Monday, October 3, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Jenny Jaeckel, author of 'For the Love of Meat'

Jenny Jaeckel grew up in Berkeley and Ukiah of Northern California, has lived in Mexico, Spain and currently lives in British Columbia with her husband and daughter.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from The Evergreen State College, a Master of Arts in Hispanic Literatures from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a certified interpreter and translator, and has taught Spanish at three universities. She is the author and illustrator of three graphic memoirs. For the Love of Meat is her first book of fiction.


About the Book:

For the Love of Meat combines whimsical and surreal illustrations with engaging, intimate encounters that explore the depths of human experience. Unique and diverse in setting, and with touches of magical-realism, these nine stories will tug at the strings of the wandering, romantic heart, setting it delightfully ablaze.

In Wander the Desert, Sister Aurelia, a nun from the early 20th century, finds herself stranded in the Mexican desert with nothing but a few cobs of corn and a stray horse who becomes her faithful companion. In Stumble and Fall, we meet Dara, a young Londoner hungry for adventure who, unwilling to settle for the safety and comfort of home, travels to Vancouver, city of immigrants, where a handsome stranger entices her to take a leap into the unknown. The Two explores the tender bond between two young growing up in 1940s Philadelphia, who are as inseparable as light and shadow. As one of the girls tragically becomes ill, the impact on the other shows how true connections of heart and spirit are not bound to time and place. And Mémé, set in Haiti in the 1800s, is told from the stunning perspective of a slave who, as a child, witnesses the brutal murder of her mother, and survives through her connection to her brother and the natural world.

Jenny Jaeckel’s compelling storytelling takes us across the world and through the ages, with remarkable insight and soul-moving moments, when paths cross and time unfolds. Her language, imagery and attention to detail plunge the reader into these memorable lives, soaking us in tales of adventure, courage, love, loss, longing and all the hope in between. 

Purchase Information:

Amazon | B&N

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

I didn’t do any research ahead of time because I didn’t know what I was writing ahead of time, but I did look up a lot of things during the writing process, mostly for the stories that take place in other eras. The train tracks in the Mexican desert in the 1930’s for example, were they made of steel? When was steel invented? What about the Teteriv river in the 1500’s, who controlled the territory at that time? There were lots of details I needed to find out about.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

My newest book, For the Love of Meat, Nine Illustrated Stories, was published by Raincloud Press, a small publishing house based in California. I started out as a self-publisher and put out three graphic novel memoirs, which now Raincloud is in the process of publishing also.

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

Raincloud Press is small, independent, and has the same kind of values that I do around supporting diversity. Erika Lunder, the head of Raincloud, is wonderful to work with, and because the operation is small I get to have input on the design of the books and the editorial decisions, it’s very collaborative. Working with Raincloud has been a very enriching process for me.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

My book is a collection of short stories so I revised as I went. I have a handful of friends that are excellent editors and as they gave me feedback I continued the revising process, then continued that process with my publisher. By the time I finish a first draft of a story, before anyone else has seen it, I have lost all perspective on it. I need that feedback before I can move forward to make it stronger.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

I hope you enjoy the book and connect with the stories and characters! There are two stories in the book whose characters continue their story --in a much more expanded way-- in my upcoming novel, House of Rougeaux.

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