Jaeckel on Writer’s Digest

This week Raincloud author Jenny Jaeckel had an article published on Writer’s Digest. It’s a long piece about writing in-depth characters, called “Bodies, Blind Spots and Quirks.” Here’s an excerpt:

Henry James once wrote, “We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”

And his brother, the philosopher William James wrote, in discussing the activity of the mind and its ready interpretations: “Let a person enter his room in the dark and grope among the objects there.”

In both cases, we might imagine a dark room where the mind is at work, seeking to discover hidden things, learning about a world which is as yet unseen. When writing fiction, creating worlds and plot, I myself am working in the dark room—or sometimes casting fishing lines out into dark lakes—but that process becomes especially intimate when exploring the inner worlds of my characters. The metaphor of the dark room is the most apt for me, rather than, say, molding characters from clay, or building them up with bricks. The characters don’t seem to be my creations so much as people I am trying to get to know.

Stay tuned for more essays from Jaeckel in the coming weeks, some to appear on “Read It Forward,” the online journal.


Jenny Jaeckel is the author of forthcoming House of Rougeaux, a debut historical novel set in the Caribbean, the US and Canada. Publishers Weekly called it a “rich tapestry of a novel” (starred review of the audio version narrated by Bahni Turpin). Available everywhere now for pre-order.

 

AudioFile Review of House of Rougeaux

AudioFile, the audiobook review magazine, has reviewed House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel, read by Bahni Turpin. Here’s the review in full (or visit AudioFile to see it on their webpage):

Narrator Bahni Turpin conveys place and time quickly while establishing the characters of Abeje and Adunbi, twins enslaved on a sugar plantation in eighteenth-century Martinique. Turpin conveys the protectiveness of their mother, the brutality of her death, and, afterwards, the tenderness of their protection of each other. Turpin also gives a strong sense of the culture of mysticism, viewed largely through Abeje’s development as a healer. Abeje and Adunbi are the progenitors of two centuries of heroes and heroines who deal courageously with the circumstance they face in varying time periods in Canada and the U.S. Each poignantly and personally reflects the issues of his or her era–for example, racism and gender prejudices. Turpin’s facility with accents and characterizations gives listeners a sense of these shifting time periods and the continuity that comes from generations of treasured family stories. S.W. © AudioFile

The list of books that our narrator, Bahni Turpin, has read is astounding. AudioFile has a great list of books read by Turpin, which includes National Book Award Winners and Oprah Book Club titles:

  • The Hate U Give
  • Children of Blood and Bone
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Here Comes the Sun
  • Precious
  • The Help
  • The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

We’ve partnered with Blackstone Audio to distribute the audio version of House of Rougeaux worldwide. Look for CD or downloadable versions of House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel and narrated by Bahni Turpin at all your favorite audiobook vendors on April 24th, 2018. Also, you can order the book on CD through your favorite bookstore.

 

Here’s pre-order links for all versions on Amazon and Downpour.

 

December Media Announcements

It’s such a busy time of year for folks it seems, and it’s true for Raincloud as well. We’ve been upgrading our website, staying busy on Instagram and shipping books left and right. That’s why it’s nice to take this chance to relax and share some media news with you.

Author Jenny Jaeckel’s review of The Time of the Doves by Merce Rodoreda appeared on Read It Forward‘s page titled “The Books 36 Authors Are  Giving Away to Their Friends This Holiday.” She wrote a longer review of the same title that will appear on her blog in the coming months. Her December post is good one too, about suggestions for topics of conversation at the proverbial holiday party. Wishing everyone happy holidays!

About the Author

Since graduating Evergreen College (Olympia, Washington) with a BA in Creative Writing, and then from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Master’s in Hispanic Literatures, Jenny Jaeckel has written many short stories and illustrated her own stories. But Jaeckel’s first full-length book was a graphic novel about her experience with her baby in the NICU for over five months. She worked through the stress of that time by getting it all out on paper. Her effort won her the Canadian Xeric grant in 2008 (published in the States in 2016, Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU). At that point, Jaeckel began to pen two more graphic novels (Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob 2014, and Odd Pieces, forthcoming). She also began to compile some of her short stories into a collection, and these were released in 2016 under the title For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories; they are eclectic stories from vastly different parts of the world and different times.

