Interviewed author Jenny Woolsey to find out her passion, gather some tips and more importantly probe for the secrets of her success.
Jenny Woolsey – Author
Jenny Woolsey writes stories and blogs about difference and diversity. She is a primary teacher and youth worker, and a strong advocate for people living with facial differences, mental illness and disabilities. She is passionate about inclusive education. In 2017 Jenny was the keynote speaker at the Queensland Down Syndrome Association’s Education Conference.
Jenny’s writing is influenced by her life. She was born with a rare craniofacial syndrome, has anxiety and depression, and a visual impairment. Her three children have disabilities. Jenny’s heart is for children and teens who struggle with finding their self-identities and way in the world.
Jenny’s published novels are: Ride High Pineapple, Brockwell the Brave, and Land of Britannica. She also has short stories published in Redemption and Like a Woman anthologies.
How did you begin writing? Where’d you get the idea for your story/stories?
I began writing as a child. English was my favourite activity at school. My passion continued through school. While I worked as a classroom teacher I enjoyed innovating stories and writing poetry with the children. When I left teaching I pulled out some manuscripts I had been struggling to write for many years, and worked on them. I joined writing groups, engaged in online courses and learnt as much as I could. Writing became addictive and I found I just had to do it!
My ideas for my books came from my personal life, my children, their friends, and from other people who have contacted me and asked me to write stories based on specific subjects:
Ride High Pineapple is about a female teen skateboarder with a craniofacial syndrome and anxiety who finds hope.
Brockwell the Brave focusses on Viking male stereotypes and facing fears.
Land of Britannica explores finding acceptance of parental separation and divorce through an adventure in a fantasy land.
I learnt early on that it is difficult to be picked up by a traditional publisher when you are not known, and I had some writer friends who were indie-authors. I decided that I really wanted my stories out there, and as they are in a niche market, I would become an indie-author too. Being an indie-author is challenging and has a steep learning curve, but well worth it.
My number one favourite author is Roald Dahl. I would always read his books to my students. I love Dr Seuss, and particularly his imagination, his ability to rhyme and the crazy characters. I also really enjoy reading Australian authors, and I try to read as many as I can.
As an indie-author this is my business. At the moment I am spending a lot of time marketing, creating awareness of who I am and what I write, and of course, writing more books. Setting short-term and long-term goals are essential. Breaking visions down into smaller achievable steps is important. And networking with fellow writers is crucial.
When I am engrossed in writing a story I forget about the world around me. I have to be very careful not to ignore my family. I find coming up with the initial story plan difficult but once I have an outline, the story normally flows. I like to brainstorm ideas with my son. He is thirteen and says some really crazy ‘can’t put that in my story’ ideas but also some things that help make the storyline better. I also put into my stories, names, places, animals and character traits from the real world.
Writers Whispers would like to thank Jenny Woolsey for her valuable time and the insight into her world of writing.
For more information about Jenny Woolsey or to purchase a copy of her novels please visit her at the following links:
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