Bio Talking Points:
- Jacqueline has worked with children from a young age. Her first job at the age of 15, as a daycare center caregiver, encouraged her passion for entertaining and educating children.
- Jacqueline received a degree in Writing from Valdosta State University. She wrote for local magazines as well as the University paper. She currently freelances for multiple publications and is now a successful Children’s Author.
- Privately, Jacqueline is wife to Matthew (an Air Traffic Controller) and mother to Marshall (born in 2013) and June (born in 2015).
A Busy Mother who Followed Her Dreams, How Other Parents Can Do the Same
Parenthood is filled with busy schedules and hectic days. We aim to put the wants and needs of our children first, in doing so, we place our dreams on the back-burner. Jacqueline is (some what) successful in juggling parenthood with fulfilling her wish to publish a children’s book. She wants to encourage other parents to do the same, to follow their wildest dreams.
Making Preschoolers Laugh Out Loud With A Relatable Picture Book
The Many Factors that Encouraged Jacqueline Leigh to Publish a Picture Book With a Female Lead
How did you become interested in writing for Children?
I adored writing as a little girl. In fact, I wrote my first book in the second grade. It didn’t amount to much, other than a prized collectible for my mother. I jumped into the art of professional writing in college, where I majored in Journalism and Creative Writing.
Tell me about your book, how did you come up with the idea?
What research did you do for this book?
Is there a message in The Spill that you’d like readers to grasp?
Who is the illustrator of The Spill and how did you choose him/her?
What sets The Spill apart from other picture books on the shelves today?
What books and authors encouraged you to write?
Rachel Bright, author of Love Monster, was a huge inspiration to me. What an adorable book, if you haven’t read this one, pick it up now! Her writing technique is witty and charming. I find myself laughing a lot while reading her books. The other big inspiration was I Want My Hat Back written by Jon Klassen. Wow. What a lovely book. It’s simple, sweet and hilarious. We read this book in our house at least once a week!
What were the challenges you faced when publishing this book?
What’s a typical working day like for you? Where and when do you write?
Many authors write to the sound of classical music, or if they’re lucky, complete silence. My background noise tends to be the soft cries of a 1 year old and the constant chatter of a 3 year old. I squeeze in writing during nap time and bedtime. I was brave enough to put my desk in the playroom, talk about juggling right? Once in a while, I can toss some legos in front of the kids and get down to work. It’s important for my children to see me working, I want them to value working parents as well as stay at home parents, they get to see the best and worst of both worlds.
How do you juggle the demands that come with being a wife, a mother of young children and a successful author?
That’s just it, I juggle. First and foremost, I’m a wife. Secondly, I’m a mother. Once my daily obligations are met for my husband and children, I can write freely and without guilt. It’s crazy to think that I am a first-time author with a 1 year old and 3 year old, but they are my inspiration. My ideas stem from their daily happenings, it’s a blend of chaos in my life. In fact, I’m writing the answer to this question while sitting in the preschool parking lot, waiting on my son. My daughter (strapped in her car seat behind me) is very disapproving of this process.
What advice would you give other busy parents, looking to fulfill their own dreams?
Whatever your dream may be, it’s never too late to see them through. Life is so incredibly short, it’s time to put yourself out there. You may fail, and that’s okay, it’s a stepping stone to better avenues. Or hey, you may succeed and have a life of great achievements ahead of you. I myself have no clue if this book or career will succeed, but at least I’ve taught my children to put faith in themselves and to take a chance with their wildest dreams.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you change?
What are you working on now?