Denise Jackson Shares Views on Faith, Fame and Marriage
Life has changed dramatically in the past year for Denise Jackson. With the release of an inspiring memoir that topped the New York Times bestseller list, the petite blonde is no longer strictly known as Alan Jackson's wife and the mother of their three daughters. She's blossomed into a highly sought after public speaker with a new book, "The Road Home," just released this week.
"I just offer what is heartfelt in my imperfect way and hopefully it will affect someone in a good way," Denise tells The Boot, admitting that women have been surprised that her life is so much like their own. "I [don't have] this fairytale life where everything is perfect. I've been through some of the same struggles that they've been through, and that's what I think attracts women. They don't want to hear that things are perfect. They want to hear that you're going through the same struggles that they are and how you come out of those."
Denise revealed those struggles in her first book, 'It's All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life,' co-written with Ellen Vaughn. The best-selling book chronicled the tough times in her relationship with Alan, including his infidelity, their separation and how rekindling her relationship with God helped the couple rebuild their troubled marriage.
"I was the first to read it," Alan says. "I was knocked out by it. I don't read hardly anything and I sat down and read it in four hours and didn't stop. I lived all that stuff and knew where the story was going and it still touched me. I was crying and it was really uplifting."
A notoriously private celebrity, Alan admits he was initially worried what fans would think. "I thought some fans might be offended by all the truth that's in there," he tells The Boot. "There was information in there that tarnished me a little bit, [but] the overall story was worth the risk. I thought it would help a lot of people, give people some encouragement that had gone through the same situation."
Denise says she never really aspired to write a book, but felt God calling her to do so. "It was crazy because No. 1 -- I'm not a writer, and No. 2 -- I would not have wanted to expose the most private parts of our lives to the world, but I really do believe that God placed this on my heart. He has called me to do this so that hopefully, through my stories, others will be drawn to him."
Her new book, 'The Road Home,' is a gift book that combines information from her previous effort with scripture and quotes from authors, evangelists and others who have inspired her such as Billy Graham, Beth Moore and Charles Colson. Denise was initially reluctant to do another book so close on the heels of the first one, but her editor convinced her.
"She said to pull out the main nuggets of inspiration from the other book and format it in a way that someone could pick it up and read five minutes each morning," says Denise. "You can read two or three pages at a time and get something from it. It's truly is the meat of what I was trying to convey in the autobiography. I think people will read it that wouldn't necessarily pick up a huge book."
In addition to writing, Denise has also been asked to speak at the popular Women of Faith conferences and was recently a featured speaker at a Franklin Graham crusade. (Franklin is Billy Graham's son.) "That's another area where I feel so incompetent," she admits of public speaking, "but I just turn it over to Him [God] and speak from my heart. I've realized you don't have to be an accomplished speaker to really touch people and to encourage people."