Jackie Kessler

Who the hell is JACKIE KESSLER? Some kids want to grow up to be doctors, or movie stars, or political assassins. Jackie wanted to draw comic books. Not Archies, either—superhero comic books. (Maybe it was all the heavily muscled guys in spandex.) Around the time she was 15, Jackie switched from drawing to writing stories about superheroes—writing about power, about magic, about hot guys in spandex. And about beating those guys bloody and senseless. So maybe it’s ironic that the first book Jackie wound up selling had nothing to do with overly muscled men and everything to do with scantily clad women. (Well, temporarily scantily clad.) Oh, right, and demons.

Jackie’s the author of the Hell on Earth series, published by Kensington/Zebra Books. The first two books, HELL’S BELLES and THE ROAD TO HELL, are out now. (Sex, strippers, and demons—what’s not to like?) There is also a standalone Hell novella in the Kensington anthology ETERNAL LOVER. The third Hell book, HOTTER THAN HELL, will be available in August 2008. And there will be an erotic Hell novella (cue Barry White soundtrack) in the January 2009 Avon Red Valentine’s Day anthology.
Jackie lives in Upstate New York with her Loving Husband, two Precious Little Tax Deductions, two cats, and 8,000 comic books. For more about Jackie, including a list of all her published short stories, please visit her website: . And remember: love your inner demon.

Interview

1. What makes you think you can write?

I know I can write. Now, singing? That’s something else entirely. People pay me not to sing.

2. Clearly you need some sort of creative outlet to keep you out of trouble. If it weren’t writing what would it be?

Plotting to take over the world. (Me and The Brain – we’re thisclose. Damn thing is, he’s taller.)

3. Who or what influences your work?

When the moon is in the seventh house, and the sun aligns with mars.

4. Do you remember a favorite ghost story or scary urban legend from childhood? Well, spill it.

Ooh, yeah! There’s this ghost, see, and it haunts this house. And it wakes up the dad, and it says “I am the ghost of the bloody bones and the dirty diapers.” And the dad freaks and runs out. And then the ghost wakes up the mom, and it says “I am the ghost of the bloody bones and the dirty diapers.” And the mom freaks and runs out. And then the ghost wakes up the baby, and it says “I am the ghost of the bloody bones and the dirty diapers.” And the baby says, “You can keep your bloody bones, and I’ll keep my dirty diapers.”

I dunno, this was hysterically funny when I was seven.

5. Name one thing we might not know about you and would be surprised to find out (keep it clean too, you dirty bird this is a family blog).

I had a mad crush on Christian Slater when I was 20, and I wrote/drew a comic book called “This Is Not a Fan Letter,” which was all about how I was lusting after him but couldn’t bring myself to write him a fan letter. And I mailed it out to him. (No, he never contacted me. I’m still devastated, I tell you. Completely devastated. Huh. I might have a copy of the comic somewheres…)

6. I tell people that if they like _______, then they’ll love me.

The Cat in the Hat. (Can’t help it. Just read my kids a bedtime story. Actually, it was Wacky Wednesday. But I guess I’m in a world in which tall, talking cats are the norm. There has to be a demon out there that’s really a tall, talking cat, doesn’t there?)

7. Since you make stuff up all the time, I assume you were a great liar as a child. Tell us one.

Yes, I did earn my way through college by stripping at the gentlemen’s club three towns over. Great money, flexible hours. Guys liked that I was this tiny thing (even with the four-inch heels). Made them feel all sorts of powerful and protective. And, apparently, horny. (What? You didn’t say I had to keep this one clean, now did you?)