Jacquelyn Eubanks

Author of THE LAST SUMMER Series

Fox 2 News Detroit Interview, Book Signing, and National Readathon Day

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Feb• 15•15

On Saturday, January 24, 2015, I had the privilege of waking up before the crack of dawn in order to attend a 8:20 am interview on Fox 2 News Detroit. I’ll admit that I was very excited and nervous – my stomach was in so many knots that I couldn’t even eat breakfast! (Luckily my mom and I stopped for bagels on the way home from the interview.)

Everyone at the studio was really nice. I got to spend some time in a dressing room known as “the Green Room”, and I had a microphone fitted to me. Finally, I was lead to the room where the morning news is filmed. I was seated in front of some cameras and I was so anxious that I barely spoke a word that morning. As I sat in that chair during the commercial break, I just closed my eyes, took deep breaths, tried to calm down, and prayed.


Thankfully, in August of 2013 I took a class hosted by media expert Shawne Duperon called “Media Boot Camp”, which prepared me well for this interview.

The only thing I can say to explain how it felt is this: while I was being interviewed, I did not allow myself to think about how this was live, or about how if I messed up, I’d look like a fool in front of a huge audience. (It didn’t help that the day before the interview, my friend showed me a video clip of a Drake & Josh episode where Josh totally messes up giving the weather report on live TV, and said, “This is gonna be you!” She was totally kidding, of course.) Instead of thinking about all of those things, I tried to be fully present, just answering the interview questions as they came. And somehow, it all worked out. You can view the full interview here.


Once the interview was over and we’d stopped for Tim Horton’s, my mom and I headed to Ecco Family Bookstore for the afternoon. From noon until 4pm I had a book signing, and tons of people came in – ranging in age from elementary school kids to retired adults – to talk to me, ask me questions about writing and publishing, and grab a copy of my books. It was incredible. Talking to the kids was the best part of my day, for sure. It’s astonishing how many children and teens are interested in writing, whether it be a hobby or a career. Reading is so important, and I’m proud to share my love of books with others. You can view photos of my day here.


That’s why, for the month of March, I’ll be travelling to different libraries, middle and high schools in the Metro-Detroit area, giving creative writing workshops and speeches to promote literacy. March is National Reading Month, so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to make an impact on my community. For more information on my programs, or to schedule event, please see Inspire Your Audience. 

National Readathon Day is January 24th

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Jan• 22•15

This Saturday, January 24th is National Readathon Day! To celebrate the event, I will be spending the afternoon (noon to 4pm) at ECCO Family Bookstore in New Baltimore, Michigan.  This amazing bookstore is run by volunteers and profits go to feed the hungry in our community.  I am so excited about participating in their celebration! For more info, visit their FaceBook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/ECCO-Family-Bookstore/138887006130606.

Before heading off to the event at ECCO, I will be a guest on Fox 2 Weekend.  This morning show is on Channel 2 Fox in the Metro Detroit area.  I will be on sometime between 8am and 9am in the morning.  I hope you can tune in for the show.

I would also like to send a special thank you to Bette Corrothers of the Voice.  She wrote a wonderful column about all of the exciting things happening in our area.  One of the first things listed are the National Readathon Day events for our area. Check out and comment on her article at http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2015/01/21/opinion/doc54b92bd43cec6413113247.txt

National Readathon Day is really about taking some time to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes, READING.  Come out and join me or just spend the afternoon curled up in a comfy chair immersed in your favorite novel!

Miami, Readers’ Favorite Award Ceremony, and Other Things You May Have Missed

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Dec• 23•14

First of all, I know it’s been a terribly long time since I last posted (I’m afraid I’ve been too busy doing senior things like touring colleges, taking exams, senior pictures, so on and so forth), but for anyone who was wondering about my experiences at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, I recommend you check out all sorts of videos and photos on my Facebook page here, or my Instagram account here. I tried something new this time around by discussing my Interlochen experiences using a series of video blogs. But overall, it was an amazing trip, and I learned so much and made so many new friends.

Aside from Interlochen, a very exciting thing occurred: my book, The Last Time, won a Readers’ Favorite Bronze Award so I flew down to Miami back in November for the award ceremony. I arrived Thursday night and then went to a meet-and-greet for the award-winning authors. I met so many wonderful people while in Miami!

