Jackson is the author of As You Wish (Harper Collins, Sept. 2009) and Sisters Red (Little, Brown, June 2010)
I think Jackson was the first author to ever friend me of her own accord (on Goodreads way back in the day, followed by Lisa Mantchev and Michelle Zink). I hadn't been on Goodreads for very long, and was just starting to stretch my legs in the YA community. I was ecstatic. I couldn't believe an author would friend ME! (instead of the other way around.) I had been to a few book signings of various authors, but none seemed to really take time to talk to their fans, so I assumed all authors were like that. I started following Jackson's blog and Youtube channel. She talked about Twitter on both, so I thought I'd give Twitter a try. Being on Twitter opened so many doors for me in the YA community, and I have Jackson to thank for originally getting me involved in it.
I was able to meet Jackson at Twicon last year (Yes, I went to Twicon. Don't judge me). She came to speak on a panel about the road to getting published along with Mary who worked for Harper Collins. It was amazing to be able to meet her. She talks all the time about how awkward she is, but I didn't think she was that awkward. ;) She was sweet and funny (and has the most amazing luminous hair you've ever seen). She answered questions and then did a book signing for As You Wish. I was in the line to purchase my book when she said, "Is Stephanie here? Hey Stephanie... are you still here?" I froze. My immediate thought was that I did something wrong. Ha! I raised my hand meekly and she hands something to me, "Here's my room key, my room number is xx. Will you go and get another box of books for me?" So I go to Jackson's room, find her box of books (which wasn't light, by the way), and bring it back to the panel. I get in the line again and she signs my book, saying,
"Hey Stephanie! You rock so much for fighting You Tube battles and running to hotel rooms. You win at life!!! -Jackson Pearce"
(The You Tube thing is a long story which I won't get into, but is hilarious and awkward and funny.)
We ended up connecting via Twitter later in the day and I met her and Mary for dinner at the crappy, expensive hotel restaurant where we talked a little more in depth about her getting published. I probably asked her some stupid, random questions that I don't even remember anymore and looked like an idiot (I was at freaking Twicon after all). I told her I was working on my first novel-length piece and I remember her giving me encouragement to keep at it.
Jackson has given me so much advice over the past year. I can't thank her enough for the positive influence she's had on me as a writer. It's honestly probably because of her that I started writing again in the first place. So thank you, Jackson. :)