Today I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Linda Williams Jackson and her debut novel MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON.
Title: MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction
Age Range: 10 and up
Launch Date: January 3, 2017
Please tell us a little bit about your book?
In Midnight Without a Moon, thirteen-year-old Rose Lee Carter wants desperately to flee the dirt clods of the Mississippi Delta. But for now, she’s stuck living on a cotton plantation with her grandparents Papa and Ma Pearl, her brother Fred Lee, and her not-so-nice cousin Queen. When a fourteen-year-old Chicago boy named Emmett Till is murdered in nearby Money, Mississippi, Rose is suddenly faced with the opportunity of a lifetime—an offer to move up north. But will she go?
What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?
As a child, I rarely played with other children. Instead, I lurked in the background among the grown-ups and indulged myself in the stories they told. From these stories grew a desire to someday write a book that sort of reflected my family’s life in the Mississippi Delta. The story is set in 1955 because I wanted to tie in the Emmett Till story and the spark of the Civil Rights Movement.
Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?
First off, I DO NOT WRITE EVERY DAY. At least not fiction. I do journal every day, however. I basically aim for a date to complete a first draft, determine how much writing I need to do to in order to get me to that date, then I go for it. I can write ANYWHERE, so this helps in getting a first draft down without having to have a set writing time/place.
As far as research, the Internet is my friend. But I do purchase a few books for information that I can’t find on the Web. I also read a TON of books that are similar to what I’m writing. On another note, I like to read two types of books while I’m writing: One with “beautiful” writing, and the other with not-so-beautiful writing. The former gives me something to aspire to. The latter shows me what to avoid.
We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?
My college professors had a huge impact on my writing life. I was an overachiever who worked very hard to get all A’s, and the hardest A’s came from writing composition classes.
What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?
My seventeen-year-old daughter often speaks of how much she loved ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY by Mildred D. Taylor, COPPER SUN by Sharon Draper, and ONE CRAZY SUMMER by Rita Williams Garcia as classroom reads during middle school. Like these books about African-American history, I hope that MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON will be a book that is required reading in middle schools and that it will be a book that young readers are still talking about even at age seventeen.
I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?
I don’t own a dog, but my favorite dogs are Clifford, T-Bone, and Cleo from Clifford the Big Red Dog!
Linda Williams Jackson is an author who loves to read books more than she loves to write them. But, if she could manage a month-long vacation from her day job as wife (of 1), mother (of 3), homemaker, and homeschooler, she would check herself into a very nice hotel room and both read and write ALL DAY LONG. Of course, she’d take a break and order herself a pizza occasionally.
Find out more about Linda at www.jacksonbooks.com and connect with her on Twitter at @LindaWJackson.
You can learn more about MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON by listening to Linda’s NPR interview, here, and you can buy the book anywhere good books are sold, or online at:
Thanks so much, Linda!