The next day, Friday, I spent at the Miami International Book Fair. I walked around, looked at books, spontaneously interviewed random kids (videos on my Facebook page), ate an arepa (which is like two pancakes made from corn, with melted cheese in between), got rained on, visited the Readers’ Favorite booth where my book was on display, and even got some advice from New York Times best-selling author Cinda Williams Chima (author of the Heir Chronicles).

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After that, I went to some short seminars hosted by Readers’ Favorite, where I acquired tips on how to self-promote your book, as well as advice on searching for an agent.

The next day, Saturday, my mom and I spent time sightseeing Miami (which, by the way, is gorgeous). We spent most of the morning at Key Biscayne, where we hiked through a tropical forest (no joke, it basically was a jungle), climbed to the top of a lighthouse, and then walked along the beach. It was so warm and beautiful. I wish I could go back!

Key Biscayne

After that, we decided to tour a historic mansion called the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. I don’t really know how to describe it, but it was huge and so detailed. The architecture and landscaping amazed me. I almost wish I could go back in time and visit the mansion in its hayday, become a guest at one of the parties it held.

DSC00797 Vizcaya DSC00807

Finally, that night I attended the Readers’ Favorite Award Ceremony, where I received a bronze medal for my book. It was a magical, enchanting night. Just perfect in every way. And I met so many incredible people. Just a brief list includes authors Eddie Price (Widder’s Landing), Linda Watkins (Mateguas Island), Jalpa Williby (Chaysing Dreams trilogy), Hayley Rose (Today I Feel…children’s book), Alinka Rutkowska (Maya & Filippo children’s books), Eran Gadot (Supernatural Hero), Kelly K. Lavender (Beautiful Evil Winter), Kit Lyman (Satan’s Garden), Lita Burke (Wrath: Prequel to Tredan’s Bane), Robert M. Myers (Spirit Driven Evangelism), and fellow young author S. G. Night (Attrition). I highly recommend you check out these books, they are all written by excellent authors. I also had an on-camera interview and an interview by some teen girls who were interns for a newspaper. It was so cool.

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Overall, the trip was amazing. The weather, although rainy at times, was warm. Our hotel was really nice. The scenery was lovely. I hope I can go back again someday.

For more pictures, videos, or info on my trip to Miami, please check out my Facebook page or my Instagram page.

Mission Trip, Photo Shoot, and Summer Camp

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Jul• 12•14

Hello, everyone!

So, I just wanted to slide in a new blog post before I leave for summer camp for three weeks. I’m going to be studying creative writing at one of the world’s top summer arts camps, and I couldn’t be more excited (and nervous)! I watched quintessential camp movies this week, like Camp Rock and Raise Your Voice and The Parent Trap (the one with Lindsay Lohan). I’m not really sure what to expect at camp, but I can’t help envisioning kids spontaneously breaking out in song or someone tapping their drumsticks to a nonexistent beat on every available surface. We’ll just have to see :)

On the other hand, I got back a week ago from a mission trip to West Virginia. It was pretty amazing…I made so many awesome, new friends and enjoyed every moment of the breathtaking scenery. All week long, my group worked on putting drywall and siding on this man’s brand new house; this man, Mr. G, was in dire need of a new house, and I’m thankful I got to partake in building his future home. On the last day (4th of July, my favorite holiday, ESPECIALLY when combined with Christmas to create my ultimate favorite holiday: Christmas in July), my group went white water rafting – it was incredibly beautiful and exhilarating! I even got to jump off a 40-foot-high rock cliff into the river. It was so much fun, something I know I can never forget. Here are just a few pictures from my time spent in West Virginia:

mission trip 1mission trip 3

mission trip 4mission trip 5

Not to mention, this past week (once I got home, that is) I hung out with my friend Sara and went thrift store shopping for vintage clothes – we plan on having a costume party at the end of the summer, most likely The Great Gatsby themed. Then a few days later, my friend Becky and I dressed up in my new costumes and did a fun, Last Summer-themed photo shoot around the town that inspired Valia Springs, the fictional town in my book! To check out the full photo album on Facebook, click here.

