Five Things You Didn’t Know About Jack from Jack’s Dreams Come to Life by Sara Jackson
The character Jack in my book is based on my real life dog, Jack – an Akita/Shepherd mix. My parents bought me this puppy in a pet store in Truckee, Lake Tahoe one Spring 16 years ago. And ever since he has been a constant joy, frustration and always full of surprises. The story in the book actually originated from a short story I wrote two years ago called “Jack’s Trip.”
The story was based on a real life experience I had with him coinciding with my first time driving by myself up to my family’s house in Lake Tahoe. Jack has always been notorious for hating the car, and so, was chosen as my co-pilot that weekend. He did nothing but whine and cry and switch positions the entire 31/2-hour drive up.
So, I came up with this story of a “calming” spray that would help make Jack a better passenger, but it had its side effects. It caused these hallucinogenic dreams, where he was being chased by a giant squirrel, his squeak toys came to life and his rawhide bone came alive and wrapped itself around his nose. Later on I had bought an actual calming spray to use on Jack for our next trip, and it worked perfectly.
He slept the entire way up. I could hear him dreaming, so you never know, maybe life was imitating art? The story had made the rounds in my writer’s group and everybody kept telling me that it would make a cute children’s book. So I edited it down to a 600-word picture book. A lot of Jack’s dreams in the book are based on his favourite things, which was to chase squirrels, dig holes, and play with his squeak toys. He loved lying out in the sun under the tree near our barn.
Now, more than ever, this book means a lot to me, because on 4/15 of this year, we had to say goodbye to Jack. After almost 17 years with him, it was time to let him go peacefully. And I hope, that he is having as much fun in the afterlife, as he did in my story.
Professional author Sara Jackson is a graduate of Vallejo High School. She also earned a Bachelors degree in screenwriting from the Academy Of Art University in San Francisco. After graduating, she became a freelance writer for The American Canyon Eagle. Ms. Jackson is a regular contributor of Gorezone Magazine, Animal Wellness and Fangoria. Sara has written numerous book and movie reviews for Scars Magazine. She has also written opinion articles for the Times Herald, most of which address the issue of animal rights and politics. In January 2007, she won first prize in the Soul Making Literary Contest with her nonfiction piece, “Necessary Procedures.” She is working on a horror script for director Rob Schmidt, has another children’s book at a publisher’s and is in the process of writing a collection of short horror stories.