Pump Up Your Book Chats with Dr. Jackie Cogswell, Author of ‘Super Luke Faces His Bully’
Dr. Jackie Chirco Cogswell is a family physician, wife, mother, former school teacher, and now author of a series of Christian children’s novels, the GIGGLEHEART ADVENTURE SERIES. Writing Christian books and reading the Bible has become her passion.
In recent years, Dr. Jackie has been led to teach children of all ages how to prevent and stop bullying. As a Christian mother, the issue of bullying became very personal to her when her child was bullied in elementary school. Through the many struggles her son had with bullies, Dr. Jackie learned from firsthand experience how to tackle bullying from a Christian perspective. SUPER LUKE FACES HIS BULLY was inspired by her son’s personal struggle and the good Lord, “Who equips us for every battle and gives us strength.”
Visit Dr. Jackie only at www.giggleheart.com.
On Super Luke Faces His Bully!
Q: Can you tell us why you wrote your book?
The seeds to write this book were planted in my heart by my son, who started getting bullied in the second grade! These seeds grew and took root as my family witnessed how God transformed some of my son’s most hurtful experiences into victories! Through prayer and bringing the bullies parents to the table, we were able to witness some incredible heart changes that only God could accomplish. These experiences were so extraordinary that these seeds of passion to write grew and Super Luke Faces His Bully! was birthed by God’s grace.
Q: Which part of the book was the hardest to write?
Probably the most challenging part was spending too much time re-reading and re-editing the book.
Q: Does your book have an underlying message that readers should know about?
Yes, the underlying message is that bully victims need to trust that caring adults will help them when they speak up! Fear often prevents victims from speaking up or getting help.
Fear is the spark that ignites flames of bullying. Bullies thrive on fear while many victims slowly choke on it. Jesus Christ puts out the flames of fear and bully-proofs our hearts when we put our TRUST in HIM!
This deep message is written in a fun-loving and relatable way so that children can connect with the characters and learn to be brave enough to speak up when they or someone else is being abused.
Q: Do you remember when the writing bug hit?
It all began about seven years ago when I first started studying the Bible. At that time, God somehow seemed to have “flipped a switch” in my imagination and starting flooding my mind with Word pictures (“visual slices” or “fragments” of stories). These Word pictures would come to mind when I least expected them, like when I was observing and spending time with my kids. For a while, whenever my daughter opened her mouth, I wrote down another Word picture that came to mind; this annoyed her! I was unsure how all the pieces would fit together but I knew that I had to capture the thoughts as they came and I wrote them down. In my wildest dreams, I never thought of writing a story!
Prior to that point, I struggled with creative writing to the point that a root canal seemed more appealing! But, God changed all of that. After a while, these thoughts and Word pictures were connected and GiggleHeart Adventures were born.
Q: What’s the most frustrating thing about becoming a published author and what’s the most rewarding?
The most frustrating part is the book promotional aspect of getting the word out about my books.
The most rewarding aspect of my work is receiving feedback from readers who feel that the messages of the books speak to their hearts in fun and amazing ways.
Q: Do you have a writing tip you’d like to share?
Sometimes, when I get a “writing block,” I will work out on my treadmill while I pray. This often gets my thoughts flowing again while burning carbs! It is a win-win situation!
On Family and Home:
Q: Would you like to tell us about your home life? Where you live? Family? Pets?
Although I have been a family physician since 1994, I put my medical career “on hold” when I had my third child. I felt the need to be a stay-at-home-mom for “a while.” The intent was to return to work when my baby was about 6 months old. Well, my baby is now SEVEN years old, and I am still on “maternity leave!” During this time God has captured my heart and given me a hunger to learn more about Him and to write fun-loving Christian children’s books. It has been such an adventure following God’s path for my life!
My husband is amazing and so are our three children. We live in South Eastern Michigan. When we are home together, our house if filled with noise, energy, and lots of giggles! But, the moment the kids are off to school, the house is quiet and that is my time to turn on my music, pray, read, write, and “occasionally” get distracted enough by dirty dishes, laundry and dust to clean!
Regarding pets, we have two guinea pigs, one gecko and a fish. My house is also filled with plants. I enjoy watching plants grow; almost as much as watching my kids grow.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to write at home?
In our home we have a “family office.” There are four built in desk spaces in our den. There is one space for each child (so that there are no excuses for not having personal room to do homework) and one space is for me. When no one else is home, I enjoy writing at my desk with a hot cup of tea J.
Q: What do you do to get away from it all?
I either get on the treadmill or go for a walk. Sometimes I walk laps around our local shopping mall. This works best when I leave my money at home!
I also enjoy spending time meeting my husband for lunch. One of my favorite things to do is get a kid sitter and go on dates with my husband. We usually go to dinner and often end up at a local coffee house where we spend time talking, reading or writing if the inspiration hits at that point.
Q: Were you the kind of child who always had a book in her/his hand?
Yes, I always wanted to read. I was the “nerd” of my family!
Q: Can you remember your favorite book?
Believe it or not, I mostly enjoyed reading the World Book Encyclopedia. I would often hide from my family so that I could escape into the World Books and imagine myself in some of the foreign countries that I would read about. I was especially fascinated with the oriental cultures and customs. I also was captivated by history, science.
Non-fiction books were my favorite books to read.
Q: Do you remember writing stories when you were a child?
No, creative writing was never something that came natural to me as a child.
On Book Promotion:
Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promoting your book?
First, I got several people to review the book.
Q: Are you familiar with the social networks and do you actively participate?
Yes, I have been networking with Giggleheart fans on Facebook since 2007. Sadly, I am not as familiar with other areas of social media. It was a pretty amazing feat for a former “computer-phobe” to have learned how to use Facebook.
Q: How do you think book promotion has changed over the years?
Technology has changed the face of book promotion tremendously! The internet has made book marketing so much more efficient and cost effect. Now with just a few clicks of the key board, an author can get a message about their books into the eyes and minds of thousands and maybe even millions of readers.
On Other Fun Stuff:
Q: If you had one wish, what would that be?
I would wish for more than one wish!
But my greatest wish is that my books could touch the hearts and lives of millions of readers so they can see, know, and understand that God can change our hearts and lives in amazing ways if we place our faith in Him! That would truly make my heart giggle and grow in joy!
Q: If you could be anywhere in the world other than where you are right now, where would that place be?
I would love to be on a beach in Hawaii eating something deliciously chocolate. But any place with palm trees, sand, chocolate and lots of sunshine would be fine too.
Q: Your book has just been awarded a Pulitzer. Who would you thank?
I would first thank God for giving me the ability and pleasure to write these stories. Next, I would thank my husband for supporting me and bringing peace to me and my computer when it would go bonkers so that I could complete my work.