Just a few of my favorite photos from this spontaneous excursion include: Photo Shoot 1photo shoot 2photo shoot 3

Well, that’s all for now! I’ll be taking photos, journaling, and making video blogs for y’all to enjoy while I’m at camp.

First Drafts & John Hughes Films

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Jun• 24•14

Hey, everyone!

So, for starters I just wanted to let you all know that the first draft of The Last Chance, book 3 of The Last Summer Series, is finished! Now it’s going to the editor’s (and will probably require a few rewrites. I just know that this book is The One…the one that I’ll send out to literary agents and get traditionally published).

On another note, I’d like to talk about something very near and dear to my heart: John Hughes movies, specifically his teen movies from the mid-1980′s. My dad and I are avid fans of his, and I’ve recently watched several documentaries on the legendary director/producer/writer. You may recognize his films:

Sixteen CandlesThe Breakfast ClubFerris Beuller's Day OffPretty in PinkThese are just a few of my favorites – they are timeless classics in the sense that they revolutionized the way teens were viewed in the media. John Hughes, who was admittedly more of a writer than director, had this connection with teens; he was able to capture their struggles, personalities, and passions perfectly. I wish I could’ve met him…he tragically passed away in 2009.  His films covered topics from the worst sixteenth birthday to detention, senior prom, and ditching school for the perfect day (I plan on having my own Jacky Eubanks’ Day Off when I’m a senior, but that’s another story) – using universal themes such as love, growing up, stereotypes, and friendship.

The point is, my goal is to be the John Hughes of young adult novels. I want to write books that address pressing social issues that teens face on a daily basis, such as bullying, abuse, divorce, self-harm, drugs, depression, eating disorders, sexuality, pregnancy, faith, and a struggle to find identity and hope for the future. A lot of my future writing projects (they were in the works but are now on hold) have to do with really controversial topics – my goal is not to offend anyone, but to bring to light what it really is like to be a teen in the 21st century. And who could write an exposé better than a 21st century teen themselves? If John Hughes can do it in his films, I can do it with my books. It is a writer’s duty, after all, to write what they know and record history as they experienced it in their lifetime.

And so I’d like to conclude with a note about The Last Chance: it is not quite a coming-of-age novel, simply because the main character is an adult (so I suppose it could be classified as a New Adult novel). It is the hardest project I’ve yet to take on, simply because of the massive amount of conflicts and themes throughout the story. It deals with death, depression, identity crises, love versus lust, bitterness, vengeance, forgiveness, friendship, dreams deferred, alcoholism, sexism, and isolation…and I hope that, by the grace of God, I can publish this book in confidence, knowing that John Hughes himself would’ve been impressed.

The Last Time Available Now! Plus Birthdays, Book Awards, Contests, and a Sneak Peek

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - May• 30•14

So I just thought I needed to announce officially that The Last Time is available for purchase on Amazon.com, Kindle, BarnesandNoble.com, and soon Nook and iBooks!

And to coincide with this, I have some exciting information! Currently The Last Time is Editor’s Pick on MissLiterati.com – there is an author’s interview, book review, and even a contest to win a free copy of both books in The Last Summer Series! I HIGHLY recommend entering the contest. Who doesn’t love to win free stuff?! And besides, I will personally sign the winning books – what do you have to lose? :)

Not only all of that exciting stuff happened, but also The Last Time won ‘finalist’ in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Book Awards for the category Preteen Fiction!

National Indie Excellencce Award


How cool is that?! I just about screamed my head off in excitement when my mom told me about the award! I couldn’t be happier. It’s amazing to know that all of the hard work I poured into this book – all of the time, emotions, memories, experiences, and tears – paid off.

