-By Kim Parnell-
Australia’s Nomadic Novelist, Jenn J. McLeod, travels the country in a 25-foot caravan lovingly called Myrtle the Turtle, visiting regional libraries where authors don’t usually go. When not on the road, the accomplished author calls Hervey Bay home.
Jenn proudly admits to being late to the literary party.
“I was a late bloomer when it came to writing. My dad’s a musician, so there was an expectation that I would follow in his musical footsteps. I chose the piano but lacked the self-discipline required to play well.”
As a young girl, Jenn was creative with words. She wrote poetry, even illustrating a couple of picture books. As she got older, life got in the way of her dream, as it ultimately does for all of us.
Jenn says, “I started writing seriously around the age of forty-five. I was sitting around reading a lot of Nora Roberts books, and I thought, “Gee, I can do this”. So, I put pen to paper and tried writing a novel.
“It was my 50th birthday when I got a call from an agent who said she would represent my first book, House for all Seasons, so that was a nice birthday present”.
The popular local author has had five books traditionally published—one with the UK publisher who discovered Colleen McCullough’s, The Thorn Birds. Australian publishers Simon & Schuster published four books, while Jenn has also self-published.
“Those, like myself, who have traditionally published and self-published are considered hybrid authors.
“Self-publishing allows you to experience that full control from the first words on a page to the book in your hand. You have creative control over the cover, the structure of the book, and everything in between.”
When Jenn talks to aspiring writers, her advice is to write about what they are passionate about. Another valuable tip she imparts is “don’t be a writer. Be a storyteller and just tell your story”.
Jenn sums up what she does best in the final paragraph:
“Storytelling is addictive, with green pastures and country roads my inspiration, and sharing the joy of reading, writing, and publishing dreams coming true with others is what I love to do as I travel to rural towns and talk at libraries. Every novel comes from a journey and good fiction should be a journey for the reader, with characters to make them laugh, maybe cry, but definitely embrace a second chance. We all deserve at least one of those in our lifetime.”
To find out more about local author Jenn J. McLeod go to https://www.jennjmcleod.com/.