S.L Jackson - Rabbits in an Urban Jungle
S.L. Jackson, an Urban Fantasy Author, from Inkster, MI, who now resides in metro-Detroit first entered the publishing scene in 2019 with the novella ‘Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle’. He’s an autoworker, a community activist skilled in the art of urban jungle survival, a podcaster, and a former entertainer and entertainment education provider. You can always find him reading, watching, and listening to interviews, helping others achieve their goals, and busying with anything that challenges his creativity. “Writing is my need to escape,” Jackson says. Even though his first novella ‘Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle’ is considered an Urban Fantasy he prefers not to place himself in a box and stunt the growth of his creativity by limiting himself to one genre. He’s the creator of the hashtag #respecturbanauthors. He’s been nominated for several awards that include Feathered Quill Awards, Ippy/Elit Awards, Top Shelf Magazine Awards, and Top Shelf Book Cover Awards. His podcast “The Connected Experience” is a cultural and lifestyle show. Jackson is currently working on a comic book and cartoon series for ‘Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle’. His plans also include more books, awards, and his books placed in libraries across the world. As our Author of the Day, Jackson tells us all about his book.
Please give us a short introduction to what Animal Instincts is about.
Hello, I am S.L Jackson, debut urban fantasy author from Inkster, Michigan. Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle is my first novella. Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle is about a family of outlaw rabbits who are a fixture in the criminal underworld in the jungle. There is romance, family, relationships, death and more.
What inspired you to write a collection of creative stories based on the lives of animals?
The foundation for Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle was inspired by a 4th grade English assignment. Since I was introduced to creative writing, I can recall this story being in my head. While growing up, I always looked at animals and wondered how they lived when they were with other animals. I imagined they had their own worlds and somehow crime was involved.
Tell us more about the Jackson rabbits. What makes them so special?
The Jackson rabbits are special because the main characters are identical twins. Being an identical twin myself, I pulled from personal scenarios to make the experience relatable. The entire underworld has unconditional love for the Jackson rabbits- Mama, Poppa, Leaps and Jumps. The twins are well protected because of the respect their parents earned.
Did you plan from the start to bundle this into a book?
Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle is so much more than a book. The novella was just the foundation and I am using this as the basis to more creative content. I have an animated series and an audio movie in the works. My daughter, Shelby, is releasing a coloring book, toys and other merchandise based on Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle. This content will live on in so many ways through so many different ventures. This entire project is self-financed so no one can stop my vison.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am a rather good cook, I can draw, rather good at gardening. Whatever I put my mind to I can do. I am walking inspiration.
What is your favorite line from the book and why?
My favorite line from “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” is “You can’t slick a can of oil”. I remember hearing my grandmother say that line as a child and it always stuck with me. It is an old saying meaning; you think your slick, it is always someone slicker.
Why did you pick an urban jungle as the backdrop for your stories?
I picked the urban jungle as the backdrop because I wanted to speak about crime from an animal prospective. “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” is the re-branding of animals and jungles everywhere. People will never look at animals the same, especially rabbits.
You have worked as an entertainer, podcaster, and community activist. How have these experiences influenced your writing?
Gaining experiences through being so many things helped open my eyes to a bigger world. Being exposed to a bigger world tapped more into my creative side. Once my creative juices started to flow it was no stopping my pen, I have always been a writer in some form. So, the transition to becoming a published author was natural and easy. That transition lead to me becoming an award-winning author my first time out. (“Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” has won the GOLD MEDAL for the 2020 Elit Awards “Short Story Fiction”)
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about
I kind of live in the woods so to speak, so the cover for, “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” was inspired by what I see when I look out my front window. It has been plenty times I have walked out my front door and seen a family of rabbits, or possum’s, the list goes on. So, I contacted a graphic designer and told him my ideal, and the cover was created.
Why, would you say, does the world need a bit of escapism in the form of animal stories?
The times we are living in are different now, our world as we were used to has changed, there is no such thing as normal anymore. I wanted people to be able to tap into their imagination and let go of all the world has to offer at this moment. What better way than to become apart of another world. People see animals all the time, they love animals, so I wanted to give the reader a chance to dive into their world and escape from our world even if just for 100 pages. But I did not humanize the animals to the point where they are driving cars etc. They are all still animals.
When starting on a new story, what is the first thing you do?
When starting a new story, the first thing I do is research! I make sure there is nothing close to what I am setting out to create. After that I ask myself is this something that the world needs and how many ways will I be able to give this content to the world. After that I start my creative process. Once I start, I tell myself not to stop until I have the best possible content to present.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
My writing habits are as such; During the morning I take notes and write down ideas. During the afternoon I revise those notes in my head while walking or bike riding. Once the night time comes and I wine down, I lite some sage, go into my writing space and start writing, I never time myself or set a stopping point, just let it all come out. Read over it for a few days and start that process over again in a few days.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, the next phase of “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” is the animated series. We are currently working with HB Comicz on bringing the vision to life. Timeline wise we will be debuting the trailer for the animated series in the next 120 days.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Anyone interested in learning more about S.L Jackson and “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle” can visit my website www.1sljackson.com you can order books, merch, etc. Respect Urban Authors. Thank you for having me, I want for my brother, what I want for myself”