Like many fans of history and pop culture, Mercedes King has had a life-long admiration for the Kennedys, as well as an interest in conspiracy theories. With a B.A. in Criminology from Capital University and a passion for writing, she meshed her skills to create a story that blended fact with fiction. A founding member of Sisters in Crime Columbus, Ohio, she writes in a variety of genres and is currently at work on her next book.
To contact Mercedes please email her at: mercedes (at) ojackiebook (dot) com.
Connect on Facebook (via Mercedes King or the O Jackie page) and Twitter (@ojackiebook).
Here are common questions readers often ask about O! Jackie .
Where did you get the idea for this book?
Considering that I wrote O! Jackie several years ago, I can't say exactly what triggered the premise,
but I remember waking up from a dream one January morning with a disturbing thought: What if
Jackie Kennedy killed Marilyn Monroe? That jolted me out of bed--and I am not a morning person.
At first I didn't know what to do with such an outlandish idea. I played around, did some research,
scribbled notes for a few weeks, but I didn't know if I had a viable story. I worked out a few scenes
but still didn't think there was enough to write a book. Then, I was out with friends one evening and
just casually mentioned my what-if scenario to them. Their eyes popped! They said they would LOVE
to read that story. At that moment, I knew I had to get serious with my research and see if I really
could revive Camelot and that Kennedy mystique--and believably create a story where a former
first lady--the most beloved former first lady of our time--had done the unthinkable. It took some
doing, but eventually, O! Jackie was born.
How much of the story is true?
Keep in mind O! Jackie is a novel, 'not true' by definition. However, I styled the story after many of
the Kennedys' real-life events. As most people know, JFK's PT-109 incident, the Bay of Pigs, J. Edgar
Hoover's 'secret files', and JFK's rampant infidelities are all true. Most heartbreaking for me was
discovering the details of Arabella's story. She was the Kennedy's stillborn daughter. People have
commented that it couldn't possibly be true that JFK did not return from his vacation on the French
Riviera to be with Jackie, but sadly, it's true. Of course, times were different in 1956: travel wasn't as
swift, men didn't always hold their wife's hand during childbirth, and so forth. Even so, the tragedy
had to be more painful for Jackie without her husband there to grieve with her. There are plenty of
surprisingly-true elements in the book, but to list them all would spoil part of the reading experience.
What turned out to be fascinating with O! Jackie is that readers have a hard time distinguishing truth
from half-truths from fabrications. Amazingly, it all worked out.
How did you research the Kennedys for this book?
It's a long-winded answer. Books, documentaries, TV specials, home movie footage, blogs, articles,
YouTube videos, you-name-it, all played a part in making O! Jackie come together. My intention was
to remain faithful to the public persona of each of the book's 'characters' (since we're talking fiction)
and to capture their spirits. I think what readers enjoy in this story is going behind the scenes and
behind closed--or sometimes locked--doors to see what they may have been doing / arguing about /
worrying about, etc. when the cameras weren't there. When it comes to Jackie Kennedy, part of the
public's fascination with her is the fact that she kept silent on most private matters. Silent. It's hard to
imagine in an age where people often air their dirty laundry on social media, then do damage control
later. O! Jackie gives a possible glimpse into Jackie's innermost thoughts, especially as she wrestles
with insecurities, self-doubt, and a randy husband.
Are you writing a sequel to O! Jackie?
No. This wasn't a story I viewed as a triology, which seems to be a trend in storytelling today. I
wanted to create a jaw-dropping tale, do justice to the history and the characters (yes, some pun
intended there), and hopefully craft an experience that readers couldn't find in just any book about
the Kennedys. That's a high expectation for one book, and I don't believe that you can churn out that
kind of 'magic' just because you want to. Something unique has to be there, egging you on. So no
plans, nothing in the works...but I would never say never. In the meantime, if you'd like to read more
about the Kennedys, visit The Kennedy Chronicles tab. The Kennedy Chronicles are short stories that
focus on the Kennedy family.
What format is O! Jackie available in?
You may purchase O! Jackie in Paperback / for Kindle . Thank you! If you're interested
in becoming a fan of the book, feel free to follow the journey on Twitter (@ojackiebook) and become
a fan on the Facebook page. Also, authors take it as a huge compliment when you write reviews
and share your reading experience on Amazon and Goodreads. Again, thanks.