Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
I didn’t know Allegedly was loosely (very loosely) based on a real event. What inspired you to write Allegedly?
I was like everyone else when I heard about a nine-year-old murderer…in shock and denial. Then I thought, what if she didn’t do it? What if she was covering for someone else? What would THAT story look like?
Did you do any special research in order to make Mary’s experiences in jail and the group home more realistic?
I did! I talked to a whole heap of doctors, lawyers, social workers, detectives, and correctional officers. Then I spoke to girls that had lived group homes and juvenile detention centers. Although everyone had different experiences within the system, I tried to touch upon what I could to make the story come alive.
How do you balance your “day job” in television with your “night job” of writing?
Time management! I typically wake up at 5am to write. I call it my “night job” since at that time of day, it’s still pretty dark out. I write until 8am before I have to get ready for work then edit or read on the train. If I’m on a deadline, I write during lunch. When I’m walking between meetings or taking a ‘sanity break,’ I’m on Twitter/Facebook. Evenings, I read the entertainment trades, prep for work, and watch TV. You HAVE to watch TV if you want to be in this business. Saturdays are rest days and Sundays are pretty much saved exclusively for writing…and church. (Hi Mom! *waves*)
Do you hope to be a full-time author, or do you plan to stay in TV as well?
I would love to do both! Being a Production Manager, I can take on freelance short-term projects when I’m in between books. I love the madness of production, sets, and budgets, but I also love writing dark, twisted stories.
How long have you been writing?
Most people will say I’ve been writing since I was five years old, since that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. But the professional answer is I’ve been an active author for the last eight years.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Adverbs are the devil. Also, use all five senses to “show” rather than “tell.”
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Tiffany D. Jackson is the author of ALLEGEDLY (January 24th, 2017; HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books). A TV professional by day, novelist by night, awkward black girl 24/7, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Film from Howard University and her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves with her adorable chihuahua Oscar, most likely multitasking. Visit her at WriteinBK.com.