Meet Jacqueline Cooper, Hysteria 2015 finalist

Jacqueline Cooper has been short-listed for not one, but two categories in the 2015 Hysteria Writing Competition. Her entries impressed our judges in both the Flash Fiction and Short Story categories.

The Jacqueline Cooper Interview

catelyn cashAre there any occupational hazards to being a writer?

Definitely. Aspiring authors are encouraged to read, read and read. I need no encouragement and have a huge TBR pile at the side of my bed. And on my Kobo. I also have the Kindle app on my phone so I can snatch a few minutes reading while in the dentist’s waiting room or standing in a queue. (Short stories are ideal for this.) Of course this means dishes don’t get washed, clothes don’t get ironed, and my trainers get less wear than my slippers. Alas, I have also come down with a serious case of writers bottom – another occupational hazard. I’d probably have a bad back too if my OH didn’t teach the Alexander Technique and straighten me out every now and then.

Are there any habits you wish you didn’t have?

Ebay. It is such a waste of time and money but so addictive. I’ll allow myself five minutes browsing during my coffee break and two hours later I’m still online and in a sulk someone has outbid me on a handbag I didn’t know I wanted and would never use anyway.

What’s your favourite TV moment of all time?

The opening scene in an episode of Joss Whedon’s Firefly when the camera pans in on a naked Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillian) sitting alone on a rock in the middle of a barren wasteland and he sighs happily and says, ‘well that went well.’ It so obviously did not.

Are You Jealous of other writers?

I’ve just finished One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson, an author new to me and I enjoyed it immensely. Before that I read the Farseer books by Robin Hobb. Each book in the trilogy is around 800 pages but I read them one after the other and couldn’t put them down. I’m jealous of any writer who can grip their reader in that way.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers.

Lack of confidence is a very real thing for many authors. You can love the piece you are working on yet still the crows of doubt swoop down and perch on your shoulder, grumbling in your ear, making you change this and tweak that. Crows are impossible to ignore and never have a good word to say about anything. So my advice is to find someone you trust to give you feedback. Not a friend but another writer who, if things go well, will become a friend. I’d been writing for a few years before I found my wonderful critique partner. Some of the best advice she gives me is when to stop fiddling with a piece and let it go. She also harasses me to submit my work, rather than leaving it ‘to stew’ indefinitely.

Have you ever written naked?

Hmmm. I often write some very steamy scenes and my desk is in my bedroom but the answer to this one is an emphatic no. My house is old and draughty, the bedroom windows especially so. Every winter, writing in a fleece, a woolly hat and fingerless gloves I vow to replace them. But then summer comes again and I wake up to the sun pouring in through the brightly coloured panes, and my good intentions go out the window. But, no, I never write naked. For which my family and neighbours thank me I’m sure.


hysteria 4WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Jacqueline and Hysteria 4?

You can find Janet in the Hysteria 4 anthology which supports the Hysterectomy Association.

Hysteria 4 is the anthology of winning stories,poetry and flash fiction from the 2015 Hysteria Writing Competition.

You can also find Jacqueline on her website:



These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

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