Two of the stories from her collection wouldn’t let Jaeckel rest. They felt unfinished. Jaeckel had to explore these stories more thoroughly. Eventually, though the two stories took place almost 200 years apart, she realized they were related to each other. Exploring this relationship led to five more generations of the Rougeaux family unveiling themselves, and the original stories shifting, until the the whole family epic came together in about 80,000 words. This was the birth of the debut novel House of Rougeaux.

Jaeckel and her publisher at Raincloud Press worked tirelessly with the gifted editor, Neesa Sonoquie (formerly of McSweeney’s), and a diverse group of beta readers to attune House of Rougeaux, in a perfect balance of the magical and the frighteningly real.

Author Bio

Jenny Jaeckel’s previous titles include For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories, Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob, and the graphic memoir Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU, which was the winner of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Originally from California, Jenny Jaeckel lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband and child. Find out more about Jenny Jaeckel at www.jennyjaeckel.com.

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards

 

Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU received it’s most prestigious award yet: the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Parenting/Family Catagory. Graphic Novels (Comics!) have come a long way. Ten years ago very few comics were winning non-comic awards, but now it’s getting more common. It’s a great pleasure for us to have one of our titles celebrated in this way. The author Jenny Jaeckel is a hard-working and dedicated author and illustrator, and we’re glad for her to receive recognition. If you haven’t read her story Spot 12 about her harrowing experience with a baby in the NICU, you can order it here (or anywhere you get your books), and read the description below. If you have read Spot 12, please check out Jaeckel’s blog, where she’s written a series updating readers about Asa’s progress after the return home from the hospital. Spot 12 has  also been translated into Spanish, look for Cunero 12: Cinco Meses en la UCI Neonatales.

Spot 12 Description

A visually gripping illustrated memoir, Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU delivers the gritty details of a mother, a newborn, and a five-month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

A routine prenatal exam reveals a dangerous problem and the first-time parents find themselves thrust into a world of close calls, sleepless nights, and psychological crisis. Surrounded by disagreements, deaths, extended family tensions, and questions of faith, the mother struggles to maintain a positive frame of mind. Against the antiseptic, mechanical reality of the NICU, the dedicated health professionals are drawn as sympathetic and wry animal characters. Doctor Eyes and Nurse Gentlehands are two of the care providers that do all they can to take care of Baby Asa. At times the parents battle feelings of helplessness but their determination, insight, bravery, and connection ultimately helps keep their little one alive.

Spot 12 has won the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Parenting/Family category, and was named a finalist in the 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and as a finalist in the 2016 Best Book Awards for the Comics: Graphic Novel Category.

Author Bio

Jenny Jaeckel is the author of the forthcoming House of Rougeaux, which is her debut novel. Her previous titles include For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories and Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob. In 2016, Jaeckel published the graphic memoir Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU which was the winner of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Spot 12 was also a 2016 finalist in the Foreword Indies Book Awards. Jaeckel has also appeared as a guest on the popular podcast ONE BAD MOTHER.

Jenny Jaeckel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington and a Master’s Degree in Hispanic Literatures from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has worked as a translator, an editor, a Spanish teacher, a graphic arts teacher and an illustrator.

Jenny Jaeckel was born in California, but lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she and her husband became health refugees when their child needed a decade of specialized medical care. Jaeckel is currently working on her second novel, a continuation of the family epic House of Rougeaux, yet to be named.

2017: Here We Go

Winter has come. In Northern California, there continues to be more rain and snow than we’ve had in a long time. The weather is a blessing, and hints of a lush, green spring.

To my friends and family, the New Year seems to bring excitement and foreboding in equal measure, as 2017 rings in uncertainty. At Raincloud Press, our authors have been busy sharing on their blogs, and I’ll put some links to the highlights here:

I am enjoying the cold and slower pace of winter, and the goal of taking time and not rush. It feels like an important gestation period for the various projects happening at Raincloud. I can feel the potential building for our first mainstream novel, House of Rougeaux (to be published most likely a year from now). The design team and the editors are gearing up and by April we should have the first physical copies and artwork to share.

If you haven’t already, please check out our currently available titles which are available everywhere.  Or order by phone directly from our distributor in Chicago (800)888-4741.

 

Happy New Year,

Erika Lunder

Publisher, Raincloud Press