KCK’s Dana, or Elle, Jackson writes Harlequin romance novel



“A Blues Singer to Redeem Him” ​​will be released on August 24th.


To some, she’s Dana Jackson, real estate agent, or maybe Professor Dana Jackson, if you’re her student at Saint Mary’s University in Leavenworth.

Or maybe DL Jackson to readers of young adult fiction.

But the name most likely to be successful is Elle Jackson, novelist.

The woman with multiple identities is from Kansas City, Kansas (she was Dana Carroll when she attended Sumner Academy) who reached the holy grail of novelists: a contract with Harlequin. His first book with the legendary publishing house, “A blues singer to redeem him», Will be released on August 24. She is the first black author of the Historical Harlequin romantic line.

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Author Elle Jackson wrote “A Blues Singer to Redeem Him”, set in 1925 in Kansas City, for Harlequin Historical. Courtesy of Elle Jackson

“I was in shock,” she said upon hearing the news from Harlequin. “I don’t even think I thought it was real at first.

“It was actually on my vision board from a few years ago that I wanted to write for Harlequin.”

Jackson, who lives in the Piper area of ​​Wyandotte County, will celebrate the book’s release with festivities starting at 7 p.m. on August 24 at The Guild, 1621 Locust St., with food, drink and raffles. . Clothing from the 1920s is encouraged.

That’s because the book is set during Prohibition in Kansas City, where blues club owner Lorenzo De Luca falls in love with singer Evelyn Laroque. Romance, of course, ensues, as do the obstacles posed by the Ku Klux Klan and the gangsters.

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“A Blues Singer to Redeem Him” ​​will be released on August 24th. Harlequin

Harlequin books are known to be quite racy, and Jackson’s Facebook page reads: “Elle Jackson writes naughty books.”

This may not be what you would expect from an author who cut his teeth on young adult and science fiction novels, let alone a doctorate in education and former teacher in KCK public schools and mother of two young children. But Jackson, who has also done book editing and design, is nothing but versatile.

“I see myself… as someone who writes a bit of everything,” she said.

For now, her focus is on real estate and romance fiction, having left her post in the English department at St. Mary’s University.

Jackson’s career trajectory changed as she completed a Masters of Fine Arts with a focus on popular fiction writing from 2016 to 2018 at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. She met a romance writer who inspired her. Jackson also made his first contact with the Harlequin People, who partnered with Seton Hill to establish the annual Harlequin Diverse Voices Fellowship for Popular Fiction Writing.

“So that’s when I started to think of myself as a romance writer because I realized that everything I wrote had a strong romantic element,” she said.

Jackson was a finalist for Harlequin’s Romance Include You 2019 Mentorship, which led to his book deal for “A Blues Singer to Redeem Him”.

She is working on a second book for Harlequin.

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Dan Kelly has been covering entertainment and arts news at The Star for 10 years. He previously worked for the Columbia Daily Tribune, the Miami Herald and the Louisville Courier-Journal. He was also on the journalism faculty of the University of Missouri for six years and wrote a historical novel, “Soaring with Vultures”.

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