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Barbara Hoskin Photo Author
Barbara Hoskin

Eblis

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 instead.

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 the Beyond.

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