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West Sacramento News-Ledger

Local Author Dr. Jan Cooper Wants to Know Your Name

Aug 30, 2023 12:00AM ● By By Tamara Warta

Dr. Jan Cooper with a copy of one of his most recently published books. Photo by Jim Spears

Local Author Dr. Jan Cooper Wants to Know Your Name [2 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - In today’s busy world where people sometimes feel isolated and alone, Dr. Jan Cooper has set out to ensure people feel seen.

“I prayed one day,” he said, “‘Lord give me something I can do in five minutes that will make other people happy and will make me happy.”’

The quick happiness solution ended up being quite simple – he learns people’s names and draws them. The name might turn into a dog, cat, or alligator. He allows himself to be inspired by the individual sitting in front of him, and the pen does the rest.

Cooper, who has two upcoming book signing events this fall, is a local author that has dedicated his life to learning and sharing his gifts and his faith.

“I just kept writing. It just kept coming out,” he shared, “The reason I know it’s from the Holy Spirit is because I know I’m not smart enough to write things like that. I flunked English twice in high school and college.”

And continuing to write he has. He is currently the author of ten books, including one translated into Spanish and a coloring book. He is also a former teacher. His career started by teaching inner city youth on an Indian reservation in North Dakota. He made $4800 for the entire year. In 1967, he went to Sacramento and got job offers right away as a teacher in the Grant Union School District but had to “teach himself English by teaching English.” He retired in 2004 but continued to pour into local young people by substitute teaching for another 17 years. He has also taught art – specifically painting and drawing – for over 20 years to both children and adults.

With a teaching career that led him to interact with inner city youth often, he did not shy away.

“Some considered them dangerous, some considered they just didn’t care,” he said. “But I loved the students, and they knew that.”

His love of young people also carries into his love of his country. His books clearly have a conservative tone, and he has a passion to see faith and rationality become part of the political landscape again.

“America has fallen asleep into a state of name calling, bickering, and fighting. Our leaders are supposed to be setting the best example for our youth. All my folks did was yell, scream, holler and fight. I don’t want that in our country because I can see how it can affect our youth.”

Now, Cooper is continuing his mission to share his faith, and his political concerns. He is of the camp that believes socialism is a threat to our nation, and he isn’t shy about saying so.

“My main concern when the pandemic hit was I had so many good ideas, bad ideas, wrong ideas about what was happening in our country,” he said. “I was raised in the military – I went to high school in Japan. I saw what was going on in different parts of the world.”

Being a writer is also healing for himself as well. Recently, he has dealt with chronic pain, and he finds relief when he is artistic.

“When I do what I know God wants me to be doing, the pain goes away,” he said.

You can meet Dr. Jan Cooper in person at two upcoming book signing events. He will be at the Citrus Heights Barnes & Noble on October 28 from 11am-2pm, and at the Arden Barnes & Noble on November 4 from 11am-2pm. You can also check out his collection of books for sale on his website,

At his book signing events, he will have his drawing pad. For everyone who buys a book – and maybe even for those who do not – he will be ready to draw their name.