And on top of all that, IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY! I am officially seventeen! The day couldn’t have gone better. My mom let me sleep in an extra hour, and I woke up to the sounds of birds chirping and a shard of sunlight piercing through a crack in the window shade. I rolled up the shade and was blinded by the sun, filling the gorgeous blue sky. It was seventy degrees and perfect – I couldn’t have asked for better weather. Then I began the day by taking a shower, doing my hair (I went for a crimpy/wavy style), and listening to music from the 1960′s (more on that later). I danced around my room, singing to songs like “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” (to check out my official 1960′s playlist, click here) while trying to figure out which outfit to wear. When I finished getting ready, I baked two dozen sugar cookies to take to school to share with my friends (fyi, I LOVE baking). Then my mom made me go to school, which was okay because I arrived just before lunchtime and got out of my morning classes. At lunch, my friends and I went outside and played softball in the field behind our school. After school I attended a two and a half hour softball practice (which, for the record, was exhausting but fun) and I finished up the day by going to dinner with my family at the Italian restaurant called Buca di Beppos. I love going to Buca’s – Italian food is my absolute favorite, and the restaurant has this adorable vintage feel that really inspired Salvatore Anetrini’s restaurant in The Last Summer. By the time I got home that night, it was pretty late, so I settled into bed and read a chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird, my favorite book of all time. It was just the most perfect birthday ever because of its simplicity. It really is the simple things in life that make the best memories.

On a final note, I wanted to express how I’ve been in a huge 1960′s fad lately – mainly because The Last Chance, book 3 in The Last Summer Series, takes place during the year 1961. That’s why I’ve been obsessing over ’60′s music and wanting to attend retro eateries. I’m even considering cutting my hair in a ’60′s fashion! Why all of a sudden this craze? Well, the creative juices have been flowing for The Last Chance. And in lieu of that, I’d like to present a collage I made which incorporates the main themes, tone, mood, and events that take place in my latest novel. Let’s see if you can guess what might be happening in the third installment of The Last Summer Series:

The Last Chance collage

Well, that’s all for now! Stay tuned for more updates on The Last Summer Series!


Either Write Something Worth Reading, or Do Something Worth Writing

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Apr• 21•14

There’s this great Benjamin Franklin quote that I’ve been thinking about, considering I’ve been slacking on my writing endeavors lately. I feel horrible about posting blogs barely once a month, and so to fix that I’ll commit myself to posting a new blog every Monday.

In lieu of this commitment, I’m also trying to discipline myself and write more of “The Last Chance” whenever I have time (because I’ve really been slacking on that, too, and I NEED to get it finished!). But before I get all upset over my own laziness, I need to explain myself.

I have been swamped with work, too busy for my own good. It’s a bad habit I have, over-committing myself, because for some reason I love to feel busy all of the time – it gives me a sense of purpose, a sense that I’m doing something important with my time. Because quite honestly, I can’t stand wasting time.

For example, since my freshman year of high school, I have:

  • published two novels
  • been in two schools musicals (I had a lead role in one)
  • played three seasons of varsity softball
  • played one season of JV basketball
  • been a choir member for two years
  • gotten inducted into National Honor Society
  • gotten elected as Student Council Secretary
  • chaired the Social Committee and planned Homecoming
  • joined the Speech & Debate team
  • done High School Enterprise club and built a Dobsonian telescope
  • done a year’s worth of taekwando
  • joined my church’s youth group
  • joined Book Club
  • coached 5th and 6th grade girls softball
  • taught Sunday School to preschoolers at my church
  • gotten straight A’s, taken honors classes…

…and that’s just during the school year!

So as you can imagine, I’ve been stressed, overworked, and exhausted lately with all of the stuff I’m currently involved in. Some of my writer friends have published two books in less than a year, and I felt like I was a failure or something because I hadn’t done the same. But then it occurred to me – I was too busy living life right now, so how could I possibly have time to write about life?!

You see, there are points in time where writing is all I want to do, because I wish to delve into the fictitious lives of my characters. However, in order for my characters to come alive, I sometimes have to step away from the book and be fully present in the real world. Ultimately, the best books reflect the struggles, emotions, and realities of everyday human life in a fictionalized fashion. In order to write a great book, you have to live through the emotions and struggles you want to portray in that book. For example, my friend Lizzie writes romance novels; while they’re cute and sugar-coated, they lack depth and true emotion. You know why? Because that friend of mine has never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, never fallen in love. With all due respect, her books don’t accurately reflect the realities of having a high school boyfriend. She’s writing from her intuition and imagination, not experience…and that’s the difference between her book and, say, a John Steinbeck book. Because Steinbeck reflected his life experiences in his writing, and it showed.

