Author Lorenzo Jackson explores his love for poetry and throws light upon racism in his novel ‘Moon Cricket’


We had the pleasure of interviewing Lorenzo Jackson, Author of Moon Cricket. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Hi Lorenzo, Great to have you with us today! Please share with our readers about yourself.

Hi, I live in the Chicagoland Area with my wife, two kids, and a house full of plants. I am a career salesperson that now sells logistic services to help wineries sell their wine.

Please tell us more about your journey.

My writing journey started very early because I love books and love to read. I was the kid that would get books for Christmas and actually read them! As I got older, I didn’t see writing as something to do but as something that was forced upon me in school. I hated it, but I had a course that introduced me to poetry, and I fell in love. I didn’t see poetry as writing but as doodling with language. I remember I almost failed my English class (ironically) because I would sit and write poetry instead of paying attention. I remember after writing about 50 poems, I read a poetry book and thought that I could do the same thing. So I did! And for a whole summer, I worked on publishing a poetry book before my senior year in high school. I finished and spent the entire year teaching myself how to do book marketing. I went to the local library and did book readings and signings…that’s when I knew this was my passion. As you get older, you realize very quickly that passion doesn’t pay bills, and I decided to write still but work through someone’s newspaper or magazine. So, I went through journalism school at Joliet Junior College and Columbia College Chicago just to graduate with a degree and start a career in sales (not much money in writing articles, and even less when you get married and start a family immediately). After several years and trying to write multiple different book ideas, I sat with one idea for two years and finally was able to finish and publish Moon Cricket, which is technically my first novel but the second book. 

Please share with our readers more about your novel, Moon Cricket.

The name Moon Cricket was done purposely to normalize a racial slur used for slaves that would work into the late hours of the night and sing while their masters slept. I knew this book would be an uncomfortable but necessary conversation into Black American history. My approach was meant to be relatable from the perspective of a white 12-year-old child in 1919 Mississippi. He builds a friendship very early on in his childhood with a black child of the same age, but segregation and lynchings during this time push the friendship to secrecy.

I didn’t want to just discuss black trauma but also the effect racial violence had on whites during that time as well too. When violence and hate are introduced and taught early to children, perception becomes a reality, and that lack of empathy becomes part of the very fabric of a culture. It is very hard to unlearn unless a connection is introduced to make hurt and pain real for someone it isn’t directly affecting. The podcast, Black Folks Do Therapy by Dr. Anthony Smith, opened the door for the push for the psychology of this book. Dr. Smith was interviewing Dr. Monique Swift about mental health and justice after the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I vaguely remember the question that led to it, but she cracked open a level of perspective that I had never even considered. 

I’m not pushing an agenda, but this is actually history with images of smiles and picnics done during these violent expressions of racial hate. This book is 99% accurate, from the locations and landmarks to political figures. The only thing that isn’t real is the characters. 

What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?

I added poetry for every chapter throughout the book and will continue to use this as my calling card. I used poetry for grounding not only myself to summate the feeling or idea of the chapter but also to help give breaks throughout the narrative for readers. Also, I gave myself deadlines as I had in my reporting days in college.

Any message for our readers?

Please give this book a chance! I know books are done about racism and tend to get the immediate mute because it has been done so much… this is completely different despite the heaviness of the subject. This book is not done from the typical perspective, and this is a poetry book within a novel. I don’t know if there is a name for this writing approach, but it was done to make this subject as digestible as possible. I want to meet people where they are because that is the only way we grow.

Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?

You can find me on Twitter @ZoJackson07 and LinkedIn! I’m working on a website and a few other platforms.  


Thank you so much, Lorenzo, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!


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