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Meet Jackie Sonnenberg in Orlando

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jackie Sonnenberg.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I first published in Kindergarten! My class wrote essays on how to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey that got printed in the newspaper in all child innocence hilarity.

My first short story published on a teen magazine website called Echic when I was 15, and when I was still in high school, I had my own column in the local paper before I learned to drive! I did a lot of work in journalism and wrote for major area newspapers from my hometown of Chicago: Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, and the News-Sun. It was from here, I was in touch with a publisher who needed writers for reference books, so through them, I wrote three books on business and health care.

I also found my calling with my involvement in the Horror industry as a haunted house actor. I was always creating my own original characters with unique backstories for each setting, with my own costumes and looks to go with them. This came naturally with my love of storytelling and character development!

My collection of novels retelling nursery rhymes as Horror stories started during this time: MY SOUL TO KEEP as a Paranormal cult and THE LAMB WAS SURE TO GO as the Antichrist, with more I am drafting!
I soon merged my two worlds of costuming and writing together in my own way of promotion: I create costumes of my own original characters and showcase them at conventions and events. It’s a great way to market my brand in a fun and interactive way to introduce my characters and their stories to new readers.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Getting into publishing itself is definitely not easy, and does not happen overnight, no matter what happens in movies. That is not what happens in reality. It can take years to get published, so getting in print for the first time was the biggest challenge for me.

Once you’re published, the next great challenge is marketing that I am currently working hard to do!

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
Being in the Horror industry is certainly a unique market. The haunted house atmosphere is all about setting, themes, and characters and that all plays out the same way with crafting stories. I love that I am able to have these experiences for inspiration– and public interaction!

My originality helps me stand out and bring characters to life that makes people feel that they are really a part of the scene. I get this same thing when I do the costume, known in the community as “cosplay,” of my book characters at conventions. I have become known for this and get recognized with each character, gaining recognition for my name and brand!

My original characters have won costume contests and I have been interviewed on radio shows and podcasts!
I do different book events throughout the year including the various conventions, and book signings at stores, coffee shops, and the Shop of Wonders art shop at Universal Studios!

What are your plans for the future?
I plan on growing my collection of novels within the theme of the horror nursery rhymes, while at the same time brainstorming other books! I typically write things that are darker and imaginative, even some Sci-fi ideas are thrown in there.

I plan to have a collection that appeals to a wide range of readers who also share the same love for things that I do, creating new characters with stories that need to be told, and bringing them to life in costume!

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Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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