Giles is a pseudonym for James M. (Jim) Jackson. The obvious question might be this: Why did James M. Jackson bother with a pseudonym? My stories and novels have been set within the framework of current memories. With my first historical story, ("Last Composition" was published in the anthology History and Mystery, Oh My!) I realized I did not want to confuse readers when I switched to alternative times.
"Last Composition" is set in the upstate New York village of Dansville (Livingston County) in 1859. At the time, my great-great-great grandfather Dr. James Caleb Jackson ran Our Home on the Hillside, a holistic healthcare facility in Dansville. He, and his adopted daughter, Dr. Harriet Austin, one of the first female doctors in the United States, have roles in the story. As the story begins, tensions are high in the immediate aftermath of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. The doctors are accused of murder.
I have been noodling over the years about a dystopian novel (oh heck, make it a trilogy) set late in the 21st century. Rather than ask my (then) publisher if she might object to this mixing of genres, I figured I’d use a pen name and be done with it.
I’ve written a prelude story set in 2056 titled "The Draft." It is chilling -- both in its story and it’s current position in a virtual bottom drawer.
So why Giles Elderkin?
When I was in college I bore an uncany resemblance to Giles Elderkin Jackson, my great-great-great uncle (the elder of James Caleb Jackson’s two sons). He was an amazing man who died at age 28 from consumption (TB). Given the visual tie and his short life, it was easy to project myself as virtual progeny.
I also like word play since Giles is my "elder kin." And so my pseudonym arose by lopping off the Jackson surname and allowing his first and middle names to stand.
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links on this website, including as an Amazon Associate.