Corrine Jackson never thought she would be writing young adult novels. She never read them herself, nor did she ever think she would write professionally. Having grown up poor, she was encouraged by her family to pursue a career in a more lucrative field like business.
While most students listened to Jackson’s readings in the campus theater for extra credit, some students went because they stumbled on her twitter page and enjoyed what they saw. Whichever reason led the students and faculty to the theater, Jackson’s retelling on how she became a published author captivated her audience.
Jackson lives in San Francisco, where she works a full-time job at a top marketing agency managing campaigns for several Fortune 500 clients. After she gets off from her day job, she heads to her “office” to write.
“I typically put in my 8-10 hour day and then head to my local 24-hour Starbucks to get in several hours of writing. The weekends are usually a writing extravaganza,” said Jackson.
Jackson attended 11 different colleges and has collected bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and a Master’s of Fine Arts in creative writing.
In college she studied graphic design and marketing, but whenever she had free time in her school schedule, she would enroll in English or creative writing courses. She never thought that writing was a potential career, until she started writing her paranormal romance trilogy.
“I have to say, I didn’t get serious about publication until 2009 when I began writing ‘Touched,’” said Jackson.
“Touched” is about a girl named Remy, who comes from an abusive home, but she can heal people with her touch. When Remy’s father takes custody of her, she must deal with living with his new family and town.
“I could relate to the character of Remy,” said Jackson. “In some ways, she is a version of me at that age minus the physical abuse or the power to heal. Between my parents, there were nine marriages and eight divorces by the time I was fifteen. Feelings of rejection and heartache still haunt me.”
During the time she was writing “Touched,” she knew nothing about writing or editing. The writing part wasn’t the most difficult step, it was the several months of editing and rejections that rocked her faith.
Jackson’s family reminded her to never give up on her dream by binding two copies of her book in secret and then telling her to have a little faith.
While waiting for an agent to respond to her query letters for “Touched,” Jackson wrote the novel, “If I Lie”, which was actually picked up first.
When Jackson concluded her readings from “If I Lie” and “Touched,” the audience asked her questions about the editing process, how to find an agent and advice on becoming a writer.
“She made a strong female lead in ‘Touched’ that I can relate to rather than the love sick girls that are portrayed in a lot of books these days,” said Vanessa Reyes, a Fullerton College sophomore.
“The hardest part of writing a novel is sitting down to write day after day until you type ‘the end,’” said Jackson. “It takes perseverance, sacrifice, stretchy pants and loads of dedication. If you want to write, do it. Practice often. Find good teachers, but most importantly of all, do the work.”