Ann Jacobus writes children’s and YA fiction, teaches writing, and volunteers on a suicide crisis line. She’s published short fiction, essays, and poetry in anthologies, journals, and magazines, and is the author of YA thriller Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, and YA novel The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent coming in spring, 2023. San Francisco is home to her and her family.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
There were so many! But The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare was one of the first novels I read and became fully immersed within, thanks to a school librarian who gently put it into my hands and said, “Try this.” My young self was outraged by the injustice and rigidity of the New England Puritan communities where Kit Tyler came to live from sunny Barbados. Because of her intelligence, book learning, and unusual ways (she could swim!), she was accused of being a witch. Great tension, drama, and a happy ending. It was my introduction to the magic of reading.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
It’s so often quoted, because it’s so true: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
I have hundreds. But, okay. Thornton Wilder, Jacqueline Woodson, E.B. White
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I wanted to become a fiction writer so I could produce (cast, set, design, and direct) my own stories anywhere any time. Also, so I had an unassailable excuse to read as much as I wanted.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write.