Education: Graduated from University of Houston. Religion: Christian.
A Man Inspired (novel), Warner Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Brother Word (novel), Walk Worthy Press (West Bloomfield, MI), 2006.
Also author of self-published novel Destiny's Cry.
Derek Jackson is an author of Christian fiction. After graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in communication, he worked on writing fiction and self-published his first novel, Destiny's Cry. The success of this debut led Warner Books/Walk Worthy Press to offer him a book deal for his second and third titles. Jackson then released A Man Inspired as the first of these two contracted books. A Man Inspired is the story of Jermaine Hill, who seems to be leading a successful life but who actually is miserable to the point of being suicidal. Jermaine makes a living, ironically, as a motivational speaker. He is so good at this that he has become famous, rich, and attractive to beautiful women who want to sleep with him. Unknown to the public, however, is Jermaine's despair over having lost his two best friends in a car accident. Despite all his outward success, he feels lonely and depressed. Hope comes in the form of a freelance writer named Candace. The two start seeing each other, but Candace's arrival in Jermaine's life comes almost too late. He attempts suicide and, worse, his attempt is caught on video by a gossip columnist named Chantal Dixon. Though Jermaine survives, the scandal nearly destroys him, and it is only through Candace and a sudden religious epiphany that he is saved. A Publishers Weekly writer had little positive to say about Jackson's book, calling the love story "predictable and formulaic" and declaring the novel flawed by "clichéd scenes, stock characters and amateurish writing." Tamara Butler, however, writing for the Library Journal, felt that the story had some worth, especially for addressing the serious subject of depression in black men "and their reluctance to seek treatment."
Jackson followed A Man Inspired with Brother Word. Chance Howard is the main character in this tale about a man with healing powers. Howard does not like to use his abilities, and when a woman he cares about named Mona dies after believing she did not need medical treatment, her mother-in-law blames Howard for her death. Howard leaves home and travels the country, not sure what he should do with himself, until he arrives in South Carolina. There he at last puts his healing abilities to work, curing people who are blind, deaf, suffering heart ailments, and more. These remarkable acts, however, begin to draw attention from the media, and he runs back home. One of the people he treated, Lynn, finds him and convinces Howard to not be afraid of his powers and to use them wisely. Lillian Lewis, writing for Booklist, called A Man Inspired a "reading treat."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2006, Lillian Lewis, review of Brother Word, p. 27.
Library Journal, November 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of A Man Inspired, p. 70.
MBR Bookwatch, March 1, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of A Man Inspired.
Publishers Weekly, November 22, 2004, review of A Man Inspired, p. 39.
Derek Jackson Home Page,http://www.derekjackson.com (June 16, 2008).