Welcome to the RPLA Showcase
2016 Published Middle-Grade Fiction
Jacqueline by Jackie Minniti
In Jacqueline, a tale based on a true story, family, faith, unusual friendships, and the resiliency of the human spirit are set against the backdrop of occupied France in 1944.
At the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Award Banquet, author Jackie Minniti won First Place in the Published Middle-Grade Fiction category. Each year at the RPLA Banquet, authors experience the joy of earning accolades for all the hard work that is often done in the privacy of the home with little to no recognition. We’re showcasing the best of the best with our First Place winners spotlight. Not only does RPLA recognize extraordinary talent, but we’re giving readers an opportunity to sample excerpts from the winning stories.
Click the link to read a sample:
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Q & A with Jackie Minniti
Q: Where do you get your story ideas?
A: My story ideas seem to pop up as a result of something I experience that plants itself in my mind and becomes an itch that I can only scratch by writing it down. My first novel, Project June Bug, was based on my experiences as a teacher. Jacqueline was inspired by my dad’s story, one that he told me so often, it became part of our family lore. The stories I’ve written for Chicken Soup for the Soul were all based on things that actually happened to me.
Q: Anything in particular about your award-winning RPLA entry that you’d like to share?
A: Jacqueline is based on an experience my father (a WWII vet) had while stationed in Rennes, France with the 127th General Hospital shortly after D-Day. It was the only war story Dad was willing to share. Not many people know the picture on the cover of Jacqueline is of my dad and the real Jacqueline. Since the publisher was unable to locate her to get permission to use her likeness, the cover artist photoshopped out her face and replaced it with mine from a photo taken when I was her age. Since my dad passed away last year, the cover has a very special meaning for me. Placing that book in his hands on his 99th birthday was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Q: Whom do you credit with inspiring your writing?
A: I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, so I guess it started with my parents who surrounded me with books and encouraged me to read and write. But I never saw myself as a potential writer until my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Kalyn, read some of my poems and stories and encouraged me to write more. At the end of the year, she signed my autograph book and wrote that I was “gifted, poetic and practical.” It really impressed me that a teacher saw me in that light, and it was the first time I began to think of myself as actually having the ability to become a writer.
Q: Any tips for new writers?
A: Don’t give up. When I was going through the submission process, I’d often get discouraged and wonder why I was putting myself through all this aggravation instead of walking on the beach. But it was worth all the frustration and stress to finally hold that published book in my hands. It’s a hard, bumpy road, but if you believe in yourself, develop a thick skin and persevere, there’s a good chance you’ll reach your goal.
Thank you for sharing, Jackie, and congratulations! Visit her website: www.jackieminniti.com
*When you purchase this book from the Amazon Smile link provided, you are promoting literacy throughout Florida. You pay no extra cost for the book. The Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to Florida Writers Foundation.
For more details about FWF, visit www.floridawritersfoundation.com
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