Southfielder Spotlight on Giselle A. Jackson: Author
Giselle Jackson has stories inside of her that people need to hear.
Jackson was born and raised in Detroit and moved to Southfield seven years ago where she transforms her imagination into words on the pages of her writing. Her first self-published novel, “Four Bands” is currently being sold on Amazon.
What’s most interesting about Jackson’s accomplishment is the fact that she struggled with reading as a student, especially when she was asked to read out loud to the class. “I could read fine; however, I had to re-read everything two or three times just to understand or retain it,” Jackson confesses.
Despite her later writing success, reading was initially challenging for Jackson. She says growing up in the public school system in the 60's-70's was a lot different than it is today. “Children weren't often diagnosed with dyslexia at that time. Kids were just considered slow by their classmates if they weren’t finished reading by the allowed time to do so. Making it through to my high school graduation was very hard for me, but admitting that I had a problem retaining everything that I read to anyone would be too embarrassing. This was my main reason for shying away from college right after high school. I did eventually attend college for accounting.”
Learning Styles Vary From Person To Person
Everyone has a different way of comprehending and processing information. Jackson knows that she falls into an interesting combination of learning categories and would like her readers to recognize that they are not alone if they’re challenged with their own distinctive style too.
“Learning styles are as unique as fingerprints. While many are similar, no two fingerprints are the same. This uniqueness is similar in the way different children learn. While *learning styles can be grouped into major categories, children will use a combination of those styles in a different way to learn different subjects. Since learning styles are different for each child, good tutors should adapt their style to match the child’s learning needs.” --engeniuslearning.com
Common learning styles with their key distinctions:
Jackson doesn’t necessarily like to read to this day. Because of her active lifestyle, sitting still reading at great length is difficult for her. If she picks up a book and it doesn’t grab her attention immediately, she will put it down. “But, when I finished a book by Donald Goins as a teenager, it was like the pages turned themselves.” Jackson credits the author for peaking her interest. “While I knew nothing about the story in his book, I could see it with the words described. The author allowed me to visualize the book in a way that I was right there in it. I could imagine every word and didn't have to re-read it because I put myself in the story.” Authors Terry McMillan and Danielle Steel have also influenced and rounded out her reading enjoyment.
When speaking in front of a crowd or when asked to present at meetings, Jackson says she gets the same nervous stomach feeling, even when her husband asks her to read something to him. Jackson reminds herself to breathe, telling herself that there are others out there that have the same fear. However, with book signings fast approaching in 2022, Jackson looks forward to the personal exchanges with her readers.
When asked where she gets her inspiration, there was one teacher that stands out in Jackson’s mind: Mr. Ali. Her Algebra teacher noticed how she learned when other teachers did not. He understood that everyone has special strengths and skillsets. He was patient and treated her and her sister like his own granddaughters. Once he realized how good she was with numbers, Mr. Ali turned Jackson’s attention to working with numbers for a living. “I could somehow visualize with numbers. I saw different angles and formulas. Math just made sense,” Jackson says with a smile, as she reflected on the teacher who was instrumental in her learning process—the teacher she once called “Granddad.”
The Writing Process
Jackson mentioned that it was a movie in 2000 that started her ideas flowing. She thought, ‘what if this happened to me or any of my friends?’ “The book wrote itself in my head. I decided what would happen throughout the story, developed the main characters of the novel, then I broke the concepts up into chapters, naming them by titles. The writing took off from there. While I slept, while at work, and while driving.” Jackson says. “I'd get up at night or pull over and make notes.”
Jackson wants her audience to use their imagination when they read “Four Bands,” which was originally written for a screenplay. Translating her novel to a movie is her end goal and she has already received positive feedback on her book, "I couldn't put it down", or "It made me feel as if I was there in the story," and "This is a Tyler Perry movie!" With more writings in the works, Jackson strives to continue to capture the attention of her readers.
A Curious Contradiction
Jackson’s energy for her writing future and “Four Bands” novel speaks for itself. It is somewhat of a contradiction that someone that hates to read writes novels. But seemingly, there are many other people who are faced with the same challenges, yet are destined for the same success. While Jackson might shy away from reading her book to us in public, you can be sure she identifies with her readers with every word she writes.
Contact the author
An imaginative author with a unique approach to comprehension and retention, Jackson is curious as to what her readers think about her story and would like to hear from you. Contact Giselle Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Charles, Paul, William and James were four doctors raised in the City of Detroit, Michigan. In their day and age, there were certain expectations that were stereotypical for someone with their prestigious titles. As a “Doctor,” you must be an upstanding honest person. You should live a certain lifestyle and have impressive things to be seen as successful. Nice big homes, wives, children, and expensive vehicles. You must be strait-laced and proper on the surface. They never saw any of this coming. How would they have known that when they met in Med School circumstances would tie them together for the rest of their lives?”
1. What made you want to write a book?
I have a very vivid imagination, and have always made up or embellished stories as a child. I'd watch movies and always wrote different endings in my head. I'd say to myself, I could write a movie better than that. My book was written to become a movie script.
2. Are there any authors, published or unpublished, that have influenced your writing? How about influential relatives or friends?
Every time I looked at a book that my sisters were reading while growing up, I would start the book and put it down. A book had to hold my interest from the very beginning or I would not pick it back up because it wasn't interesting enough for me to remember it.
3. In three words, describe the feelings you want your readers to come away with after reading your novel?
4. Describe your process of developing the “Four Bands” book concept.
Watching a movie in 2000 titled “Cover” inspired me to write my book. It gave me the incentive for “Four Bands.” I would put my own friends in place of the characters and start the imagination process. I would think about the story from start to end and name the chapters in my novel, almost as an outline. That somewhat informal process helped set the pace.
5. Fast forward to today. Suppose you were in that ‘fate worse than death’ classroom with your 8-year old self being asked to read aloud. What would you whisper in her ear?
Breath, and do your best not to fear this. There are people out there going through the same thing and not telling anyone.
6. What kind of book do you believe would help young boys and girls overcome their fear of public speaking or reading aloud?
I've been trying to answer this question for a long time. I’m wondering if I could write such a book. Just knowing that you're not the only one would help other boys and girls tremendously.
7. Did you have a teacher in your childhood that turned on your “lightbulb” (to writing or reading, or another topic)?
Yes, my algebra teacher, Mr. Ali. He realized how good I was with numbers and he turned my attention to accounting. I've been working in the numbers field my whole life. This ‘lightbulb’ teacher also made me feel better about not being so good at one thing saying that everyone is not good at all the same things.
8. Now that you authored your own novel, do you enjoy reading books? If so, what kind of reading material typically appeals to you?
I still don't really like reading. There are other things that I prefer to do. I'm very active, and sitting still is hard for me.
9. Anything else you’d like to share?
If a book doesn’t grab my attention up front, it’s not going to get read.