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- Gail E. Haley oral history interview 11, 2007 September 21
Gail E. Haley oral history interview 11, 2007 September 21
Gail Haley, an author and illustrator of children's literature born in Charlotte, North Carolina, recalls her career during the early 1990s. In this eleventh of sixteen interviews, Ms. Haley discusses her work on Mountain Jack Tales (1992). Ms. Haley recounts her initial interest in Jack, which sparked the creation of Jack and the Bean Tree (1986) and Jack and the Fire Dragon (1988), as discussed in her eighth interview. She relates how she felt the best way to continue to record these stories was through an illustrated chapter book instead of a series of picture books. Ms. Haley notes there are many Jack tales and she chose to include only those which she felt were universal stories appropriate for children. While discussing her book, Ms. Haley also describes her interactions with mountain storytellers as well as some of the history of the collection of various mountain tales by individuals such as Richard Chase. In addition to discussing the origins of the tales, Ms. Haley recalls her illustrations for this work, which were created by engraving lemonwood blocks. In some cases, she created larger images which were then shrunk to a smaller size when printed to allow for greater detail in the illustrations. Other themes in this interview include storytellers and traditions as well as the changing nature of oral stories.