Dr. Hoskin began writing when she was
eight years old. An only child, deep in the heart of Southern Illinois,
miles from any town, she romped through woods, down into valleys, and
across shallow creeks, all by herself. There she created a world of
imaginary children and each night would log their adventures in
notebooks, her journals of fiction. When her family moved into town, she
stopped writing for a while, concentrating on school and dabbling in art
Receiving a BS from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC),
she went on to teach school in Madison, Illinois, connecting with her
third graders by animating characters in folk tales and in stories she
read. Back at SIUC to work on her doctorate, taking courses in
children's literature, she wrote and illustrated a book, "Cindy," that
was published with the help of her instructor. She also taught
children's literature at SIUC for several years.
Upon completion of her Ph.D., she was appointed the first Black
professor in the School of Home Economics at SIUC. In her child
development classes, she and her students evaluated children's books
based on the preschoolers' responses upon hearing the stories and, along
with her peers, she presented papers at conferences and published in
professional journals. But something was missing from her life; she
began to search for it. Leaving the University, she moved to the woods
to pursue life as an artist--to paint the trees and wildflowers there.
At the urging of her children, she began a memoir, a family record. To
her surprise, she found a compelling need, a near obsession, to keep on
writing. After a long and circuitous journey, she had returned to a
world that she had discovered when she was eight years old.
Eblis was originally written as a novella
and published in the book, From
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