On Being a Small Press Author – LA Jackson

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today I’m happy to introduce you to LA Jackson, who wrote a wonderful memoir, Slightly Dented Halos, of her time spent with her inlaws after she took them in when they couldn’t really live on their own any more. LA’s book was recommended to me by an editor I worked with some time ago, who basically said – “YOU HAVE TO PUBLISH THIS!” I was hesitant to take on non-fiction and a memoir at that – but her story resonates with anyone in a care-giving position and a position that many of us will find ourselves in as our parents age. LA did the right thing, and she’s a guide and inspiration for all of us.

1. The first book I can remember reading is: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

2. The first book I ever wrote was: I wrote a short story in junior high school called “The First Date” for a literature class project. My teacher loved my sense of humor so much that he read the whole thing aloud to the class. As soon as I heard everyone laughing out loud at my work, I was addicted.

3. An average day in my life goes like this: Wake up at 4:30am to the sound of my 3 dogs running their tin coffee cups across the bars of their jail cells, anxious to be let out for their morning run and breakfast. I brew the coffee while I feed the dogs, check my morning emails, get ready for work, kiss my hubby and drive an hour to my job in downtown Chicago. I spend about ten hours managing a group of consultants, then home I go to rest and rejuvenate. Reading and writing get squashed into the hour before sleep.

4. I decided to submit my book because: I firmly believe Central Avenue Publishing has been a gift of divine intervention for me. I dont remember how I first learned about Central Avenue. When Michelle first called me to say she was interested in my work, I had so totally given up hope that I thought she was a con artist! Wow, did I have some apologizing to do!

5. The last book I read was: really not that good, but I learn from every single book…what works, what doesnt work and why.

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: inspiration

7. My ‘day job’ is: I direct a consulting division for Xerox, helping customers evaluate how they spend money related to documents

8. I carve out time to write by:  not sleeping.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: I feel self-indulgent when I’m writing. When I’m not writing, I feel that I’m sacrificing a chunk of my true self.

10. I am currently working on: I’m outlining my next work, “Maybe That’s Why My Sister Hates Me”. It’s funnier than it sounds, honest.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from:  a dear and elderly friend of the family. and it was: “Honey, if someone doesn’t appreciate you for who you are, forget about them.” Her language was much more colorful, but this is a G-rated audience.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: All you can do is the very best you can do.

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