A Conversation with David Jackson

David Jackson has an Honours degree in psychology and a Masters in business. He is an experienced company director and project management professional with over 25 years of experience, delivering multi-billion pound projects across the nuclear, oil and gas, renewable energy and bio-mass fields, both in the UK and abroad. David is a care experienced adult, having spent his first 16 years in local authority care. His book now forms part of social work recommended reading at a number of universities and social work departments, and is receiving acclaim from both care experienced people and care professionals alike.

Take an eye-opening voyage into the harrowing world of 1960s Local Authority childcare. A world of pain, suffering and abuse, systematically inflicted upon defenceless children, by coercive predatory adults. It was a world of unbridled suffering, and relentless pain.

This is the story of one child who survived

‘…Harrowing, Brutal and Truthful!  Buckle up and read Snowballs heart wrenching account of a life that no child should ever experience- prepare to be shocked to the core, be ready to feel every emotion…’ (Brenda Lee)

This biography was extremely thought provoking and it really made me consider how sheltered we are to the shocking events and experiences of Looked After Children. I gave it a smashing five star rating on Goodreads, and will be recommending it to to others in the future! (Book Blogger GNTxREADs)

I’m thrilled and delighted to welcome author David Jackson aka Snowball to the blog to answer some questions about his autobiographical depiction of a child in care in his debut novel Oi.

Tell us of your journey as a writer.

It’s a short one really.  Writing was always something I wanted to do, but never found the time for. One day it just seemed to be the right time, I started writing and couldn’t stop.  It really was that simple.

What made you choose to write about care experience?

There is a growing need for the issue of care to be understood, and the issues of the past, present and future to be better appreciated, managed, and strategised for the common good.  Children in care are a forgotten, and often unwanted sub-culture in society. Their needs, desires, aspirations and futures must be brought into mainstream society, planning and policy.  Children in care, have for too long been seen as bad kids, when the reality is that the greater majority are victims, not perpetrators. Societal thinking about children in care has to change. Writing the book was an attempt to add to the body of knowledge that will hopefully drive change in the future.

Do you have any personal experience with the care system, fostering, children’s homes etc?

Yes.  My book is all about my 17 year experiences of the childcare system.  They were cold, lonely harsh times. Often brutal and degrading, but like many others I survived and thrived.

Orphans, those in foster care or children’s homes, often feel they are stereotyped by their past. How aware of this were you whilst creating your characters?

It wasn’t really an issue for me in writing the book. It is based on fact. These characters real, and the events too real for comfort. The issue for me was, what to leave out and who to leave out.

What is the meaning of the title?

It’s just a reference to the commonly held terminology of the time. Wordage that as a child I heard and was called.

What are you currently working on? What can we look forward to reading?

I am writing two books at the moment, though hitting a bit of writing block. The two book strategy stops me getting bored, though it clearly slows down the finished product.

What #diverse characters do you think are missing from literature?

I think care experienced characters are missing entirely.  I can’t think of a single mainstream book or film, where the focus has been upon a care experienced character and all that being one means.  My book is being turned into a film, and so we will be addressing that, but in general, society has a stereotype of us, that it doesn’t really want to address.

If you could recommend one #diverse book for your readers, what would it be?

My own….LOL!!

Who is your favourite literary character from childhood and why?

I never really had access to reading material, beyond comics and the occasional Christmas annual that would surface.  There was no investment in our education.  Nobody really cared enough and so we missed out on the wonderment of literature.

What one piece of advice would you give young people leaving the care system today?

To believe in themselves and forget everything they’ve been told about their lack of life chances.

Thanks to David for the interview and to UK Book Publishing, for the review copy of Oi. 

Find David on Twitter: @OYFtheBook

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