BPL Local Author Spotlight: Vallean Jackson
|Vallean Jackson, with daughter Valiyah, 4, who inspired her Adventures with Liyah children's book series. Her 7th book, It’s Time To Unpack: A Self-Healing Journey, will be released on July 27.|
Birmingham, Ala. - Vallean Jackson, 30, has done something few have done at such a young age – publish six books. Her seventh book, It's Time to Unpack: A Self-Healing Journey, will be released on July 27, 2023.
In May 2023, Jackson released “Adventures With Liyah- Walking Through the Ocean,” the latest adventure of the little girl whose name was inspired by Jackson’s own 4-year-old daughter, Valiyah.
“I long ago had the dream to write a children’s book, but when I first shared my idea it was shot down,” Jackson recalled. “About the time my daughter was born, she was the inspiration I needed to pursue my dream and push through until it was brought to life. I am just truly grateful to be able to see my dream come true. Even years later, it’s still mind blowing.”
Vallean Jackson will be a first-time participate in the Birmingham Public Library’s 2023 Local Authors Expo, slated for November this fall. She publishes her books through her own company, VX Publishing LLC.
In a Q&A with the Birmingham Public Library, Vallean Jackson talked about what inspired her books and shares how she wants to bring joy to little boys and girls in her children’s books - as well as entertainment to readers of her adult books.
BPL: Tell me about your books.
Jackson: My first was Colors At First Sight (August 2020)
Liyah is very curious, eager to learn, and loves taking adventures. This adventure explores colors we see everyday and noticing how colors are tied to so much. This helps her learn her colors as well as explore things around her, and realize what she enjoys and dislikes.
Love On Thin Ice (March 2021) is a jaw-dropping love story that leads to unexpected betrayal and love used as a weapon. As the paths of Nova Emerson and Keiontay Clark continue to cross, Nova thought that fate was showing its hand in her life and she had finally encountered her one true love.
But as Nova drops the guard of her heart, she starts to question her decision to be in a relationship with so many red flags. The urge to have to look over her shoulder starts to become second nature. Someone has made Nova their target, and this obsession is jeopardizing her success and life. Pushed past her limits, Nova is stuck in the crossfire of love and hate. Is Keiontay really her forever — or will his past and decisions become her achilles' heel?
Adventures With Liyah Presents: Learning With a Trace (September 2021) is an activity book that was created to encourage children ages 3+ and help them learn the following: their ABCs, how to write their alphabets in print of upper and lower case, their numbers (1-10), learn their name, colors, shapes, and how to count money.
In Love On Thin Ice 2 (November 2021, the drama continues to unravel in this love story and exposes some dark truths that change lives and reveal true intentions. With the gunshot leaving behind an open wound, revenge becomes the agenda for the unexpected duo to get the ultimate payback.
Tarven shows his hand that crosses the lines of friendship, and while Nova has been on a roller coaster when it comes to her love for Keiontay, he is now in the crossfire of finding his own identity. Will love fix the damage caused by the exposure of love and friendship, or become everyone’s downfall?
Love On Thin Ice 3 (November 2022) is book three in the trilogy. They say that time heals all wounds, but for the dynamic couple Keiontay and Nova, the flames of the love between them have fanned out.
Nova’s battle of standing her ground has her embracing the role of a single mother while trying to heal from a failed relationship, and conflicted with still believing that love for her is not dead. With the feeling of rejection that cut as deep as a sword, the question for Keiontay becomes if he can maneuver out of his own way to get back the love he holds dear.
But the wrath of rejection doesn’t stop there as Tarven thinks he finally has the woman he has always fought for, and Ginger refuses to let go of her heart’s desire. Her take no attitude in this trilogy reveals much anticipated consequences. And Omar works through some child hood trauma that leads to experience love that he has always craved. In the fight for love, healing, and a healthy relationship…..who will finally get their happy ending?
In Walking Through the Ocean (May 2023), Liyah is back with another adventure!
Walking Through the Ocean is the third book in the Adventures With Liyah series. With a series created to encourage adventure, being open minded to new things, and learning…in this “underwater” adventure Liyah explores ocean life, learns how to pronounce new words, and is wowed by water displays and performances. This short story is fun, playful, insightful, and will spark a good time.
BPL: What inspired you to write your books?
Jackson: My inspiration to write came from a place of seeking personal growth. I desired to find ways to express myself better as well as be able to help others. I knew I wanted to be better and also make a difference in a sense. I felt like I might couldn’t physically get to every individual that needs to know they aren’t alone or need a good story they can relate to, but my words could possibly reach them.
BPL: Who is your favorite author and why?
Jackson: Honestly, I wouldn’t say I have a favorite because every Author I encounter is almost awesome to me. They are all so unique and the ones I have met over the years really make me proud to be in a profession of like minded individuals like myself. A person with a creative mind that’s not afraid to take a chance sometimes.
BPL: What do you hope readers get out of your books?
Jackson: For my children’s books, the courage to try new things, take adventures, and most importantly find fun ways to learn as learning is possible all around us. As for my adult books, no matter how crazy what you have gone through or going through, you’re not alone and can get through it. I might be young, but I know and believe in the power of faith and prayer.
BPL: Any advice you would give for new authors or those desiring to become an author?
Jackson: My advice would be for them to write from their heart. Do not try to be like any other Author. Your unique style is what will make you distinctive, and knowing that being an Author goes beyond just putting words together. It’s a craft that truly takes time. Do not get discouraged when you don’t reach a certain word count or full chapter in a set time. Remember that good things truly do take time.
BPL: What is next for you as an Author?
Jackson: Next week (July 27, 2023), I will be releasing my first self-healing journal, It’s Time To Unpack. I have yet to decide how many more it will be, but I am more than open to continue to let God use me. Whatever He puts in me to publish, I will work my best to deliver and I aspire to also have more releases later in the year.
Here is an overview of the book: If you were to stand in the mirror and see the healed version of yourself, what are you willing to let go of to get to that healed reflection you desire? It’s Time To Unpack is a self-healing journal that was inspired by the Love On Thin Ice trilogy. The characters of the trilogy went through a lot of pain and trauma, but it was not until they reflected on their traumas that it was realized how their past and hurts were interfering with their present.
This journal was designed to help those impacted by trauma and hurt to start their healing journey. The pages are filled with prompts to encourage reflection and release, inspirational messages, affirmations, and more. It’s not about how others see us, but first how we see ourselves. Healing starts with you and this journal is the beginning to a better you.
It was be available on Amazon in paperback only July 27 and signed copies will be able to be purchased from www.valleanj.com
|Vallean Jackson's book Adventures With Liyah in the Ocean will be available in the Local Authors Section of the Central Library by August 2023. She will have more books available for checkout soon.|
Meet Author Vallean Jackson
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.
Education: Graduate of Wenonah High School and Jacksonville State University (BA in Communication and minor in Biology
About the Author: Started her journalism career in 2011 working at the Jax State campus newspaper, The Chanticleer. The past several years Jackson has been a freelance writer with various publications from newspapers to magazines across Alabama. Became an author in 2014 as a contributor in a romance anthology. Fast forward 9 years later, Jackson has self-published 6 books under her own company name, VX Publishing, including both children’s books and urban fiction. On July 27, 2023, Jackson will release her seventh book, It's Time to Unpack, her first self- healing journal.
How to reach the author:
Social media handle: @authorvalleanj on all social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram