Thursday, 24 May 2018

Meet Our Members: Charis Joy Jackson

Each Thursday in 2018 we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder
– to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals. 

Today's interview Charis Joy Jackson

Question 1: Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.

I am a missionary filmmaker, author, and actress. I am from the US and grew up in several places, but have lived in Australia for ten years - which is actually the longest I’ve lived in one place my entire life.

Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc). What do you write and why?

I love to write anything in the speculative genre. My novel, The Rose Of Admirias, is a fantasy. But I also have several sci-fi and dystopian books in the works too.

I've also started a little blog called The Dreamcatcher's Journal, where I capture all the crazy adventurous dreams I've had. I started it because I used to show up to work and tell everyone about my dreams. They couldn't believe how well told the stories were - like full novels or movies, so I thought, I've got to start keeping these written down somewhere. 

Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?
Friends and family that I know of, but my novel was just released at the beginning of this month as part of a limited release of 22 novels in an ebook box set called On The Horizon. Besides the fact that I’d love EVERYONE to read my novel ;) I’d love for two of my favorite authors to read it. Robin Hobb and Stephen R. Lawhead. These two have really inspired my own work and I’d love to get their feedback on my writing because I want to keep growing as an author.

Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?
I’m the worst when it comes to having a process. Each story I write seems to have a process of its own. Most of my stories I know where I want my characters to end up, but I don’t often write out a whole process of how they’re gonna get there. I have a vague idea of where I’m going, but there are a lot of things that happen along the way that surprise me and that’s my favorite. If I can surprise myself, then hopefully I can surprise the audience.

Because I am one of those writers who doesn’t plan a lot this can sometimes be an obstacle I need to overcome. I’ve written myself into holes I don’t know how to get out of, but thankfully I’ve always been able to find a way out in the end. I think a big reason for that is that I am co-creating my story with the Creator or story. With God there’s no such thing as writer's block - instead, they are the adventures we get to find our way out of. 

I think it was C.S. Lewis and Tolkien who said they wrote what they wanted to read. I’m the same, I write what I want to read and that is the thing that helps me the most. It keeps the passion of the story alive and I hope that translates better to the reader too.

Question 5: What is your favorite Writing Craft Book and why?

I really enjoyed Stephen King’s On Writing. While it didn’t cover as much story craft as I thought, it actually opened my mind up to more stories and possible adventures in the future. It taught me a lot about living the life of a novelist and not just dreaming about being one.

Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who
would they be?

There’s several I’d like to give a shout out to - but Jeanette O’Hagan is definitely someone I want the world to know about. Her books are phenomenal. Excellent storytelling and amazing world building. She’s a huge inspiration to my own writing and has been one of my champions. My novel wouldn’t be published yet if it hadn’t been for her. It was because of her encouragement that I finally finished The Rose Of Admirias after writing it for four years! Please read her books. You won’t regret it!

Buy all her books!!!

Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2018? How will you achieve them?
My writing goals for the rest of 2018 are to publish The Rose Of Admirias as a paperback. I’d love to write the sequel this year and also finish up the novel I’ve been writing based on the film I produced in 2016 called Out Of The Woods.

Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?
As I mentioned earlier it’s a huge factor. I consider every story I’ve written to be co-written by the ultimate Creator. When I get stuck, I talk to God about how to get the character out of a situation. Sometimes, the best ideas come to me during a time of worship, so I often bring a journal so I can write them out. My passion, tenacity, and creativity are a gift from the Lord and I want to honor him by using it to the best of my abilities.


Charis Joy Jackson is working as a missionary with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organization & is part of The Initiative Production Company. She loves creating stories & her first novel, The Rose Of Admirias, was released this May in a limited release box set called On The Horizon - 22 authors, 22 novels.

Here's to a life lived in awe & wonder.
Welcome to the adventure.


  1. Congratulations Charis. Your passion is well captured in your interview. Awesome! A missionary filmmaker, author and actress? Wow - that's a lot of hats and I'm sure you wear each of them really well. Sounds like your writing is taking new heights with your first novel hitting the shelves. Good on you. Love the cover of your book. I also love how you chat to our Creator God as you write - exactly how He would have it I know. May you continue to reach for the stars and reach new heights every day as you live for Him.

    1. Thank you Anusha. Yes, sometimes all the hats get a bit much or one or another gets a bit neglected but alas, that's what happens when you choose to pursue all your God-given passions :)

  2. "When I get stuck, I talk to God about how to get a character out of a situation." Wow, thank you for sharing that. I prayed my way through all five books in the series I wrote, in partnership with God.
    Love the refreshing way you explain about yourself and your writing. May He richly bless you in your writing and in your life.

    1. Thank you Susan. :) Really appreciate your encouragement. All the best with ever God-given adventure still ahead for you!

  3. Loved reading about your passion and your process. It's such a wonderful and amazing privilege to be 'co-creators' with God. And thanks for the shout-out :) I'm thrilled that Rose of Admirias is published as part of On the Horizon. Really enjoyed reading it & your other short stories in Glimpses of Light and Like a Woman. Exciting to think what God has in store for us.

  4. Thank you Jeanette! I hope everyone buys ALL your books. You're phenomenal!