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April 27, 2020

To prepare for the publication of his debut, Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle, Jackson explored many options for marketing and promotion. He cautions self-published authors to do their research so that they won’t be taken advantage of.

How did you come up with the premise of your book?

I came up with my book, Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle, thanks to a creative writing assignment I received decades ago, in fourth grade. The story was in my head for years, so I decided to write it in 2019 and publish it in 2020.

As this is your debut, what did you find most difficult about the writing process and how did you overcome it?

The writing process was easy; writing comes naturally to me. I’ve been writing music, movies, and stories since I was a kid. However, the process of marketing, promoting, and selling books has been difficult. You must be cautious spending money when you’re self-published, self-financed, and new to the industry. People will try to take advantage. The way I’ve been dealing with this is using referrals and doing a lot of research on what’s creditable and what’s not. I’ve also learned something that’s very important to any author: the publishing industry and the book consumer market require different forms of promotion. Being an “award-winning, bestselling author” doesn’t necessarily mean that you have good content, and that works the other way around as well.

Who is your ideal reader and why?

My ideal reader is anyone with an imagination. I’d never box my readers in with specific characteristics and limit who I’d like to pick up my books. My books will be in libraries, and there will be reviews of Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle and other works I plan to release. My ideal reader would be anyone with eyes. I despise the idea that only certain types of people read certain types of books. I’m a fan of JaQuavis Coleman, Donald Goines, and Iceberg Slim just as much as I’m a fan of Paulo Coelho, Harper Lee, and J.D. Salinger.

What is the one thing you most want to tell readers, booksellers, publishers, or agents about your book?

Respect urban authors! Where I’m from—Inkster, Mich.—being an urban fantasy author is unheard of. Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle is a novella about a group of animals that build a family to control the underworld. But it also teaches life lessons about love, loyalty, honor, and respect. After reading this book, people will never look at animals in the same way.

When can readers expect the next entry in the Animal Instincts trilogy?

Animal Instincts 2: A Tale of 2 Jungles is definitely on the way. I’m in the process of turning Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle into an animated series, so that’s part of my focus now. People can check for updates on the next title in the trilogy by visiting