Diane Silcox Jarrett

Author & Freelance Writer

About The Author

"Growing up, I always wanted to live in the past; things seemed more interesting to me then."

I guess that is what led me to constantly read historical fiction. As a young girl, I remember reading biographies about Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. (I was a good Virginian.) Being a child of the Space Age, I was also fascinated with the space program. I never missed a lift-off, moonwalk, or splashdown. (I can still name most of the Apollo astronauts and which missions they were on.) I can't say how many times I have watched "The Right Stuff."

Author's inspiration

"At Elon University I continued my love of the past and graduated with a history degree in 1981."

(I knew being an astronaut was not going to happen.) Several years later, I had the wonderful opportunity to take classes with author Lee Smith at North Carolina State University. As I tell my students, you can always continue to work on your writing. I, too, continue to work with authors such as Pegi Shea and Patty Pfitsch.

For more than sixteen years, I have worked as a freelance magazine writer and had the chance to write about idealistic, courageous, and creative people who have made a difference in the world. Writing for magazines has enabled me to satisfy my own natural curiosity while giving me the opportunity to share other people's stories.

"Combining my love for American history, I was able to venture into book publishing as well and have written several creative nonfiction books for young readers."

I have been fortunate as a writer-in-residence to work with very creative minds and witness how — with just a little encouragement and direction — those creative minds can fill pages with wonderful stories. I enjoy working with young people and helping them express themselves effectively while overcoming their fear of writing. A blank sheet of paper can be very scary.

As a substitute teacher, I have learned that the saying, "children keep you young" is true. They also help you keep your sense of humor. The students I have taught for more than a decade have given me inspiration in my writing. If I were not a writer, my dream would to be a jazz singer. (I have to have jazz in the background when I write.) I also wouldn't mind being a New York City Detective like Lennie Briscoe on "Law and Order."

Despite being very uncoordinated, I enjoy yoga and love swimming. I live outside of Raleigh, North Carolina with my family, who are patient when I have deadlines. I have two furry muses — my cats — who assist me with my writing and enjoy typing on the keyboard themselves.

Featured Work

Side By Side: How John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk Made Magic

Side By Side is a picture book about John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. It tells of each man’s childhood and their love for jazz. It ends with them playing together at Carnegie Hall. Children are introduced to the Coltrane and Monk while also enjoying learning a bit about jazz.

Hopefully children will be inspired to learn about jazz and get their toes tapping to some great jazz tunes. The book has been illustrated by Carol Moates who has captured the period with her vivid illustrations.