An Interview with Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Author of the MG Historical Fiction: “WHEELS OF CHANGE:”


Title of Book:  Wheels of Change

ISBN: 978-1-939547-13-2

 From the Book Jacket: Racial intolerance, social change, sweeping progress. It is a turbulent time growing up in 1908. For twelve year old EMILY SOPER, life in Papa’s carriage barn is magic. Emily is more at home hearing the symphony of the blacksmith’s hammer, than trying to conform to the proper expectations of females. Many prominent people own Papa’s carriages. He receives an order to make one for President Theodore Roosevelt. Papa’s livelihood becomes threatened by racist neighbors, and horsepower of a different sort. Emily is determined to save Papa’s business even if she has to go all the way to the President.

An Interview with Darlene Beck-Jacobson

If you had to describe your book in two sentences, what would they be?

Life altering changes are coming for Emily Soper and her family. How can Emily decide what changes are worth fighting for?

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your current work?

One of my favorite lines comes from chapter five (Emily’s thoughts): “When I’m feeling my meanest, I sometimes wish all the people who judged folks by their skin color were struck blind.  Then would it matter?”

What were five important things that you took into consideration while writing your story?

With WOC, which is historical, SETTING was very important. I had to make the past real by choosing the right details. I also had to “tweak” the language and dialogue to reflect the way people spoke in 1908. I wanted to include important issues and topics for classroom discussion. I wanted to make it fun for kids to learn what children did back then.  And, I wanted to make the characters likeable – people everyone could relate to.

Why should readers pick up your book?

To learn about a unique period in history before electricity, machinery and pop culture invaded our lives.  What did kids do for fun without TV, radio, computers, telephones, or electricity?  What did their parents do?

What genres do you prefer to read?   I love reading many genres, especially historical, mystery and contemporary.  Which do you enjoy writing in?  I write picture books and Middle Grade, but my voice seems best suited for the latter.  Whenever I attempt to “break out” into YA, I find it hard to write authentically. I guess I’m really a 12 year old at heart!

What five things would you have with you at all times if you had to be prepared to take a trip at the drop of a hat?

A notebook and pencils, a camera, water bottle, credit card, lipstick.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?   

I’d definitely want to be able to fly.  To be able to soar above the treetops and view the world from up high is an amazing feat.  In my next life, I want to come back as a bird. 

What footprint do you want to leave behind in this world?

One of kindness to others, caring for God’s creation (our world), and using my gifts to improve the world around me. I hope to leave my small corner of the world a bit better than I found it.

Thank you so much, Darlene for your insights!

Booksalmagundi gives this book 5 out of 5 stars! * * * * *