Jenn J McLeod was supposed to be a multi-disciplined musician (like her Dad), study at The Conservatorium (like herAunt), be a famous opera singer (like hercousin Michael Lewis, Opera Aust– whose sons, Ben and Alexander Lewis, are now making their own musical mark internationally). Instead, she chose to write — the computer herkeyboard of choice — leaving the old upright piano to languish in the living room and the daddy long legs to weave their web around the piano’s soundboard and strings while she weave my stories.
Jenn’s stories are about small towns with big hearts and all the quirky, lovable Aussie characters readers enjoy. They are contemporary stories that embrace life, love and second chances as characters reconnect with (or sometimes discover) the country roots that run deep. Which is exactly what Jenn is discovering as she lives the life of a nomadic novelist, which this year includes a trip to WA and Stories on Stage.
We asked Jenn some most important questions while she was on the road. You can ask her more questions at Stories on Stage on October 31.
What are 5 best things about being a nomadic novelist?
- Finding inspiration everywhere — in both the landscape and in the characters we meet along the way.
- The variety— where and when I write— and not being cosseted indoors while I write has made a huge difference to my storytelling.
- Being able to visit regional libraries who rarely get touring authors and don’t have a bookshop for hundreds of kilometres.
- Books chats around the campfire, conversations at happy hour,
- Being able to feign ‘no reception’ when you need to push out your publisher’s deadline. Shhh!
What are 5 favourite things about writing?
- Touching readers’ emotions.
- Taking readers (and myself) on a journey with each story.
- Receiving emails from readers whose real-life can be mirrored by fiction and my story has helped them in some small way.
- Creating characters I know readers will dislike and turning the character (and the reader) around by the end of the story.
- Typing THE END — which I do every time, but my agent always takes it off before submitting!!!!
What are your 5 top procrastination tools?
- Tinder (LOL, bet that got your attention!! Only joking. No, seriously, I am joking – although with the amount of overseas male followers I BLOCK on Instagram. Such strange names and dubious profile pictures makes me wonder about the difference!!)
- Being nomadic. We have a rule … No writing and no social media while on the road. It’s both sets of eyes, especially as we travel though drought-stricken parts of the country, because wildlife by the road is a safety threat (for both parties!). So we’ll be stopping for ‘writing days’ while en route to WA.
What are your 5 favourite words? You mean besides CONTRACT? Okay …
What are the 5 hardest things about being a writer?
- For an unpublished writer? Getting published!
- For a published writer? Staying published!
- Then, once published … not looking at your sales figures.
- And then, not comparing your success (of lack of it) to the success of other authors (comparison kills creativity).
- Finally … being writer, marketer, accountant and business manager and believing you really are as good as you are.