GABE GINSBERG: Ok so tell us about yourself. Quick Bio, advertise if you want.
LISA JACKSON: Oh gosh. I’m a writer, makeup artist, former journalist, former college administrator, and author of The Accidental Groupie, a novel based on real life experiences of mine when I was friends with a with a famous heavy metal guitarist – he was a real “Ace” on the guitar. It’s available for $10 as a downloadable e-book on the website, www.lulu.com, under my pen name of Lana Layne. I was born in Michigan, raised in Ohio and I have a BA in communications and an MBA in Marketing and an MBA in health care management.
GABE GINSBERG: So first let’s get some easy questions out of the way.
LISA JACKSON: Ready, aim, fire, Gabe!!
GABE GINSBERG: What is your best Las Vegas memory or memories and why?
LISA JACKSON: I first visited in Las Vegas in 2000 and I forced a friend to go see Wayne Newton at the Stardust. I had a great time. The Stardust and the show was what I consider “old school” Vegas. I also got to meet Siegfried last year at Hofbrahaus. I was like a little kid, trying to keep their cool. I’m sure he thought I was a total goofball. I also have to say the first time I visited Red Rock was a very wonderful experience – the scenery is so astonishing and peaceful, you just hope that it will stay that way forever. It’s a great place to go to and think.
GABE GINSBERG: What is your favorite thing(s) to do in Las Vegas?
LISA JACKSON: I like to hang out at Count's Vamp'd Rock Bar and Grill. Hard rock and heavy metal is my favorite type of music.
GABE GINSBERG: What is your favorite place(s) to eat in Las Vegas and why?
LISA JACKSON: I love Hachi because of the quality of their sushi and decor; Charlie Palmer Steak because the meals are so wonderfully decadent and delicious – you can’t beat it for a great steak. Expensive, yes; but worth it. For old school Vegas atmosphere, The Peppermill is the best. Love it. I tell anyone who is visiting Vegas to go there.
GABE GINSBERG: What must someone see while they are in Las Vegas? ( Shows, Attractions, Places, )
LISA JACKSON: Frankie Moreno is the best show in Vegas. He’s talented, genuine and he has the best band in town. Other shows I enjoy are Country Superstars and Smokey Robinson presents Human Nature. Gotta go to Red Rock to hike of course. I also like Parasol Up/Down at the Wynn!
GABE GINSBERG: Now let’s get personal.
LISA JACKSON: Uh, oh.
GABE GINSBERG: So Lisa, how would you describe yourself?
LISA JACKSON: Opinioned, caring, outgoing, good natured, creative.
GABE GINSBERG: What makes Lisa happy?
LISA JACKSON: Actually simple things, such as a good meal with friends; going to the book store and finding something great to read; playing with my friends’ animals; swimming.
GABE GINSBERG: In your book The Accidental Groupie you talk about meeting your guitar hero. Is there another celebrity that you would like to meet or perhaps you missed the opportunity to meet?
LISA JACKSON: OK. I’m sure this is a weird response, but I’ve wanted to meet Jeff Goldblum since I was a kid. I used to watch this show he had called Tenspeed & Brownshoe and I think I’ve purchased every movie and DVD featuring him. I know everyone is going to laugh at that when reading it! That’s OK. I have no shame in admitting my love for Jeff Goldblum!
GABE GINSBERG: Why write The Accidental Groupie as a fictional piece of work?
LISA JACKSON: That’s a good question. I wrote it as a novel because I felt I could be more honest in my emotions. I felt that if I used the real names I might have to sugar coat a few things so as to not hurt anyone; and of course, I don’t want to be sued. It’s not a mean spirited book – it’s what happened from my perspective! However, it’s pretty obvious that after reading a few pages in the book, the reader will know exactly the real guitarist and the band on which this is based.
GABE GINSBERG: Why are you using a pen name of Lana Layne?
LISA JACKSON: Unfortunately, there is already a famous author named Lisa Jackson. I think it was easier just to come up with a new name so as to not confuse anyone!
GABE GINSBERG: Seeing that you were a former reporter for the Detroit News and the Youngstown Vindicator, what brought you out to Las Vegas?
LISA JACKSON: I moved to Las Vegas in 2010 after my mom died of stomach cancer. I just needed a new start. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do, so I studied makeup artistry with Rain Andreani – a wonderful person and mentor, by the way – and got started doing makeup for film, television, music videos, etc., but I always wanted to get back to writing. And to be honest, I was tired of the cold weather and grime. I needed some sunshine back in my life. Vegas provided a chance to start over – I had been visiting since 2000. I just decided to move here.
GABE GINSBERG: Lisa who has had the greatest influence on your life and why?
LISA JACKSON: My mother. She worked hard all of her life. She was such a good person – she went out of her way to help people and didn’t expect anything in return. She didn’t finish high school, but she was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. She was loved books, current events, and interior decorating. She was a fanatical reader and I got that love from her. It’s in the genes!
GABE GINSBERG: What’s a secret ambition of yours?
LISA JACKSON: To speak French fluently and to play the piano well.
GABE GINSBERG: Lisa, what do you want to accomplish? Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten Years?
LISA JACKSON: Five years from now, this book will have been wildly successful with the movie rights purchased; I’ll be living in Las Vegas still observing people and writing about it. As far as 10 years – wow, that’s too far away to think. I have some ideas as to what I want, but not ready to share that just yet, Gabe! Well, maybe one thing – I’d like to have enough money to start a research organization for stomach cancer. More people are getting it and dying from it, and no one knows why. If I could help save some lives, that would give me a great deal of happiness.
GABE GINSBERG: What is the best job you had and why?
LISA JACKSON: I worked for nine years at Wayne County Community College District. The business of education is not as easy as you may think. There were a lot of politics involved. It was a hectic job but it was rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling of commencement day – to see the joy on the students’ faces as they received their diplomas was fantastic. All the hard work and occasional frustrations were worth it on commencement day! I learned a lot from my former boss and mentor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery, the chancellor of WCCCD.
GABE GINSBERG: Lisa, what would be the best advice you would give to a person trying to write a book?
LISA JACKSON: In order to write a book, and a good one, you have to be an avid reader. I grew up as an only child with just my mom. She worked three jobs and in order to keep me occupied she always made sure I had a newspaper, book or a magazine. You learn about different writing styles and how to frame what you want to say. Also, jot your ideas down as soon as they come to mind – use a napkin, a scrap of paper – anything – to get your ideas down!
GABE GINSBERG: That was some great advice. How would you describe the perfect day for Lisa?
LISA JACKSON: I’d wake up about 7 a.m., turn on First Take; make breakfast and watch the show; shower, put on clothes and makeup; call my friends and ask them if they want to hang out or do some volunteer work. Now of course, it really doesn’t work out like that, but it is my vision of a perfect day. Later on I would call friends back home in Ohio, and then maybe go to a show in the evening.
GABE GINSBERG: What is that one thing you could not live without?
LISA JACKSON: My health, my friends and Sephora. That makes three, sorry!
GABE GINSBERG: Lisa, if you could ask anyone a question, who would be that person and what would be the question?
LISA JACKSON: I’d like to sit down with John Boehner, and just ask, “What in the hell is your problem?”
GABE GINSBERG: Ok Fun question to end with.
LISA JACKSON: Okey doke! Go right ahead!
GABE GINSBERG: If your life was a movie what would it be called?
LISA JACKSON: “You Gotta Be Kidding Me!”
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