Home » Books & Literature » Children's Literature » What Was Brian Jacques Job Before He Became a Best-Selling Author?

What Was Brian Jacques Job Before He Became a Best-Selling Author?

Many authors had regular jobs before their work made it big. Stephen King was once a high school janitor, while Charles Dickens was a shoe polish factory worker. But did you ever wonder what Brian Jacques did before he got the idea to write Redwall?

Brian Jacques worked several jobs before becoming a best-selling author. He was originally a milkman. One day he saw that children’s books no longer had magic like classic tales. He then authored the Redwall saga to be read to blind children in the mid-1980s.

Who was Brian Jacques?

Brian Jacques was the son of Irish descended James and Ellen Jacques. He was born on June 15, 1939, in Liverpool, England. He attended St. Johns Elementary School, where he also served as an altar boy. And by the age of ten, he realized that he had potential in writing.

He was assigned to write an essay about the unusual characteristics of animals, to which Jacques wrote about a bird cleaning a crocodile’s teeth. The teacher was amazed at Jacques’ well-written essay but was not convinced he wrote it. The teacher forced Jacques to admit that he copied it, but he refused. He was punished for not admitting so.

By the age of fifteen, Jacques dropped out of school to become a merchant marine. He traveled to different ports, including New York, San Francisco, and Yokohama. He then returned home and took on various jobs. He became a railway fireman, a longshoreman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, and even a police constable.

He became a stand-up comic and, at a time, wrote a column for the Catholic Pictorial. Jacques was also part of a local band named The Liverpool Fishermen and ran a folk club where he often performed monologues.

He soon became a writer, publishing several books of humorous poetry and short stories. In the eighties, while simultaneously hosting a local radio station and working as a truck driver, Jacques began writing the first installment of the Redwall saga.

He discovered that the literature available for adolescents lacked the magical elements he once read as a child. He wanted the children attending the Royal School for the Blind to have a more exciting and magical experience when books were read to them.

From then on, Jacques wrote the Redwall Saga, publishing an average of one book per year from 1986 up to 2011. He also wrote several books, spinoffs of the saga, and created a mini-series titled Castaways of the Flying Dutchman.

Jacques won several awards throughout his life, like the Lancashire Libraries Children’s Book of the Year Awards and the Western Australian Young Readers awards. He continued earning honors until his death on February 5, 2011, due to an aortic aneurysm. (Source: Redwall)

Legacy of Redwall

The world of Redwall is centered around animals who were given human personalities in medieval societies. These woodland critters play their part in the Redwall Abbey area. The saga portrays quests of all sorts, like finding magical swords.

Soon, many games were created with the inspiration of the saga. Tabletop role-playing games like Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game borrows multiple elements of Redwall. The game is set in the woods and features various anthropomorphized animals engaged in medieval battles.

Ghost of a Tale is a stealth and puzzle-solving video game that also borrows several elements from Redwall, specifically the protagonist that a mouse plays. (Source: Escapist Magazine)

Leave a Comment