Biography on Leslie Jones McCloud, author of Eighteen Months and Short Stories, Real Life.
Leslie Jones McCloud has been reporting news for the past 10 years. She is a graduate of Indiana State University and holds a B.S. degree in Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing.
She started her career by working free-of-charge at a small Indianapolis, Indiana newspaper named the Recorder and then as a freelancer with the news department of WTLC, a radio station there. She moved on to the City News Bureau of Chicago as a police reporter in 1998, a few months before the 100-year-old news wire service shut down and became a news service for the Chicago Tribune. However, the experience at CNB was invaluable.
She was hired at the Chicago Defender in 1999 as the crime reporter and went on to cover several beats including the court and health beats. She began a position Alliance News in the year 2000, with Lloyd Weston as her editor. Ms. McCloud covered Cook County Courts, so she worked inside the media room at the courthouse on 26 and California.
It was on the train ride into the city that Eighteen Months was born. It grew out of a diary she kept while riding the South Shore in to work. However, the 112-page paper back is a work of fiction.
“The demands of work kept the pages and pages of thoughts at bay and soon, I didn‘t have time to write for pleasure. Later, after I turned in the Alliance News laptop to the Post-Tribune, I ran across the notes, bought some screenwriting software and began to write,” Ms. McCloud said.
Alliance News closed a year later. She had the time to write, so she did.
Alliance News was a division of Hollinger Newspapers. Hollinger also owned the Daily Southtown, the Post-Tribune and the Sun-Times, so the move to work permanently as a freelancer at the Post was a smooth transition.
She began freelancing for the Post-Tribune right before the Alliance News wire service closed, as it was her desire to have a byline in two cities, two different newspapers but after that stunt, she found herself writing about people and places in her community and it was enriching. She worked as a news correspondent for the Post-Tribune, located in Northwest Indiana, for several years.
It was at the Post-Tribune where she perfected and honed her ability to write a great feature story in which the reader could connect and enjoy. Feel-good stories became her forte, leaving hard news behind for a while.
Working at the Post-Tribune was fun and her editor, Richard Grey allowed Ms. McCloud to also pick up work at other agencies. This led to her also working at WJOB Radio where she covered LaPorte County Board of Commissioners and Michigan City Council meetings.
However, Ms. McCloud yearned to write celebrity news. She accepted a week-long interview at the National Enquirer but it did not work out to either party’s liking.
Soon, Ms. McCloud found her self in Florida, again but to work at the Boca Raton News in 2004. Kelli Kennedy, the newspaper’s editor at the time, said she needed someone to write heart felt news features for the mostly Jewish population. It was a success but the newspaper was in financial trouble.
Ms. McCloud returned as a freelancer at the Post-Tribune in September 2004 two months before Richard Grey--her editor--died. She stopped writing for the Post-Tribune in August 2006.
During 2005, she began her blog, Yeah and--So What!
The blog started as a way for her to continue to write down her thoughts and musings on topical and not-so-topical issues. Today, there are over 400 posts on varied topics like nuclear proliferation, child abuse, the U.S. Elections 2008 to ads that she placed on her blog to help defray the cost of doing business on the Internet. Ms. McCloud has included original video and photography native to Northwest Indiana and its residents as well as two Internet radio shows: “Saturday Night Sip with a Scanner” and “The Leslie Jones McCloud Show.”
She uses all of the vehicles to promote her books, Eighteen Months and Short Stories, Real Life.
“Short Stories, Real Life is a compilation of news stories about everyday ordinary people who move and shake the world, one action at a time. Chronicling real life and real people is the genesis of news reporting. The stories are informative and sometimes poignant--offering insight into our human development in America,” Ms. McCloud said.
“This book represents a part of our Northwest Indiana history and I have carved out a piece of it for you. Remember, truth is stranger than fiction,” the author said.
“It's about a woman named Lois DuSol. Lois is a reporter who becomes entangled with a lawyer, dirty cops, federal agents and her editor--all while experiencing her first love, carrying her first child and uncovering a secret that no one wants told. Along the way, she is spied on and threatened but manages to break the biggest news story of her career,“ Ms. McCloud said.
Although she is seeking to option the script as a film, Ms. McCloud said she likes the idea that the script is available to the public.
Ms. McCloud is divorced, lives in her hometown of Gary, Indiana and has two children; Lauren, 17 and William, 10.
is a work of fiction. It is in script format but it reads like a book. It is a political thriller/action adventure film that takes place in a Midwestern coastal town.