So just because I’m not writing all of the time, it doesn’t mean I’m wasting my time. In fact, I’m gaining valuable life experiences that I may eventually use in my stories. I’m living a life so full, it’s worth writing about. Right now, I’m at a point in my life where I’m doing more things worth writing about than I am writing things worth reading, but that’s okay. The life of a writer is meant to find a balance of both the living and the writing, so that somewhere in the middle you have a beautiful creation of both the written word and the life experiences to compliment it.

Interlochen & Cozy Creative Corner

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Mar• 17•14

II have some very exciting news: I applied for the creative writing program at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, which is a world-renowned fine and performing arts boarding school/summer camp in northern Michigan, and I was accepted! So this summer, for the first time ever, I will be taking a creative writing course – among the nation’s top teenage writers and instructors. I am very excited for this opportunity – I’ll be able to master the art of creative writing in a classroom setting, surrounded by people who are as serious and passionate about writing as I am.

On another note, I’d like to express my excitement about…my new couch. Yes, as silly as it sounds, I’m a bit overenthusiastic about this couch I bought (with my own money, not my parents’, haha!) from Pier 1 Imports and put in my bedroom. It is so incredibly soft, cushy, and comfortable – not to mention it’s positioned directly across from my window, which provides me with an excellent view of the woods near my house. I’ve had several snow days this past week, and so I ended up spending my whole day on my wonderful new couch, typing away at my third novel. It is absolute bliss – all I really need is a nice couch and a decent laptop. It’s the little things in life that I find myself appreciating the most.
This has become my cozy creative corner, my special place where I can sit for hours upon hours and just write. In less than 48 hours, I was able to write 3 and 1/5 chapters – that’s a total of 25 pages, size 12 font, single-spaced. It’s like there’s something magic about my creative corner. Even now, as I sit on my couch typing this, I am so at peace. This is my natural habitat, my place to escape from reality. I can create anything I want, here in my writer world on the couch in my room. It’s amazing how something so insignificant can be so special.
Photo of Creative Corner

My Cozy, Creative Corner

Miss Literati Features Author Jacquelyn Eubanks

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Feb• 18•14

Miss Literati (www.MissLiterati.com) is the premier website for young writers.  Young writers can post their work on the site to obtain feedback from their peers.  In addition,  Miss Literati features authors and novels that would be of interest to their teen audience.

This week, Jacquelyn Eubanks is the featured author on this website.  Miss Literati interviewed her on what it takes to be an author at such a young age and on how to write historical fiction.

Her interview can be found at http://bit.ly/1geaIsV.

5 Stars for THE LAST TIME

Written By: Jacky Eubanks - Nov• 30•13

Rating:  5.0 stars
Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers’ Favorite

The burden of achieving social acceptance and outward, physical beauty can be crushing for a teenage girl. But then there are the victories, both small and large; little feats of independence and larger, inward self-acceptance. Jacquelyn Eubanks in The Last Time showcases a sympathetic and beautiful soul with her heroine Charley. Charley (which is short for Charlotte) has been transplanted from rural Georgia to the more sophisticated suburb of Yonkers, New York.

“Although she was born in Yonkers, her experience is decidedly Southern. She has left her heart in Georgia and his name is Frankie. But the fledgling couple keeps in touch as pen-pals in the post-war innocence of the 1950s. Charley loves baseball, it is true. She is a tom-boy, no doubt about it. But all the appealing attributes of Charley make her an object of jealousy with the popular clique at her new, all-girls Catholic high school.

“Jacquelyn Eubanks keeps the story of Charley lively but with some heartbreaking moments. Charley does find unusual courage in the midst of adolescent taunts. The scenes at Charley’s home keep the innocent plot well-grounded. There is mother-daughter friction and a grandfather’s illness. The book has some nice visual elements. There are clumsy, hand-written notes from Charley and Frankie, as well as elegant, cursive chapter headings. The setting of the 1950s is a nice choice to show this bobby-soxer’s life at home and at school. The Last Time by Jacquelyn Eubanks shows the strong but tender heart of a girl who feels the grief of last times, but with the hope of new beginnings.”

THE LAST TIME by Jacquelyn Eubanks has received Three 5-Star Reviews from Readers’ Favorite.  THE LAST TIME, the second novel in THE LAST SUMMER SERIES, is available in both paperback and Kindle.