Author Spotlight: Cally Jackson

Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Cally Jackson!


Nicknames: The usual is Cal. Cal-Bal is my family nickname from when I was little.

Where do you live: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (great weather if you like it hot, which I do!)

Your favorite dessert: Oooh tough one. Probably cheesecake or good old vanilla ice cream with milo on top!

Your favorite TV series: I have a few – Home and Away (an Aussie soapie), Packed to the Rafters, and Revenge spring to mind. I’d like to pretend my taste in TV shows is more cultured, but it’s just not. :-)

Last book you read: Last book in general: Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke (an Australian book about pregnancy), Last fictional book: The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

Last movie you watched: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (yes, I’m a Twi-hard. Looking forward to seeing the final instalment this weekend. Please don’t think less of me!)

Last song (or album) you bought: I haven’t bought any new music in so long I can’t remember – I just listen to the same stuff over and over again. I think it was the latest volume of the Triple J Hottest 100 (which I’m sure means nothing to most readers but it’s a great collection)

A book/series you could read over and over again: Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life (one of the biggest literary influences on The Big Smoke)

Coke or pepsi? Coke

Day or night? Day

Pen or pencil? Pen

Summer or winter? Summer

Cat or dog? Dog

Tea or coffee? I love both, but if I could only ever have one for the rest of my life, I’d choose tea. I’ve discovered decaffeinated black tea, which is great for me since I’m 32 weeks pregnant!

Plotter or pantser? Plotter all the way. Even writing a chapter out of sequence makes me twitchy!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Writing has always been part of my life but it was only when I gave up on becoming an actress that I decided to pursue writing more seriously. Eleven years later, I’ve just published the book I began back then. Perhaps I need to work on my time management… ;-)

What are you working on now? I’m really excited about the ideas I have for my next book, which will be a young adult time travel romance. However, I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant so something tells me writing might have to go on the back burner for a bit…

If you decided not to be a writer, what would your other dream job be? Why? I’d love to work in communication for a not-for-profit organisation advancing the welfare of animals. I’m passionate about animal welfare, and I enjoy communication (it’s my current day job), so it’d be a great mix. If I could get work/life balance into that mix as well, that would be super!

What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done in your life? Scary in a physical sense: “canyon swinging” in Queenstown, New Zealand. Scary in an emotional sense: trying to maintain a normal life while struggling with a panic disorder (which thankfully is ‘in remission’)

Who is the one person that has singlehandedly inspired you the most in your life? I actually can’t pinpoint one person. Sorry! But that’s because SO MANY people inspire me. Both my parents have inspired me in many different ways, and there’s a raft of public people who I find incredibly inspirational, like Nelson Mandela and Lyn White from advocacy group Animals Australia.

What is one talent that you’re hopeless at, but you wish you had? I wish I could sing. Some people are born with the most amazing voices. Sadly, I wasn’t one of them. Doesn’t stop me from singing along to the radio though!

What is one trait or physical characteristic that you are proud of/love about yourself? I’m a very genuine, approachable person, and even though it can get me into trouble sometimes, I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? Keep writing. Even if you feel like what you’re writing is rubbish, get it out on the page. You can edit rubbish; you can’t edit an empty page. Have faith in yourself – not every word you write will be gold, but if you persist, you can make your story shine.


Bio: Cally Jackson grew up in the small country town of Gatton. 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.
Cally’s 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.

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Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb’s desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn’t finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving from small country towns to Brisbane – the big smoke. As they prepare to attend the same university, their paths seem set to collide, but they keep missing each other. Maybe fate is keeping them apart, or maybe it’s just chance.

When the semester starts, things get complicated. Ceara’s best friend withdraws from her, Seb’s closest mate turns into a sleazebag, and the relentless demands of university make their stress levels soar. Before their first semester is over, both Seb and Ceara will be forced to question who they are and what they want from their lives. Will they have the courage to find the answers, or will they crumble under the pressure? And when they finally meet, will it be love at first sight or a collision of headstrong personalities?

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