Jackie was born in London, England. After several globetrotting years she and her family discovered Nova Scotia and have lived here ever since. She attended the West Sussex College of Art in England and as a mature student, graduated with honours from Mount Saint Vincent University. Before becoming a full-time writer, Jackie worked as a children’s programmer in the Youth Services department of Alderney Gate Library. She has written six books. Her latest book Piperis a story about the brigantine Hector, that brought the first wave of Scottish immigrants to Nova Scotia.
Her first book, Peggy’s Letters, a short novel based on her Mother’s wartime stories, was a Canadian Children’s Book Center 2006, Our Choice starred selection. It was nominated for both the 2007 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award and the 2007 Rocky Mountain Children’s Book Award and was an Honour Book in the 2007 Silver Birch Express Award. Bluenose Adventure and Explosion Newsie are school-age picture books about child workers in Nova Scotia at the turn of the twentieth century. The Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate, co-authored by Carrie Muller, is a rollicking piratical picture book which on local best seller lists for many weeks.
Jackie really enjoys being part of the Writers in the Schools program. She loves anything to do with the sea particularly, tall ships, beach walks, and whale watching. She and her husband live in a little old house overlooking Halifax Harbour. What better place to keep an eye out for Bluenose and rickerty-rackerty pirate ships.
- Explosion Newsie. Illustrated by Loretta Migani. Formac, 2015. ISBN 9781459504011Explosion newsie is a picture book about a distracted news boy who becomes an everyday hero when he delivers the newspapers in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion.2016 – CCBC Best Books for Children and Teens
- Bluenose Adventure. Illustrated by Eric Orchard. Formac, 2013. ISBN 978-1459502802This story is about the young boys who used to work, gutting fish, on the fishing schooners in the early 1900s.2016 nominee APMA – Best Atlantic Published Book Award.
- The Terrible, Horrible, Smelly Pirate. Carrie Muller, co-author. Illustrated by Eric Orchard. Nimbus, 2008. ISBN 1551096552.A rollicking pre-school picture book about a smelly pirate who, with the help of a tricky mermaid, changes his ways.
- The Gran Plan. Scholastic, 2006. ISBN 978-0-7791-6648-0.A scholastic school-reader about a plan to cheer up Gran which goes messily wrong.
- Peggy’s Letters. Orca Books, 2005. ISBN 1-55143-363-X.Based on my mother’s war-time experiences, Peggy’s letters tells the story of air-raids, rationing, loss, strange new friendships and hope.Awards – 2007 Hacmatack nominee. 2007 Silver Birch Express, honour book.
- Piper. Nimbus Publishing, 2018, ISBN 978-1-77108-605-9It’s 1773, and life is unbearably harsh for Dougal and his family scraping a living in the highlands of Scotland. When the opportunity of owning their own farm in the new World arises, the family jump at the chance. Piper is the story of their strong will and determination during the horrendous voyage across the Atlantic.Piper is on the 2018 Woozles Battle of the Books list.