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Interview 14 with Gail E. Haley

Haley, Gail E. (14)
Wright, Christina
Date of Interview: 
Haley, Gail E.; Cherokee literature; Children’s literature, Illustrations; Painting; Storytelling; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Gail Haley, an author and illustrator of children’s literature born in Charlotte, N.C., discusses her continuing career as a children’s author. In this fourteenth of sixteen interviews, Ms. Haley reflects on her work on Two Bad Boys (1996). Ms. Haley recalls finding the story of the two boys while reading about Cherokee legends and culture. She notes that the tale appears across cultures in various forms, with the boys as representations of two sides of a whole, the civilized man and the natural man, who also fulfill the archetypal role of tricksters within the Cherokee story. Furthermore, Ms. Haley explains the new techniques she created when working on the illustrations for the book which imitated paintings on parchment and walls. The techniques included tracing her original sketch in permanent marker onto interfacing, a textile used in sewing. She then layered paint onto the interfacing to create a background, on which she painted the final illustration. Additionally, Ms. Haley discusses the colors used in the images which were inspired by traditional Cherokee color schemes. Throughout the interview, Ms. Haley relates her experiences with the Cherokee people while conducting research on their culture and stories, including her experiences with their storytelling traditions. Other themes in this interview include the role of mischief in creation stories, sacrifice in folk literature, animals in storytelling traditions, and traditional Cherokee art.
North Carolina--Blowing Rock; circa 1990s - 2008
Interview Setting: 
Charlotte, N.C.
Interviews with Gail E. Haley
Interview Audio: