process. I would also suggest you do good research on any company or person you plan on working with. I put all my own money up for everything, so I must make every penny count. I have learned there is no “right way” to promote your project.
What tricks have you learned to make marketing and publishing easier?
I have not learned any tricks. I just learned to research things and apply that knowledge accordingly. Find your target market, once you find them, they will promote for you. This is a “word of mouth” type of consumer. Do what it takes to find your target.
If you could collaborate with any author, who would it be?
At this moment I cannot say what author I would like to collaborate with. I am fans of so many, for so many different reasons that I do not know who I would like to work with. I do know that I would like to work with Dan Garcia of Dan Garcia productions. He has a twin brother and they also use to rap. But now he is doing a lot of stuff in film and tv, recently was nominated for a few Emmy’s if I am not mistaken. My twin brother AJ and I would love to work with him in to turning this novella into a live action project, or something.
Are there any authors you would compare you writing style to?
I would not say you could compare my writing style to anyone. I have yet to come across anyone who writes like me. That is the reason I knew what I was doing would work, it is nothing to compare it to, I am in a lane of my own.
When you are not writing or promoting what are some things you like to do?
When I am not writing or promoting, I like to cook. I will look at something and say, “Let me try and make that”. Or I am bike riding, I get in a few miles a day, it really helps me relax and think.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim. My love for them comes from my dad. He introduced us to those books when we were kids, those books opened my eyes to a harsh reality at a young age. But those authors were both inspiration on another level, here I am decades later still talking about the words that each of them wrote.
How do you combat writer’s block?
I do not get writers block. I know that is because I write when I want too. I do not write for money, I do not write for fame, I only write whenever I want too. So, I know that takes pressure off, writers block seems like it would be caused by some sort of pressure, and there is no pressure on me to write.
What message do you hope the readers will gain from “Animal Instinct: The Urban Jungle”?
The message that I would like readers to take away from “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” is that there is real value in family. Although this is a fantasy about an underworld crime organization ran by rabbits, it is still a story of love, loyalty, honor, and respect.
What is next for SL Jackson?
Well right now I am in the process of animating “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle”. From what I know, I am the only person to ever write a novella, have it win an award, and turning into a cartoon themselves. So that is the next phase for “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” animating it. Be on the lookout for the official trailer. Really the opportunities are limitless for “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle”. Be sure to check out my website www.1sljackson.com you can order copies of the book as well as my RESPECT URBAN AUTORS merch. (#respecturbanauthors). Respect Urban Authors is a hashtag I created. Follow that hashtag and use it, it is just a way to put eyes on other urban authors I see coming up in the industry.
What would you say to aspiring authors?
I would tell aspiring authors to go for it. Never stop believing in yourself, that is all it takes, look at me in less than a years’ time I went from knowing nothing about the publishing world to becoming an award-winning author. You can do that too; you can do more. I WANT FOR MY BROTHER WHAT I WANT FOR MYSELF!
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