TELL US YOUR BACKSTORY with Jennie Jones
Tell Us Your Backstory with Jennie Jones
If anyone had told me I’d end up writing books full time, I would probably have rolled my eyes and thought them mad. I’d spent my entire life from the age of three to eighteen dreaming of becoming an actor. I’m happy to say – this happened! And not without some determination on my part either, because back in those golden days, my careers teacher told me I was a stupid girl for wanting to go to drama school, and said I had two choices: become a nurse or a secretary. Nursing appealed, but not as much as acting, so shy though I was – I went my own way and spent three years poor and content in drama school before becoming a fully-fledged professional actor.
But as is the way of most actors, there were times we were forced to chill out, sit back and look at the roses (known to us as ‘resting’, meaning: out of darned work again).
In my early twenties, and finding myself ‘resting’ in a bedsit in south London, I brought out my electric typewriter and pounded out a Mills & Boon style historical western. I had been immersing myself in romantic M&B books as well as TV dramas and movies since I turned thirteen. So I thought I’d make a million bucks by writing one of these M&B stories myself. It took me two whole weeks to write it (which is a big clue as to how bad it was).
I still have the original typed manuscript!
Awful, isn’t it? #AmCringing. (And there are typos, too!)
Sadly, my bank account did not flourish because M&B didn’t want it (and I’d sweated blood over it for two whole weeks!). Fortunately for me, I got a musical theatre job and forgot all about writing.
I gave up acting many years ago, and once my daughter left home and didn’t need me (only my credit card), I needed some artistic outlet once more, and that’s when I found my terrible M&B historical western in a suitcase in the attic (literally). And that’s when I started writing.
So my backstory seems quite reasonable to me. I enjoyed acting out on stage, and now I enjoy acting out on the page. And yes – I play all the roles of my characters in my head as I’m writing. I can’t imagine not writing the next book any more than I can imagine not imagining myself the heroine of a book or a play or a movie as I read or watch. I love pretending to be someone else… And these days I spend a lot longer than two weeks writing a book.
A Heart Stuck on Hope, book #1 in the A Dollar for a Dream series
Move to the country for $1 a week.
Dulili is suffering a people drought. Over the years more people have moved away than have arrived to stay in this old New South Wales farming town, and now only a handful of young families and elderly residents are left. The locals put a plan into action to entice newcomers: offering the town’s empty houses to newcomers from anywhere in Australia. Who could resist renting a beautiful homestead for a dollar a week?
There’s nothing left for Adele Devereux in Sydney: no job, no relationship, no hope, and no diagnosis for her shy, uncommunicative daughter Ali. So she packs her bags, takes her meagre savings, and moves her small family to the country. She never expects to meet Tom Wade, a man facing his own hopeless situation, but whose kindness reaches her daughter in an unexpected friendship. As the small town of Dulili attempts to regenerate itself, Adele finds herself drawn further in to the community – and into her attraction to Tom.
Tom is not back in Dulili to build a relationship. He’s there to heal wounds, help his grandmother, and make new plans. Plans that don’t come with his grandmother’s new tenant, part of the Dulili dollar scheme. But as Adele and Ali effortlessly work their way into his thoughts and his heart, he realises that there are two crucial elements that he left out of his long-term plans – the chance for love and renewed hope for the future.
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Thanks for sharing your story, Jennie. You’re a brave woman, sharing a page from your first work. 😀
Aren’t I just Marilyn? 🙂 x Thankfully I’m 25 years older now…