SEGMENT: BACKGROUND & CONSERVATION
Jacqueline Jackson>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 28
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- Entered a few books into hobby shows and won blue ribbons. A friend of her mother who published a news paper in Galesburg, IL saw her writings called The Cloudlanders and offered to publish it in the newspaper in installments. As she was going on vacation to Mason City, Iowa with her grandparents, she saw in the paper a headline directed at her saying the paper needed more installments. She wrote them in Iowa and mailed them to the newspaper. The story was published every week for four months. She didn't like the pressure. When she moved to Springfield she realized she didn't have any copies of the story. She wrote to Knox College where the paper was archived and they sent her photocopies of the entire story. In junior high and high school, creative writing was not encouraged. When she went to college she was very excited to learn that she could take a creative writing course. Went on to the University of Michigan and studied under Roy Koden. Chad Walsh was her instructor at Beloit College. Koden once told her "Write another 'Alice.'" He was very supportive and encouraging. She had written a story and sent it to Harpers Magazine who eventually rejected it. After this, Koden led her to an agent who helped her publish her first book, "Julie's Secret Sloth." She liked to write children's books because books were so important to her childhood. She quotes C.S. Lewis, saying that there is no book worth reading when you're ten that isn't worth reading when you are fifty. Jackie says she sometimes warns parents of material that may be inappropriate for children in her Round Barn books. She gives an example of a chapter about a tortured dog. Parents seem to think their children are ready for the material. She maintains that the Round Barn books are for adults but that kids can enjoy them. Her future publisher read her manuscript at a conference and asked her several times to send him a copy. When she finally did he told her almost immediately that he wanted to publish it in Northwestern University Press as a collection of short stories first, then as a larger book. The press didn't think doing a book about a farm was a good idea but her editor persuaded them and the Round Barn books became bestsellers for the press. The next book will be published by Beloit College Press. She had to sell the farm.
- Says that even though agriculture is backbone of our existence, you wouldn't know it if you looked at the way we go through our natural resources, especially soil, water, and air. Cites an article saying no organism can survive in an increasing circle of their own waste products. Population is getting out of control and there will eventually have to be some sort of confines set.