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Interview with Laura Jackson

Laura Jackson has had a passion for reading since she was a young girl. After teaching middle school language arts for eight years, then becoming a librarian, that passion turned to writing. Worth the Wait released in February of this year.

Since you are a school librarian, you are on the front line of new readers. Tell us what you see changing in today’s readers and what things have stayed the same.
I work with elementary students, so their reading habits may be different than older readers.

Kids still love books, especially physical books. I work in an upper middle class neighborhood but only a few kids bring e-readers to school.

Even those who have them like to have at least one “real” book as they call it.

So I don’t see the need for libraries or physical copies of books going away any time soon like some people fear.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
Working with kids is draining, so I often leave work too mentally tired to write.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
Because I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, everything I do is impacted by my faith in Him. It affects how I think, how I live, and how I write.

I want to see the world and people through His eyes of mercy, grace, and love.

I also want to share Him with the world. I love YA books—the characters are figuring out who they are. But so many miss the most important part—Jesus.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
I taught middle school and loved YA. When I left the classroom to take a job as a librarian, I was noticing a trend in YA. It was becoming very dark and a bit depressing.

So when I write, I think of those teens who could use some light in a dark world.

I get ideas from life—what I’ve lived, what people I know have lived. However, the characters aren’t based on anyone I know (except for the character of Mrs. Hensley, who is based on one of my all-time favorite teachers). They usually just come to me, and I can’t get them out of my head until I write about them.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
I honestly don’t know. I read so much and see so many styles and voices that are unique.

What led you to choose the genre in which you write?
I tried to write a romance. It was horrible! So, I put it to the side and asked myself what I liked to read. YA was the first thought in my head, so I started writing about this girl Ellie, who had been floating around in my imagination while I was attempting to write the romance. I sat down for NaNo, and the story just flowed.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
Reading. :-)

I’m a huge sports fan—love the Houston Rockets and the Texans.

I enjoy hanging out with my family. We love to sit around telling stories, particularly around a fire or a table of crawfish.

What books are on your nightstand right now?
I just finished Luminary by Krista McGee today—so good and ends on a cliffhanger!

I have over 200 books on my Kindle and a completely full to-read bookcase!

I’m the only librarian in American who hasn’t read the Harry Potter series, and I told a few kids I would give it another try. So, that’s probably next.

Finish this statement: If I could go anywhere to write, I would choose ___________________________.
Nantucket. I have no clue why I want to visit this place so much, but it’s my dream vacation.

Any parting words?
Thanks for having me.

Thanks for sharing with us, Laura!

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