Author Jackie Townsend: 5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
19 min readJun 17, 2021


Your voice doesn’t just exist. It needs to be found, honed, and nurtured. You’re not going to find your voice in your first book, because you’ve yet to develop your platform. It’s only after this book is out there in the world, as you better define your audience and engage with them more, after you begin to complement your books with longer essays, blogs, and short stories, only then does your voice begin to find its way into your second and even third books.

As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jackie Townsend.

Jackie Townsend is the author of three novels that delve deep into themes of displacement and crossing borders, including The Absence of Evelyn and Imperfect Pairings, both of which won her finalist and winner titles at the Next Generation Indie and Indie Excellence Awards. Her fourth novel, Riding High in April, will be out August, 2021. Jackie is a native of Southern California who lived for many years in the Bay Area before she and her husband landed themselves in New York City, where they live today.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

Before I was a writer of novels, I was a writer of business plans for start-ups in Silicon Valley. I would sit in plush Palo Alto living rooms with two or three men, always older, always white, who’d already made their fortunes but were looking to make another, bigger one. They wore sneakers and jeans and the finest of cashmere sweaters. They would pace and pontificate and argue about how their idea was going to change the world, while I furiously wrote down everything they said so that I could later spend all night in my hotel room trying to figure out what it was they actually did say, scouring the web for clues, so that I could understand it enough to write the story. Because that’s what a business plan is, a…