About the Author

photo by Todd Gray
When Jacqueline Dreager began writing a memoir about her nine years in a studio on Los Angeles Skid Row, the literary process came as an exciting surprise. Born in Los Angeles to a family of artists and special effects wizards in Hollywood's film industry, she spent most of her life firmly rooted in the visual art world, exhibitions, reviews, and public art were part of her daily routine, not writing. Armed with a new medium, Dreager was propelled into unexplored territory. An exciting form of creativity and passion that she never dreamed possible wrapped itself around her.

The seed for Dreager's novel, Looking East, was planted by a woman who lived half her life not knowing who her father was. Is he alive? If so, where is he? Is he dead? How did he die? Her Russian mother, bitter and resentful over the breakup of her relationship, refused to answer her daughter's questions about her Chinese father. In December 1981, the woman received a telephone call from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, asking if she would like to go to China to meet her father, who had been searching for her since his release from the Siberian prison system where he spent eighteen years. The woman did go to China, and Looking East is the story of a journey that needs to be shared.

Inspired by actual events and peppered throughout with the lives of famous characters from the world of politics and culture (Jack London, Mao Zedong, Jack Reed), Dreager's historical novel is illuminated by a period in history that has all but been forgotten: Exotic China, the USSR's dark and dangerous past, greed, romance, racial inequities and war, with heartbreaking agony, characters are pushed to their limit by Sisyphean challenges. Now with Looking East nearing completion, Dreager is considering a sequel.