House of Wishes Guest Post – Five Top Threes about Jenn J McLeod.
I have long been a fan of Jenn J McLeod and when she posted recently that she had a blog post written that needed a home I was happy to put my hand up, offering to have her over as my first guest post. Poor Jenn, that post blew out a little more than she expected and had her writing a few extra blog posts because she had so many interested in hosting her.
So today, I offer a warm welcome to Jenn J McLeod as my first author guest here at Mic Loves Books, and hope that she’s the first of many, along with my first Giveaway.
Three fun facts about Jenn J McLeod:
Mum says my first attempt at fiction was telling fibs—and I was very good at it.
I made my literary debut in 2013. I made my actual debut back in 1976. Presented to Sir Roden Cutler (Governor General of the day who had a wooden leg. I almost knocked him over with my enthusiastic curtsy.)
As a road-safety educator, I designed interactive games/shows for children, and one show, at the Sydney Showgrounds, had me wearing a Wombat suit—in summer! I was the crankiest wombat ever. I’ve also been an orange.
Jenn’s top three things to eat/drink
- Corona with lime
- Date scones with butter
- My homemade pizza
Three things that annoy Jenn in books
- Swearing that is OTT or unnecessary – I know some characters are potty mouths but restraint is best. One or two clangers will set up your character’s language. (There are other ways to portray swearing. It’s so easy you’ll wonder why you never thought of it!)
- First person. It doesn’t annoy me as much as I feel a bit removed and a bit too much like “sit down while I tell you what happened”. I prefer storytelling that takes me into the action with the character.
- Unfinished business. If a story thread is important enough to weave into a story, the thread can’t be left hanging. The example I’ll give you is not a book-based one but a movie I watched recently called Before We Go. If you plan on watching the movie, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Please, read NO further.
If you want to know the ending . . . . Basically, man and woman spend a chunk of screen time in a hotel room (giggling and falling in love!!) Then, on her way home—alone—the woman finds the hotel customer survey card she and the man filled in together. But, on the bottom it now says, “Turn over”. After reading what is on the back, she smiles. The trouble I have is we never get to see what it says and given the entire 2 hours was built on the premise of ‘will-they-or-wont-they’ I found it really annoying. (One of those movies where you look at your viewing partner and both your mouths drop open.)
Jenn’s top three tips for aspiring authors
- (Apart from re-reading the three points above?) There is a difference between writing and storytelling.
- Family and friends will never provide the feedback your novel needs.
- Don’t be in a rush. Don’t panic. The world is not going to run out of trees or stop buying books before you get a contract.
Three emerging fiction authors we should all keep an eye out for.
- Cat Blesing ( I met Cat through the #AuthorsforTownsville (flood) fundraiser. I got to assess her early pages.)
- Shannon Garner (who I mentored to publication with her memoir, Labour of Love)
Both writers are very good storytellers with a beautiful turn of phrase. Find them on Facebook and watch out!
- My third pick is a writer who I met recently. She was the top bidder in the #AuthorsForFireys Twitter fundraiser. We’ve Skyped and I’ve read some of her short stories but as she’s just starting out, it might be a while until we see her name on a cover.
That said, while we all start out with a dream and a desire to tell stories, some show exceptional ability and I hope to one day be shouting all three names from the social media rooftops. The real joy of being multi-published (both traditionally and indie) is passing on what I’ve learned, which is why I’ve set up an Early Manuscript Assessment service to help writers get their story in shape before they engage full editorial services. (Details on www.jennjmcleod.com)
Thank you so much for hosting me. I’d love to offer one of your readers a Kindle version of House of Wishes in return for sharing this post (or at least telling their Mum or sister or best friend!)
House of Wishes:
A story for mothers, daughters, fathers and sons:
about the choices we make, the connections that matter,
the secrets we keep, and the power of a wish.
Dandelion House, 1974
Two teenage girls—strangers—make a pact to keep a secret.
Calingarry Crossing, 2014
For forty years, Beth and her mum have been everything to each other, but Beth is blind-sided when her mother dies, and her last wish is to have her ashes spread in a small-town cemetery.
On the outskirts of Calingarry Crossing, when Beth comes across a place called Dandelion House Retreat, her first thought is how appealing the name sounds. With her stage career waning, and struggling to see a future without her mum, her marriage, and her child, she hopes it’s a place where she can begin to heal.
After meeting Tom, a local cattleman, Beth is intrigued by his stories of the cursed, century-old river house and its reclusive owner, Gypsy. The more Beth learns, however, the more she questions her mother’s wishes.
When meeting Beth leads Tom to uncover a disturbing connection to the old house, he must decide if the truth will help a grieving daughter or hurt her more.
Should Dandelion House keep its last, long-held secret?
(available in print, ebook and in audio)
Facebook: Friend Jenn to follow her travels and shenanigans https://www.facebook.com/JennJMcLeod.Author or LIKE her author page for bookish news www.facebook.com/jennjmcleod.books
Jenn’s Books: https://www.jennjmcleod.com
Jenn’s eBooks: https://books2read.com/ap/RWKlqv/Jenn-J-McLeod
Jenn has kindly offered a Kindle copy of House of Wishes for one lovely reader, and I highly recommend the read (my review is coming…. hopefully quicker than Christmas). This is my first giveaway and as such I’m still navigating how to set it up.
For your chance to win a Kindle copy of House of Wishes please like and share this post and comment below to let me know, I would also love you to follow my blog if you are so inclined. Winner will be chosen by random number generation at Random.org. To claim your prize you will need a Kindle account.
Winner will be chosen and contacted February 18, 2020.