Monday, September 17, 2007

Cold-cocked: the media blitz begins

Cold-cocked: On Hockey, Lorna Jackson's most recent book, and a tome Dave Bidini has blurbed as "one of the best hockey books of our era" is officially out. The Victoria Times Colonist kicks off what for us here at Biblioasis is a veritable shock of media attention with an article; I understand that the Vancouver Sun did something small as well. This week will see Lorna on CTV's Breakfast television in Vancouver, interviewed by the Vancouver Sun, on BC's most popular radio show -- the Bill Good show on CKNW -- on CBC's BC Almanac, CFUN's Jenn and Joe Show and on CBC Victoria's On the Island. The book gets officially launched at Bolen's books in Victoria on Monday, September 24th. Then next week there's an appearance on CFAX Radio's Talk it Over, and later an interview on Studio 4. We expect much more once the ball gets rolling.

The Victoria Times -Colonist article:

Hockey inspired author to make life changes
Sharie Epp
Times Colonist

Author Lorna Jackson's estrangement from hockey ended after watching Team Canada win the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
CREDIT: Ray Smith, Times Colonist
Author Lorna Jackson's estrangement from hockey ended after watching Team Canada win the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Happy times for Lorna Jackson were evenings spent with her dad in the '60s and '70s, watching Hockey Night in Canada. With a teenage crush on Boston Bruins bad-boy Derek Sanderson, she followed hockey with a passion.

But life took some sad and confusing turns, and Jackson abandoned the sport for 30 years, before Team Canada and the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics changed everything. The result: A book entitled Cold-Cocked on Hockey.

The book, which will be launched on Sept. 24 at Bolen Books, is written from a woman's perspective, but is not a puff piece. Jackson enforces that slant by using the "f" word in the prologue.

"I wanted the voice to be authentic. I wanted it to be the way I communicate. I wanted it to be pretty gritty," said Jackson, an author and creative writing teacher at the University of Victoria. "I didn't want it to be a girlie book."

"It's not just men who use those words."

Growing up in Vancouver, Jackson's childhood was as normal as anyone's, until she was 12. Then her sister became ill, eventually dying of cancer. Her dad, a Second World War pilot and prisoner of war, faked suicide and disappeared for a time, a result of post traumatic stress syndrome, and Jackson cracked her knee in a fall, an injury that threatened to cripple her later in life.

As a young woman, Jackson drank hard, married and divorced, and travelled in a band, before finding her niche. Now 51, she's been teaching for a dozen years, and lives with her dogs, sheep, and 16-year-old daughter Lily on a Metchosin acreage, where she talked about her relationship with hockey.

"I love the game," Jackson said, but her love is the angles and perspectives missing in the Don Cherry Rock'em Sock'em version. She thinks the NHL does a "lousy" job of promoting the game to women, despite the fact approximately 40 per cent of ticket buyers are female. "I think women get left out of the conversation."

"I wrote about how hockey can inspire us, including women, in a lot of different ways."

Years ago Jackson, who is fine with a good clean fight, was turned off by the violence and aggression in the sport. But in 2002, she became mesmerized by the skill and thrill of the Olympic tournament -- by Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi and by the way players carried their kids after winning the gold medal.

"I thought, 'That's not Phil Esposito going out to strip joints after the game,'" Jackson said. "I just loved watching hockey again, and it came out of nowhere."

Along with hockey, came a desire to get fit, and strengthen her knee. Jackson worked out at Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, and immersed herself in hockey. She watched closely as the Canucks endured first the lockout, then the Bertuzzi incident and its circus-like aftermath, followed by the new regime.

"It was interesting to watch [coach Alain Vigneault] change the systems on the team, trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and he did."

Like every other Canucks fan, Jackson is anxious for the season to begin. She expects the Canucks to ice the best defence in the league, and is looking forward to seeing the magic of "beautiful players" Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Whether or not the Canucks make the Stanley Cup is immaterial, as far as she is concerned.

"I'm not a Stanley Cup watcher. The ending is not the most important part," Jackson said. "I like the journey."

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