Edwardo Jackson

Edwardo Jackson
Ever After

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
February 2002

1. Who is Edwardo Jackson?

Edwardo Jackson is originally from... Wait a minute. I canNOT refer to myself in the third person! I (much better) am originally from Seattle, WA and currently reside in Los Angeles, CA. I'm a novelist, actor, screenwriter, Morehouse College graduate, MBA student, son, and all around good guy. :-)

2. What inspired you to write “Ever After”?

I was bored in class one day. I was frustrated by the type of women I had been meeting in Chicago since I had moved there for graduate acting school so I began to freewrite about the perfect relationship - the perfect man, the perfect woman, the perfect situation. As any writer will tell you, you need some conflict to drive a story so I threw out there the most vulnerable question a man can ask a woman, and to see what would happen if she said no. It took off from there.

3. Are there any of your personalities in Nick?

I believe there's a little bit of Nick in everybody, and vice versa. That's why I went with a very conventional, plain-sounding name of "Nick," because he is Everyman.

There are a lot of sensitive, honest, intelligent, and hardworking brothas out there!

4. How did you come about Jasmine’s character?

Jasmine, at her best, is an amalgam of everything I would want in a woman - smart, funny, romantic, opinionated, assertive, confident, loves sports. Jasmine, at her worst, is also an amalgam of a few qualities that I can't stand in a woman - indecisive, prideful, and vain.

5. Why did you choose New York City, Chicago and Atlanta for Nick’s adventures?

At the time I wrote the book, I was living in Chicago for grad school. I had recently dated someone from New York City, so its urbanity and complexity intrigued me.

Atlanta, home of Morehouse College, is like a second home to me. I go back several times a year.

6. How did you come about Tamara, Angelica and Asanti’s characters?

I wanted to cover some well-known female "types" for Nick to encounter -- the earth chick, the student athlete, the female mack. Tamara is loosely based on two women I knew. Angelica is the characterization of a female basketball player at DePaul I didn't know but had admired from afar. Asantis are EVERYWHERE, in that they want men on their own terms, and only when they want them. I do have to credit a young lady in Maryland for the name, though. I love it.

7. How did you come about Malloy’s character?

Malloy is a combination of a couple of my friends, back when they USED to be players! I think we all know several Malloys in our lives...

8. Did you intend when you started the book for Jasmine and Nick to get married in the end or did you always know that they wouldn’t?

Well give away the whole book, why don't ya! The book is a coming of age story. After the third chapter on, I knew there was no way I could let Nick have Jasmine again. He's got to grow into his own man independent of her, to heal and learn how to move on after the heartbreak of his life.

9. How did you come about Chantel and Sonia’s character?

Chicago has a very large Latino community, equal with the African-American community at 40% of the city respectively. Maybe I just like older women or something but there's usually a slightly older woman in my life who, for whatever reason, tells me how "bad" she is for me, how she doesn't want to "corrupt" me, etc. So that manifested itself into Chantel Mojica.

Sonia doesn't have much of a character. She's Chantel's friend and was just created to keep Craig occupied.

10. Which character is your favorite?

Nick, of course. He's the brotha you never hear about, the one who makes his money but doesn't waste it on the bling-bling; the brotha who is great marriage material but usually gets saddled with platonic friend status; the brotha who, when challenged, comes out swinging. I will admit, however, that a lot of readers like Malloy for his brutal honesty; he is a lot of fun to write.

11. How long did it take you to write “Ever After”?

About four months.

12. Will there be a sequel to “Ever After”?

Yes. NEVA HAFTA comes out in October 2002 from Random House's Villard books imprint. The end of the trilogy, I DO?, follows and is written from Jasmine's first person point of view. The fourth book is a prequel called IN TALL COTTON, written from the dueling first person perspectives of Nick and Malloy during their freshman year at Morehouse College. The last two books are completed, but not yet under contract.

13. When will your next book be out?

The paperback of EVER AFTER comes out in September. The hardback of NEVA HAFTA comes out in October.

14. What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

Something's gotta be going on, whether it's music, a TV, or both. I thrive under pressure and distraction.

15. What message would you like readers to receive from reading “Ever After”

Men have feelings, too. We all share the same emotions. Men just express them differently (and to different people) than women.

16. Why did you choose to employ Nick at Harris Bank as a Credit Analyst in Chicago?

I love to write but I HATE research. One of the various temp jobs I've had to get me to this point as a professional writer was temping at, you guessed it, Harris Bank. I was just an assistant but I did see some financial and credit types wandering the halls. Also, to provide the contrast of where he was (well paid credit analyst) and what he would become (an actor), I needed to set up a strong dichotomy. Acting, usually, doesn't pay all that well when you're starting out. Business does.