Inspired Author Series: Jacquelyn Mitchard

Submitted by Mike Moritz '11 on March 11, 2011

If you have ever heard of Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club then you might know that The Deep End of the Ocean was the first book ever to join the prestigious list. Jacquelyn Mitchard, who is the author of this best-selling novel and an MFA in Creative Writing faculty member here at Fairfield, read from her upcoming book titled Second Nature: A Love Story on the evening of March 2nd, 2011.

After Professor Michael White’s humble introduction, Mitchard came to the podium in front of an audience of students and the Fairfield County community in the BCC Oak Room. Mitchard recalled an early moment in her life that was unlike any other. She remembered watching her mother answer the telephone and just gradually sink against the wall, hand over face, sobbing. There had been a terrible fire at an elementary school in Chicago, where Mitchard grew up. The fire claimed the lives of over 90 people and Mitchard has since thought about it her entire life.

Second Nature: A Love Story will be published this September and is about a young girl named Sicily Coyne who survives a fire at her school and must deal with insurmountable obstacles from an early age on. Mitchard read her book with such passion that you could easily tell she had experienced an event like this before.

Mitchard currently lives in Wisconsin with her second husband and nine children. After becoming a widow she took some days off from writing; however writing is practically like breathing to her. After she graduated from college at the age of 19 she started writing nearly every day. Mitchard told the audience that finding credible sources is extremely important as the information about her on Wikipedia is incorrect. Mitchard is a person who has dealt with tragedy her entire life and to hear that emotion and passion in her writing was truly inspiring.

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