- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Interviews with Gail E. Haley
- Gail E. Haley oral history interview 7, 2007 April 5
Gail E. Haley oral history interview 7, 2007 April 5
Gail Haley, an author and illustrator of children's literature born in Charlotte, North Carolina, recalls her career during the late 1970s and 1980s. In this seventh of sixteen interviews, Ms. Haley discusses her work on Birdsong (1984). The inspiration for Birdsong came from a chapbook on bird catching which came to Ms. Haley's attention while researching The Green Man (1979). Though her initial attempts to incorporate this information did not reach fruition, she later had a dream which she adapted, along with her research, into the book. While describing the origins of the story, Ms. Haley reviews the techniques used to create the illustrations which were inspired by illuminated manuscripts. She recalls the use of a lightbox for transferring the brown outlines of each drawing, incorporating resists for lighter lines, and utilizing various paints to create vivid colors. Ms. Haley also discusses the theme of the text, which she sees as the value of personal choices. Other topics in this interview include Ms. Haley's views on storytelling as it relates to the shaman's journey and universal unconscious, her growing interest in the Cherokee tribe and its stories, the dichotomy of reality and fiction, trends in popular literature, and returning to America from England.